What if the terrorist threats at Sochi are just a ruse? Is it beyond the realm of possibility that Putin and Russian authorities are using a fabricated threat to advance a hidden agenda? I wouldn’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist. Yes decades ago I read all of the conspiracy books about the Kennedy assassination, but the one thing about conspiracists: they never have to prove anything, but just ask questions. Whether it was the aforementioned JFK assassination, TWA Flight 800, Pearl Harbor attack, and off course 9/11, conspiracists charge the government with nefarious deeds often without motive. But just because 9/11 truthers may be off base, we know governments have been known to use real or imagined threats as justification: the invasion of Iraq, the Alien-Sedition Acts, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and the sinking of the USS Maine.
Would we expect less from the Russians? What would be their motive?
Firstly, the Russians have been waging war against separatists in Chechnya and Dagestan for 20 years. What started as a war of independence for Chechens has become a war against Islamic militants who have seized the opportunity to push their fundamentalist agenda. The Chechnya and Dagestan Republics in the Caucasus have been gnawing at Moscow and Moscow has been unable to get world opinion on its side to squelch the uprising. Portraying these “Black Widow” suicide bombers from Dagestan as public enemies #1, #2, and #3, and as threats to the athletes of the civilized world, Putin can be seen as the good guy, Russia honorable, and sway public opinion for him to exert more extreme measures on the Caucasus’s without condemnation.
Secondly, if the threat is a fabrication and there really is no danger and everything goes to plan, Putin and Russia look like great hosts with awesome security. They will claim the most golden of the gold medals: everybody had fun and security was impeccable. It will be such an accomplishment Putin may go shirtless at the closing games and no doubt his popularity and that of Russia will climb. In a time when Russia’s standing in the word is waning, a successful Sochi Games will be great public relations.
And finally, as long as the short attention span media is focusing on a terrorist threat, there is no discussion on Putin’s anti-gay stance and the homophobia hanging over the Winter Games. Putin controls the message and the media is at his bidding. If you don’t believe me check your nightly news broadcasts.
I have no data to back this up and I am no investigative journalist. Let’s just say I have a healthy dose of skepticism.
You never let a serious crisis go to waste, even if you have to manufacture it.