Thursday, February 03, 2005

Chechnya and Iraq

The American media and the Iraq election

"Russia held a referendum at gunpoint in Chechnya in the spring of 2003, organized to rubber-stamp a constitution written by Moscow. The Russian military maintained its massive military presence throughout the process. The New York Times published an editorial in anticipation of the vote on January 14, 2003, entitled 'A Sham Referendum.'

"'The idea that a fair test of Chechen opinion can be carried out in the present climate of intimidation is ludicrous,' the newspaper declared. 'Any government emerging from this flawed process is likely to be seen by Chechens as a band of Russian collaborators, not their own independently chosen representatives.... [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aim seems not to offer a real political opening, but a stage-managed show aimed at convincing the outside world that the Chechen war is over and no longer warrants international concern.'

"How true such words ring, with the appropriate name changes, to describe the grotesque farce
in Iraq!"

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