As I said in Part I, last week was an eventful week and the weekend continued what the week had started. In Part I I talked about the Republican convention and how I related to Zell Miller and was saddened for John Kerry. In this post I want to look at the Russian school hostage standoff and tragedy, and in Part III I will look at hurricane Frances. All have made their mark on me and my family in different but important ways.
Russian School Hostage Tragedy. There is no pity in these people, these Islamic radical terrorists. I touched on some of the reasons in my Its Your Fault posting in which I examined Islam’s lack of redemption and missing demand for forgiveness that saturates Christianity.
There are many ways to look at this event. You can take a strategic view, similar to the postings at the Belmont Club by Matt Wretchard or the moral, cum “is there any doubt” view of Mark Steyn. However, the absolute human depravity of it all is beyond question. For one thing, the sheer size of the hostage group (1200+) jammed into the gymnasium was insane if the attackers had any intention to act towards them with any sort of decency, which apparently they did not. The presence of children was integral to the planned terror. It appears that the attack was set up well in advance and not all of the participants knew what they were getting themselves in for.
Reports emerged that the attackers apparently planned the school seizure months ago, sneaking weapons into the building in advance. There also were signs some of the militants did not know they were to take children hostage and may have been killed by comrades when they objected.
The killing and terrorizing started immediately.
Holding up the corpse of a man just shot dead in front of hundreds of hostages at a Russian school, the rebel — his pockets stuffed with ammunition and grenades — warned: “If a child utters even a sound, we’ll kill another one.”
shocking account of the siege has come from Indira Dzetskelova, the mother of 12-year-old Dzerase who was guarded by two women suicide bombers during the siege. She said: “On the first day they shot a man before my daughter’s eyes. They frightened the kids by saying that water in the tap was poisoned.
While the eventually let all nursing mothers and their babies leave, they had no such compassion for those older than that.
In the hours after the ordeal, the hostages seemed more drained than emotional – depleted by three days without any food or water. The heat in the gymnasium, where most of them were held, caused many to strip to their underwear. Several of the hostages said that they were driven by their thirst to drink their own urine. Explosives were laid and hung everywhere.
By Friday afternoon, Gadiyeva said they were growing desperate. Children fell unconscious, and there was not a quiver of response or sympathy from their captors, she said.
If you were old enough, and female worse things were in store.
Other survivors told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by their Chechen captors who chillingly made a video film of their appalling exploits
But the efforts of the terror merchants didn’t end with the school.
One disguised herself as a teacher leading children to safety. She was apparently shot dead seconds before trying to blow herself up in a nearby hospital.
Mixed within the outrage at the absolute barbarism of the attackers many reports dealt in a creeping moral equivalence of Russia’s failure to properly deal with the Chechen separatists’ human rights.
“Indeed, we want to express both our solidarity over this act of terrorism against Russia but also we want to have all the necessary information and we remind Russia every time we meet of the need to respect human rights,” Raffarin said.
So brutal and inhuman was this latest terror that moderate Muslim response rose in condemnation and belated self-examination.
“Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture,” Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television wrote in his daily column published in the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. It ran under the headline, “The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims!”
“Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims,” he wrote. Muslims will be unable to cleanse their image unless “we admit the scandalous facts,” rather than offer condemnations or justifications.
“The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us,” al-Rashed wrote
It is, at least, a beginning. Hopefully this introspection will not die aborning in the days and weeks ahead.
It appears the attacks by Islamic radicals are escalating in horror and depravity, hoping to strengthen the fear in the non-Muslim West. Whether this latest atrocity backfires on them is still open to question. If it does, it may put on hold other attacks that obviously have been planned. What will be interesting to track is whether or not there are any reprisals against those who have spoken out against this barbarous attack.
Update: For those of you want an overview of the Chechen situation and the various factions involved, including how this is an radical Islamic adventure with ties to al-Qaeda, I strongly suggest you read this well written article by Winds of Change.