in Exchange for Independence"
In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful!
The idea of the concept of "Security in Exchange for Independence", containing some evaluations of the nature of the Chechen Resistance and the goals of national and statewide revival of the Chechen Nation, has been prepared by a group of members of National Center for Strategic Research and Political Technologies of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI).
The goal of this publication is an attempt to offer the Islamic viewpoint on the ongoing events in Ichkeria for the public to judge. It is also an attempt to offer a possible way out of the tragic deadlock that the Kremlin regime and irresponsible games that the international community has been playing with the Kremlin regime have driven the peoples of Ichkeria and Russia into.
The authors of the concept of "Security in Exchange for Independence" are expressing hope that this publication will be viewed by the apologists of the democratic fundamentalism with no prejudice or hostility, which unfortunately became a logic manifestation of unprecedented anti-Islamic moods (like Islamophobia) in the Western world and Chechenophobia in Russia.
This particular point of view does not claim to be logical completeness of the widely discussed ideas on the solution of the Russian-Chechen conflict, but it has the full right to have the large public get to know about it.
O N T E N T S:
Two substantial moments
Simplified technology of modern aggression
Basic outlines of the idea
Aggression and genocide must be stopped
On "international autonomy"
Armed confrontation in the Caucasus between Russia and Ichkeria goes back many centuries. It started from the moment when the colonial troops of the Russian empire appeared at the foothills of the Caucasus over 400 years ago. This history is full of all sorts of the most dramatic episodes and bloody pages that show the true nature instead of made-up picture of the relations between Ichkeria and the Russian empire. These episodes have gone through their own stages and periods.
Hundreds of years of Russia's presence in the Caucasus have been characterized by the permanent fight of the Chechen nation for its ethnic survival, which has only been possible in the fight for national freedom and state independence. Throughout this entire fight, which at times would subside but then break out with new force, the Chechen people have been relying exclusively on their internal reserves based on the Religion and National Character.
Historical facts are unambiguously showing that in all times the Chechen nation has been fighting for freedom, independence and ethnic survival under the banner of Islam. Chechen national liberation fight has always been expressed in the form of Gazavat (Jihad), which has always been the highest form of the National Liberation Fight of the Chechen Nation for its survival. No National Liberation movement of the Chechen Nation has ever existed outside of Jihad.
Understanding this fact, which is being absolutely forcibly ignored by many Chechen as well as international researchers and political activists, is the crucial moment in understanding the very nature of the Chechen Resistance. The attempt to oppose Gazavat to the National Liberation Fight of the Chechen People and present them as something opposite and incompatible is totally groundless and is originating from two reasons: either from abysmal ignorance or from hostile attitude towards Islam.
Current state of the Russian-Chechen relations is a logical continuation of the trend that was generated ever since the years when the first Russian colonial troops appeared in the Caucasus:
On one side, it is trying to suppress, physically exterminate and russianize the Chechen nation, and on the other side it is the fight for the preservation of religious and ethnic identity, national freedom and state independence and for ethnic survival.
HISTORY OF THE MATTER
1. Two substantial moments
Historical facts are irrefutable evidence that permanent attempts of the Russian empire to establish its colonial rule in the Caucasus ever since it appeared in that region of the world, encountered mighty resistance of the Caucasus nations. Chechens have always been the main link of that Resistance. Modern events in the Caucasus is the evidence of what had been recognized by many, including the colonizers: Ichkeria has always remained the main base of resistance to Russian expansionism and colonialism in the Caucasus and has always been supplying the main combat and economic forces for that fight.
And here is essence of the many centuries of the Russian-Chechen confrontation, which consists in Russia's colonial and expansionist tendencies in the Caucasus and in resistance to these tendencies on behalf of Chechnya.
But there are two substantial moments in this issue, which basically define the fact that the fierce confrontation in Ichkeria has been continuing among the pacification of the rest of the Caucasus.
The first moment is that the Chechens have always been and still are followers and defenders of the Shariah in the Caucasus. Shariah for Chechnya is just as natural and vital as democracy is for Europe. Even during the gloomiest times of Stalin's terror the Chechens were regulating the relations between one another with Shariah laws while ignoring the Soviet laws.
No power in Chechnya has ever been considered legitimate in the eyes of the people, unless it was a bearer of Shariah. And the Chechens have always been ready to take up arms and defend their legitimate right for Shariah just as much as they have always been ready to obey the Shariah. And Shariah only.
During the period of Russian/Soviet colonial domination, the Chechens were at best ascribing scornful and ironic shade the word "edal" ("power"), and even more often they would use that word with outright disdain. The word "edal" means "power", "justice", "law". Since the colonial power could in no way be perceived as "just" or "lawful", the Chechens would be considering it not as legitimate power, but as temporary triumph of unjustice.
In spite of the commonly accepted opinion on belligerence of Chechens, the Chechens nevertheless are not bellicose people at all. The entire visible history of the Vainakhs (Chechen and Ingush nations) has had no historical tendencies towards expanding its territories. Russian nation can be rated among belligerent nations, for an example. Furthermore, serf mentality typical for Russians has been forming the nation's character rather than contradicting its belligerence. The entire Russian history consists of predatory wars and territorial claims towards neighboring nations, which Russians are very proud of. Chechens in turn are proud of the fact that they have never engaged in unjust wars and have always been trying to get along with their neighbors guided by the principles of justice.
The opinion that the Chechens are belligerent was formed because Chechens organically do not accept slavery or anything that has to do with it. And when the destiny would make them face a historical choice of whether to live in peace but in slavery or be free but die in a war, the Chechens would choose war. This is the second substantial moment that needs to be taken into consideration while evaluating the situation.
These are the traits of the character of the Chechen people that defined their historical past and that will dictate its historical prospects. This is where Chechnya's fundamental reality is lying, instead of verbal and ideologized cliches or intricate concepts, which are just as out of touch with reality as basically hostile towards true tendencies of the Chechen Nation.
If it were not for that fundamental reality, Ichkeria would have been the most peaceful and richest region of the Russian empire due to its extraordinary viability and capability of the Chechens to integrate into any social or political systems.
These are the "accusatory" arguments against the Chechen Muslims that pro-Russian Chechens, who are talking about the benefit of being integrated into the "new" Russia, have been bringing up until this day. Chechen "national democrats" in turn are convinced in the miracle and justice of Western democracy and they consider it possible that Ichkeria enters the protectorate of the so-called international community, which allegedly can guarantee the security of the Chechen State and save the Chechen people from another genocide. Inconsistency of such a claim among what is happening to independent states, UN members, in the world, is so obvious that it requires no specific arguments whatsoever to refute these political fantasies. Besides, there is a price for that doubtful guardianship, which we will mention later on.
Commonly known cynicism and unscrupulousness in the policies of the world's leading states that personify the international community have reached their culmination point during our times. The goals of this particular concept do not allow us delving into political and historical roots of today's realities. But it is necessary to briefly touch on that problem, so that the fundamental moments of the defended position are understood.
Simplified technology of modern aggression
Excessive military force has always been trying to develop into a military aggression. Formation process of the aggression involves multiple factors, but there are only two key factors: internal hidden motive and external formal reason.
In order to have a "formal reason" to invade Poland, Hitler secretly sanctioned the attack of the secret services on a German radio station. About two dozens of German employees were killed. In search for a "formal reason" to attack the Chechen State, Putin sanctioned the blasts of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk. Here casualties were numbered in hundreds. But even though the provocation was more impressive, Putin is still remaining only a comical imitation of Hitler.
There are some people who regardless of the large scale of their evil-doings will still never be recognized by the history as personalities. Nevertheless, before another invasion of Ichkeria, Putin did not violate "the rules of a formal reason". In this regard he quite reasonably reproached the anti-Iraqi coalition and asked: "Where are the weapons of mass destruction that would serve as a reason for military invasion of Iraq?" And here he gave a professional answer: "I would have found something long time ago."
And really, for the first time in the modern history strong military powers totally ignored the "formal reason" and openly bid on pure force, while implementing their plan of military aggression against a UN member (Iraq). And from now on no "export of democracy" will ever be able to attach all of the legitimacy necessary to the invasion of Iraq.
In the case with Russia's military aggression against Ichkeria, internal hidden motive was never publicized, since it was immoral per se and could cause justified outrage and firm resistance from the people under the aggression. And vice versa, the "formal reason" became the subject of multilateral discussion and propagandistic speculations. They were trying to squeeze as much of political capital out of it as they could.
After some time the "formal reason" becomes a starting point for total "demonization" of future victim of the aggression, then it gets totally forgotten and loses its topicality. But by that time it is not of much importance since the main goal has been reached: the unhealthy emotional background has been induced and moral support of the aggression from the society has been received. As far as the internal hidden motivation goes, the fact of its very existence was oftentimes no secret for the public.
These were the versions of "the true underlying motive" that were brought forward in case of unrest or dissatisfaction in the minds of the masses. And these versions were corresponding to the moral level of that particular society. Concealing the real underlying motive and concentrating the public's attention on the formal side were allowing the aggressor to achieve two goals.
The first goal is to construct the myth of "legitimacy" of their actions. And the second one is to ease the slavish inclination of the victim's mind towards the aggression and to ease the searches for moral substantiation of obedience to the imposed order.
The "hidden motive" of the new Russian aggression against the Chechen State and its people is the fact that independent Ichkeria started moving towards revival of the Shariah as the only acceptable system of social and legal relationship for the Chechen society: the system capable of stabilizing the internal situation and to resist foreign aggression.
Throughout the three years after the military and political defeat in 1996, Russian higher-ups and secret services kept making unceasing attempts to stir up the situation in Ichkeria from the inside: to cause a clash between the so-called national patriotic forces and the Islamic youth in order to neutralize the Shariah aspirations of the Chechens with the hands of the Chechens. Russian political elite and Russian secret services were using all sorts of agents who infiltrated the government structures of Ichkeria and who were trying to impose Eastern-type nationalist and clan dictatorship on the Chechens. And this attempt suffered a failure in Gudermes in the summer of 1998.
Nevertheless, Russian secret services did not give up their attempts to destabilize the situation from the inside and every time they get a chance they were increasing the level of their political provocations. They started to arrest official representatives and members of the government of Ichkeria in adjacent republics of the Caucasus and in Moscow under any made-up excuses. The Kremlin's higher-ups were demonstratively and boldly ignoring all official documents and bilateral agreements. Military provocations became more frequent inside the Republic and at its borders. Chechen farms and pastures near the border became favorite targets for the Russian military to attack. Armored vehicles with mud on their tag numbers would break in and commit robberies and murders with demonstrative cruelty. Unmarked helicopters would shoot at people's houses from the air.
The Chechen side has unambiguously regarded all of these provocations in the middle of the frenzied Chechenophobia unleashed by Russian mass media as preparations of Russian military and political elite to invade Ichkeria, which was later confirmed by the statements of then-Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Stepashin. Stepashin publicly acknowledged that the Kremlin adopted the political decision on military invasion of Ichkeria back in March 1999.
In this regard, legitimate help of Chechen volunteers (even according to the norms of the notorious "international law") to Dagestani Muslims, who were being surrounded and exterminated in the summer of 1999, became not only a fulfillment of their Shariah duty, but also an objective pre-emptive action against the reachable source of provocations and upcoming aggression by the forces of Russian invaders stationed in Dagestan. The actions of the volunteers, the Mujahideen, were carried out based on the Shariah requirements, therefore from the Islamic point of view, reproaches, approvals, or political speculations would make no sense whatsoever, whoever they may be coming from, because it was the decision of the Shariah.
The time has shown that the steps taken in that direction were totally adequate and rightful. These steps foiled the plans of the Russian warmongers and the Kremlin's political elite. Instead of provoking a civil war, which the Kremlin had thoroughly prepared and expected and which would have been totally catastrophic for the Chechen State and Chechen Nation, Moscow had to carry out a premature aggression and legalize almost its entire potential of agents in the echelons of power in Ichkeria.
If Russian generals needed a "formal reason", then Chechen Mujahideen presented one of the best scenarios of such a "reason". And it would have been logical to use such a "gift" from the enemy. But it was somewhat surprising that the Russian leadership, Russian generals especially, were mentioning the Dagestan events pretty forcedly and with no particular enthusiasm. And if they ever did mention, they would distort the facts so much that it was impossible to catch the motive, or the meaning, or logic in these events.
Totally dull and unreasoned lie of the Russian side, interpreted by these particular events, had given some food to the most unbelievable and fantastic conjectures in the minds of ordinary populace. Most often you could hear all sorts of variations on the attack by "Chechen militants" jointly with "Islamic fundamentalists" on Dagestani villages, and Russian generals would be especially shocked that "they attacked their fellow Muslim brothers".
Only General Shamanov (now governor of Ulyanovsk Province in Russia), famous war criminal, once gave out the truth (as a martinet, he was pretty straightforward about it) by saying that Chechen Mujahideen attacked the Russian army. They attacked the army that surrounded Dagestani farmers and started demonstratively killing them only because the Dagestanis wanted to live by the Shariah. And they attacked the army that was preparing for another march on Ichkeria while waiting for the X-hour, which the Kremlin had appointed back in March 1999.
It was the fact that the volunteers/Mujahideen attacked Russian army, that the Kremlin's leadership was trying to draw a veil over. And it is understandable: in all times the army has always been the argument number one in the Kremlin's political strategy. And sure, Putin would have been looking funny if during international summits he were telling about how several hundreds of "Chechen militants" attacked the army of the nuclear superpower.
And here is where his fight against mythical "international terrorism" comes from, which has allegedly found refuge in the mountains of the Caucasus. You never know what would Putin's political technologists do if two dozens of volunteers/Mujahideen from Arab states all of a sudden become Shaheeds. Most likely, the Kremlin's propagandists will preserve "virtual memory" about them until they come up with something new like "underground passage from Itum-Kala to the Afghan Province of Paktia".
As far as the "formal reason" for the second Russian-Chechen war goes, here the propagandistic preference was given to the blasts of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk and to the standard "smear set" starting from "drug trafficking and slave trade" all the way to the almost forgotten "fraudulent bank certificates".
It was already seen during the combat operations that the plan of the military invasion was being developed pretty scrupulously, and that the preparation for the war campaign was conducted pretty thoroughly. Russian generals were using the experience from the first war and they virtually never repeated their previous mistakes, even though it did not save them from making new ones.
The search for the second reason that explains the neglect of the "Dagestani march" of the Mujahideen as the dominating story of the "formal reason" must be done while considering the way Russian generals think, since they are almost incapable of reforming their methods and they stubbornly stick to the same plan with their dull eagerness. The events in Dagestan were unexpected and unprovided for, which was confirmed by the same Prime Minister Stepashin at the session of the Russian government, when he had a hard time putting his hand in his jacket pocket, and obviously confused and embarrassed, he uttered to the TV camera the phrase that became historic: "We have lost Dagestan…"
Unlike the Dagestani events, the blasts of the apartment buildings were apparently provided by the secret plan, and this is why they were being so thoroughly unwound by the official propaganda.
3. Basic outlines of the scheme
Today basic outlines of the military and political plan to re-invade Ichkeria are already known. The plan was developed and adopted by the Kremlin in March 1999. It must be acknowledged that if this plan gets imlpemented, it would involve long-term destructive consequences and become dangerous to the highest degree for the Chechen people and Chechen state.
The Kremlin's power broker Boris Berezovsky, initiated into all of the nuances of Moscow's schemes, has spoken on this matter on several occasions. The blasts in Moscow and Volgodonsk in the fall of 1999 were planned as part of a large-scale special operation "Receiver" ("Priemnik"), which in turn was the basis of the Kremlin's revanchist plans concerning Ichkeria.
This is what the scheme of the actions looked like:
-blasts of residential apartment buildings in Russian cities
-suggestion of danger and fear to the population as a necessary condition to manipulate the minds of the masses
-propagandistic unwinding of the "Chechen trace"
-personification of Successor and Savior of Russia in Putin
-sending troops to Ichkeria and invasion of the northern regions of the country along the Ters Mountain Range (this idea belonged to "oppositionist" Ruslan Khasbulatov, and goes back to 1993-1994: "To stand along the Ters Range over Grozny and dictate your will to Dzhokhar Dudayev").
-expansion of internal network of agents among various armed groups, as well as in the power echelons of Ichkeria, involving a full-scale intra-Chechen armed conflict of the Gedermes events type, with using the idea of "Wahhabite threat".
Thus, after dealing a "just retribution" for the blasts of the apartment buildings (i.e. after conquering a part of the territory of CRI), Moscow had virtually received unlimited area for maneuvers and for armed interventon into intra-Chechen armed confrontation, while totally maintaining the network of agents in CRI power structures and while subduing these structures under its unlimited influence. The implementation of such a plan would have led to a serious defeat of the Chechen nation and would have postponed the issue of restoration of Chechen statehood for an indefinitely long period of time.
However, Putin's scam, revanchist attitudes of the Russian generals and unforseen Dagestani events changed the Kremlin's original plan. The full-scale incursion in order to totally invade Ichkeria predetermined the future of Moscow's miliatry and political defeat, which Boris Berezovsky is actually blaming Putin personally for.
Aggression and genocide must be stopped
Today it is obvious that the main, crucial and sometimes destabilizing factor that has been provoking almost all crises in the Caucasus during the post-Soviet period, is Russian military presence in the region. Under the guise of "peacekeeping mission" Russian warmongers have been continuing to provoke inter-ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus by using the filthiest and the vilest methods.
The organizers of the first and the second wars against the Chechen state perfectly realized that by the very logic of its historical development independent Ichkeria would sooner or later revive the Shariah due to objective requirements of national survival withing the national and state system.
The attempts to suggest the idea to the international community that Russian aggression against CRI and genocide of the Chechen people must be stopped immediately due to the danger of "marginalization" of the Chechen society, which can become a breeding ground for all sorts of "extremists, Islamists and terrorists", are actually insulting the Chechens as ardent supporters of the Islamic civilization. Disrespect for their own religion and clumsy attempts to play into the hand of Anti-Islamic moods, cultivated in the Western society, cannot be acceptable, and neither can the calls to the so-called international community to take Ichkeria under its guardianship.
Because the examples from the modern history show that the cost of that guardianship is either renunciation of the Shariah, or turning in their national military leaders as "redemption sacrifice", or indispensable disarmament of the Resistance fighters, i.e. the country's Armed Forces, under the slogan of "demilitarization".
Responsible Chechen officials have to undertand that this kind of custody will not only fail to carry out the task of restoration of Chechen statehood, but vice versa – it will pose a threat to the Chechen society from the inside by permanent prospect of a civil war. This guardianship may become the second edition of the Kremlin's plans to split the country and provoke a long-term internal confrontation of Algeria-Afghanistan type, but with bloodier and more catastrophic consequences.
The aggression and the genocide must be stopped not out of the fear before historically natural Shariah aspirations of the Chechens, but because the mere fact of the Kremlin's actions is a grave crime against humanity, which must entail severe punishment.
It is just as amoral to scare the world with a new Chechen "Islamic threat" if Russia is not stopped, as it is amoral to kill Chechens just because they are living in an independent state in compliance with the laws of the Shariah.
CHECHNYA IS TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
Clear explanation of goals is one of the conditions of primary importance in achieving the goals outlined. Proceeding from this principle, the Chechen side has formulated the legitimate goals of its movement of national and state independence plainly and clearly ever since the very beginning: the movement for restoration of national and state independence of the Chechen Nation, which was lost during the colonial war.
It is important to mention that in its actions from the very beginning the Chechen movement for restoration of national and state independence has been sticking to the principles of the so-called International Law, while most scrupulously complying with the juristic and legal regulations proclaimed by the UN, OSCE, PACE, the European Union and by other international organizations.
Regardless of such fundamental of a choice that the Chechen side had made (like the 1997 elections under the supervision of OSCE and hundreds of independent journalists), the so-called international community openly ignored all of those steps, which the Chechen side had taken and which were considered to be legitimate from the standpoint of the International Law. The principle of "political rationality" was assigned paramount importance. Proceeding from this fact, the attitude of the so-called international community (represented by G7) towards the Chechen State was predetermined by the relationship with Russia, represented by the Kremlin regime. Thus the Western politicians violated the basic legal principles that they themselves had ratified and that were supposed to settle the postwar (1945) relations in the world.
Thus, starting from the very first days of its existence the Chechen State encountered the fundamental reality in the form of hypocrisy, unscrupulousness, lies and cynical practice of "double standards", which are dominating all around the world. The verbal condemnations of Russian methods of warfare by the Western alliance and its "concern about violations of human rights in Chechnya" were in sharp contrast with the international blockade that the Chechens faced in the reality.
If the higher political circles of the Western states were adhering to the cynical position that "Chechnya is Russia's internal affair", which they have already expressed, then the situation would not have been that tragic, because Russia would not have been able to be waging a long-term war in the Caucasus with the obvious scarcity of its economic and political resources and with total absence of moral resources. And while possessing incomparable moral advantage, the Chechen side would have been able to put the "evil empire" back where it belongs long time ago. But today they are not even making a secret of the fact that Russian military clique is continuing its genocidal war in the Caucasus exclusively with financial, economic, political and informational support from the Western states.
The reality has delivered Chechens from the last illusions. Along with the illusions concerning the "international community" and the "international law" virtually all disagreements of ideological and moral nature among the forces of the Chechen Resistance have disappeared as well. The Chechen nation got consolidated and turned to its historical experience, where Islam was the main value as the religion and where the Shariah was its practical embodiment in the relations within the society.
Once it maintained the initially declared goal – restoration of statehood and state independence of the Chechen nation lost in the colonial war, - in the foundation of its revived statehood the Chechen side restored the basic principles of the Islamic Shariah as the foundation of the entire national and state system.
Restoration of the Islamic foundations of the national and government structure of Ichkeria has gone through several phases. The first step was taken by President of CRI Dzhokhar Dudayev in March 1995 in the city of Shali, where Dzhokhar Dudayev as the country's legitimate leader signed the Decree on introduction of legal norms of the Shariah due to martial law across all territories of the Chechen State.
In the fall of 1996 President of CRI Zelimkha Yandarbi (Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev) issued his Decrees and introduced several basic Shariah regulations (courts, civil and criminal codes, etc.), which were supposed to become the basic legal documents in the prospective constitutional reform.
On February 4, 1999 President of CRI Aslan Maskhadov issued his Decree to introduce the norms of the Shariah across the territories of the country and to set up a special commission on the Shariah reform of the government.
In July 2002 State Defense Council "Majlis al-Shura" of CRI headed by President of CRI Commander-In-Chief (Amir) Aslan Maskhadov inserted some Shariah additions and amendments into the acting Constitution of the Chechen State.
Thus, the national goal declared earlier had been clearly and unambiguously formulated and ratified by the Chechen people represented by their legitimate political leadership: protection of restored statehood and state independence of the Chechen nation based on the Islamic Shariah, which were lost during many centuries of the colonial war.
Any attempts to ignore this fundamental and basic goal of the Chechen nation, or any attempts to block the achievement of this goal (by using military force, political machinations, all sorts of tricky concepts, blackmail, etc.), whoever they may be coming from, are the main source and the main reason for instability in the region and threat of permanent war.
On the contrary, respecting and understanding the goals of the Chechen nation, and helping the Chechen State in achieving the proclaimed goal is the main condition of bringing stability, security, peace and predictability to Ichkeria and to the entire Caucasus region.
The Kremlin regime has actively been exploiting the term "terrorism", while covering its grave crimes committed against the Chechen people and against humanity. In this connection it would be important to point at the definition of the term "terrorism" and at the scientific interpretation of "terrorism" from the Islamic standpoint.
During the special conference in Mecca in January 2003 Muslim scholars, theologians from all around the world, announced the definition of the term "terrorism" and stated that it includes:
All acts of aggression committed with violations of the law by individuals, groups or states against a person, including infringements on a person's religion, life, intellectual achievements, property and dignity. Any act of violence or threat to use violence, aimed at intimidation or threatening people's lives or security, can be viewed as an act of terrorism as well, similar to perpetrating a murder or violence.
The conference participants characterized the acts that Muslims conduct against foreign invasion as a form of Jihad and legitimate self-defense, and they called to put combined effort to oppose any attempt to defile the Islamic religion. Ulems (Islamic scholars) stated that anti-Islamic propaganda campaign launched by the mass media after the September 11 is aimed at "inducing prejudice, hostility, and hatred towards Islam and at discriminating Muslims by labeling them as terrorists".
During the six-day conference conducted under the auspices of the Academy of Muslim Jurisprudence of the Worldwide Muslim League, theological scholars called for discerning acts of violence and legitimate self-defense conducted by people under a military invasion. They stated that the most graphic example of statewide terrorism is "outright terrorism perpetrated by Zionists in Palestine", similar to what Serbs were once perpetrating in Kosovo and Bosnia, and to what Russian troops are perpetrating in Chechnya.
"This is the most dangerous type of terrorism that poses a threat to the world and to the security worldwide, and opposing it is legally justified self-defense, and from the standpoint of Islam it is Jihad on the way of Allah," the resolution of the Conference reads.
The scholars called on all states and nations of the world to discern legal self-defense from aggressions or acts of violence.
"Jihad is an integral right that stops injustice, restores peace and security, and establishes justice. Terrorism and violence committed by aggressors, who conquer foreign lands, desecrate holy sites and take property away from the people, cannot be compared to acts of self-defense done by the people who were subjected to aggression and who fight for freedom and self-determination."
"Failure of attempts to solve conflicts based on fair decision and use of force and threats in the international politics is the main reason for many wars and conflicts," the closing communique of the Conference says.
The definition of terrorism also includes acts on destroying the environment, facilities belonging to the state or to private individuals, as well as destruction of nation's natural resources. All such actions are malevolent. Allah forbade Muslims from committing them.
"Allah prescribed severe and frightening punishment, as far as death sentence, for terrorism, aggression and injustice."
Participants of the conference were unanimous in the opinion that the anti-Islamic campaign has the goal to get the Western community convinced that Islam is a new enemy that replaced Communism. Mass media are spreading the statements that are aimed at initiating new crusades and spur the Western community to submit Islam to its dictates. They are spreading prejudice, promoting racial discrimination against Muslim minorities and provoking clash of civilizations.
Theological scholars called on Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries "to obey the laws of your residence and your citizenship, and comply with the social order in the countries where they reside."
Thus, each item in the scientific definition of terrorism, given by the scholars in Mecca, is pointing clearly and unambiguously that Russia and its leadership are a classic example of real and not imaginary international terrorism. And the actions of the Chechen side against the invaders are absolutely legitimate, justified and necessary.
POSITION OF RUSSIA
The Kremlin's arguments that explain the reason for the permanent genocide of the Chechen people have always had abstracted propagandistic nature in all times. The Czar's regime was explaining the mass extermination of Chechens with some "civilizer's mission" of Russia in the Caucasus, even though not only Europe, but people inside Russia had doubts in "civilizer's" function of the serf state. Communists were killing people because of the people's "anti-Soviet essence". The Democrats are now killing Chechens in the name of "territorial integrity" and "fight against international terrorism".
For each period of time in history the Kremlin has always been coming up with the reasons for bloody atrocities and gravest crimes on a mass scale against Chechens. The so-called international community has always been satisfied with these explanations. As usual, today there are still no signs that the situation will ever change and the international community will start to act.
After leaving the argumentation of Russian Czars and Communists behind, let's turn to Russian "Democrats", who explain today's atrocities against Chechen people with two main reasons: necessity to protect so-called "territorial integrity" of the state and "fight against international terrorism".
Neither of these explanations stands any serious criticism, even after leaving behind the historical and legal fact that Ichkeria has legally never been a constituent part of the Russian empire and the collapse of the Soviet Union already shattered the notorious territorial integrity of Russia. The separation of "legally" conquered territories of Kazakhstan (as well as the entire Central Asia), Southern Caucasus, Baltic States, let alone Ukraine and Belarus, were flagrant violations of Russia's territorial integrity. It is totally absurd to be drowning 17 thousand square kilometers of the Chechen land in blood (while protecting Russia's "territorial integrity") and voluntarily disown several million square kilometers of Russian (according to the Kremlin's logic) territories, which were being conquered for centuries at the cost of huge human casualties.
There is only one logical substantiation in this absurd and in this irrational (at first glance) behavior of the Kremlin's leaders. This substantiation is tied to the reality: panic fear before the prospect of an independent Islamic state emerging at the Southern borders of the decayed empire. And it is not as much of pure Kremlin's fear. The modern history shows that unfortunately it is the collective fear of the so-called international community (the Western alliance), which is under the hypnosis of false Islamophobic ideas and concepts.
The fight against "international terrorism", which the Kremlin is using as an excuse for the genocide of the Chechen people, is nothing but an unconvincing propagandistic argument, which considers the modern political alignment of forces. Actually, the Kremlin is not making it a secret, when Russian government officials admit from time to time that "the conflict in Chechnya has its own prehistory", and "the status of Chechnya is not of exceptional importance for Russia, but the issue of the security of the Russian state is important".
The "conflict in Chechnya" really does have its own prehistory. The ascertained historical fact is that Russia's colonial war against Ichkeria (with little intervals) has been going on for the past 400 years already, ever since the times when warlord Buturlin made his first march to the Caucasus. Fierce battles were going on in Ichkeria back in the times when half of the world was under the sway of the Ottoman Caliphate, when no one was aware of the concepts such as "fundamentalism", "Wahhabism", or "international terrorism", and when there was no "Al-Qaeda", Taliban, Bush, Putin, the US, or Israel.
Thus, the only acceptable argument, which Moscow can actually operate with in the dialogue with the Chechen side, is the demand to provide security for the Russian state. This is where the main substantiated interest of Russia is lying. Everything else has nothing to do with the reality whatsoever and cannot be viewed as a serious subject of discussions.
OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
As we have already pointed out, the position of so-called international community (mainly the Western alliance) concerning Chechnya requires special scientific study, which is not part of this particular publication. But certain moments of this position must yet be mentioned.
Today it would be wrong to be viewing the Western alliance as a single whole thing, the way it was viewed during the Cold War. The Iraqi crisis has shown that Washington's imperial tendencies do not always find support among the European states. The debates about acceptable model of the New World Order and other issues are aggravating the split and the final loss of the UN authority. But there are very serious suspicions that with all of their internal disagreements, members of the Western alliance keep some basic strategic settings unchanged, one of them being: not to allow an independent Islamic state with the Shariah rule appear on the map of the world.
This is the general setting in the policymaking of the Western leaders, dictated by imposed false fear before Islam. And this is the source of the inconsistency, inertia, discrepancies and outright immorality, which they discover in their attitude towards the genocidal war of Russia against the Chechen State.
Here are the most obvious facts concerning the attitude of the Western society towards the "Chechen problem".
-Not a single time over the past 12 years the so-called international community, any particular state, or any international organization have ever taken any sensible or purposeful action to stop the genocide of the Chechen people or get seriously outraged with antihuman nature of the Kremlin's murderous deeds.
-When the most scandalous facts of atrocities by the Russian warmongers become known public, European politicians express the "concern" that implies no obligations whatsoever. But at the same time they would not freeze the funding of the genocidal war in Chechnya.
-It is common knowledge how the European organizations are thoroughly and scrupulously monitoring the elections in various countries, and especially in the "rogue" nations such as Belarus, for example. But how much of cynicism and unscrupulousness one must possess to approve of the most ridiculous scam that the Kremlin called "referendum" or "elections" in Chechnya, like the Council of Europe and some European leaders did.
-Actions of some Western politicians, when they prosecute Milosevic in the international tribunal for genocide of Muslims, can only be interpreted as a complicated legal puzzle. But for the same crime, only on an immeasurably larger scale, they give a pompous reception to Putin. The world has witnessed how the British Queen accorded a cordial welcome to the murderer of Chechen children.
Listing any further incidents would be unnecessary. Of course, the Chechen side will be absolutely right when taking into consideration these facts in any possible negotiations or political projects with the participation of European and/or American representatives.
There is an affirmed opinion that the position of the international community on the Caucasus issue is dictated by some "set of interests", which allegedly determine which steps the Western alliance must take in the region. The Western alliance is believed to have its own "set of interests" in both Russia and the Caucasus. In Russia, first of all it is energy resources and control over the nuclear weapons. In the Caucasus it is oil and safe access to the Caspian oilfields.
The "set of interests" dictates its own priorities. As the West has been explaining, this is where the priority of so-called "partnership relations" with Russia comes from, despite of the criminal nature of the Kremlin regime, which tramples on all elementary principles of so-called "democratic norms": crushing its political opposition (including physical violence) and independent media inside the country, and genocidal war in Chechnya. Besides, Europe and the US are explaining that the Western alliance is too afraid that Russia's nuclear arsenal may be uncontrollably scattered all around the world.
The international community is voluntarily trapped in the false Russian myths about Chechnya and it is still hoping that the Kremlin will finally manage to break down the Resistance of Chechens, who are dreaming of independent Islamic State (which is already viewed as a threat, as we mentioned above). And as Western politicians are hinting during backstage talks, this is where the silent approval of genocide and almost outright financial and political help to Moscow in extermination of the Chechen people comes from.
Independent Chechen State is falsely viewed as a threat to stability and security in the region, while it is the other way around: occupied Chechnya has always remained and will be remaining as the center of permanent instability, which will be posing an objective threat to all who are trying to establish their interests in the Caucasus/Caspian region. And this is a historical fact. References to the allegations that Chechnya had some chance (three years of de-facto independence), which allegedly had a negative reverberation on the overall situation in the region, are totally unsubstantiated. This propagandistic argument that the Kremlin has been using is a malicious fabrication of Russian secret services in their secret war against Ichkeria. Some Chechen politicians are unfortunately repeating this fabrication to please the short-term interests of the moment.
Thus, it is obvious that the security issue lies in the foundation of the "set of interests" officially recognized by the international community and in the foundation of the existing priorities that the Western alliance has in the Caucasus and in Russia.
TO THE CHECHEN STATE
Another propagandistic subject that the Kremlin has been employing since the new Russian military aggression started is "failure of Ichkeria as a state entity". This thesis is absolutely false. It is based on propagandistic setting about "inability of Chechen nation for self-organization".
The falsity of this allegation is easy to discover by merely pointing at the fact that in its modern history the Chechen State with the population of one million has been resisting the unprecedented military, political and economic aggression by a nuclear power of 140 million for the past 12 years already. And if this is a failure, then what can be considered as not being a failure?
Since the moment of the first contact with the Russian empire the threat to the Chechen State and Chechen ethnos has always been coming from the North. This threat has been remaining to this day. However, along with the historical threat coming from Russia, the Chechen State has been encountering new threats from the modern world as well.
Some impracticable political projects of the Western alliance for internal stability of the Chechen State is one of such threats. In this connection we are not mentioning the so-called "Islamic states" for the simple fact that they have no independent policymaking and they are totally indifferent to Russia's aggressive actions against Ichkeria. Besides, for Eastern regimes Russia has always been either the supplier of weapons, or a political counterbalance to the US.
It is a known fact that the Western alliance is concerned about undefeated Chechen Resistance and is therefore supporting Russia's genocidal war against Chechnya both politically and financially. But even more concern is caused by the fact that in spite of the total support from the Western alliance, Russia still has not succeeded in closing the "Chechen subject". This is exactly why the Western alliance does not rule out that sooner or later it will have to intervene in the situation. But the real intervention will happen only when the Kremlin suffers military and political defeat in Chechnya.
In this connection it would be appropriate to quote an excerpt from the comment by Constantine Eggert, editor-in-chief of BBC Russian service, concerning the events in Chechnya. This is what he imparted referring to high-ranking Western military officers: "Politicians in the West are not much worried about Chechnya as it is. What they are worried about is that the Russian government has not been able, -- at least so far – to solve the problem by force. One high-ranking military officer in NATO headquarters mentioned in this regard, 'We are not that much worried about what Russians are doing in Chechnya. We are shocked by the way of how helplessly they are doing it'". There is nothing you can say more openly than that.
Proper political instruments are required for intervention, and today they are already being prepared. By the end of the fourth year of the war various human rights organizations and European structures started making statements about some mutual responsibility for violations of human rights in Chechnya. Both sides of the conflict are being accused: 200,000 troops of the Russian invaders, who invaded a foreign land and have been committing grave war crimes against humanity, and several thousand Chechen soldiers, who have been boldly resisting and defending their country from the aggression and their people from extermination by using any means available, which unarmed people may have at hand.
Any attempts to suggest the idea to the world that Chechen fighters are committing some violations of human rights by defeating the armada of murderers, butchers and their henchmen, the collaborators, armed to their teeth, can be called no other than hypocrisy. They have been trying to accuse Chechen Armed Forces of violating the rights of the murderers to murder and violating of the rights of traitors to betray. Suggestion of equality between Russian war criminals and Chechen Commanders, between the handful of traitors and peaceful civilian population is being latently instilled.
In the middle of it all there are talks going on about setting up so-called "international tribunal on Chechnya", which will be supposed to be dealing with the facts of war crimes committed by "both sides".
Even though the very idea of "international tribunal" is welcomed by the Chechen side, the point of this idea still needs to have a more sober approach.
First, the very name of the tribunal must be changed. The name has to be different: "International Tribunal on War Crimes of Government of Russia Committed on Territories of Ichkeria and Dagestan".
Second, world-famous Muslim lawyers and scholars must certainly be a part of the international tribunal. The names that the Chechen side will offer must be included as well. All items, statutes and regulations of the international tribunal must be coordinated, approved and endorsed by Islamic scholars.
On "international autonomy"
The plan of "international autonomy" for Ichkeria is also one of the prospective political instruments to have an influence on the Chechen State in case Russia suffers military and political defeat.
In our point of view, this plan might be effective in certain conditions (for example, when there are specific timeframes involved, when CRI Government is certainly recognized, when there is no intervention into domestic political processes, when rights of the Chechen people to freely choose their state system and the right for armed defense of their sovereignty are complied with, etc.), but only if it is implemented today, when the Kremlin is occupying the Chechen State. However, after Moscow suffers defeat, the acceptance of this plan by the Chechen side is totally out of the question. It would have been a dangerous and unwise step to the highest degree.
"International autonomy" (protectorate) implies international administration (or so-called governing body) for Chechnya. I.e. the structure that will be actually running the country, thereby delegitimizing the legitimate state system and the state itself, and indirectly giving legal grounds for the Russian thesis of "inability of Chechens for state self-organization".
The very definition of autonomy in modern political language means "limited independence", while compliance with certain obligations (conditions) becomes the condition for partial independence with hazy future with international recognition of independence.
For example, - "renunciation of Shariah, extradition or expulsion of the small number of Islamic volunteers and some authoritative Chechen Commanders, who could be prosecuted by the international administration for ties with so-called "international terrorists", proceeding from the principle of "political expediency". Disarming the Resistance under the slogan of demilitarization, considering them to be "illegal formations" and thereby renewing the propagandistic cliche by the aggressor state, etc."
We have learned from the experience that as a rule, all of these manipulations are happening in the middle of increased attempts to form an acceptable puppet government while "unwinding" their protege as the national leader.
And certainly, this entire "technical set" will not be complete, unless continual promises to "invest in the economy" are mentioned.
The danger of such prospect for Chechnya is that it can lead to a serious internal split within the society, and as a consequence thereof – to a full scale civil war, which the Kremlin has been trying to unleash for hundreds of years and in which the Kremlin never succeeded.
Before proceeding to specific proposals, the main condition must be stipulated, which will be contributing to the constructiveness in the dialogue between the two sides. In our point of view, the main condition would be when each of the sides entering the political dialogue states its position with utmost clarity. There should not be any "hidden motives", "formal excuses", or "supposed underlying reasons". Each side must state its position clearly, and once the circle of problems is clearly, plainly and unambiguously outlined, then certain political steps must start being implemented.
The second necessary condition is consistency and logic in the solution of declared goals.
If declared goals are considered to be the true motive of the interested parties, -- Ichkeria, Russia and the Western alliance, -- then we are thus defining the point of contact of these interests: stopping the bloodshed, and SECURITY.
Because it is the SECURITY issue that can be put in the foundation of the long-term Russian-Chechen settlement, and because it is SECURITY that all interested parties are trying to achieve. Russia and the Western alliance are demanding security for their state interests, and Ichkeria is demanding security of its national sovereignty.
But the experience shows that narrow efforts aimed at the settlement of Russian-Chechen military conflict exclusively are of little efficiency in their consequences. Objective reality shows that the Russian-Chechen war, where considerable interests of states and nations of the Caucasus region as well as the states of the Western alliance are involved, can fully and realistically be called the New Caucasus War. Therefore efforts on a much larger scale must be put in the foundation of the settlement of Russian-Chechen military conflict, rather than the ones that have been offered to this day.
It is the matter of the All-Caucasus process of peace settlement, which will be based on the settlement of the Russian-Chechen military conflict.
The Agreement on Peace and Principles of Mutual Relations, signed by two Presidents – Maskhadov and Yeltsin on May 12, 1997, could serve as the priority in choosing the starting point to begin such a settlement. But apparently, this agreement, which the Russian side grossly violated, will not be able to solve the entire complex of all tasks necessary for a long-term peace settlement in the conditions of changed reality.
But first of all, proceeding from the principle of SECURITY of all interested parties, the offer is being made to take several basic steps to provide access to the key factors of achievement of specific goal of peaceful settlement: setting up a predictable, firm, stable and secure military and political structure in the region. These are the items that we offer to include in these steps:
-Setting up the Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Caucasus (OSCC), which will be founded by the following states: Ichkeria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia (possibly with its components, -- the Republics of the North Caucasus), as well as OSCE and the US as the most interested parties in the Western alliance. We are offering to set up the OSCC Headquarters in Tbilisi, Georgia.
-Creation of OSCC Peacekeeping Troops.
-Setting up special International Observation Council (IOC) on initiating the peace process in the bilateral Russian-Chechen relations, which will have the status of observer. IOC may be founded by OSCC, European political structures, the US and Organization of Islamic Conference.
(UN participation is questionable, since today this organization is viewed throughout the world as morally obsolete institution that lost its international authority and that has had no noticeable results in its activities).
-Start of direct bilateral Russian-Chechen peace negotiations with the participation of International Observation Council, with the start of the process of withdrawal of Russian occupational troops and transferring interim security functions to units of Peacekeeping Troops of OSCC locally.
-Creation of 50 km to 100 km of demilitarized buffer zone all along the perimeter of CRI borders with Russia. Dismantling of Russian military base in Mozdok, Ingushetia.
-Setting up special observation posts of OSCE in the demilitarized buffer zone. At the start, peacekeeping troops of the European Union could be brought into the demilitarized zone, and later on replaced by the units of peacekeeping troops of OSCC, which will subsequently be withdrawing from Ichkeria and be replaced by local law enforcement forces of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI).
-Transfer of the entire complex of solutions of Russian-Chechen mutual relations to OSCC.
The point of the plan, which is being proposed, is the creation of All-Caucasus Security Structures as the instrument of Russian-Chechen peaceful settlement. The ideology of this plan will be the formula of "Security in exchange for Independence".
Security of state interests of Russia and the Western alliance in exchange for Independence of the Chechen State.
All-Caucasus security structures will also serve as an instrument in the settlement of other conflicts in the Caucasus region.
Apparently, political linchpins in providing national interests for the countries of the international community (Western alliance) in the Caucasus region will be much more effective and economical rather than power key factors would be. Use of force leads to much bigger expenses and creates a permanently uncontrollable situation, which depends on many incidental reasons, which in turn gives rise to uncertainty and unpredictability.
The idea of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Caucasus (OSCC) must sound interesting to Russia as well. Through these structures Moscow will have a real chance to return to the Caucasus in a new role with a lot more opportunities to provide its security and its influence, rather than making it by using troops and violence. The formula of "Security in exchange for Independence" will allow implementing the Kremlin's political thesis that the "conflict in Chechnya has its own prehistory, and the status of Chechnya is not of fundamental importance to the Kremlin, but the issue of security of the Russian State is of vital importance."
Besides, Moscow will finally be able to get rid of the greatest financial and economic costs, of social degradation and of political humiliation, which are demoralizing Russia due to the endless and absolutely unpromising war against the Chechen State, and are making it retreat on the international arena virtually in all directions.
In spite of the fact that hypocrisy became a "business card" in international relations long time ago, we are hereby stating that hypocrisy in politics is counterproductive. Relations between states and nations, as well as between people, are subject to the same law: the law of logic and experience.
It is stupid and amoral for a Muslim to be expressing anti-Islamic positions in order to gain favor from the "international community" in confrontation with Russia. It is just as stupid and totally useless to be assuring the Chechen fighters, who took up arms and who are fighting for freedom, that armed resistance to the Russian aggression is surely the Jihad, but the politics in the world must be "smarter and more artful". According to this logic, the Jihad is supposed to be somewhat underground, so that, God forbid, Washington or Strasbourg do not find out about it.
But in reality it makes no sense and it is counterproductive to be trying to delude somebody or to delude your own self. The point is not to conceal the obvious, but to show the interested countries that the Chechen Jihad poses no threat to the world and that it is a natural reaction to foreign aggression and to the attempt to physically exterminate the Chechen ethnos. And for Chechens the Islamic State and the Shariah Law is a condition of vital importance for national survival and for preservation of their religious and ethnic identity.
-Chechen Jihad is a legitimate form of fight against foreign aggression and is the highest form of national liberation movement of the Chechen nation for its right to have its own independent state with the form of government, which is historically acceptable for the Chechen people, i.e. the Shariah Law. The goal of the Chechen Jihad is protection of national sovereignty and state independence.
-Chechen State is not at war with the Western alliance, even though the Western alliance headed by the US has always been helping Russia to murder Chechens and to occupy Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI) and is directly responsible for the crimes against humanity committed by the Kremlin regime.
-Chechen side is defining its goals plainly and clearly and is trying to explain them to the world in an intelligible way that is easy to understand. Proceeding from these goals and these tasks, the Chechen side is searching for common ground with the Western alliance, as well as the common ground with the Muslim world, which is totally dependent on the Western alliance.
-Once the priorities are highlighted, the Chechen side offers the specific plan of "political trade operation" ("Security in exchange for Independence"), where all sides, including the Western alliance, are offered to see their own interests in it. At the same time the Chechen side defends its own interests and its own position, proceeding from the powers and capabilities that it already has, and is stating that it is willing to show responsibility to its partners.
The result can be achieved not by humiliating the Islamic dignity and betraying the principles, but by clear and unambiguous indication of the national goal, which must show the "international community" the responsibility of the Chechen people and of their leaders just as clearly and unambiguously.
The boundaries, which the Chechen side will never cross under any circumstances, must be clearly pointed out as well. It does not mean that one must adhere to strict political constructions without considering the objective reality. However, any construction has its foundation that can never be broken, otherwise the very subject as the opposing side disappears. As a result, everything will tumble down and only fragments will remain, which will be thrown out to the dustbin of history.
If the Chechen Resistance relies on the Islamic ideology, which for Chechens is a natural and necessary form of national self-defense and ethnic survival in the national and state system, then it must be said openly, and explanations must be made about why Jihad is the ideology of Chechen Armed Resistance to the Russian aggression, and why the independent national state based on the Shariah Law is the goal.
Western alliance must also be clearly shown that by supporting the genocide of the Chechen people it thus becomes the Kremlin's accomplice in these crimes, -- instead of making excuses before false and politically-biased accusations that the Chechen people allegedly have something to do with the so-called "international terrorism" or that the Islamic Chechen State is "extremist and dangerous" a priori.
Viewing the Shariah in the context of extremism is extremism as well. Equating Shariah with extremism means deliberately substituting the concepts for certain political purposes. We could never accept such equation.
If the so-called "international community" and the Kremlin regime really are interested in stability and SECURITY, then the goal of the Chechen side is to show its understanding of that interest and readiness of the Chechen State to show RESPONSIBILITY coming from the will of the Chechen nation to unconditionally defend its national and state independence and its religious and ethnic identity.
But if these assurances are just another manifestation of hypocrisy, and if they prefer maintaining instability in the Caucasus while fearing independence of the Chechen State, it can never do any harm to the Chechen side. Because throughout the many centuries of its just cause in the fight for freedom and independence, the Chechen nation has been relying on the fundamental precept from the Koran: "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not…!" (Quran, 2:216, The Cow)
National Center for Strategic Research and Political Technologies of CRI, Jokhar, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria