Al who?

The problem in Chechnya isn’t al-Qaida.

Moscow-based Masha Gessen, writing in Slate, isn’t buying the line that Chechen outrages are basically Islamist terrorism, with al-Qaida connections. They’re terrorist, all right, but the agenda is nationalist. Gessen explains why its reasonable for Chechens not to want to be ruled by Russians, and why the Yeltsin-Putin policy of bombing them into submission won’t work.

I don’t know Gessen’s work, and I don’t know Chechnya. If readers know good sources for convincing contrary views, I’d be happy to link.

(Mail accusing Gessen or the undersigned of defending terrorism will not be responded to. That the children are dead is horrible, but horror isn’t a policy.)

Update: Matt Yglesias, who knows, says that Gessen is first-rate but that her anti-Putin bias is showing. He doesn’t see a good way out of the situation.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Al who?”

  1. Ongoing applied coherentism: Chechnya

    Link dump: Marcia Gessen, Chechnya, Slate, 9/4/04. David Johnson and Borgna Brunner, Chechnya timeline: 1830-2004, Infoplease. Beslan hostage crisis, Wikipedia. Chechnya, Wikipedia. Putin warns of security backlash, Guardian, 9/6/04. This is not going …

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