NOTE: Another transcript from http://www.kavkaz.org/ - an essay published first in December By Movladi Udugov - translated into English (see above reference for details). Kavkaz is the official news agency of the Mujahaden fighting in Chechnya against the Russian's.
The Doomed Struggle
By Movladi Udugov
Here I have some opportunities to set forth our view of today's life of society, our opinion on current processes, the causes of today's crisis, and the way out of it. Piles of books and articles on this subject have been recently published, as well as numerous scientific and pseudo-scientific conceptions. The TV and wireless are also overloaded with this stuff. Actually, it would be hard to sound original. But we don't intend to, our purpose is simple. All we want to do is to expound our points clearly, without any half-truth or reservations. In politics I'm more of a practical man, but in this article I must accentuate the conceptual side. Let's start with the analysis of past-Soviet territory. What is that? What factors have caused it to appear? We need to define in unbiased manner the reasons of the crisis. There are many speculations about it. The range of opinions is vast - from barefaced lie to sober consideration upon the real situation carried out by some persistent people. As the part of past-Soviet territory Chechnya also had encountered the permanent dilemma - "What to do?" The researches proved that social science, which is supposed to solve the social and political problems of vital importance, is the top-secret science. Since 1990 we have been groping our way in this field. It wasn't a chip experience. It was 120 000 lives worth. Everything about this science that is told to ordinary people and is such a disgusting distortion of real situation that I don't like to dwell upon it wasting the time for the critique. That well-known agreement signed in Belarus wasn't the ground for USSR's breakdown. That meeting just ascertained the conditions of a split of "aere perennius" Union. The Communist Party's defeat in Cold War happened to be conducive to the split and division. The second weighty factor causing the USSR and entire socialist block to ruin down was the defeat in Afghanistan military campaign. That war has brought the country to state's economical and moral exhaustion, and to the loss of International prestige as great power and "stronghold-of-peace" image among the third-world countries. Soviet Union set against itself the Islamic world, though it was considered to be an ally in their struggle against military, political and economical expansion of USA and Europe. A war never ends with a mere handshake, mutual apologies and bilateral agreements. The winner dictates his will and robs the loser, who pays off with gold and renunciation of his own ideology and culture. Consequently the loser has to act at winner's bidding in every area of life: politics, economy, morals, ideology, etc. So, the Cold War is no exception. When mass media enthusiastically shower praise upon the finish of the Cold War and long awaited "peace" between East and West, we should be more skeptical concerning it. Being aware of the war rules we are to inquire about the portion prepared for the loser. The political principles haven't changed since the ancient Roman times. The winner utilizes natural resources, drains the brains and takes young women for the fun and entertainment, precisely as Romans did. It's only the outer forms and formulations that have changed, but not the essence. Having crooned "American Boy…", a huge mass of girls from different corners of Russia filled up various half-legal dens in Europe and US. The winner regulates next generation's upbringing. American cartoons have captivated the screens, programming kids towards Western style. A great number of new schools and colleges, affected by Western spirit is aimed to raise "blue collar" slaves for the Winner. The "woe-to-loser" list may be continued. However, our reader can complete it himself. Why all that isn't understood? First, the huge background "noise accompaniment" about "democracy and reforms". Second, in our case there's no demonstrative humiliation of the Loser as it used to be since ancient times up to Second World War. The Winner does not march under the arch of triumph in a victory parade. Brand new political technologies are being operated, they lull and neutralize Loser's aspiration to opposition. George Bush once uttered during a public speech that "when the nation is conquered, the nation should never realize that". Blabbing it out he explained us the truism of modern political psychology. By new political methods a victim is not only apathetic to the robbery and violence but also helps robbers to empty his pockets and settles his throat more convenient to hold a knife to. And it works. Those who object are considered as outlaws hampering the "reforms" and preventing society from returning to "common human values". Thus, the most important point of modern aggressive policy is no demonstrative humiliation. That's what has engendered lots of delusions of new Russian politicians. Russia is a successor of the USSR. It means Russia not only re-distributes the Union's wealth according to self-interest, but also must pay the debts. As a result Russia is pushed away from the world's control panel. It is plainly seen when the West, after having made decisions concerning the Middle East or Balkan problems, places Russia before the accomplished facts, demonstrating the courage to sort out such deals without Russia. Some offended voices have been heard: "But Russia is a great power!" No! It was USSR that used to be a power, a super power… And we shouldn't mix up the two notions up. Our reader might think we are nostalgic, but it's not the case - Chechens have suffered too much from both Tsarism and Communism. We simply want to call a spade a spade. Will the Empire revive? Certainly, not. There are no pre-requisites for its revival. The hopes of many Russian "patriotic" intellectuals are groundless today. As everything on this perishable earth an empire has its term. Those arguing that "Russian State had already successfully passed even harder times" ignore new conditions. The Russian monarchy couldn't exist any longer after the 1917, however within this worn and unable-to-function ideology the new "religion" was conceived - communist ideology. Kind Austrians are "kindly" consoling Russians: "…never mind, we used to be an Empire too, now we're a tiny friendly Austria always getting our daily piece of cake…" These words are supposed to ease the awful sovereign hangover. Though both Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires were completely different from the Soviet Empire. The Soviet one was of new type built along with very important point - a possession of "over-national" ideology. The American ideology lets all nations and races to co-exist, propagating personal freedoms, but it doesn't mean they are living in multi-national paradise. American history is full of racial and ethnic conflicts. This ideology is mendacious and hypocritical, no better than communist one, but it still works to support the Empire, for it bears in mind the necessity of "over-national" ideology.
What are the fundamentals of a state? When and how a state crashes down? We claim that a religion is the basis of the state - and any official ideology regulating the society life is religion. This may be related to the Western ideology in general. And communism is no exception at all. For instance, Lunacharsky ended one of his articles asserting with solemn pathos that communism is the last religion given to the mankind by the great Jew (Marx). We also stick to the opinion that communism is a satanic distortion of religious consciousness ("Das Kapital", Marx, Lenin, his mausoleum, proletariat, communism versus capitalism - all that are disguised imitations of religious attributes, as "Holy Scripture", "Prophets", "sacred places", "pious people", "Heaven and Hell"). Having destroyed the communist faith all over the world, they destroyed its main support - USSR. The Communist Party fell down as predominant religious institution. It's useless to try to glue together the Empire's pieces without any capable and active idea. So, when modern social scientists argue that crisis occurred due to economical bankruptcy, we believe it's more of an underhand tricks than a delusion.
Lack of national policy and obstacles to inter-national integration became so obvious after the Chechen war (1995-1997) that Yeltsin's clan fussed to order the elaboration of new national political conception in a year. Alas, the national policy and national conception ought to be formed for decades, or even more… Yes, it may be composed in a month, but inculcation seems to be a hard task… As we know, the "Phantom of Communism" had been wandering for half a century over Europe until it dwelt upon Russia. National idea is friendly to the global imperial policy, that's why before conquering a country or nation US cultivate the worn national idea there or warm up sovereign nostalgia. This helps to keep every nation in its national cage. That's why the post-Soviet expanse has been subject to many local national leaders, movements, and conflicts. Every politician puts forward a great number of unjust things his nation has experienced. When tribes are left on their own they eventually find mutually beneficial code of co-existence. The cultural integration takes place, international marriages, trading - people never to fight each other. And when a war begins, it is the war between governments, not people. Being in control today, the West works to drive everyone into separate national stall. The West will kindle a rivalry between the nations, irregularly throwing some wood in (investments) or threatening not to give any at all. For the West itself chose "over-national" state ideology. Europe has put aside all discords and begins to unite, coining common currency and parliament, military and economic unions, wiping off customs' barriers. This is the only way to organize the exploitation of the rest of the world. The potential of China with its 1.5 billion population (who knows the precise figures!) has been deliberately overstated. China cannot influence other nations significantly, for China has nothing to suggest - socialism is already discredited, and a proper "Chinese" idea is an anachronism, because a Korean will never like to be Chinese. The most troublesome and perilous ideology for the West is Islam, that's why the West outlined a hostile image - "Islamic fundamentalism" (i.e. Islamic ideology that may cause an establishment of Islamic state). Islam is the strongest over-racial and over-national ideology. The ideology of One God! We all have a free will to choose any religion (tribal, national), but it won't have the future. The West took it for granted not because they believe in the Koran, but because they had made certain of it through historical experience.
Lots of things have been written about the Russian-Chechen war. The contents vary from half-truth to impudent lies. And it's quite a complicated task to look into the aims and causes of this war as for a philistine or politically grounded intellectuals. The most often heard opinion - it is a commercial war, oil, gangsters, budget's plundering… The opinion is still accepted, however it doesn't shed a clear light upon the visible part of iceberg. This war has Clients, Executors and Victims. We will never work out the situation thinking of the Kremlin party as the main initiator. The Kremlin is far from playing the first fiddle. The executors are divided into two parts: first are "democrats" flocked in the "party of war", and mass media as the most influential support of the war; then go the Russian high rank officers serving "democrats". The Clients' purpose is to create a seat of war on the territory of Russian Federation, for up to now they were created in NIS lands. It was performed by means of Russian soldiers, and everybody thought that Moscow again lays the hands on post-Soviet expanse. And it's America and Europe that have been gaining from those wars, and it's Moscow that still is at enmity with regions. The situation had been deliberately aggravated with all-or-none claims like "Chechnya is a subject of Russian Federation". They unleashed the war only after the experts had convinced them it would be a long drawn-out one, being perfectly aware of the fact that Russia would crumble down not because of losing Chechnya, but because of the tension to hold it back. Then the initiators paved the way for extending the conflict area. It is commonly accepted to call such wars "regulated". Obviously, different members of the "war party" have different knowledge about the motives of conflict. As General Petrov said: " To the extent of one's knowledge one acts for own interest, to the extent of one's ignorance one acts for others". Kozyrev (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of RF) knew almost everything, when Grachev (former Minister of Defense) knew no more than he was permitted to.
The West might have had another ambitions as well. We noted a tendency to stave off the possible alliance of Russia and Muslim countries. That alliance would enhance Russia significantly and bring all the gains of the West to naught. To prevent it Russia has been made the #1 enemy for Muslim World (Afghanistan, Tadjikistan, Bosnia, Chechnya). Russia is being drawn into the war with Islam and forced to supply soldiers for "peace making" to the various corners of the globe. In 1994 Kozyrev and Rabin discussed a participation of Russian troops in Palestine operations to serve as a buffer between Arabs and Jews. And one more reason - for all the outward might and modern military equipment neither American nor European soldiers are unable to fight. In every way possible the US try to conceal their infamous trip to Somalia. When local rebels had cut throats of dozen of US marines the entire American and European corps fled. Clinton promised never send his soldiers where there's no advantage and explicit victory. The Russian soldiery is a precious find for the West. They are unpretentious and efficient, and no matter how many of them were killed - nobody would be made answerable for it.
So, the West pursues its important goals. Russia is skillfully estranged from former Eastern European partners, incited against NIS and isolated from Islamic World where the USSR used to have huge influence. This situation makes Russia to appeal to the West for political and financial support. During the war I often happened to take part in negotiations with Russians. Sometimes the military and political confrontation was reaching such a desperate deadlock that Russian officials asked us to present a detailed description of our way-out (at that moment without any ulterior motives, as it seemed to me). Several times we passed the analytical documents to the Russian delegation headed by Romanov that time. We warned that the delaying of military confrontation would destabilize the region and entire country. We predicted the emergence of groups making the war a manger for themselves, and the appearance of numerous criminal mobs in Russia and Chechnya. It didn't require a terrific wisdom to predict, and reality proved we were right. But Russian authorities refused the mutually beneficial solution. Too seductive it was to do away with the Resistance. The incredible arithmetical advantage had hypnotized Russian headquarters and politicians to continue pressing. They did their best to reckon every step up. Emil Pain even settled a "situation room" - an apartment stuffed with computers, which was supposed to provide with maximum of trustworthy forecast of events in Chechnya. I recall, we racked our brains over how could the forecast work, if a Chechen fighter never knows what will cross his mind in a minute. The Divine factor is the only factor authorities' atheistic thought remained heedless to. Let's somebody get the statistics on Russian aircraft accidents since 1996. It's not "Stingers," it's the curse of Chechen women and children which makes them fall. And still they're in for another unexpected disasters. Had the number of suicide and madness cases among Russian soldiers and officers been published, it would have struck a common sense. Perhaps, those figures might bring over an atheist to believe in Divine factor. Counting the murders committed by Chechen campaign veterans during civilian life, the politicians ought to beware of using army.
I'm more of a pessimist when it comes to Russia-Chechen relations. Obviously, the political bosses in Moscow do not like the situation in Caucasus and entire country to be stabilized. Though it fits the long crisis Russia and other post-Soviet subjects have entered. Russia is destined to ongoing splitting up, even if the West does not instigate to it any more. Because there's no salutary idea handy which would suit a multi-tribal state. A so-called ideological shop has large selection, and one may pick up something from Buddhism to psychoanalysis and "absurd theatre". But all these don't comply with real life. At the same time the young generation is being totally corrupted. TV and prints are full of filthy stuff. This moral corruption along with lack of ideology creates unable-to-function generation, which refuses its authentic history and traditions completely. The only hope is placed on the very "Warriors" who will save Russia. The "Warriors" are being prepared for elections. It may happen one of them will become a president. But they will change nothing and will not be able to stop the breaking down and decay, for they have no system to set off against the Winner's system. And according to currently thrust scheme Russia, divided into many parts, will be a buffer zone between Islamic world and the West. Not an enviable role…
Thus, the struggle of Russian nation in the name of national revival and olden time's historical influence is the doomed one. However, there are some intellectuals in Russia thinking over and seeking for truth. I came to this conclusion having read the works of General Petrov and Michael Krugov. They understood it's the alliance with Muslim World, not the military confrontation that can help Russia to get out of crisis.
I would recommend more. On Russia lies heavy sin of the first atheistic state. It was claimed in 1917: "There is no God". To add "but Allah" and maybe Russia will survive.
Head of National Center on Strategic
Research and Political