Times-UK, MT: Letters to the editors
- Linking Chechnya to Iraq was wrong
Letters to the Editor
From Professor Peter Reddaway
July 28, 2003
Sir, The Prime Minister's moral slipperiness over Iraq now has a
Chechen component. On June 18 he referred categorically to "the fact"
that Chechens had been fighting for Saddam (Hansard, June 18, col
355). When challenged later by Crispin Blunt, MP, to prove this
charge or withdraw it, he agreed that his source was no more than
what Blunt had called "unsubstantiated reports" (Hansard, July 9, col
Mr Blair then added: "I accept that it may be some time before we can
be sure that those reports are correct." But he does not have the
decency to withdraw his charge until such time as this might occur.
Nor does he note that the freely elected President Maskhadov of
Chechnya gave strong official support to the US-UK decision to invade
Mr Blair cast further slurs on the brave and tenacious people of
Chechnya. First he referred without qualification to "several reports
about Chechen fighters being found in Afghanistan", although these
reports have long remained unsubstantiated. No fighters have ever
been identified. And Guantanamo Bay holds nine Britons, but zero
Secondly, he referred to "appalling terrorist atrocities" committed
by Chechens in Russia, but omitted to note that these would never
have occurred if they had not been provoked, with medieval brutality,
by the prior atrocities of the Russian military.
Putin must chuckle every time he contemplates his achievement. Does
Mr Blair really want to be remembered as a chum of this man and an
enemy of the nation he is destroying?
London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE.
Friday, Aug. 1, 2003. Page 9 The Moscow Times
Infiltrating the Kremlin, Secret-Service Style
In response to "Putin in Stalin's Footsteps," a column by Pavel
Felgenhauer, and "Problems of Unstable Privatization Edifice," a
comment by Marshall I. Goldman, both on July 31.
I found it very funny that on July 31 you ran two articles saying, to
use Pavel Felgenhauer's words, that the "two faces of Putin seem to
contradict each other." President Vladimir Putin was indoctrinated
under Soviet power, was KGB trained and moving up through the ranks,
had and has KGB aspirations and intentions, is accustomed to KGB
operational methods, displays a KGB mindset, a KGB vision of how the
world should be run and Russia's prominent place in that "brave new
world," and I think he is being KGB run. He is simply a very well-
trained, polished and professional example of "Homo Sovieticus."
Only a non-Russian child would believe the KGB was "split up" and
just faded away. There was nothing in Soviet Russia organized and
powerful enough to even start to touch the KGB. Only organized crime
had a chance to challenge them, and I think they both solved that
question with a profitable partnership. As long as the new money
holds out, so will the Putins and other Soviet methods.
Wellington, New Zealand