Rob Vincent has a unique, very focused view of things. I hope you’ll enjoy this guest post.
By Rob Vincent
What follows below is not in any way meant to make light of the horrible suffering recently inflicted on Russian civilians in Moscow earlier this week.
However, given the experience of at least one country near and dear to my heart that has suffered to a far greater degree from Islamist terrorism over the past several decades, a country that has had a great deal of time to consider this matter and which has received voluminous advice and counsel from abroad on this topic, I would offer the following modest proposal to our friends in Russia:
They need to give independence to Chechnya.
Not that there’s a lot of international pressure on them to do so. Where is the ‘Chechen Authority observers seat’ in the UN? Where are all the college protests, the boycotts, the divestment campaigns over the brutal Russian occupation of Chechnya (and it really has been pretty brutal, incalculably worse than anything Israel has ever done)? Where are all the UN resolutions condemning Russia? Has the UN Secretary General made a tour of Chechnya lately? I kind of doubt it. Why isn’t the Obama administration threatening some kind of sanction or another against Russia, standing up to them, over the poor oppressed Chechnyans?
But why not? I mean, how about — dare I say it? — land for peace?
A perfectly reasonable request, I submit. If it is good enough for tiny Israel, I’m sure Russia — which has more land to spare than anyone — could set the example. After all, they are a member of the Quartet that presumes to tell the Israelis what they must do for peace, aren’t they?
It’s not as if independent Chechnya would be within mortar range of Moscow, or anything like that. And I’d bet they’d even recognize Russia’s right to exist as a Russian state right off the bat — more than it looks like Israel will ever get from the Palestinian Authority.
But wait! The Russians already tried this! The Russians withdrew from Chechnya by the end of 1996, and by 1997, Chechnya had independence.
That wasn’t enough for them, I suppose. Within a couple years, Islamic law was established; terrorism against targets inside Russia and invasions of neighboring territory followed. There’s just no pleasing some people. Russia wound up invading again to restore order, and, simply put, to protect themselves. When they did this, you can bet a lot more civilians died than in Gaza in early 2009.
I imagine the Chechens would say that their aggression in the late 1990s was merely “revenge” for Russia’s past occupation.
Hmmm. Wonder what lessons there could be for Israel in any of this?
A great irony here, of course, is that when one considers the extent to which it is now becoming accepted U.S. policy to beat up on Israel so as to appease Muslim sensibilities in the hope of garnering the support of ‘moderate Muslims’ in our war against Islamist extremism… well, one could not find a more anti-Israel member of the industrialized major powers than Russia.
Happily selling arms to all of Israel’s enemies, nuclear technology to Iran, the first of the non-Muslim countries to pounce on Israel every time in the UN, Russia’s policies towards Israel go well beyond Pat Buchanan’s wildest fantasies for the U.S. (but President Obama is doing his best).
Beating up ferociously on Israel, betraying her at every opportunity — that surely hasn’t bought Russia anything, has it? You’d think Muslims would just love them, wouldn’t you? At least, that is what the logic that appears to inform the foreign policy of the Obama administration seems to indicate, no?
So, where are the Muslim ‘moderates’, with whom Russia can cash in her Israel-bashing chits for help in fighting her Muslim ‘extremists’?
At the end of the day, though, this whole mess is the fault of those intransigent, stubborn Israelis, dontcha know. Just ask President Obama. If he could, I’m sure he’d find a way to blame the tragedy in Moscow on Israel’s latest plans to build apartments in Jerusalem.*
*To any who may be offended by what some may interpret as apparent ‘callousness’ on my part with respect to the Russians:
As a Jewish American who is openly supportive of Israel, my sentiments are regarded by many with callousness and worse as concerns the deadly situation faced by my brethren in Israel.
If I suggest that Israel is in the right against the murderous thugs who deny her very right to exist — which includes the gangsters with whom the world expects her to negotiate ‘peace’ – then I am “taking sides”, I’m a “Jew with a biased agenda”, I’m “putting our troops in danger”, I’ve got “dual loyalties”.
But in the case of Russia, nobody questions her position, and you can be sure the Russian reprisal — as always — will be blunt and brutal. I somehow don’t think she’ll be condemned for this.
When Israel is similarly attacked by the very same types, and has the audacity to defend herself (with far greater restraint and precision in every instance), she is treated by the overwhelming majority of the Western media as though she were to blame.
Who could blame any Israeli or any Jew for being callous in the face of the suffering of the Russians today, given the repulsive evolution of public debate concerning Israel over the past couple of decades, and specifically given Russia’s treatment of Israel on the world stage?
And yet, it would not surprise me in the least if Israel offered her assistance to Russia in fighting these thugs all the same.