Thursday, April 25, 2013

 

Putin on Boston bombings: We suffered from terrorists almost never labeled such in the West


The deadly bombing of Boston Marathon confirms Russia’s position that terrorists are a common threat to all nations and must never be supported for political gains, says Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin was commenting in Moscow during his annual Q&A session on the flood of comments in the US, many of them from common people, which blamed Russia, where the suspects in the bombing were born, over the crime.

“Common fold in the US are not to be blamed, they don’t understand what is happening. Here I am addressing them and our citizens to say that Russia is a victim of international terrorism too,” he said.

He lashed out at the double standards that spring up when terrorism is concerned.

“I was always appalled when our western partners and the western media called the terrorist, who did bloody crimes in our country, ‘insurgents’, and almost never ‘terrorists’,” Putin explained.

“They [the terrorists] were receiving help, informational, financial and political support. Sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. And we were saying that we must do the job and not be content with declarations proclaiming terrorism a common threat. Those two have proved our position all too well,” he added.


Putin criticized the idea voiced by some Republican politicians – including Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, and Representative Peter King – to declare the surviving Boston bomber an enemy combatant.

They want “to declare this criminal a prisoner of war. Are they out of their mind? What kind of a PoW is he? Do they fight the Civil War between the North and the South again?” he said.
By declaring the man an enemy combatant like many ‘War on Terror’ detainees, the US would be able to prosecute him in a military tribunal and deny him some of his basic rights as a civilian and US citizen. The White House has rejected this suggestion.

Putin said that Chechnya’s painful common history with Russia should not be grounds for speculation, and does not justify branding all Chechens as terrorists: “It’s not about nationality or religion. It’s about the extremist mindset of those men.”

“I’m saying all this not to put the blame, but to call on bringing ourselves closer together in resisting our common threats, of which terrorism is one and more dangerous. If we truly join our efforts, we will not allow these strikes and suffer such losses,” Putin concluded.

The Thursday remarks were Putin’s first public comment on the worst terrorist bombing attack on US soil since the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.

The twin bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three people, including a child, and injured 282 others. An FBI investigation revealed that the perpetrators were ethnic Chechens: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his young brother Dzhokhar.

Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with Boston police days later after the duo killed an officer on the MIT campus. Dzhokhar was arrested hours later in a massive manhunt, and is now being treated for gunshot wounds in a hospital.

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