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Terror incognito
Written by   
, 26 2011
 Putting the phrase ‘airport bombing’ into my search engine yielded some unexpected results. Iread it and could not believe my eyes. Could this really be?
Hundreds of thousands of citizens in various cities across the country are participating in protests against the terrorists who organized the bombing of the airport. Inthe capital at least a million inhabitants are demonstrating under the banner: “For peace, for life, for freedom against terrorism!” The demonstration is supported by more than 500political parties and public organizations, and was started by the nation’s leading labor unions. Taking part in it are government officials, leaders of the ruling party and other political factions, prominent politicians, scientists, and artists.
This, of course, is not Russia. Itis a different airport, and a different country. Thiswas Spain four years ago, also in January, after an attack arranged by Basque separatists at Madrid’s Barajas airport. Actually, Ishould have guessed: where are these 500political parties? Whatlabor unions? Andwhat politicians took part in a protest march? Ivanov and Gryzlov? Zhirinovsky and Kadyrov? Either my eyes have grown dim, or Ineed to get new glasses.
On the other hand, why is it not possible here?
Really, do any of our so-called politicians, leaders in Parliament, or artists and writers support terror? Isanyone in the irreconcilable opposition for it? Orthe clergy? Godforbid, the Grand Mufti even promised these alleged martyrs the Hell fires. Sowhy is it possible in Spain, but so difficult to imagine happening here? Itis worse than difficult it is absolutely unthinkable.
The answer is known: in Spain there is a government and civil society, while in Russia there is this vertical mess, from top to bottom. Thisanswer, however, is incomplete. Itlacks some clarifying language and concepts, and a word that means the exact opposite of ‘solidarity’, a very distinct concept that would explain why the idea of a million demonstrators in Moscow, under the banner of “Freedom from terrorism” seems a wild idea indeed.
As a matter of fact, who would even come to such a demonstration? Putin, together with Limonov? Fanatics hand in hand with aspiring liberals? Kirkorov and Akunin? Youcould ask any one of them they are all against terrorism, and, in general, have nothing against freedom.
Is society too deeply divided? Itis also so in the West, but at least over there they still have battles in parliament that reach a fervor that we have all but forgotten over these last ten, as they say, happy years. Issociety too worried about other things? Theglobal economic crisis is also a problem in America and Europe. Isit because of ethnic issues? Bothhere and there it is a common headache, but when a catastrophe occurs over there it brings people together.
Over here it divides.
Every act of terrorism in Russia summons almost nothing but sadness and hatred, but mostly hatred a blind, visceral hatred that is multidirectional. Hatred towards immigrants from the Caucasus who, it is commonly believed, send their suicide bombers to Moscow. Hatred towards the State that fails to protect its citizens. Hatred toward the army of the State that covers itself in immortal glory in Chechnya. Hatred towards the liberals who brought down ‘such a nation it was’. Hatred towards nationalist patriots and their xenophobia that promises the ultimate destruction of Russia. Hatred towards the rich and fat who dig around in their rubles. Hatred towards the ‘sheeple’.
Who actually suffers in the search for an appropriate reason? InRussia there is a sluggish civil war that manifests itself in many ways, and sometimes not so sluggishly in pogroms and stabbings. Almost daily reports from the North Caucasus, where the population is at war with local and visiting law enforcement, set an example for the “maritime guerrillas” (a group of ultra-nationalists in the former Baltic republics who conducted attacks against corrupt police officers ed). Terrorism, which for so long has entirely been anonymous, finally allows for any interpretation.
Really, who blew it up? Wasit Doku Umarov or one of his bearded comrades entrenched in the mountains? Itmay very well be. Thesecurity services will pick up the Caucasian scent and no doubt in six months we will receive reports that there was a battle near a village with an unpleasant name where the last of the scoundrels who planned the attack on Domodedovo were killed. Wasit because Putin is running for a third term? Thisis a very popular theory, though it is unclear why he would repeat it and why he would be elected. Force of habit, Iguess. Wasit a dispute between economic entities that were unable to peacefully share the airport? Nomatter how crazy the conspiracy, in certain circles it is discussed in earnest. Wasit the machinations of the West? After Beslan, the leader of the nation spoke openly about this, though now he remains strangely silent. Wasit a conspiracy by taxi drivers?
Our main trouble is that within our divided, poorly controlled and muddled country one can suspect literally anything for being the reason why no one would show up at a rally with anyone. Andthe matter here is not about demonstrations, which really are not a very professional method of combating terrorism. Thefact is that civil war demands a lot of “truths” in the absence of a core truth. There is an acute shortage of a sense of rightness in the fight against terrorism. Terrorism is incomprehensible, and so it is particularly frightening and effective. Theonly salvation is an almost narcotic oblivion that denies continuity to a civil war until the next mass beating, pogrom, or terrorist attack. Theonly difference between this civil war and a classic one is that this civil war has no end in sight.
By Ilya Milstein in ‘Grani.ru’

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