Chechnya

When other countries are invaded, they fight back. So why isn't Ukraine?

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We Told You So

How Russia responded to the Boston bombings

How Russia responded to the Boston bombings

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The Boston bombing suspects were reared by both Chechnya and America.

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What to Read Now on Chechnya

The best background info on the Boston suspects

The U.S. hasn’t paid much attention to Chechnya since the early 2000s, when the Bush Administration largely declined to intervene as rebels fought a bloody war against Russia. But with the news that the suspected Boston bombers were ethnic Chechens who moved to the United States from Dagestan in 2002, it’s time to get caught up on the separatist, predominantly Muslim Caucasian province. We’ll have more soon, but here’s what to read now: 

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Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation By Robert S. Leiken (Oxford University Press, 354 pp., $27.95)  After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent By Walter Laqueur (Thomas Dunne Books, 322 pp., $26.99)  In two separate incidents in March, Mohammed Merah, a French-born French citizen who thought he was waging jihad, ambushed four soldiers around Toulouse, killing three of them. A week later, he shot dead three children arriving for morning classes at a nearby Jewish school, along with a young rabbi who was father to two of them.

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Minsk Rumors

Of all the countries in the world that one would expect to be a target of terrorist attacks, Belarus surely ranks near the bottom of the list. Unlike its neighbor, Russia, where a January bomb that killed 35 people at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was just the latest in a string of attacks related to the ongoing conflict in Chechnya, Belarus is not fighting an Islamic insurgency—or, in fact, any type of insurgency. It’s an ethnically and religiously homogenous nation mostly composed of Orthodox Christian Slavs, kept in the tight grip of its authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko.

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Every night for a week and a half, I stayed up until four in the morning in my Moscow hotel room, watching Egypt’s glorious revolution. It was a routine prompted partly by a bad case of jet lag, but mostly by captivation with an uprising that appeared to have acquired its own unstoppable momentum.

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M.J. Rosenberg, speaking at the New America Foundation, says that conservatives only like Israel because the Israeli Army kills Muslims: They are anti-Muslim. They do not like Muslims. They are on the side of Israel because Israel is — they don’t like Jews that much to start out with, either — but compared to Muslims, they like Jews fine. They’re infatuated with the Israeli army. Why? Because the Israeli army kills Muslims. I mean, this is what it’s all about... Of course!

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When it comes to war, it is a natural human tendency to identify good guys and bad guys—and sometimes, it is a sensible one.

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The Party Line

Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East from the Cold War to the Present By Yevgeny Primakov Translated by Paul Gould (Basic Books, 418 pp., $29.95) Over the decades, many people in the West, and certainly most Israelis, came to view the Soviet Union and then Russia as a force for ill, if not evil, in the Middle East, and perhaps farther afield as well.

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