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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

War For Oil or Against Terror? 5 Russian Troops Killed in Chechnya Reignites Old Struggle

by Jay Allbritton
The perennial conflict between the Russian government and it's troubled Chechan region has been conveniently shoehorned into the framework of the War on Terror. This designation has given Russian President Vladimir Putin the freedom of conducting Chechan policy with no fear of recriminations from the United States.

Like our own war on terror, the results have not been favorable, and today's news that five Russian troops were killed in Chechnya serves as a stark reminder that the Chechan struggle continues.

This part of the AP story recaps the recent history:
Chechnya has been torn by two wars pitting Russian forces and local allies against separatist rebels in the region in the past 12 years. A Kremlin-backed government is in power and large-scale battles are now rare, but fighting persists.

The attack, which caused an unusually large number of casualties, also came as President Vladimir Putin played down fighting in Chechnya, stressed that the Russian military is not on the offensive and said local security and law enforcement has taken the leading role.

Why fight so hard to keep hold of people who clearly want to be their own country? Could it be that there's oil in them thar hills? Not exactly. It's not the oil, it's the pipelines that the oil will travel through.

VIDEO: BBC report on the death that provoked today's attack. Recycled violence.


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