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NATO and U.S. Choose Silence on Chechnya

July 18, 2001

Re "A War Shrouded in Silence," July 16: The only reason the atrocities being committed in Chechnya are "shrouded in silence" is because NATO, led by the U.S., chooses silent complicity with the Russians. I find it ironic that while the U.N. tries Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes in Kosovo and Bosnia, the West permits the Russians to commit genocidal war against the Muslim Chechen people.

Of course, the trial of Milosevic is primarily a mechanism for NATO to deny its complicity in the mass slaughter of Muslims. NATO failed to lift a finger to stop the mass rapes and murders of the Bosnian Muslims by Serbs and Croats; indeed, its arms blockade ensured the success of these crimes against humanity. Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington has noted that the failure of the U.S. to defend the Bosnians was in large part due to European opposition to the creation of a Muslim state in Europe. The strategy was clear: Let Milosevic slaughter the Muslims, then we'll place him on trial and look like the good guys.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the chief engineer of the massacre of the Chechens, is still treated as a legitimate world leader. Chechnya falls outside of NATO's sphere of influence, so not even lip service need be paid to Russian atrocities. Meanwhile, the U.S. holds up a few Algerian radicals and decries "Islamic terrorism." The hypocrisy is astounding.

Walter Comins-Richmond

Alhambra

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