Burford's analysis of Chechyna starts from the proposition that both 
OSCE (the European end of the Atlantic alliance) and Russia are 
imperialist.  George is closer to the truth when he recognises that 
Russia is making a concession to imperialism. This is not only 
because Russia is weak and isolated, but because it is a restored 
capitalist semi-colony of US and EU imperialism. 

It is true that imperialism is indulging Russia, but that is because 
it has larger fish to fry. Not only keeping the pro-West 
Yeltsin/Putin in power, but also keeping the Russian Federation a 
Federation, not a mass of fragments. It knows damn well that the 
Russian army is a better bet in guaranteeing US oil investments and 
the pipelines in the Caspian and Caucasus, than a bunch of Islamic 

The correct position in this situation is to condemn Russia's 
invasion of Chechyna, and recognise its independence, but without 
given any support to imperialist intervention including 
'humanitarian' interventions. By making these demands on Russian 
workers and troops, there is the possibility that a workers 
opposition to the war can join forces with Chechen workers and 
peasants against both the new Russian bourgeoisie, and the new 
Chechen bourgeoisie. 

> At 11:55 19/11/99 -0000, George wrote:
> penetratingly about the contradictions.
> However I think the following paragraph gets the balance wrong:
> >Despite Russia apparent determination to bring Chchnea under its control
> Russia has made
> >concession to be included in a final document to be signed which involves
> ging the OSCE
> >both a political and humanitarian role in the Chechnea.The fact that
> Russia has made such
> >a concession even if it were to turn out to be a merely paper concession
> is an indication
> >of both Russian internal weakness and growing isolation from the West.
> The press releases from the OSCE tried to present it that Moscow had made
> concessions on Chechnya, but (unless it is to be more willing to resettle
> the civilian population) there are none! The west has decided to go along
> with Yeltsin and Putin because it prefers them to a Primakov type more left
> wing regime that would accomodate the Communists. They previously  censored
> Yeltsin for declaring war on Chechnya.
> It is rumoured that Russia insisted on the USA and the rest of OESC
> recognising that Chechnya was its territory otherwise it would veto US
> action against Iraq. This is an imperialist compromise, not in the
> interests of the people of Iraq, of Chechnya, nor of Russia. 
> I am not in favour of Nato bombing the Russian army, but when you compare
> what the IMF and the west did financially to Indonesia to force it to
> disgorge East Timor, you can see its recent stance on Chechnya as not
> imperialist aggression but imperialist appeasement of aggression. 
> Yeltsin is up to his neck in corruption and they could pull the rug on his
> government any time they wanted, if they preferred the alternative. Which
> they do not - for imperialist reasons.
> Witness this article in the New York Times for evidence that the IMF can
> dictate policy from Jakarta to Moscow:
> >The New York Times
> >November 10, 1999
> >Longtime I.M.F. Director Resigns in Midterm
> >WASHINGTON -- Michel Camdessus resigned Tuesday in the middle of his third
> >term as chief of the International Monetary Fund, setting off a
> >behind-the-scenes struggle involving the Clinton administration and big
> >European nations over who will direct the agency that is in effect
> >dictating national economic policy from Russia to Indonesia and Africa.
> >Camdessus, who has steered the I.M.F. for nearly 13 years through a
> >succession of economic crises, said Tuesday that "entirely personal
> >reasons" had prompted his resignation two years before the end of his term.
> >Colleagues said constant travel and a succession of international crises
> had exhausted
> >him. But in a half-hour conversation in his office here Tuesday afternoon,
> the
> >67-year-old former central banker in France appeared vigorous, telling
> >tales of political intrigue, responding to attacks from conservatives in
> the U.S.
> >Congress who had accused him of wasting billions in bailing out Russia, and
> >arguing that his much-attacked prescriptions saved Asia from a far worse
> >economic fate. And in discussing the fund's growing political impact
> throughout the world,
> >he acknowledged for the first time that its actions in Indonesia served as
> >a catalyst in forcing out the man who led the nation, the world's fourth-most
> >populous. "We created the conditions that obliged President Suharto to
> leave his
> >job," Camdessus said. "That was not our intention," he said, but quickly
> added
> >that soon after Suharto's resignation he traveled to Moscow to warn Russian
> >President Boris Yeltsin that the same forces could end his control of
> >Russia unless he acted to contain them.
> Chris Burford
> London
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