Buencamino does foreign and political affairs analysis for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in newspaper Today, 28 September 2004 edition, p. 11.

He has plenty of money and unlimited personal cheapness. – JIMMY BRESLIN

I expected President George W. Bush to denounce the terrorists who
massacred innocent children in Beslan because he has always maintained
there is no excuse for terrorism. He  rebukes anybody  who
dares describe Iraqi or Palestinian terrorism within the context of a
struggle for self-determination and freedom from foreign occupation.
His  gang never tires of repeating  the mantra, “terrorism
should be de-contextualized.”

Yet, The Sunday Herald of London quoted the executive director of
Americans for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), a front organization for Bush’s
cabal of neo-conservative advisers, defending the Chechen terrorists.

He said, “This is a very brutal war, there have been knocks in the
night, and people have disappeared. It’s an endless cycle of violence
in which everyone has lost their sanity. It is not surprising the
Chechens have resorted to the same level of violence.” Furthermore, he
contextualized the Beslan bloodbath as, ” not about terrorism but about
ethnic nationalism.”

So much for excusing and “de-contextualizing” terror. Bush and company
did it and they transformed child murderers into heroes of the Chechen
people’s struggle against Russian oppression. Imagine Putin reacting
that way to 911.

I expected Bush to applaud Putin for announcing he was taking
extraordinary measures to finishoff the terrorists in Chechnya. Bush
himself asked the US Congress for some extraordinary powers to deal
with terrorists. When he got what he wanted, he went to work
immediately, denying thousands of suspects the right to due process,
protection from unreasonable searches and seizure of property, and the
right to
privacy. Yet, Bush had no compunction about reminding Putin not to
stray from the path of democracy in his fight against terror.

His house Negro, Colin Powell, said, “We understand the need to fight
against terrorism, but in an attempt to go after terrorists I think one
has to strike a proper balance to make sure that you don’t move in a
direction that takes you away from the democratic reforms or the
democratic process”  Imagine Putin saying the exact same thing
about Bush wielding his extraordinary powers.

Is there a double standard in Bush’s war on terror? None whatsoever.
Chechnya, like Iraq, is purely an oil war. The US has been fighting
Russia for hegemony over the Caucasus ever since the collapse of the
USSR, because control of that region means control over the flow of oil
from the Caspian oilfields to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Bush
shouldn’t be criticized for pursuing a legitimate national goal.

Oil is the lifeblood of the industrialized world and every industrialized country wants to control it.

The problem is not the competition, but the way it is going—one
contender, like Hitler, thinks he can win by drawing from an unlimited
supply of personal cheapness.