13.12.2002 | Inna Sukhorukova, Kharkov

Only the dialog between civilizations can save us from terror


The terrorist act in Moscow took away the lives of 167 people. I do not separate the terrorists and the hostages on purpose, since all of them are victims. But I do not try to diminish the guilt of the Chechen group that took the hostages.

Terror is one of the most horrible crimes of our time. The Chechens, who occupied the building of the palace of culture „Crystal“ may not be called otherwise but criminals. The whole world was attentively watching the terrible events. Among those, who perished in Moscow, there where three Ukrainian citizens. And it was strange to hear from the Ukrainian authorities the grateful words addressed to the Russian government and special services. Maybe they were grateful that only three Ukrainians were killed and not all 37? Yet, let us recollect that, according to the official version, only one person died of a firearm wound inflicted by terrorists. The others were poisoned with the gas used by the special troops during the storm for saving these people. We have never seen anything so unprofessional, cruel and immoral.

The Russian authorities and special services caused damage not less than terrorists. Yet, the countries, which experienced the terror themselves, hurried to declare that the special services of Russia acted adequately, that the terrorists were the guilty and that the Russian authorities had no other way our. Really?

Let us try to investigate the whole heap of the misinformation, which is indoctrinated to us from the TV screens.

Larisa Bogoraz, a well-known human rights protection activist, in her appeal published below called the terrorists the criminals, but added immediately that the part of the terrorists were widows and orphans, who lost everything because of the shameful war in Chechnya. The terrorist act was an act of despair, and, undoubtedly, the terrorists were ready for the negotiations with the Russian officials, else someone of them would manage to explode himself together with the theatre, hostages and „Alpha“ fighters. If terrorist’s goal is only revenge, he shall not wait for negotiations or storm, he shall find a great gathering of the hostile people and explode himself together with his victims. The hostages, who appeared on television, told the same: for several minutes before they fell asleep of the gas, they felt the asphyxia and other symptoms of the gas poisoning.

Some part of the terrorists, as the Minister of Interior of Russia informed, managed to hide. So, why did not they detonate the explosives to blow up themselves and everybody, who was in the captured building? Probably, they had no aim to die unconditionally. Yet, the life in Chechnya was the hell for them. We know about the numerous violations of human rights in Chechnya, we know that this war does not spare the lives of the peaceful population. We know that nobody in Russia except several people seriously fights against this war. The Chechens, driven to despair, began the attack, which will influence their international image very negatively. The actions of the terrorists may be regarded only as insanity, since they demanded to stop the war in Chechnya. From whom? From the Russian top authorities, who never suffered from humanism, who wasted in Chechnya the lives of lots of Russian servicemen, not to mention the peaceful local population?

Let us compare the actions of the Chechens with the actions of the terrorists in America and Israel. Does the Palestine kamikazes, who blow themselves in the streets, buses and restaurants in Israel, ask for negotiations? No. On 11 September 2001 in New York, where the terrorist act was a mere attack against the peaceful dwellers, the terrorists perished together with their victims without any attempts to demand something from the USA government. It was revenge.

The Chechen warriors behaved in a quite different way. From the very beginning they demanded the negotiations on the top level. The ambitious Russian state officials decided, naturally, that they were too smart for this. Everything, beginning from Putin’s motto „no negotiations with terrorists“ to the scandalous operation for freeing the hostages, demonstrated the absolute negligence to human life.

The scandalous incident with the submarine „Kursk“, when the Russian government proudly refused from the aid of foreign rescuers, was repeated again. Who cares about the hundreds of Russian citizens and foreign guests? And who would regard as human creatures the terrorists shot in their sleep? The world community with one accord praised the Russian government and President Putin for the resolute repulse to the terrorists, thus intensifying the anti-Moslem moods and not understanding that these moods involve the world into a catastrophe. The opposition of the two civilizations is obvious, but the politicians prefer to solve all the problems by force, although it is obvious that such methods cannot result in anything good. The situation in Israel confirms this. How even a super-civilized country can resist a man with a bomb, who is ready to die for his ideas? The only solution of this problem is the dialog between the civilizations, looking for the reasons of terror and elimination of these reasons on the world level. The USA provoked the terrorist act of 11 September being a powerful country promoting the values alien to the Moslem world; Russia caused the events of 23-26 October with the cruel war in Chechnya. Israel, in its turn, is driven into a corner, since Arafat only imitates the negotiations. The Israeli authorities cannot find any non-force solutions, and the force solutions are, as one can see, senseless. How many peaceful citizens must be killed by terrorists to make the world understand the causes and the historic motives of terrorism? Why the life of Moslems is so bad that they are ready to die, but to revenge on the Western countries at any price? What is the modern Islamic fundamentalism? If the world community is unable to answer these questions, the terrorist acts, which are actually a form of world war, will occur again and again.

Returning to the events in Russia, one must acknowledge that there we deal with fundamentalism of the both sides. Lately the Russian authorities violate human rights consciously and massively, which was clearly demonstrated by the events in Moscow. The badly prepared storm with the enormous number of victims among the hostages, with using the serious poisoning gas, with concealing the information not only from mass media, but even from the relatives of the victims – all these are the disturbing symptoms, which appear more and more often in the political life of the country. And the world community ignores these facts for some reasons. It is difficult to understand the logic of politicians, but, we believe, it happens because the increase of terrorism causes the restriction of the democracy, strengthening the role of special structures and the state pressure upon the civil society. This happens even in the countries with the developed democracy, so what one may say about Russia, where the democracy is still very young and helpless?

Fighting terrorism has become a handy excuse for any state abusing human rights. That is why such countries justify each other so easily.

The unified standards of individual rights, such as international Conventions and Declarations, was the only mean that saved us from the world war. However, the very first test – the collision with the countries, where the collective rights are the most important, demonstrated how these standards are fragile and imperfect. Yet, the humanity must develop, it must seek the ways to the mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence.

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