Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caucasus Slap Fight!

My posting here has become very slapdash and incredibly not-on-point as I move from Central Asian/Caucasus issues related to natural resources and architecture to my new Internet Life, the only independent newssource of Turkey. That said, Gazistanesque is my first and main love, and I am still following everything I can coming out of there. And my links on the right hand side are fairly busted by now, I realize (sorry Steve LeVine!). But once the Alti gets up and going, I'll be able to dedicate more time to this. So bear with me in the meantime.

I just wanted to remark on the hilarious flame war going on in the Caucasus Emirate. The problem with a loose confederation of various power brokers in a small region competing over resources and infamy is that they generally act like bands on a tour. Who gets what hotel room, who gets to be the headliner, and who gets choice of beer. Or, uh, something like that.
Admittedly, they look like a Yiddish ZZ Top

So some of the - admittedly translated - quotes are kind of fantastic

- "...When we equalized what we have in our souls with what we have in our tongues, Muhannad exposed himself as an opponent of the Emirate."
-"there is no one who has been at his side longer than we have, or who knows him better than we do.... We thought about this for a long time, we prayed to Allah so as not to destroy the accord among fighters." But they finally concluded, in Vadalov's words, that "we do not have the right to follow evil.""
-"Gaziyev defines their goals as "cleansing our country of the enemies of Allah, establishing Shari'a law to defend the poor and disadvantaged, and bringing up our future generation in the Muslim faith." Their rhetoric, however, is less aggressively jihadist that that of Umarov's faction."

So its important to remember then whenever terrorists or other somesuch violent separatists are represented as these uncommonly evil Sauron's without humanity...well...they probably still have some humanity. People are people. They are subject to the same jealousies, whims, and foibles as most every other of the 6 billion of us. They forge friendships and alliances just the same way the rest of us do, just with different goals in life.

Also, props to Long War Journal for a) making their work impossible to quote and b) cheerleading rather than reporting. Classy, guys. There's a reason you're mocked by the people you try to reach out to. And a reason why RFE/RL and Eurasianet are trusted and you, well, aren't.

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