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Kristol: The Russians ‘in some ways have brought’ suicide bombings ‘on themselves.’

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"Kristol: The Russians ‘in some ways have brought’ suicide bombings ‘on themselves.’"

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Earlier today, two “female suicide bombers set off huge explosions in two subway stations in central Moscow,” killing more than three dozen people. According to the New York Times, Russian officials suspect that the bombing near the offices of the successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B “was intended as a message to the security services, which have helped lead the crackdown on Islamic extremism in Chechnya and other parts of the Caucasus region in southern Russia.” On Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, citing Russian policy in Chechnya, said that the Russians “in some ways have brought” the terrorism “on themselves”:

BENNETT: The Russians will be tougher than most countries on this stuff, right?

KRISTOL: Yeah, they’ve been pretty brutal in Chechnya and in some ways have brought this, I’ve got to say, on themselves. But, you know, the trouble is that people use legitimate grievances and of course become — a fair number of Chechens went to Afghanistan to fight against us and the Chechnyans were treated just horribly, have been treated horribly by the Russians. But obviously that’s no excuse for being a suicide bomber.

BENNETT: Yeah, between, we were talking earlier, between a repressive regime and an Islamist terrorist, I guess you’ve got to side with the repressive regime.

Listen here:

Matt Yglesias responds: “I don’t think you want to say that the Russians, or anyone else, actually ‘brought this on themselves’ since human beings always have the option of not responding to oppression by murdering innocent people. That said, this is clearly 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, are being subjected to rule by Moscow, and have concrete, present-day grievances that inspire people to take up arms. But it’ll be a cold day in hell before you hear Kristol applying this logic to events in Gaza or wherever.”

Transcript:

BENNETT: Let me just read this headline. This is out of Politico. “Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway system as it was jam-packed with rush hour passengers, killing at least 37 people, wounding 102.” Ah, is this Islamists?

KRISTOL: Um, could well be, but I obviously don’t know anything more about it than anyone else.

BENNETT: Yeah, the Russians will be tougher than most countries on this stuff, right?

KRISTOL: Yeah, they’ve been pretty brutal in Chechnya and in some ways have brought this, I’ve got to say, on themselves. But, you know, the trouble is that people use legitimate grievances and of course become — a fair number of Chechnyans went to Afghanistan to fight against us and the Chechnyans were treated just horribly, have been treated horribly by the Russians. But obviously that’s no excuse for being a suicide bomber.

BENNETT: Yeah, between, we were talking earlier, between a repressive regime and an Islamist terrorist, I guess you’ve got to side with the repressive regime.

KRISTOL: Yeah, but yeah…

BENNETT: Not easily.

KRISTOL: Against the terrorists. But I think they were, the actual Chechnyan peolple have been treated brutally by the…

BENNETT: Of course.

KRISTOL: By the Putin government and by the preceding government to some degree too.

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