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Thread: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    Thank you.

    The end of beatings, torture, murder and people disappearing should have been the very first thing to change and should never have happened in the first place.

    There is no reason or excuse for a State to be engaging in the sort of things it is doing in Chechyna nor any reason for us to support their tactics.

    Every Chechens life is as important as every Russian one and I hate to say it but that seemed to be the logic of the Chechens in the documentary I saw which allowed them to psychologically start to do such despicable things.

    Russia is acting wrongly and should be criticised accordingly, or do we just wait till the full genocide of the Chechen people - I understand half are gone already.
    Alexa,

    I favor fundamental human rights and I also believe any state or non-state entity should do its best to adhere to the Laws of War.

    Having said that, I do believe any people or groups who deliberately target civilians, regardless of the cause they use to rationalize it, should be held fully accountable for their crimes against humanity. Granting them immunity from responsibility can only create a de facto standard by which others are freed from their obligation to avoid causing deliberate harm to civilians, refrain from a wide range of war crimes/crimes against humanity, etc. In the long-run, that development would create a more dangerous and deadly world.

    Finally, you can correct me if I'm mistaken in my assumption, but it appears we do not really disagree on human rights and the protection of civilians.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-31-10 at 08:20 AM.

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Alexa,

    I favor fundamental human rights and I also believe any state or non-state entity should do its best to adhere to the Laws of War.

    Having said that, I do believe any people or groups who deliberately target civilians, regardless of the cause they use to rationalize it, should be held fully accountable for their crimes against humanity. Granting them immunity from responsibility can only create a de facto standard by which others are freed from their obligation to avoid causing deliberate harm to civilians, refrain from a wide range of war crimes/crimes against humanity, etc. In the long-run, that development would create a more dangerous and deadly world.

    Finally, you can correct me if I'm mistaken in my assumption, but it appears we do not really disagree on human rights and the protection of civilians.
    I do not disagree with you that people should be held accountable for their actions.

    I also agree with you on human rights and the protection of civilians.

    Where we maybe have a slight difference is that I also believe the State should be held accountable for it's crimes.

    The reason I think killing of civilians is a strategic mistake as well as immoral is that it takes the headlights off the problem rather than put it on. To me that problem is so big, that despite the actions of the killers, I believe it is still important to bring in the bigger picture. That is all.

    Now my guess is that by your way of thinking, I am doing just what the terrorists want and so am showing that this activity is helpful to their cause.

    That is not my intention at all but rather to bring attention to a situation the world turned a blind eye to which we should have been attending to anyway.
    Last edited by alexa; 03-31-10 at 09:02 AM.
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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    Where we maybe have a slight difference is that I also believe the State should be held accountable for it's crimes.
    Where individuals from a state have committed crimes, those individuals should also be held accountable. States, too, have obligations e.g., those set forth under the Laws of War.

    Now my guess is that by your way of thinking, I am doing just what the terrorists want and so am showing that this activity is helpful to their cause.
    I would never make such a suggestion/blanket accusation. In general, one should be careful not to overgeneralize. People's speaking out on issues do not constitute automatic support for terrorists. Their intent is what matters.

    For example, in the U.S. there have been some who have called for an early end to the war in Afghanistan (an approach I don't support, as I believe premature U.S. withdrawal would harm long-term American interests/contribute to a perpetuation of regional instability in Central Asia) for a variety of reasons. Even as early U.S. withdrawal might well be to the Taliban's advantage given Afghanistan's fractured society, weak institutions, and ineffectual leadership, it would be more than a stretch, not to mention inaccurate, to accuse those people of supporting the Taliban.

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    There are no laws of war.
    Did or did not the U.S. Government Bomb Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Berlin, Baghdad as well as several other civilian populations? The laws of war only act as a buffer for the well insulated against the under armed. and justifies the use of human shields

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by Tapper View Post
    There are no laws of war.
    Did or did not the U.S. Government Bomb Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Berlin, Baghdad as well as several other civilian populations? The laws of war only act as a buffer for the well insulated against the under armed. and justifies the use of human shields
    The "Laws of War" describe a body of instruments, the earliest of which has origins in the mid-19th century. The myriad Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions are among those instruments. A large theme associated with the Laws of War is the protection/safeguarding of civilians. Another concerns minimum treatment to be afforded to prisoners of war. Another concerns protecting the wounded/medical personnel tending to the wounded.

    FWIW, human shielding is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. Hence, the Laws of War do not "justify" such a practice.

    Finally, the Geneva Conventions were devised after WW II. Hence, additional protections were laid out that were not available previously. While one cannot apply today's standards to yesterday's conflicts, one most definitely can make a strong effort to apply today's standards to today's and tomorrow's conflicts.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-31-10 at 10:35 AM.

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    As had been noted earlier in this thread, just days before the senseless terrorist attack in Moscow's Metro, Russia's deputy prime minister had discussed an aggressive socioeconomic development program, including the taking into account human rights, in the North Caucasus region, including the Chechen region, according to BBC Monitoring. I believed that the liberalization campaign had likely been disrupted by the terrorist attacks and tougher counterterrorism measures would follow.

    Today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned of tougher counterterrorism measures to follow, as he traveled to Russia's Dagestan Republic. He declared, "The range of anti-terrorism measures must be expanded; they should be not only more effective, but also more harsh, merciless and preventive. We must punish them [the terrorists]."

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The "Laws of War" describe a body of instruments, the earliest of which has origins in the mid-19th century. The myriad Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions are among those instruments. A large theme associated with the Laws of War is the protection/safeguarding of civilians. Another concerns minimum treatment to be afforded to prisoners of war. Another concerns protecting the wounded/medical personnel tending to the wounded.

    FWIW, human shielding is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. Hence, the Laws of War do not "justify" such a practice.

    Finally, the Geneva Conventions were devised after WW II. Hence, additional protections were laid out that were not available previously. While one cannot apply today's standards to yesterday's conflicts, one most definitely can make a strong effort to apply today's standards to today's and tomorrow's conflicts.
    The Laws of War are as loosely followed as the law that prohibits under 18's accessing pornographic material on the net, and its not as "barbarically uncommon" as most make out to be, to break them. War crimes are happening constantly, be it by Democratic powers like the US (depleted uranium), Russia (endless), or Israel (where disputed - white phosphorus), or on a wider scale by Arab extremists, Sri Lankans, the Burmese government, Africans, Serbs.....if somebody wants to play a war dirty, there is no law that will stop them. And wars are dirty. If the military supports it, you become untouchable, even by the ICC, and so the "laws of war" only apply to the unpopular politicians and not everybody like they should. So basically, these laws only apply on a conditional bases. Look at Omar Al Bashir. Good post though.
    Last edited by MetalGear; 04-01-10 at 10:14 AM.

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    As had been noted earlier in this thread, just days before the senseless terrorist attack in Moscow's Metro, Russia's deputy prime minister had discussed an aggressive socioeconomic development program, including the taking into account human rights, in the North Caucasus region, including the Chechen region, according to BBC Monitoring. I believed that the liberalization campaign had likely been disrupted by the terrorist attacks and tougher counterterrorism measures would follow.

    Today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned of tougher counterterrorism measures to follow, as he traveled to Russia's Dagestan Republic. He declared, "The range of anti-terrorism measures must be expanded; they should be not only more effective, but also more harsh, merciless and preventive. We must punish them [the terrorists]."
    I know we have discussed at length and it may just be your style but you still appear to be agreeing with what Russia has said.

    We agreed that the brutality had not yet stopped. You say you heard a program where the Russians were saying it was going to and all sorts of good things would happen.

    Well, if that were true, I do not see why one incident should be used as an excuse to be even more barbaric on the people than they were before.

    When Russia and Russia's puppets in Chechyna act in a civilised way towards the general population of Chechyna then there may be a moral argument for Russia. This has not happened and it seems they have declared that they will be involved in more brutality to innocents in Chechyna.

    Russia should stop acting in a brutal and unlawful way towards the people of Chechyna and follow proper methods to bring the people who did this to justice - not take it out on the entire populace of Chechyna

    ...or possible you are just agreeing with what others have said, the torture of Chechens in Russia and Chechyna will now begin. If so, my apologies.
    Last edited by alexa; 04-01-10 at 12:36 PM.
    George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    I know we have discussed at length and it may just be your style but you still appear to be agreeing with what Russia has said.
    Alexa,

    I am only stating that Russia appears to be on a path to react as I thought it would. With Prime Minister Putin retaining significant, perhaps dominant influence, and recent past history in perspective, the Russian response is fairly predictable.

    Whether or not that response is appropriate (and a very firm approach can be appropriate) will depend on how it is pursued. At this time, I am in no position to comment on its upcoming response, as the details have yet to be provided.

    Nevertheless, it should be noted that Russia, like any other state, has an inherent right of self-defense. At the same time, like any other state, it also has obligations e.g., those set forth in the instruments that comprise the Laws of War, among others.

    IMO, the Moscow terrorist attacks, for which Doku Umarov claimed credit, not only constituted an unacceptable deliberate attack on civilians, but they have also damaged prospects for the kind of liberalization that could benefit Russians and residents in Russia's Caucasus region alike. It is difficult to envision how the attacks, especially if they provoke a harsh response (even if that response is confined to what is permissible under the Laws of War, etc.), benefit Chechens in significant way.

    I continue to believe that a political dimension that accommodates the core needs of the Chechen people (greater autonomy/improved human rights) and core needs of Russia (territorial integrity/vital interests in the Caucasus) would be beneficial. I hope that even as emotions run high in the wake of the unjustifiable terrorist attacks, Russia won't entirely abort its nascent liberalization campaign. Not all components of such a campaign are incompatible with a robust counterterrorism strategy.

    Unfortunately, terrorists such as Mr. Umarov and their organizations, who choose to deliberately attack civilians with reasonable knowledge of the consequences, hinder such prospects of liberalization. In effect, not only are such persons and groups enemies of Russia, they are just as much enemies of the peoples whom they purportedly claim to represent.

    Russia should...follow proper methods to bring the people who did this to justice - not take it out on the entire populace of Chechyna...
    I agree. The crimes against humanity/war crimes carried out by the terrorists do not grant others license to act in a fashion that would similarly be unlawful e.g., inconsistent with the Laws of War, etc. They do not justify wholesale oppression.

    In the end, Russia's fight against terrorism is with various terrorist entities. It is not with the Chechen people or any other people per se. The upcoming counterterrorism response would do well to reflect that reality.

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    Re: Blasts in Moscow metro kill at least 37

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Alexa,

    I am only stating that Russia appears to be on a path to react as I thought it would. With Prime Minister Putin retaining significant, perhaps dominant influence, and recent past history in perspective, the Russian response is fairly predictable.
    agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    Whether or not that response is appropriate (and a very firm approach can be appropriate) will depend on how it is pursued. At this time, I am in no position to comment on its upcoming response, as the details have yet to be provided.
    fair enough but as you have said above, it is predicable

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    Nevertheless, it should be noted that Russia, like any other state, has an inherent right of self-defense. At the same time, like any other state, it also has obligations e.g., those set forth in the instruments that comprise the Laws of War, among others.
    This I think is thinking which has come in since 9/11 and is really an exaggeration which allows for an exaggerated and inappropriate response.

    Chechyna did not attack Russia, terrorists did and to say Russia has an 'inherent right of self defence' implies that the whole of Chechyna has attacked Russia so Russia can reply with impunity. This is not so. This is over reaction by a dominant force and the concept carries within it the right to harm the innocent.


    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    IMO, the Moscow terrorist attacks, for which Doku Umarov claimed credit, not only constituted an unacceptable deliberate attack on civilians, but they have also damaged prospects for the kind of liberalization that could benefit Russians and residents in Russia's Caucasus region alike. It is difficult to envision how the attacks, especially if they provoke a harsh response (even if that response is confined to what is permissible under the Laws of War, etc.), benefit Chechens in significant way.
    I agree it was an unacceptable and deliberate attack on civilians (as was the Birmingham bombings). I also accept that it is more than likely that there will be no liberalisation in Chechyna. However as we have both agreed there had been none there anyway. Where I disagree with you is in where I see an implied agreement that it is right that there should now be none. On the contrary I would say that that is extremely necessary, if not too late.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    I continue to believe that a political dimension that accommodates the core needs of the Chechen people (greater autonomy/improved human rights) and core needs of Russia (territorial integrity/vital interests in the Caucasus) would be beneficial. I hope that even as emotions run high in the wake of the unjustifiable terrorist attacks, Russia won't entirely abort its nascent liberalization campaign. Not all components of such a campaign are incompatible with a robust counterterrorism strategy.
    Basically that is where we have disagreement. Russia not being involved in what you describe as it's 'nascent liberalization campaign', means Chechyna continuing as it is now and that seems to mean people disappearing, being killed illegally, being beaten and tortured. For me, this is not acceptable regardless of how many terrorist bombs go off in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    Unfortunately, terrorists such as Mr. Umarov and their organizations, who choose to deliberately attack civilians with reasonable knowledge of the consequences, hinder such prospects of liberalization. In effect, not only are such persons and groups enemies of Russia, they are just as much enemies of the peoples whom they purportedly claim to represent.
    I have respect for you but I find your belief that the Umarov and their organisation is responsible for what Russia does now wrong.

    Russia is responsible for what she does now. No one else.


    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    I agree. The crimes against humanity/war crimes carried out by the terrorists do not grant others license to act in a fashion that would similarly be unlawful e.g., inconsistent with the Laws of War, etc. They do not justify wholesale oppression.

    In the end, Russia's fight against terrorism is with various terrorist entities. It is not with the Chechen people or any other people per se. The upcoming counterterrorism response would do well to reflect that reality.
    and here we seem to be in complete agreement again
    Last edited by alexa; 04-01-10 at 07:25 PM.
    George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."

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