29 March 2010 Morning uprisings
This morning brings reports of two separate subway bombings in Moscow. The bombers, the final people to wear these particular costumes of death, are believed to be women. This suggests that the women are surviving members of a family that has had previous encounters with the Russians while they were suppressing some sort of uprising in an Islam dominated former USSR republic. BBC’s coverage this morning, heard while on my way to class, called the bombers “jihadis.”
Russia has a moderately long and very violent history with Islamic separatists and other brands of bombers. The Soviets endeared Russia to several generations of Moslems in the “Stan” constellation of nations by trying to suppress the practice of Islam throughout their sphere of influence, just as they tried to suppress Christianity and Judaism. The region they controlled in the Caucasus and in Central Asia is so particularly hard scrabble, that often the only crop for the year is prayer of some bent. The political leaders who clawed their way to the top of the Soviet leadership hierarchy for any republic were almost always brutal to the extreme, and willing to obliterate entire cities for political advantage. Moscow Center had little problem with this. It had large formations of troops ready to use for suppression of civil disorder. If it took a few thousand lives to calm down the local religious fanatics, there were enough bullets to use. Russia has always been known for brutality in maintaining what passes for civil order. The Soviets, in their turn at bat, had no problem maintaining that reputation.
Their have been multiple bombings in Iraq as the election cycle winds down. The concept of religious martyrdom is heavily imprinted upon the Iraqi fundamentalists as well. There is sufficient left over high explosive material and enough hardware to use in making IED’s to keep Iraq exploding on a regular schedule for the next decade without any aid from Iran. The U.S. needs to strip the nation of any leftover ordnance and destroy it on site before leaving Iraq.
Afghanistan will come to the forefront in the next weeks as the Taliban and the various Afghanis warlords discover a need to remind the locals that they are still a viable force in arms and a continuing source for Jihadis willing to die for the faith while killing infidels.
Closer to home, and far more troubling:
The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting a marked upswing in the number of domestic hate groups, “patriot” groups, and militias in the last few years. Six cops were killed by right wing extremists. Right wing talk show hosts and right wing politicians are increasingly using speech intended to further agitate hate and extremist groups in this nation. We are quite likely to see more acts of domestic terrorism, not just broken windows and hate speech. Our extremists, political and religious, are every bit as willing to hurt or kill others as those in Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Gaza. They may not want to claim a martyr’s mantle, but they need not do so in order to kill and maim fellow citizens and to attack the core values of this nation.