Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2001/2-1

Feb. 6, 2001

Echoes from a Security Conference in Munich: Europeans Divided Again  

Russia Warns Sternly Against U.S. Antimissile Shield

Putin Readying Diplomatic and Military Countermeasures; Venik on “Radio Liberty” Chechen Program; Russian Troops Free Kidnapped American in Chechnya

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONARUSSIAN AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

Moscow                     1. Russia Warns Sternly Against U.S. Antimissile Shield

Philadelphia               2. Venik: “Radio Liberty” Chechen Program Has 

                                        SS Sonderkommando Roots

Moscow                     3. Russian Troops Free Kidnapped American in Chechnya

Washington               4. CIA Chief Sees Russia As New/Old Adversary,

                                              Assails Putin’s Foreign PolicyFeb. 8, 2001

Phoenix                      5. Some TiM Reader Reactions to Chechnya StoryFeb. 8, 2001

CALIFORNIA - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Gen. Shalikashvili Father’s Nazi Links and Stalin’s Deportation of Chechens

MASSACHUSETTS - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Stalin’s Deportation of Chechens

MINNESOTA - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Chechens Are Victims of Brutal Russian Repression

TEXAS - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Similarities Between Chechens, KLA and Hizbollah

FLORIDA - Lid on Truth in America Is As Tight As Ever

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1. Russia Warns Sternly Against U.S. Antimissile Shield

Putin Readying Diplomatic and Military Countermeasures

MOSCOW, Feb. 5 - Russia’s response to the Bush administration’s confirmation this weekend of the U.S. plan to press ahead with its national missile defense (NMD) shield was swift and stern.  Moscow’s security chief, Sergei Ivanov, startled American senators and top NATO officials gathered at an international security conference in Munich on Sunday (Feb. 4) with a hard-line statement that said no to NATO enlargement, no to the Bush administration plans for missile defenses, and warned the West not to push Russia too hard over its debts.

Sounding like a Soviet official during the Cold War, according to a Feb. 5 UPI wire report said, the fluent English-speaking Ivanov spoke in Russian to denounce the Bush administration's plan to proceed with a national anti-missile defense system (NMD).  The Russian official then outraged the U.S. entourage when he accused NATO of inflicting on Europe "an ecological disaster comparable to Chernobyl" in its use of depleted uranium bullets during the air war in Kosovo, the UPI said.

"We oppose them because they undermine the basis of global strategic stability. Deployment of NMD by definition would make the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty useless. And the destruction of this treaty -- we are quite positive about this -- will result in the annihilation of the whole structure of strategic stability and create prerequisites for a new arms race, including in outer space," Ivanov said.

Ivanov’s remarks came in response to “the Bush Administration's maiden voyage into the choppy waters of trans-Atlantic relations,” as the Sydney Morning Herald put it on Feb. 5, citing the Los Angeles Times as source.  The new U.S. defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, put European allies on notice that the Pentagon will press ahead with a national missile defense despite their objections.

Rumsfeld and a chorus of U.S. congressional representatives also used the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy to warn European Union states developing their own military forces against draining defense resources from NATO, which steered them safely through the Cold War.  The polite but pointed observations illustrated the gulf that has opened between U.S. and European members of NATO since the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

In addition to differences over missile defense and the EU drive to create armed forces outside NATO, the Munich discussions also exposed rifts over U.S. participation in Balkan peacekeeping missions and the speed and scope of NATO and EU expansion into Eastern Europe.  And that’s another sore point within the NATO allies that Russia is trying to exploit.

Ivanov also denounced the NATO operations in Kosovo, saying, "NATO actions caused systematic growth in violence and a political impasse, threatening European and global security.”

“To be frank,” Ivanov added, “the Kosovo crisis showed the inability of NATO to solve effectively peacekeeping tasks.  NATO's attempt to act as a peacekeeper led to the escalation of the Kosovo conflict to the scale of a humanitarian catastrophe and to an ecological disaster comparable to Chernobyl.”

Ivanov, head of the Kremlin's security council, was introduced at the 37th Munich conference on international security as "the number two man in the Kremlin, the man who drafts the policy and implements it." Sleek, youthful and modishly dressed, Ivanov is seen by Western analysts in Moscow as President Putin's closest ally and alter ego.

Here is an excerpt from that UPI report:

“Ivanov also bluntly dismissed questions for U.S. senators about the crackdown on press freedoms and threats to human rights in Putin's Russia, saying that the West could not ask Putin to clamp down on corruption and restore the rule of law in Russia and then accuse him of mounting a threat to Russia's democracy.

"When we hear you ask 'Who are you, Putin?' we might put a counter-question: 'What kind of Russia do you need?' " Ivanov said.

"Russia, a front-line warrior fighting international terrorism in Chechnya and Central Asia, is saving the civilized world from the terrorist plague, in the same way that it saved Europe from the Tartar-Mongol invasions in the 13th century," Ivanov insisted. "And we pay for it, in suffering and privation."

Ivanov also warned the West not to push Russia too far to repay its financial debts, saying that it should consider not just simple arithmetic but higher mathematics.

"By refusing to waive part of one's profit today, tomorrow one may get results which may turn out to be much more expensive -- and not only from the point of view of economics. As we know, politics has to be paid for," he said.

In one of the toughest statements to emerge from the Kremlin since the Cold War, Ivanov held out only two hints of more cooperation with NATO and the Bush administration.

Russia might be able to consider a global, rather than U.S. national missile defense system, if its was aimed at developing technologies that could shoot down missiles in their initial boost phase, immediately after launch. One problem that Russians and Europeans share with the current U.S. technology is that it seeks to shoot down ballistic missiles in flight. For the United States, this would mean that a destroyed missile would fall into the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. For Russia and Europe, it could mean the missile falling onto their land.”

Just in case the western leaders may have been tempted to dismiss Ivanov’s remarks in Munich as one man’s view of the global geopolitical affairs, the Russian defense minister, Igor D. Sergeyev, reinforced them in Moscow the next day (Feb. 5).  Sergeyev said that Russia was making contingency plans to respond to the Bush administration's antimissile plans. He added Russia was not planning a new missile buildup, which it cannot afford, but "asymmetrical" technologies that would penetrate any missile shield, according to a New York Times Feb. 6 report.

"We had three mighty programs to counteract asymmetrically the national missile defense systems of the United States during the period of Reagan's Star Wars," he said.  He told the Interfax news agency that "a lot of money was invested in those programs" before they were abandoned at the end of the cold war. "But we still have them," he added, "and can take them up again."

Marshal Sergeyev, the former commander of Russian strategic rocket forces, labeled the American antimissile proposal "son of Star Wars," and predicted, in remarks to the visiting Swedish defense minister, Bjorn von Sydow, that the Bush administration would not be able to persuade its allies to abandon "the entire system of agreements, which has led to strategic stability in the world" and to support American actions that would cause "those agreements to be scrapped."

At the same time, Russian president Vladimir Putin was said to be preparing a diplomatic offensive to meet the leaders of two of the so-called rogue nations whose ballistic missiles are of greatest concern to Washington, according to the Times:

“President Mohammad Khatami of Iran is expected in Moscow next month for discussions about trade and military cooperation. Diplomats in Moscow and in Tehran told the Times that the two leaders would discuss ways to control the spread of ballistic missile technology.  Washington has expressed longstanding concerns about Russian assistance to Iran's ballistic missile program.

Then, in late April, diplomats said, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, is expected to come to Moscow, which would be his longest-distance diplomatic visit to date.  Putin made a surprise visit to the North Korean capital last summer and opened negotiations to persuade Kim to give up his quest to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that could threaten Japan and the United States.

Russia’s defense minister's statements and president Putin’s diplomacy were another effort by Russia to play on the deep skepticism that already exists in Europe over the United States' determination to rearrange the strategic landscape. An American national missile shield would violate the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which the Bush administration wants to amend and which Moscow now calls the "cornerstone of strategic stability."

Russia has asserted that if the United States ultimately withdraws from the 1972 treaty, all of the strategic arms accords negotiated over the last 30 years will become invalid because they are based on the common principle of prohibiting an arms race in defensive weapons.”

For the full Times article, check out - http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/06/world/06RUSS.html

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2. Venik: “Radio Liberty” Chechen Program Has SS Sonderkommando Roots

PHOENIX, Feb. 6 - As another bomb exploded Feb. 5 at a Moscow subway station, injuring scores of civilians, the first suspects are once again the Chechen terrorists (see an August 2000 TiM report about another Moscow subway explosion).  At about the same time, we received a letter from “Venik,” a TiM correspondent’s pen name whose real identity is known to TiM.  Venik is the name regular TiM readers may remember as he has contributed a number of articles in the past to TiM, mostly regarding NATO’s bombing of Serbia. 

This time, however, he writes to us about the U.S. government financed and run Radio Liberty, which Venik says is distorting the news about the events in Chechnya, just as it did about Kosovo in 1999.  Plus, Venik offers an interesting historical perspective about this U.S. government propaganda instrument:

“SS Sonderkommando "Liberty" is Back in Business

American Radio "Liberty" an anti-Russian propaganda tool created by the CIA half-a-century ago in Munich and originally known as the Radio "Liberation" decided to relive the fascist years of its dark history.

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 6, 2001 - A year ago, Roberto Mori, a member of the board of trustees overseeing the U.S. foreign broadcast efforts, proposed to create a Chechen Radio "Liberty" with a simple purpose - "to infuriate the Kremlin." Evidently, the CIA propaganda masters no longer bother to hide the anti-social nature of the Radio "Liberty" behind a presentable front of a "humanitarian mission."

During the February 2 press-conference in Riga, Latvia, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Radio "Liberty", the president of this organization, Thomas Dine, announced the creation of a new department within the Radio "Liberty," which will be broadcasting in Chechen as well as in several other languages of the Caucasus.

Exactly 50 years ago, the CIA established Radio "Liberation", later renamed into Radio "Liberty", in Munich, Germany. One of the "Liberty s" departments was broadcasting in Chechen and was almost entirely staffed by the former members of the SS Sonderkommando.

In 1942, the SS Sonderkommando was founded by SS-Oberfuhrer Oskar Dirlewanger former member of the Freikorps, the French Foreign Legion, the Condor Legion and a convicted rapist to conduct anti-partisan operations on the Eastern front. The SS Sonderkommando, which was granted Divisional status in the last months of the war, was responsible for crushing the Polish uprising in Warsaw and numerous other war crimes.

Most of the SS Sonderkommando members were captured by the Russian army and executed. The SS-Oberfuhrer Dirlewanger and some top commanders of his division are believed to have escaped to the West Germany. Among them were several Chechen nationals, who joined the SS during Wermacht s drive toward the rich oil fields of Grozny.

After the war, a number of the former SS Sonderkommando members were employed by the CIA to staff the newly-established department of the Radio "Liberation" broadcasting in Chechen. Needles to say, very few, if any, Chechens heard these broadcasts. Just as today, the primary goal of the Radio "Liberation s" broadcasts in Chechen language half-a-century ago was to infuriate the Russian government, as well as to brainwash ignorant Western audiences.

Clearly, with Chechen warlords and other criminals running from Russia, Radio "Liberty" discovered a fresh and plentiful source of Chechen-speaking sellouts to fill the new job positions generously financed by unsuspecting American taxpayers, who will be pleased to know, that Shamil Basayev s Sonderkommandos were not forgotten by the U.S. government.”

Venik, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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3. Russian Troops Free Kidnapped American in Chechnya

MOSCOW, Feb. 5 - Three weeks after an American humanitarian worker was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Chechnya, Kenneth Gluck (38) was freed in a raid carried out by the Russian domestic security agency, according to a Feb. 5 Washington Post report.  The former captive was shown on Russian television telling reporters that he was treated "well enough" by his captors and that he was eager to see his family. He appeared unharmed and said he was "feeling okay now."

A spokesman for the Federal Security Service (FSB) said it learned a few days ago where the New York City native was being held but waited until he was moved to a location where it was safer to rescue him. "When we saw our chance, we took it," said the spokesman, Alexander Zdanovich. He said Gluck was freed without preconditions, ransom or any casualties "among our own people."

Gluck, who organized the distribution of medicine and hospital supplies for Doctors  Without Borders in Chechnya, was considered highly experienced, cautious and dedicated.  He was making his weekly supply delivery on Jan. 9 when gunmen in two vehicles blocked his car on a road near the village of Stariye Atagi, not far from Grozny.

After his abduction, humanitarian agencies abandoned their work in the separatist region of southern Russia. Russian authorities had said Gluck was abducted by a Chechen gang that demanded a cash ransom, a practice that is widespread in the war-battered region.

For the full Post report, check out… http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/world/europe/A26164-2001Feb4.html .

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4. CIA Chief Sees Russia As New/Old Adversary, Assails Putin’s Foreign PolicyFeb. 8, 2001

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 - As soon as Russia’s president Vladimir Putin was named as candidate, well over a year ago now, we told you that he would be trying to put Russia back on the world powers’ map (see “Putin Putting Russia Back on World Powers Map” - Jan. 5, 2000).  And we updated that opinion exactly one year later - in our last month’s editorial, “Coopetition: New Russian Foreign Policy” - Jan 5, 2001.

With predictable tardiness for a bureaucratic institution, the CIA chief George Tenet has now said the same thing. Testifying yesterday (Feb. 7) before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Tenet indicated that “the United States intelligence community was increasingly concerned by the direction of Moscow's foreign policy under President Vladimir V. Putin,” according to a story in today’s New York Times.

Russia is using international trade in weapons and technology to improve relations with China, India and Iran while trying to revive its status as a great power and challenge United States influence, Tenet told the Senators.  The Russians hope that cementing better ties with those countries will erode American influence, he added.

In addition, Moscow wants to bolster its power over the former Soviet republics while reducing United States influence, and it is demanding that its neighbors repay their energy debts, is dragging its feet on withdrawing forces from Moldova and is using pressure tactics on Georgia, the CIA chief said.

But what the CIA chief didn’t say is that perhaps the most important challenge to the U.S. hegemony comes not from Russia’s military or spying operations, but from Putin’s diplomatic challenge to an ill-conceived American foreign policy in Europe.  Washington’s arrogance and its illusion of being the “world’s only superpower” has turned our erstwhile European allies into suspicious “allies.”  Meaning, the European countries that are fed up with being told by Washington what to do and think, not to mention whom to pay off or bomb in their back yard, and are trying to wiggle out of America’s heavy-handed embrace. 

Putin has been cleverly exploiting such dissatisfaction offering the Europeans carrots in lieu of Washington’s sticks.  No surprise there.  Just check out this writer’s 1998 Chronicles magazine column, “A Bear in Sheep’s Clothing.”  As for the CIA “intel” on that, maybe in Tenet’s next year’s Senate Committee briefing we may hear something about that?  Or not.  Not seeing a forest for the trees is also a mark of bureaucrats.

For the full New York Times report on the Tenet testimony, click on http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/08/world/08INTE.html .

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5. Some TiM Reader Reactions to Chechnya StoryFeb. 8, 2001

CALIFORNIA - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Gen. Shalikashvili Father’s Nazi Links and Stalin’s Deportation of Chechens

CALIFORNIA, Feb. 7 - We received the following feedback from APV, a TiM reader from California, who wishes to remain anonymous, but whose identity is known to TiM:

“Ask Venik if he believes there is any link between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the mid 1990's, General Shalikashvili. Gen. Shelly's father was one of the key (Russian) Generals responsible for raising NAZI volunteers among the people of the Caucasus. I recall his 'Legion' had more than 200,000 soldiers fighting alongside the Wehrmacht.”

APV, California

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TiM Ed.: We forwarded the above question to Venik, and received the following response:

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“Gen. Shalikashvili is a son of the military officer from Georgia (Caucasus), who was involved in recruiting volunteers for the German army (mainly for the SS, which was seeking popular support among the local population, concentrating on the Chechens.) Shalikashvili's past was debated to death in Russian and especially in Georgian media. The fact that his father was a Nazi collaborator is not questioned, though.

This recruiting activity in the Caucasus on behalf of the SS was abruptly ended when about 90% of all Chechens were moved to Kazakhstan and elsewhere by the NKVD troops (predecessor of the KGB). My grandparents lived in Grozny at the time. According to them, there was considerable support among theChechens for the German troops.

Just like many Ukrainians, Chechens believed that Germany will make Chechnya an independent country. Of course, this was not quite what the Germans had in mind, but the Russians were not about to wait until the Chechens would realize this fact. Soviet military commanders in the Caucasus, and in Chechnya in particular, understood that this issue had to be addressed as quickly as possible.

A considerable portion of the Soviet fuel and most of the country's aviation fuel was coming from Grozny. Stalin, himself born and raised in the Caucasus, had a very good understanding of Chechnya and of Chechens. Unlike Russia's modern politicians, he knew that a guerilla war in Chechnya may continue for years, if the Red Army decides to counter Chechen separatists supported by German troops.

Everything was quiet in Grozny on the evening the Chechens were expelled from the province. Nobody anticipated any problems, not even the Chechen Nazi collaborators connected to German intelligence sources. During the night everyone was asleep and my grandparents did not hear a thing, even though they lived in a predominantly Chechen part of Grozny. And in the morning all Chechens were gone. There were thousands of empty homes and not a sign of police troops or the Chechens. My grandfather recalls that this was an unreal day: tens of thousands of people disappeared in a few hours from a large city in complete silence. He walked around the city fro hours trying to comprehend the extent of this event.

This was an operation only Stalin could conceive and it was the most effective and bloodless way to deal with Chechen separatism discovered to this day. During the entire operation less then 100 Chechens died: some were killed because they resisted NKVD troops and some died while they were transported to Kazakhstan.

In comparison, during the first Chechen war in mid-1990s over 40,000 civilians died in Chechnya. Considering this, it is an interesting question - who was more realistic and, ultimately, more humane in dealing with the Chechen separatists: Stalin or Yeltsin?”

Venik, Pennsylvania

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MASSACHUSETTS - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Stalin’s Deportation of Chechens

MASSACHUSETTS, Feb. 7 - We received the following feedback from a TiM reader from Massachusetts, who wishes to remain anonymous, but whose identity is known to TiM:

“RE: “Radio Liberty” Chechen Program Has SS Sonderkommando Roots

Very true. The consistency with which the U.S. keeps coming out on the side of the most vicious fascist forces of yesteryear is stunning. The same applies for the Balkans, as you know it, but some of your readers may not know the details. The following is from "The SS. Hitler’s Instrument of Terror" by Gordon Wiliamson, Motor Books Incorporated, 1994, p. 128.

"The 21st Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS Skanderbeg. Himmler saw the Albanian Muslims a potential source of manpower for the war against Yugoslav partisans, most of whom were Serbs, and sought to use the traditional enmity of these two groups for his own ends.

In April 1944, Himmler established a new Albanian volunteer division named after the Albanian Muslim hero Iskander Beg. The division also drew a good number of recruits from the former Yugoslav area of Kosovo which had been annexed by the Italian-controlled Albania in 1941. In August 1944 the division had been formed. The bulk of the Muslim personnel seemed only interested in settling accounts with their Serb enemies, which resulted in a number of atrocities.

Over 3,500 deserters were recorded in just two months. Himmler ordered the disbandment in early 1945. A full range of insignia was introduced for members of the division. A cuffband was made and widely worn, showing the title Skanderbeg and an Albanian arm shielding the black Albanian double-headed eagle on a red field.

13th Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS Handschar (kroatische # 1) Formed from Bosnian Muslim volunteers in February 1943, by Himmler’s order, and following the Jerusalem Grand Mufti’s personal visit to Berlin, who suggested to Hitler forming Muslim SS units in Bosnia and Kosovo. In September 1943 the division moved to France for training, and was dispatched back to Yugoslavia to combat partisan activity. It then proceeded to earn itself n unenviable reputation for savagery. Many atrocities were committed by its members, primarily against members of the Serb community. The division had been granted the name Handschar (Handjar) by Himmler in May 1944, a special collar patch showing a hand holding a short scimitar-like sword, or handjar (in Turkish), over a swastika has also been authorized.

The arm shield worn by personnel in this division was the red and white checkered colors of Croatia."

Yet even the record of the Muslim SS units in the Balkans paled in comparison with the bestiality of the Chechens. They are animals. My grand uncle on my mother's Russian side, Gennady was a SMERSh officer in 1944 and participated in the operation of shipping them to Kazakhstan. He was recognized by some of them five years later, had his throat slit, and his body was deposited in the doorway of his house so that his children found him.

The current Chechen mayhem always brings up the personal in me, as you may understand. Yet I think that the conflict cannot be brought under control. Stalin made several mistakes in his lifetime. The Chechens in 1944 was one of them (for not being tougher on them).”

Name withheld, Massachusetts

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MINNESOTA - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Chechens Are Victims of Brutal Russian Repression

MINNESOTA, Feb. 7 - We received the following feedback from George Vukovich, a TiM reader from Minnesota:

“Dear Bob, I have read with interest your bulletin of Feb 7:

"Russia, a front-line warrior fighting international terrorism in Chechnya and Central Asia, is saving the civilized world from the terrorist plague, in the same way that it saved Europe from the Tartar-Mongol invasions in the 13th century," Ivanov insisted. "And we pay for it, in suffering and privation."

MY COMMENT: CHECHENS, WHO ARE CALLED "TERRORIST PLAGUE", HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR THEIR FREEDOM FOR ABOUT TWO CENTURIES. CZARIST RUSSIA TOOK CHECHNYA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 19TH CENTURY. NUMEROUS REBELLIONS WERE BRUTALLY SUPPRESSED.

THE WORST THING HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY 1944 WHEN THE TOTAL POPULATION WAS ROUNDED UP AND DEPORTED TO CENTRAL ASIA, THE MONUMENTS AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS WERE DESTROYED, A NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED. KHRUSHCHOV FINALLY REHABILITATED CHECHENS IN 1958 AND ALLOWED THEM TO GO BACK TO CHECHNYA.

ARE (the) RUSSIANS SAVING (the) CIVILIZED WORLD, AS IVANOV CLAIMS? AND DO YOU PRINT ANY RIDICULOUS CLAIM, WITHOUT ANY COMMENT, WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT TO YOU AND YOUR IDEAS? THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DISSEMINATE (the) TRUTH YOU BOAST TO PROMOTE.”

George Vukovich, Minnesota

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TiM Ed.: This “ridiculous claim,” in the above TiM reader’s opinion, was a direct quote from a Russian official’s speech in Munich.  It was also reported “without comment” by the UPI and the New York Times, among some other media besides TiM, as this reader had a chance to see in the original TiM Bulletin story. 

As to Ivanov’s calling the Chechens a “terrorist plague” being a “ridiculous claim,” Mr. Vukovich may wish to contemplate the above two TiM reader responses based on their families’ FIRSTHAND experiences with the Chechens.  Or those of the innocent Russian civilian casualties of the Chechen terrorism, such as the victims in the Moscow subway and apartment building bombings.  And if that’s not enough, this Serbian American may also consider the similarities between the Chechen and the Kosovo Albanian (KLA) terrorists, as our next reader points out. 

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TEXAS - Re. Sonderkommando Roots: Similarities Between Chechens, KLA and Hizbollah

HOUSTON, Feb. 7 - We received the following feedback from Ron Ames, a TiM reader from Houston, Texas:

Very interesting on #2, Bob (Venik’s article re. Chechnya).  Those S.S. scum are still lurking about in the form of the K.L.A., Chechens and Hizzbolah.”

Ron Ames, Houston, Texas

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FLORIDA - Lid on Truth in America Is As Tight As Ever

PHOENIX, Feb. 8 - We received the following comment on the Russian affairs topic from Mladen Vranjican, a TiM reader from Florida:

“NPR's Kojo Nambdi, a daily host on that radio program, interviewed some Russian ex-patriots now full-blooded American, who wrote a book about the anti-Western feelings in Russia. They say that the perception that Russia was plundered by the likes of Jeff Sachs and his Clintonites, as well as anger over the bombing of Yugoslavia, now assures that no politicians can run even on a remotely pro-Western ticket.

Kojo finds this "interesting," since the plunder part of the story is "new to him," and certainly "different" from the perception in the West -- that it was the Russians who did themselves in. On the subject of Yugoslavia -- Russian anger was a carefully muted subjected in American media, just as Europe's opposition to National Missile Defense program is -- he didn't have much to say.

Apparently, the lid on the truth is as tight as ever, and even FOX News, now reputed to be "fair and balanced" is a far cry from mentioning hot topics. The people continue to be served a well-filtered menu of news intended for domestic consumption.

As one called ("John") said on NPR, when he was in the USSR in 1985, everybody had short-wave dials on their radio sets, and could listen to short wave propaganda being pumped in from abroad. He expressed dismay that Americans to this date don't make use of communications to learn more about the world.”

Mladen Vranjican, Florida

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Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns:  "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

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