Friday :: Aug 27, 2004

Flying The Unfriendly Skies


by pessimist

It's happened again - for sure. Civilian aircraft have again been used as terror targets.

Russian investigators have found traces of the explosive hexagen in the remains of one of the planes.

There is reason to believe that Chechens are involved.

Hexogen, the explosive found in the Tu-154, is the material that Russian officials said was used in the 1999 apartment bombings that killed some 300 people in Russia, an attack blamed on Chechen separatists. Female suicide bombers with alleged Chechen connections have carried out attacks in Moscow, including the twin bombing of an outdoor rock concert and another blast outside a hotel adjacent to Red Square. Russian officials, meanwhile, said they were investigating two female passengers one on each plane with Chechen names. The two were the only passengers whose relatives did not contact authorities, officials said.

Our sympathies go out to the families of the victims.

A Chechen connection to the crashes would be likely to further harden the Kremlin's already-stony refusal to negotiate an end to the war, as well as to expose weakness in its strategy. "Here's the answer to how effective our politics in Chechnya have been," Russian legislator Vladimir Ryzhkov was quoted as saying in the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Pay attention, now. This is the basic script we will be hearing as soon as Bu$hCo gives up on the idea of a legitimate electoral victory in favor of mere victory.

Security analyst Andrei Soldatov said a connection could bring more suffering to Chechnya, where Russian forces are widely criticized for abusing and abducting civilians. "The government will now be able to say that the fight against separatists in Chechnya comes under the roof of international terrorism. As soon as they say that, you can forget about human rights in the region," he said.

This will also be part of the script. There is no way that Bu$hCo can completely subdue Iraq without widespread bloodshed. If the coming terror attack on America to secure Bu$h'$ official continuance is 'proven' to include Iraqis, all bets are off in Iraq. It will probably take a form similar to this:

Russian officials have contended that the rebels fighting Russian forces in Chechnya for nearly five years receive help from foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida. Friday's claim did not refer to al-Qaida, but a group called "the Islambouli Brigades of al-Qaida" claimed responsibility for last month's attempt to assassinate Pakistan's prime minister-designate.

Substituting 'American' for 'Russian' and 'Iraq' for 'Chechnya', it might look something like this:

American officials have long contended that the rebels fighting American forces in Iraq receive help from foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida. Friday's claim did not refer to al-Qaida, but a group called "the Islambouli Brigades of al-Qaida" claimed responsibility for last month's terror attacks.

Maybe Bu$h really does see into Putin's soul - and is jealous of what he sees.


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