Mount Weather: Primed for Martial Law
by Charles Overbeck
How do you know when a politician is lying?
If his lips are moving.
How do you know when Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton are lying?
When at least 30,000 people, most of them civilians, lie dead in the streets and hillsides of Chechnya, the victims of Russian imperialism.
A lot of folks can't find Chechnya on the map; others have skimmed the headlines describing the Chechen struggle for independence from the Russian Federation, but don't know the whole story. But this is a story you need to read. Because your tax dollars are helping to pay for the rocket bombs and bullets that the Russian army is using to kill innocent Chechens whose only crime was their thirst for freedom.
ParaScope brings you this updated account of the Chechen war for independence from behind the electronic curtain. Did U.S. intelligence help the KGB assassinate Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev? How much are your tax dollars subsidizing savage Russian massacres? Are you willing to pay Russia a bailout package in the coming months comparable to the Mexican bailout of 1993?
(NOTE: This article originally ran in 1996, and contains some outdated information. Many more Chechens have been killed in the years since, as Chechnya continues its struggle for independence from the crumbling Russian empire.)
© Copyright 2000 ParaScope, Inc.
The War on Chechnya
In February, Boris Yeltsin's unpopular war effort in Chechnya got a huge shot in the arm when President Clinton rammed a U.S. loan of $10.2 billion for the Russian Federation through the International Monetary Fund. Approximately half of that money will help fund the military occupation of Chechnya. Clinton publicly endorsed the war by saying he backed Russia's need to "maintain its territorial integrity."
Meanwhile, Chechnya continues its struggle for independence as Yeltsin's armies trip over their own two feet time and again. A death toll between 30,000 and 60,000, mainly Chechen civilians, has caused outrage in Russia. Public intolerance for the slaughter is reaching critical mass, not unlike the American response to the invasion of Vietnam. And like Vietnam, the global elite are once again playing a chess game with a predetermined outcome, with Western financiers and Big Oil holding the reins.
Chechnya, a small country roughly the size of Connecticut with a predominantly Muslim population of around 1.2 million, declared independence when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Dzhokhar Dudayev, the Soviet Army general who once refused orders to shut down Estonia's rebellious parliament and television, was elected president of Chechnya in 1991.
Russia, woeful of losing control of Chechnya's rich oil and mineral reserves, and fearful that the spirit of revolution will spread to other Muslim regions of the Russian Federation, sent a KGB invasion force in mid-1994 to overthrow Dudayev. Chechen fighters deftly routed this attack with an airport blockade. In December 1994, Yeltsin sent in the Russian army en masse to quell the rebellion.
Since the December 1994 invasion, the Russian military has killed at least 30,000 Chechens, and their "scorched earth" policy has laid the countryside to waste. Grozny, the Chechen capital, and Gudermes, the second-largest city, have been razed. At least 300,000 civilians have been rendered homeless.
According to Foreign Correspondent editor Eric Margolis, who has spent the past three years covering the war for independence in Chechnya, "two thousand Chechen 'disappeared' after being arrested by KGB and Interior Ministry units. Human rights organizations accuse Russian forces of mass executions, bloodthirsty reprisals, and widespread torture."
Russia's brutal oppression of Chechen Muslims did not begin in 1994. The Chechens have fought czars and dictators alike in their 160-year struggle for independence from colonial Russian rule.
Russia first invaded the small Muslim nation in the 1830s. After decades of fighting Chechen mountaineers under the command of the legendary Imam Shamil, Russia managed to occupy Chechnya. But Russia realized that only genocide would permanently pacify the strong-hearted Chechens.
Tsarist generals attempted the first such genocide while the United States was fighting its civil war. In 1944, Stalin tried again, loading 800,000 Chechens onto cattle cars and sending them to concentration camps in Siberia. Soviet geographers were ordered to erase Chechnya from their maps. By the time Stalin's deportation order was rescinded in 1957, over 450,000 Chechens had died. The children of the survivors are fighting the Russian army today.
The war has been heavily criticized in Russia as well as the international community. Troop moral is extremely low, and some of Yeltsin's top generals have refused to obey orders against the Chechens and have publicly criticized the war effort. Others have openly disobeyed orders and made rogue threats of indiscriminate bombing, like wild animals backed into a corner, baring their teeth.
When the elite troops of the Federal Security Service's Alpha Group were sent in to assist in the devastation of Pervomaiskoye, a town on the Chechen border, they refused to storm the village because of poor organization, according to the Obshchaya Gazeta. These elite commandos then walked away from the battlefield and bought train tickets to Moscow.
One young officer told the Boston Globe, "They used us as cannon fodder. We had no food, no ammunition. We did not even have communications with other units. There was no coordination. Half the time, the federal troops were firing at us."
The $10.2 billion loan sent Yeltsin a message mass violations of human rights will not stop the flood of hard currency from the U.S. to the Russian Federation. In fact, the funds may give Yeltsin the leverage he needs to bring an end to the Chechnya situation, which (among other things) nearly crippled the ailing Russian president's re-election bid earlier this summer.
The Russian Money Pit
Clinton's most recent loan to Russia, laundered through the International Monetary Fund, is yet another installment in a seemingly endless stream of cash flowing from Uncle Sugar to the Federation. At a time when the U.S. national debt is devouring $238 billion (15 percent) of our annual budget just to service the interest, the loan has been criticized on financial grounds alone. The use of half those funds for genocide of Chechnya grinds salt in the wound.
But when the machinations of international finance are involved, there is always a method to the seeming madness. In December 1991, when the Soviet Union formally dissolved, arrangements were made for Russia to service the U.S.S.R.'s external debt to the West, which exceeded $70 billion.
He who pays the piper calls the tune, as the saying goes. If the Russian Federation is handling the debt to the West, then any threat to the Federation's "territorial integrity" would constitute a threat to $70 billion in Western finances. In that light, one the motives behind Russia's bloody occupation of Chechnya becomes readily apparent.
By the same token, as the Russian Federation becomes more dependent on its financial lifeline from the West, it will fall heavily under the control of the forces of Western finance. As a Russian activist told National Public Radio, "There is no Russia anymore. It's almost totally owned by the United States and the IMF."
By 1993, the G-7 nations, the IMF and the World Bank had handed $54 billion over to Russia and graciously rescheduled loan payments.
After Russian troops invaded Chechnya in 1994, the IMF quickly moved toward a $6.25 billion loan to Russia, which was the largest loan in its history at the time. Another proposal was put forth to lend an additional $6 billion to stabilize the ruble.
At the time, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry told The New York Times that he did not see the invasion of Chechnya "as affecting our desire to have a pragmatic partnership with Russia."
The United States has barely put a down payment on that "pragmatic partnership," if history and recent trends serve as reliable indicators. The Washington Times recently reported that "Russia is headed for an economic crisis this fall that could require a bailout larger than the 1993 Mexico rescue package."
This impending economic collapse will certainly lead to another major international loan effort, which, like the Mexican bailout, will be paid for in large measure by American taxpayers to cover the investments of the elite. Russia's rescheduled debts are coming due in September and October, when the Russian government is always strapped for cash to pay its farmers for the summer harvest.
Economists predict that without financial assistance, the debt could "spark an economic breakdown more devastating than the one in 1991 and 1992 that attended the collapse of communism," the Washington Times reported. Under the circumstances, a huge aid package is probably already in the works. The International Monetary Fund executive board released $330 million of the $10.2 billion loan approved in February, "satisfied that the Russian government and central bank met their July targets and are pursuing policies consistent with the attainment of macro-economic objectives of the program."
He who pays the piper calls the tune.
These funds were released in spite of in increase in Russia's short-term debt of 77 percent in the first five months of 1996, soaring to $28 billion. The notes composing this short-term debt were issued merely to cover the rampant national deficit, and carried interest rates of up to 200 percent in order to attract domestic investors.
Russia's budget deficit this year is predicted to be 11 percent of its gross domestic product, compared to America's burdensome deficit of 2.5 percent GDP. Yeltsin didn't help the situation when he postponed debt payment in order to pay massive amounts of back wages to industrial workers, so that they wouldn't vote against him during the June and July elections. Yeltsin also lightened up with tax collection during the elections, to grab a few votes from the desperate multitudes of Russia.
When such political behavior and economic circumstances "satisfy" the IMF, trouble is definitely in the air. By leaving the money spicket open in spite of extreme financial straits, Western finance shows that its primary motives are control over Russia's "development." Chechnya is a burr in their pants as they manipulate global politics to forge their New World Order. The question of money is just a shell game, with the ever-faithful U.S. taxpayer picking up the tab.
On August 9, a stiff, drawling Yeltsin was sworn in as president of Russia in the same Kremlin hall used for Communist Party meetings back in the good ol' days. Yeltsin spent only sixteen minutes on stage, speaking for only 45 seconds in his first public appearance in weeks.
"By the will of the people, I will continue the business I started five years ago," Yeltsin said at a banquet after the ceremony. And he will certainly continue the business he started less than two years ago, when he sent the Russian army into Chechnya.
For a while, it looked as if communist rival Gennady Zyuganov might actually have a shot at the presidency. Yeltsin, who suffered two heart attacks last year, had more to worry about than his ticker blowing out. In addition to slacking off on tax collection and paying back wages to striking miners, he had to do reduce voters' disgust at the situation in Chechnya. Yeltsin promised a truce and an end to the bloodshed, opening negotiations with Dudayev.
But Yeltsin was only interested in an end to the bloodshed on Russian terms, and only for so long as Russia decided to uphold the cease-fire. The elusive Dudayev was killed in a Russian air strike shortly after negotiations began.
Foreign Correspondent editor Eric Margolis reports that the U.S. government gave secret assistance to the KGB in Dudayev's assassination. A U.S. electronic eavesdropping satellite and radio-locating gear allowed a KGB hit team to pinpoint Dudayev's portable phone. His position was immediately saturated with rocket barrages.
Yeltsin signed then signed a cease-fire accord with Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, to stop the guns for the duration of the election. The $10.2 billion loan, coupled with the Council of Europe's vote to accept Russia as a member and calls for Russia's admission into the G-7 club, bolstered Yeltsin's campaign and launched him into another term as president.
As soon as the election was sealed, scorched earth again became the modus operandi in Chechnya. Russia began a merciless campaign, using heavy artillery, rocket batteries, helicopter gunships and ground attack aircraft to flatten any Chechen villages suspected of favoring guerrilla fighters. Meanwhile, the Russian propaganda machines cranked out a racist hate campaign against "subhuman, gangster, dirty Muslim, Chechen bandits."
Chechnya Strikes Back
These bloodthirsty assaults aroused Chechen rage. Freedom fighters rallied and descended from their mountain hideaways upon Russian-held cities. On August 6, hundreds of fierce mujihadin, led by Commander Shamil Basayev, stormed Grozny, Argun and Gudermes, killing more than a hundred Russian troops, destroying scores of armored vehicles, and shooting down eight helicopter gunships. Under an indiscriminate hellfire of shelling, bombing and rocketing, the fearless Chechen fighters threw the Russian forces into disarray and surrounded them. For the first time in months, Chechens controlled the capitol of Grozny, mining the main roads to halt the advance of Russian armor.
The strength of the Chechen counterattack took the restless, demoralized Russian forces completely by surprise. A Russian military source described the situation as "totally out of control," saying that "units surrounded in Grozny are not even trying to attack the rebels, limiting themselves to passive defense," according to Interfax news agency.
A renewed Russian assault would probably drive the Chechens back into the hills. But for the time being, a reluctant Yeltsin was obliged to send his new security chief, Alexander Lebed, to Chechnya to forge a more substantial cease-fire.
Lebed strung together enough brittle threads of trust to convince the Chechens of his sincerity for an honest cease-fire. "I have taken it upon myself never again to give the Chechen side ultimatums," Lebed said, after his fiery rebuttal of ultimatums and threats of massive retaliation made by Russian generals a few days earlier.
Lebed is cunning; the obvious problem among the Russian army is disorganization, bad communication and a tangled chain of command. "No one has given anyone any powers," Lebed said. "You simply have to take it, as I am quietly doing. We have to restore a single command structure."
A number of cease-fires have come and gone over the past 20 months in Chechnya, but perhaps this one will stick. But the flip side of the coin is that a reorganized, reunified Russian army could regain control of Chechnya. Every time the Chechens make headway against Russian forces, Russia comes to the truce table to halt the advance with false promises of peace. And whenever the Russian army regroups, a new assault is unleashed.
This cease-fire will probably be no exception. The bell has rung, and Round 10 of 10,000 is over. The remnants of the Russian army will fall back, regroup and get a few hot meals and some potato whiskey. But the central conflict will remain, a bomb still ticking, with absolutely no hope of resolution. The Chechens will accept nothing less than unrestricted independence from the Russian Federation. This is not just a war; it is a revolution, and Allah backs the Chechens 100 percent. Every victory renews their strength; every defeat renews their rage and determination. "Our men want to fight to the finish," rebel commander Islam Beglek told the Associated Press.
Russia, on the other hand, is not about to let go of Chechnya's natural resources at a time when the nation is in the direst of financial straits. And remember, the tail doesn't wag the dog. The puppet strings hang from Wall Street and global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.
So the deck is still stacked heavily against Chechnya. But things have been that way for more than 160 years, and the Chechens are still fighting colonial Russian control, passing the battle to their children and grandchildren. Grozny is a demilitarized zone now, but it's only a matter of time before the Russian army flexes again, and the Chechens respond in like kind.
Russia, Chechnya and the New World Order
Western banks are reaping risk-free profits off their loans to Russia. Whenever the Federation is unable to foot the bill, tax dollars laundered in the name of "foreign aid" are used to pay the interest on loans which would otherwise default.
Likewise, when the Russian Federation opened up to foreign investors, scores of multinational corporations based in America, including Chevron, Amoco, Texaco, Exxon, Marathon Oil, McDerott International, Occidental Petroleum, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Newmont Mining, AT&T, GM and GE, immediately got in on the risk-free action.
In one of the riskiest financial environments in the world, these companies' CEOs knew they didn't have to worry about a thing, with a dozen different U.S. agencies transforming tax money into risk insurance, loans, and grants to subsidize and underwrite their ventures.
The financial sinkhole which is swallowing Russia is not unlike the rapidly inflating national debt in the United States. Every dollar of debt in America is a dollar which is loaned into circulation by the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporation with stockholders just like any other bank. Every dollar further we sink into debt is a dollar which must be paid back, with interest.
Once Russia and the United States, the two great superpowers, are irreversibly placed under the financial control of the global corporate and financial elite, the way will be cleared for the establishment of a worldwide economic hegemony, under the administration of unaccountable institutions such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. Welcome to the New World Order.
The time to act is now. Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to put a stop to all U.S. aid to Russia until Chechen independence is recognized. Independence for Chechnya would be a major stumbling block to forces working towards the establishment of a global slave plantation. If the savage, indiscriminate massacre of the Chechen people is any indication of the treatment we can expect at the hands of the global elite, then any stumbling block we can throw in their way is worth the effort.