The War is a Double Terror: Stop the New Stage of the Chechen War!

Against the Current, No. 84, January/February 2000

Scholars for Democracy and Socialism

THE RECENT BARBARIC explosions [at apartment buildings in major Russian cities], which caused hundreds of deaths amongst Russian citizens, were used by the authorities to resume a campaign of searching for “entire enemies” and, exploiting our grief, to hide the real perpetrators.

Chechens again were scapegoated for these purposes. And the real perpetrator is the Yeltsin state, which killed hundreds of people both in Grozny the first Chechen war (1994-95)] and in Moscow (the shelling of the parliament building (1993)], and which carries the responsibility for the extremely deep crisis in Russia.

We should understand that individual terror is just a response to the terror of the state, that criminal-bureaucratic gangs of Russian capital are no better than real terrorist gangs. The power of these “dinosaurs” has already caused more victims than all the terrorists together. And these “peaceful terrorists” are the real masters of the Russian state. The idea of consolidation of the nation around this state, the attempts to hide their sins by crimes-this is only a deception of the working class.

This is an escape for Yeltsinists and oligarchs, who try to increase their chances for survival before the elections by a new massacre. And these chances are decreasing day by day.

Workers in Russia are developing from the passive protests, and purely tactical demands to pay them wages in time, toward an active and effective struggle: In Vyborg and Yasnogorsk, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg they are starting to organize a workers’ control, they are making the first steps to a transformation of their factories to people’s control.

In this situation Yeltsinists need “a little victorious war with terrorists.” Explosions in Moscow and other cities came in time to divert people from the real problems in the country.

A form of cooperation of the “hurrah-patriots” with ultra-liberals within the framework of the struggle with foreigners is very dangerous. And the most cynical position is the position of some right-liberal journalists, these human rights supporters, who now are ready to accept any actions against the Chechen nation. [These supporters of the regime’s] campaign against so-called “persons of the Caucasus nationality” (even this term is insulting for the multinational Caucasus!) and the Chechen war-are [tools of] a new powerful threat of the dictatorship and witch-hunting. These methods can become a means not only for cancellation of the election, but also for suppressing any action of protest by force using the excuse of the “consolidation of the nation.”

We must categorically oppose both imperial chauvinism and nationalism in its terrorist forms.

All forms of terror, both by the state and the individual, should be stopped. But terrorists can’t be defeated with wars and state terror, if they are supported by their nation. If the majority of the men and women, old people and children of Chechnya and other nations hate the terrorists they would be quickly defeated.

We consider it very important to start actions of social and political forces which are acting against the war for the following aims:

* to stop all military operations, causing victims in the civilian population;

* to block the transportation of drugs and weapons, to stop the slave trade on the border of Chechnya, and to leave it open for humanitarian cooperation;

* to stop spreading anti-Chechen hysteria and propaganda and physical pressure against the representatives of the Caucasus people;

* to support Chechen people struggling against the terrorists, against [reactionary] political and social forces in Russia and abroad;

* to organize economic, political and cultural actions for friendship of Russian, Chechen and other Caucasus peoples in Moscow and the south of Russia.