9/11 three years on: ‘War on terror’ has not stopped terrorism
by Rohan Pearce & Alison Dellit
The appalling end to the hostage crisis in Beslan, Russia on September 4, which left more than 300 dead, had people all over the world horrified. The killing of so many children helped neither the Chechens fighting the Russian occupation of their country, nor those of us fighting war and state-sponsored terrorism all over the world. The only people who were really aided by the slaughter were those pursuing the misnamed ?war on terror?, in particular US President George Bush.
We should make no mistake: the terror inflicted by the Beslan crisis did not come from nowhere. At least 80,000 Chechens have been killed since then-President Boris Yeltsin launched a war on their country in 1994. Chechnya is occupied by 80,000 poorly paid Russian soldiers, and the fighting has been, according to Amnesty International in 2001, marked by atrocities — torture and rape in particular. In recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has increasingly used indiscriminate aerial bombing and artillery shelling of towns and villages, escalating the death toll.
But all the taking of hostages has done is to alienate working people — maybe millions of them — from the Chechens? cause. And it has played straight into the hands of those who justify their wars and terror by claiming that they are fighting terrorism.
In the three years since two aeroplanes ploughed into the World Trade Center in New York, Bush’s gang has finely honed the art of whipping up fear among the US population. As he heads into a tightly fought election campaign, it is certain that Bush will try to use the Russian school tragedy to convince more voters to support his endless ?war on terror?, a key part of his election strategy.