By William Markiewicz

S. Triller makes a point (see Communication Page this issue); I'm indeed uncomfortable with the Chechnya topic. Everybody has a right to independence and Chechnya shouldn't be an exception. I simply doubt that the Chechens took the best way in the fight for their rights; sometimes freedom fighters choose wrong allies who use them and then reject them. This happened to the Poles when they chose Napoleon who sent them -- to Haiti, to the Ukrainians who chose Hitler, to the Serbs who chose the Allies and now have fallen victim to a new alliance between the former enemies. Now Germany takes "humanitarian" revenge on them. The Chechens, in their fight for freedom, join all Russia's enemies: Jihad, Turkey and the West. Turkey sees all the Central Asian and Caucasus Turkic peoples as a potential part of the future Ottoman neo-empire. Western politologues wrote that "Russia is too big" -- indeed too big to let itself be treated as a relic. Chechnya fights for freedom, Russia -- like Serbia -- fights for survival, even if it isn't so obvious. The Chechens, instead of putting Russian interests at risk, could have looked for some modus vivendi with Russia. All those former Soviet Republics have shown that Russia can be a reasonable negotiator. The Chechen guerrillas chose "eternal war" with Russia not so much because it corresponds to Chechnya's best interests but because of their warrior traditions and for Jihad.

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