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Mark Steyn

Media utters nonsense, won't call enemy out

October 16, 2005

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

F rom Thursday's New York Times: ''Nalchik, Russia -- Insurgents launched a series of raids today in this southern Russian city, striking the area's main airport and several police and security buildings in large-scale, daytime attacks that left at least 85 people dead.''

"Insurgents," eh?

From Agence France Presse:

"Nalchik, Russia: More than 60 people were killed as scores of militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

"Militants," you say?

From the Scotsman:

"Rebel forces battled Russian troops for control of a provincial capital in the Caucasus yesterday . . ."

"Rebel forces,'' huh?

From Toronto's Globe & Mail:

"Nalchik, Russia -- Scores of rebels launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

"Rebels," by the score. But why were they rebelling? What were they insurging over? You had to pick up the Globe & Mail's rival, the Toronto Star, to read exactly the same Associated Press dispatch but with one subtle difference:

''Nalchik, Russia -- Scores of Islamic militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings . . ."

Ah, "Islamic militants." So that's what the rebels were insurging over. In the geopolitical Hogwart's, Islamic "militants" are the new Voldemort, the enemy whose name it's best never to utter. In fairness to the New York Times, they did use the I-word in paragraph seven. And Agence France Presse got around to mentioning Islam in paragraph 22. And NPR's "All Things Considered" had one of those bland interviews between one of its unperturbable anchorettes and some Russian geopolitical academic type in which they chitchatted through every conceivable aspect of the situation and finally got around to kinda sorta revealing the identity of the perpetrators in the very last word of the geopolitical expert's very last sentence.

When the NPR report started, I was driving on the vast open plains of I-91 in Vermont and reckoned, just to make things interesting, I'll add another five miles to the speed for every minute that goes by without mentioning Islam. But I couldn't get the needle to go above 130, and the vibrations caused the passenger-side wing-mirror to drop off. And then, right at the end, having conducted a perfect interview that managed to go into great depth about everything except who these guys were and what they were fighting over, the Russian academic dude had to go and spoil it all by saying somethin' stupid like "republics which are mostly . . . Muslim." He mumbled the last word, but nevertheless the NPR gal leapt in to thank him and move smoothly on to some poll showing that the Dems are going to sweep the 2006 midterms because Bush has the worst numbers since numbers were invented.

I underestimated multiculturalism. After 9/11, I assumed the internal contradictions of the rainbow coalition would be made plain: that a cult of "tolerance" would in the end founder against a demographic so cheerfully upfront in their intolerance. Instead, Islamic "militants" have become the highest repository of multicultural pieties. So you're nice about gays and Native Americans? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti- masochists. And so Islamists who murder non-Muslims in pursuit of explicitly Islamic goals are airbrushed into vague, generic "rebel forces." You can't tell the players without a scorecard, and that's just the way the Western media intend to keep it. If you wake up one morning and switch on the TV to see the Empire State Building crumbling to dust, don't be surprised if the announcer goes, "Insurging rebel militant forces today attacked key targets in New York. In other news, the president's annual Ramadan banquet saw celebrities dancing into the small hours to Mullah Omar And His All-Girl Orchestra . . ."

What happened in Russia on Thursday was serious business, not just in the death toll but in the number of key government installations that the alleged insurging rebel militants of non-specific ideology managed to seize with relative ease. The militantly rebellious insurgers of no known religious affiliation have long said they want a pan-Caucasian Islamic state from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and the carnage they wreaked in the hitherto semi-safe-ish republic of Kabardino-Balkaria suggests that they're more likely to spread the conflict to other parts of the Russian Federation than Moscow is to contain it.

Did you see that news item in Stavropolsky Meridian last October? "Strontium, Uranium And Plutonium Found In Train To Caucasus." When a region already regarded as a Bud's Discount Warehouse for nuclear materials is getting sucked deeper into the maw of Islamism, why be so sheepish about letting us know the forces at play?

The Russians couldn't hold on to Eastern Europe. They couldn't hold on to Central Asia. Why would they fare any better with the present so-called Russian "Federation"? The country is literally dying. It's had a net population loss every year since 1992, one of the lowest fertility rates in the world -- 1.2 children born per woman -- and one of the highest abortion rates: some 70 percent of pregnancies are terminated. Russian men now have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis -- not because Bangladesh is brimming with actuarial advantages but because, if he had four legs and hung from a tree in a rain forest, the Russian male would be on the endangered species list.

Yet, within their present territory, there remain a few exceptions to the grim statistics cited above, parts of Russia that retain healthy fertility rates and healthy mortality rates. And guess what? They're the Muslim parts. Or, as the New York Times/NPR/Agence France Presse/Scotsman/Toronto Globe & Mail would say, they're the insurgent rebel militant parts. Many of these Russian Muslim areas -- like Bashkortistan (and no, I didn't make that up, it's a real stan. Check it out in the World Book Of Stans) -- are also rich in natural resources.

If you're an energy-rich Muslim republic, what's the point of going down the express garbage chute of history with the Russian Federation? The Islamification of significant parts of present-day Russia is going to be a critical factor in its death spiral.

I'm aware the very concept of "the enemy" is alien to the non-judgment multicultural mind: There are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accommodated. But the media's sensitivity police apparently want this to be the first war we lose without even knowing who it is we've lost to. C'mon, guys, next time something happens in the Caucasus, why not blame the "Caucasians"? At least that way, we'll figure it must have been right-wing buddies of Timothy McVeigh.


 
 













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