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Geostrategy

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:
in response to reader comment: so?

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Dec 14, 2006 at 15:47

Dear Susan , thanks a lot for your kind comments!

"I'd prefer a mass conversion of Moslems to non-Islam (Christianity, buddhism, atheism whatever ) , if necessary why not use the force to achieve that noble end ? They must be given a fair chance after all. Why not turn Islam's own sword against itself ?"

are you talking about chechnia?

No, generally.

> I was talking about specifically chechnia. I know that the word GROZNY means something like "the stubborn" so how do you see it happening?

Actually , it means "Terrible" (Ivan the Terrible = Ivan Groznyi). It's a masculine adjective , but originally its name was of feminine gender "Krepost Groznaya" = "The Terrible Stronghold" founded soon after the beginning of the Great Caucasian War (1817-1864) in 1818 by general Ermolov and his cosacks to block the Khankal Pass which had allowed the Chechens hiding in the mountains to overrun the plains. It was the key stronghold in a larger fortified Sunzha line along the mountains. After the end of this war the stronghold was changed in 1870 into a city ("gorod" is of masculine gender ) named 'Groznyi' within the Terek district. The Russians built a railway here later and thus the industrial growth of the city as an important oil production centre was assured. It was here that the first Russian pipeline was contructed in 1914. After the Bolshevik revolution Grozny was made the capital of the Chechen Autonomous Region. The Bolsheviks did much to appease and benefit the Chechens at the expense of the counter-revolutionary cosacks.

> PC is just around the corner from russia too, if putin wanted to push the button harder in the war we would have no problem.

He is putting it hard enough compared to Yeltzin. But he has also other considerations.

> But he's not doing it. After the theater in moscow thing and Beslan they had all the excuses. if he's not moving it means unfortunately that he's not sure about what to do.

America's arrogance and increasing penetration into the Caucasus with an eye on Baku , military missions in the region, NATO troops in the Baltic republics, the EU interference and its lofty upbraiding of Putin for Chechnia and "human rights" while a Russian minority in Latvia or Estonia is being treated like second class stateless citizens are serious enough threats for Putin and Russia. It would be unwise for Putin to antagonize Moslems who instinctively hate America and will produce much turmoil in Europe while neitehr America nor the EU does anything to woo or befriend Russia. Those Moslems can be a useful instrument in the struggle against American penetration in what was the former Soviet Union.

As to Putin's plans they quite clear. He has to "collect" and re-unite as much of the former USSR as possible. A nice Russian expression "collect territories" finely describes his role as a new Moscovy prince after the end of the Mongolian yoke uniting divided and warring Russian principalities and duchies. It's quite understandable but being confronted with powerful foreign influences everywhere he has to rely on whatever is detrimental to those powers. That those powers happen to be "democracies" means nothing. Geostrategically democracies can be as aggressive and greedy as tyrannies. Islam as such is an evil power to be sure, but it counts much in the geostrategical struggle for a new division of the post-Soviet world. This struggle is dirty and cynical. If America doesn't change its strategy of encroaching upon what Moscow considers its spheres of influnce (Transcaucasia , Caucasus , Central Asia ) , Putin will never cooperate with America in fighting radical Islam or Islam in general. On the contrary , he will support Islam to do harm to America. That at the end his ally (Islam) can and will turn against Russia herself is obvious and inevitable. But did America think of that problem when it was arming and training Moslems to fight the Red Army in Afghanistan ?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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