The Washington Post notes the absence of publicity surrounding these hits. Jackson Diehl writes that while the Dubai police have been even handed, stories of hits by Russia on Islamic rebels just have no legs. They’re below the fold.
To his credit, police chief Tamim tried to subject Russia to the same treatment he has given Israel. At a press conference last April, he named the author of the crime as Adam Delimkhanov, a Kadyrov associate who is a member of the Russian parliament, and said he would ask Interpol for his arrest. It is, he said, “Russia’s responsibility in front of the world to control these killers from Chechnya.”
The difference, of course, is that the audience for a story about a Russian-sponsored assassination in Dubai is nothing like that for an Israeli hit. Relatively few stories were written about the Yamadayev case; there were no angry editorials in the Financial Times. Perhaps it’s needless to say that Delimkhanov and the other suspects identified by Dubai have not been arrested or extradited. As Shmuel Rosner summed it up in a dispatch for Slate: “The consequences for the assassins? None at all. For the Chechen government? None. For the deputy prime minister? None. For Dubai-Russian relations? None.”
It’s a fact that Western armies and intelligences agencies are held to different standards than those of the rest of the world. This means that for the foreseeable future, the use proxies will be increasingly necessary to carry out operations. Caught between the Scylla of preventing attacks on their constituents and the Charybdis of maintaining their carefully manicured images, politicians may simply opt for cut-outs to perform electorally impermissible acts at acceptable PR costs. Political correctness has made decency an operational burden. Israel is a democracy it simply can’t do for reasons of frank military necessity what Chechnya might do on a whim. America’s laws mean that terrorists who recognize no law must given the the benefit of every due process, and more so to remove every suspicion they’re not getting their “rights”. There are some things they can’t do which their opponents can.
Israel (we think) kills a terrorist - the world freaks out. Russia kills - and silence. Double standard much?