Though Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called the capture of the masterminds behind Monday's deadly suicide bombings in the Moscow subway "a matter of honor," William Kristol offered a different perspective. In a radio interview, the U.S. neo-conservative commentator suggested that the Russians may have brought the attacks on themselves by brutally cracking down on Muslim insurgents in Chechnya. Is it really fair to blame Russia for the destruction wrought on its people?
Kristol is right: It's strange to hear a neocon hawk blaming the victim like a "hippie appeaser," says Matthew Yglesias in Think Progress, but William Kristol is essentially correct. "Russia’s problems with Chechens trying to kill Russians is tied in with the fact that Chechens have historically been treated very poorly by Moscow."
"The blame Russia first crowd"
Russia should be both tough and humane: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has tried haltingly" to address the grievances of the people in Chechnya and the neighboring republics of the North Caucasus, says Jeffrey Mankoff on the Council on Foreign Relations website. The Moscow metro bombing, no matter who's to blame, only underscores that improving the economy of the North Caucuses and "ending abuses by the security forces ... are among the Kremlin's most urgent tasks."
"Moscow: Terror from the North Caucasus?"
Don't count on Moscow to be more gentle now: Secessionists in the North Caucuses are really "screwed" now, says Daniel W. Drezner in Foreign Policy. "I seriously doubt that this attack is going to cause Russian leaders to rethink" their iron-fisted crackdown now. If anything the Putin administration will double down and hit the extremists even harder to show that Moscow can't be intimidated.
"Instanalysis of the Moscow subway bombing"