The correct answer to the question, “When should you arm and deploy Jihadists? is, “Absolutely never.”
Unfortunately, it’s a lesson that absolutely nobody has learned. That includes us, it also includes the Russians. Putin envisions a Greater Russia built around an Islamic alliance and has claimed that Islam is closer to Russian Orthodoxy than any other form of Christianity.
In his responses to questions, Putin stresses that “Caucasians must not be afraid to live in Moscow or Russians to live in the North Caucasus.” Instead, he continued, “all citizens of Russia of whatever faith or nationality must recognize that we have a single common Motherland”
“From very beginning,” the Russian leader said, “Russia was built up as a multi-national and multi-confessional state.” And after saying that “the state exists to serve the interests of the majority,” he added, “you know, we have Eastern Christianity and certain theoreticians say that it is much closer to Islam than [Roman] Catholicism is.”
It’s a convenient rationalization that makes a mockery of Putin’s “Defender of Christianity” posturing when sending Chechen Jihadists into a Christian country.
Regular readers know I don’t put much stock in the propaganda coming from either side, that said, this doesn’t strike me as a huge reach.
Ihor Yuschenko, 61, a former colonel in the Ukrainian Armed Forces who once served as the deputy chief of staff of ground forces in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, watched in horror as a war crime took place right outside his window in broad daylight.
According to Yuschenko, a column of Russian troops advancing through the town stopped and opened fire on his street in central Bucha on Feb. 27, killing two pedestrians. This column had included Chechen fighters known as Kadyrovtsy, members of various military groupings who are loyal to Chechnya’s local strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, known as “Putin’s soldier.” Yuschenko said he was able to identify them by their black garb, their use of Islamic slogans, and Kadyrov’s name on their body armor…
According to Hurin, Ukrainian civilians were not the only people the Kadyrovtsy allegedly brutalized in the town. Hurin said that residents he spoke to in Borodyanka, which lies northwest of Bucha, recounted what the Kadyrovtsy did with injured Russian soldiers they brought there from Bucha. “They would bring heavily wounded Russian soldiers to a big hospital they had there, and those who were very heavily wounded, they would just shoot them,” he told The Daily Beast. “And no one other than the Kadyrovtsy did this.”
Did this actually happen? Like everything coming out of the conflict, it’s a huge, “who knows”.
But what we do know is that using Jihadists in wars invariably backfires on the ones using them. That includes Muslims, like the Assad regime which tried using Al Qaeda to go after Americans in Iraq, only to pave the way for ISIS, the Saudis, who have repeatedly faced blowback for making use of Jihadis, and it goes double for non-Muslims, whether it’s us or the Russians. Arming, training, and deploying people who hate you never leads to good things.
Plenty of Americans were killed by Afghan “friendly fire”. The Chechens are a good deal worse.