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(FYI) AP: Bush sends former secretary of state to Georgia

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  • Norbert Strade
    Thursday, July 3rd, 2003 Bush sends former secretary of state to Georgia WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush dispatched former Secretary of State James Baker to
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 3, 2003
      Thursday, July 3rd, 2003

      Bush sends former secretary of state to Georgia


      WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush dispatched former Secretary of State
      James Baker to Tbilisi, Georgia, to discuss the country's elections this
      fall.

      "Mr. Baker will also discuss U.S.-Georgian cooperation on
      counterterrorism and other security matters," the White House said in a
      news release Thursday. "The Baker mission reflects the United States'
      readiness to work with all Georgian citizens who are committed to
      advancing reform and fighting corruption in pursuit of a democratic,
      prosperous and stable Georgia."
    • M. A.
      Give Chechens their independance and all this would have not happened. The root cause is the criminal action of Russian army and the silence of U.N., OIC, and
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 7, 2003
        Give Chechens their independance and all this would have not happened.
        The root cause is the criminal action of Russian army and the silence
        of U.N., OIC, and other "so called" civilized states.

        -M


        --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Brian Williams <BWilliams@U...>
        wrote:
        > See entire article on the role of Arab mujahideen from Afghanistan
        in
        > the Chechen theater of conflict at:
        >
        > http://www.ethnopolitics.org/archive/volume_II/issue_3-
        4/williams.pdf
        >
        >
        > Jihad and Ethnicity in Post-Communist Eurasia. On the Trail of
        > Trans-National Islamic Holy Warriors in Kashmir, Afghanistan,
        Central
        > Asia, Chechnya, and Kosovo. in The Global Review of Ethnopolitics.
        > vol. II. no. 3-4. March 2003. by Brian Glyn Williams. University of
        > Massachusetts, Dartmouth
        >
        > (snip)
        >
      • Brian Williams
        See entire article on the role of Arab mujahideen from Afghanistan in the Chechen theater of conflict at:
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 7, 2003
          See entire article on the role of Arab mujahideen from Afghanistan in
          the Chechen theater of conflict at:

          http://www.ethnopolitics.org/archive/volume_II/issue_3-4/williams.pdf


          Jihad and Ethnicity in Post-Communist Eurasia. On the Trail of
          Trans-National Islamic Holy Warriors in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Central
          Asia, Chechnya, and Kosovo. in The Global Review of Ethnopolitics.
          vol. II. no. 3-4. March 2003. by Brian Glyn Williams. University of
          Massachusetts, Dartmouth

          (snip)

          Chechnya soon became, along with several similar zones of conflict
          between Muslims and Orthodox Christians (such as Bosnia and Kosovo),
          a prime destination for Arab jihadi volunteers who gradually
          radicalized the local Islam in Chechnya just as they had in Indian
          controlled Kashmir in the early 1990s. Most of the trans-national
          Islamic fighters who joined the Chechen guerillas espoused a strict
          form of Wahhabi fundamentalist Islam. These volunteers saw themselves
          as holy warriors charged with the holy task of not only defending the
          outgunned Chechen Muslims from Russian infidel aggression, but of
          purifying the wayward local Sufi Islam of its heretical practices.
          Foremost among the Arab jihadis in Chechnya was a Saudi
          Arabian mujahideen veteran of the American-sponsored jihad against
          the Soviets in Afghanistan who went by the nom de guerre of Emir
          Khattab (his real name was Samer ben Saleh ben Abdallah al-Sweleim).
          Khattab arrived in Chechnya in 1995 under the protection of a
          legendary Chechen field commander named Shamil Basayev and soon used
          his previous experience in ambushing Soviet military columns in the
          earlier Afghan jihad to annihilate a Russian Federation division on a
          winding mountain road in southern Chechnya.
          This spectacular, videotaped military success ensured Khattab's
          popularity among the out-gunned Chechen fighters who respected the
          'Black Arab' for his courage. Khattab taught the Chechens how to wage
          Afghan-style ambushes and guerrilla warfare as opposed to frontal
          Soviet-style combat and the ranks of his partisan platoons soon
          filled with idealistic young Chechen guerrilla fighters. In addition,
          his 'Islamic Battalion' was bolstered by the arrival of Arab
          volunteers who took great risks sneaking into the Russian-occupied
          republic to join the out-gunned rebels in their desperate struggle
          against the odds.
          Chechens in the Islamic cemaats (platoons) began to wear
          Wahhabi-style beards, to outlaw alcohol, and to construct the Russian
          opponents they had once shared a Communist homeland with as kafirs
          (infidels). As the war progressed, many previously-secular Chechen
          fighters also began to wear headbands inscribed with the Arabic words
          'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great). In essence, Khattab's Arab holy
          fighters began to successfully graft the concept of jihad onto the
          secular, Sovietized Chechens' independence struggle. What had started
          out as a secessionist war for independence led by a nationalist
          Chechen general named Djohar Dudayev (who not only spoke better
          Russian than Chechen but had been a Soviet airforce general who
          earned his command fighting against the mujahideen in Afghanistan in
          the 1980s), began to morph into a Kashmir-style jihad against
          powerful occupying forces.
          When the war ended successfully for the Chechens in 1996 (resulting
          in de facto Chechen independence and the withdrawal of Russian
          forces), the Arab Wahhabis capitalized on this hard-earned foothold
          among certain Chechen radical fighters to extend their political and
          religious influence in the newly independent republic.
          The Wahhabis used their considerable funds to undermine local
          religious authorities (including the Mufti-Head Cleric of Chechnya,
          Akhmed Kadyrov, who is a Sufi) and to combat the influence of the
          moderate political leaders among the Chechens. On occasion, secular
          nationalist Chechen field commanders, such as the notorious Yamadiyev
          brothers, responded by clashing with the overbearing Wahhabi fighters
          who made themselves as unwelcome among Sufi-moderates in Chechnya as
          the swaggering Arabs of the 055 Brigade had among the average people
          of Afghanistan.
          It is interesting to compare this situation to that found in another
          Muslim province fighting for autonomy from Orthodox Christians at
          this time, namely the Muslim Albanian-dominated Yugoslav province of
          Kosovo. The contrast between the situation in Chechnya, which had
          been totally abandoned by the West, and secessionist Kosovo, which
          was protected by NATO, could not have been more glaring.
          Arab volunteer militants, for example, tried to similarly graft the
          concept of jihad to the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army's struggle
          against the Orthodox Serbs in 1999 and to spread their Wahhabi
          beliefs among the Sufi Albanians of Kosovo. In contrast to the
          diplomatically isolated Chechens, however, the Muslim fighters of the
          KLA were able to rely on NATO air support in their struggle and
          adamantly rejected links to Arab militants. The moderate Kosovar
          Albanians expelled or betrayed Arab militants who came to Kosovo with
          the aim of Islamizing ethnic conflicts in these former Yugoslav
          lands. KLA fighters I interviewed in the spring of 2001 in Kosovo
          and Macedonia were overwhelmingly secular nationalists who were
          conscious of the fact that their miraculous, almost over night
          success against Milosevic's powerful army was due solely to the fact
          that NATO had come to their aid in spring of 1999.
          With no hope for Western financial assistance or moral support
          forthcoming from the West (much less direct military support!), the
          impoverished and isolated Chechens by contrast found it harder to
          resist the influence of wealthy Wahhabi NGOs (such as the Joint
          Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya or El Haramein headed
          by a full time representative in Chechnya named Sheikh Abu Omar) and
          well funded Arab militants. As the Soviets had previously done in
          Afghanistan in the early 1990s, the Russian Federation's brutal
          military actions in the mid-1990s combined with appalling
          myopia/disengagement on the part of the West to create the ideal
          conditions for the spread of Islamic-Wahhabi radicalism in war torn
          Chechnya.
          It can therefore, be safely argued that, despite its shrill claims to
          be combating 'Islamic terrorism' in the Caucasus, the bloody Russian
          invasion of Chechnya actually created the very conditions that led to
          the intervention of international Islamists among the Chechens. This
          'blowback' process unfolded in Chechnya in much the same way that the
          CIA and Soviets' earlier shortsighted actions combined in Afghanistan
          to create the optimal conditions for the rise of the Taliban and
          Al-Qaeda. As in post-Soviet Afghanistan, the horrific destruction
          wreaked on Chechen society by the Russian invasion of 1994-6 (from
          45,000-50,000 inhabitants of Chechnya were estimated to have been
          killed in the conflict, many villages were destroyed, and most
          Chechens were jobless), planted the bitter seeds of resentment and
          despair. These seeds would eventually sprout and lead to the rise of
          Islamic militancy in a region that was previously known for its
          accommodating Sufi version of Islam.
          As the Arab Wahhabis had done in previous locales known for their
          moderate Islam, from Indonesia to Bosnia, the fundamentalists
          operating in the lawless regions of Chechnya actively sponsored the
          radicalization of Islam in the northern Caucasus every step of the
          way. After the 1994-96 Russo-Chechen war, for example, a wealthy
          Jordanian Arab veteran of the Afghan conflict, Sheikh Muhammad Fatih,
          established Islamic boarding schools for orphans in the Chechen town
          of Urus Martan and began distributed funds for Wahhabi missionary
          activities. At this time, Wahhabi-funded fundamentalist mosques were
          also built in Urus Martan and Chechnya's second largest town,
          Gudermes.
          This effort at fundamentalist proselytizing was paralleled by the
          recruitment of disenfranchised young men to join Islamic fighting
          units in a process that resembled Juma Numangani's recruitment drives
          in the impoverished Fergana Valley. It should be mentioned that Emir
          Khattab also established training camps in the region of Serzhen Yurt
          in the mountains of southeastern Chechnya to train young Muslim men
          from throughout this multi-ethnic region in the principles of Wahhabi
          Islam and jihad. In 45 day training sessions Muslim Uzbeks, Avars,
          Balkars, Kabardinians, Chechens, Arabs etc. learned how to fire the
          Chechen 'atom bomb' (the lethal RPG-7 Rocket Propelled Grenade), how
          to lay mines, fire Kalishnikovs, and how to worship Allah in the
          'Wahhabi' fashion.

          --

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