Soviet / post-Soviet Russia continues to gas light the world with political theater. To get to how it does that, BackChannels cannot too highly recommend the following reading:
Politkovskaya, Anna. A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches From Chechnya. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Press Books, 2003.
Schindler, John. “Exploring Al Qaeda’s Murky Connection to Russian Intelligence.” Business Insider, June 10, 2014.
As with much else in the wild, the Islamist program has a weedy persistence in relation to its 7th Century roots, but to really load it up, i.e., get manpower into it, takes the kind of brutalization that gives the victims no choice about fighting back. Anna Politkovskaya has detailed how artificial a process Russia’s “war” with Islam has been.
Related for thought:
John Schindler’s 2014 investigative report goes over the opportunity Russia’s secret political police organization had to encourage or manipulate Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri to perhaps get the ball rolling on America’s big black 9/11 day. As the world has more recently seen how Phantom of the Soviet Putin’s Moscow does business (not only in Syria and Ukraine), the connection’s worth consideration. Review the timeline: 1989 – Russian Army’s retreat from Afghanistan; 1991 – Soviet Union collapses in bankruptcy to leave Russian national culture to a newly defined and transitional Russian Federation; and ten years on, Al Qaeda hijacks and launches American civilian jets against America’s most iconic symbols of power.
Here’s a third reference suggestive of the persisting totalitarian character of Putin’s regime and political theater —
Satter, David. “The Unsolved Mystery Behind the Act of Terror That Brought Putin to Power.” National Review, August 17, 2016.
The late Karen Dawisha has also investigated the “Moscow Apartment Building Bombings” and come to similar conclusions as reported in her book, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?
Loosely Related on BackChannels
Throughout the coming election season — or is it here already? — Americans will have to ask themselves whether they want to live in an authentic democracy or a Potemkin fake that merely resembles one. One version listens to the public’s voice with integrity; the other listens for advantage and herds people for service to other ambitions not in their interests.