Russia reaps the Grapes of Wrath
The tragic suicide bombings in Russia confirm the risk that all countries face in world today. Yet only two months ago, Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov of Russia, shook hands and welcomed Khaled Meshaal, the leader of the Hamas movement, to Russia. Hamas itself has carried out countless suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians over the past 15 years. How would those Russian leaders feel if other countries held meetings and shook hands with terrorists like those who bombed its civilians?
George Reiss, Paradise Valley Arizona
Letter to the Editor of the International Herald Tribune
How indeed, Mr. Reiss, how indeed.
How would Russians react if Hillary Clinton were to travel to Dagestan and shake hands with Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, who has claimed responsibility for the recent subway bombings? Would they say: “Well, that’s America’s business, they have the right to shake hands with whomever they please?”
We think not.
We think Russians would be outraged at the highest American diplomat carrying on relations with a bloody killer of Russians, and they’d be right. Yet, Russians have absolutely no problem with their own chief diplomat glad-handing terrorists.
And seemingly, it never occurs to them that such an action may send the wrong message to Russia’s own domestic terrorists. They never pause to ask whether Hamas itself might be offering aid and comfort to Umarov, clearly a kindred spirit.
No, if the Russian government does it, then it’s just fine with the Russians. But if any other government dares to do the same, then it’s a shocking outrage and Russians are in the streets by the thousands.
How can Russians, we wonder, ask Americans to stop criticizing Russian policy in the Caucasus and make common cause against terrorists when their leaders are openly, proudly meeting with America’s most hated enemies and when Russian nuclear bombers routinely buzz the shores of Alaska? Is Russia really a nation full of such addled, idiotic, ignorant, illiterate morons as to be unable to fathom the jaw-dropping hypocrisy and insanity their leaders are showing to the world?
Quite frankly, we are appalled at the behavior of the people of Russia. Out of one side of their mouths the ask the world to stand in solidarity with them against terrorism, and out of the other the bait and encourage and fund the worst terrorst regimes of the world, from Hugo Chavez to Hamas, and they hand power to the KGB and allow it to eradicate the pillars of democracy and foment a new cold war. This repugnant duplicity must end if Russia ever to have any hope of winning the respect and support of civilized nations. Until then, Russians can only expect more misery and suffering, more national collapse and catstrophe.
And, until then, they will deserve it.