Thursday, July 21, 2005

Moscow and the Propaganda War

The Kremlin is regularly stepping up its propaganda effort to portray itself as an ally in the war on terror. On Moscow Region Channel 3 TV's "Main Theme" (July 15), commentator Andrei Dobrov referred to British ambassador Tony Brenton's 7/7 press conference remark that the extradition of Chechen government envoy Akhmed Zakayev to Russia might be secured if backed up by sufficient evidence. The British Foreign Office subsequently downplayed these remarks, and stated that there was no likelihood of Zakayev's extradition being contemplated, but of course there is no reference to this in Dobrov's commentary. That commentary reeks of the oily rhetoric and sanctimonious schadenfreude that were characteristic of Soviet journalism in the 1970s. There are even eerie echoes of Wolf Mitler and Lord Haw-Haw:
[Dobrov] It is terrible, of course, but terrorist acts have a way of forcing people to face up to reality soberly. The USA before and after September 11 is two different countries. Even Russia, with all its experience of struggling against terrorism, has not changed its policy quite so drastically as the States. Whereas previously the Americans preferred to act diplomatically and portrayed their military as mostly morons with the nuclear bomb, now diplomacy is but a cog in the US war machine.

True, the Americans are idealists. They think they can make the Earth a safer place to live on if they take control of the whole world. Sadly, this is not so. But for the moment, they believe in this idea so much they are ready to die for it


[Dobrov] I am afraid a real war has begun in the world. It is in its initial period, when the warring sides are searching for allies and identifying adversaries. The problem is that the sides are not clearly defined. There is no clash between the East and the West and there is no front-line. Not one country in the East these days would claim to be the homeland of the terrorists who bombed New York, London and so on.

It can be said, of course, that one blast [as heard] would not rock British society, that political correctness and commitment to the rule of law would prevent the terrorists from setting the English on people descended from the Orient, thereby creating fertile ground for the recruitment of new supporters and new fighters. But what if there were a series of blasts at some intervals? Say, once a year? What if blasts came every six months?

Look at how the methods are changing. September 11 was a dramatic terrorist act, but it was very labour-intensive. Planes had to be commandeered, flown where necessary and so forth. Now terrorist acts have become much simpler. A man is on a train. When two trains meet in a tunnel, he blows himself up.

Just what can security services do against this? With all due respect to their personnel, I can say: not much. Prevention of terrorist acts is an exceedingly difficult and thankless business. British police were on permanent alert and what did they achieve?

The world is changing fast and not for the better, as we can see. The cold war between the West and Russia, which some are trying to bring back, must cease, or else there will be no sides left in this dispute. Therefore, politicians who are raising tensions instead of lowering them are effectively accomplices to terrorists. Organizations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] must be dissolved and proscribed as terror accomplices.

(Via chechnya-sl)

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