Friday, July 29, 2005

Aslan Maskhadov

On the killing of the former Chechen President in March, the Russians lured him with the promise of talks, according to C4's Dispatches programme on Monday night. Not surprisingly, this destroyed any belief the remaining leadership had in negotiations. The programme then showed Putin in conversation with his security chief, saying those who took part in the operation should receive medals.

Having translated the UAT statement, I have signed it, but with one reservation.

I don't know that Chechens have had the chance to reject 'attempts at peaceful and political solutions to problems' or that they have 'other, better, more effective, and more human ways of opposing injustice'. Nobody seriously doubts that 'disappearances' and extra-judicial killings take place in Chechnya and it might well be true that these exceed many times over what happened at Beslan and so on. Non-state actors do not have a monopoly on atrocities.

On the other hand, I recall somebody in The Guardian saying something like 'states like to have a monopoly on violence'. But of course the state should have a monopoly on violence. Nobody, least of all Guardian readers, would like to live in the alternative to that. That's a basic Hobbesian point. The state, having a monopoly on violence, should use it as little as possible.

Update (30 Jul): 'Russia says it is outraged by an interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev broadcast on America's ABC television network. The Russian foreign ministry summoned a senior US diplomat in Moscow to express its "strong indignation" over the show.' BBC. ---I think it was  Doku Umarov that C4 spoke to (see).


Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link