Friday, September 03, 2004

This Could Be Us

This could be us. On Wednesday, Sept 1, appx 30 terrorists entered a school on opening day and took anywhere from 800 to 1000 people hostage. For the full story, best translated from the Russian television, go to this site Logic and Sanity.


No. This isn't America. This is Russia. A school full of children and parents and teachers were taken hostage on Wednesday, Sept 1, 2004 by terrorists. I post this picture for two reasons: 1) This is the future we have to look forward to. The terrorists have upped the ante once again. It is not sufficient that children be innocent bystanders and accidental victims in adult driven violence. Today, they have become the direct victims of terrorist actions. Without mercy, without compassion, the terrorists took the lives of innocent people doing nothing more than taking their children to school. When many children tried to escape the school, the terrorist began shooting and beating them with their guns. Many of the victims appear to be under the age af 14, if not younger. 2) This man wears an American flag in th heart of Russia. We are hated? I think not. Further, it is a scary reminder that this could be us. This man could be any man in the US on any given day.
Posted by Hello

For a historical look at the Chechen/Russia civil war and how it has turned into an Islamic Jihad movement, go to the inner sanctum.


The terrorist appeared to be from the Chechen based group Second Group of Salakhin Riadus Shakhidi, a rebel contingent believed to be headed by Chechnya's most notorious rebel commander, Shamil Basayev. This is an Islamic separatist group in Chechnya.

Chechnya is a province of
Russia in the south. It borders Georgia, which is a break away Republic of the old Soviet Union. Chechnya has been fighting for it's independence form Russia for over 10 years. Chechnya has a large Muslim population as do neighboring Republics of Dagestan, Kazahkstan, Aberjhian, Tajikstan. All of these areas were once known as the "Caucuses" and inhabited by independent tribes. These areas were first conquered by Czar Nicholas I in 1859 and incorporated into Russia proper. Only large military presence by Russia in these areas have kept these republics within the Russian borders for well over a century.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many of these regions separated from the new Russian Republic while the government and control of the military was still in question. During it's time as a Russian province, the people of Chechnya were subject to many brutal laws and purges. Particularly during the reign of Stalin when thousands were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan on suspicion of collaborating with Germany. Southern Russia is rich in oil. During WWII, cut off from shipments of oil from other countries, Germany made a bid to push through and capture the Russian oil fields and supply their own needs. German Nazi Islamic brigades were formed in Serbia, Albania, Uzbekistan and CHECHNYA:
Nazi Roots of Islamists and Islam's Nazi Connection; confirming Stalin's paranoia and causing the purges of 1944 after the German's were repelled at Stalingrad. Considering Stalin was born in nearby Georgia, the turning of the Caucus region must have been quite a shock.

When Chechnya attempted to claim it's independence once again in 1991, then President Boris Yeltsin refused to recognize their independence. In 1994, as Chechnya attempted to continue to assert it's independence, the Chechen rebels committed their first terrorist act by kidnapping Russian government officials, their families and other figures, prompting the Russian government to send troops.

It's worth noting that the tactics of the rebels change over time. Even though the rebels are largely Muslim, they do not at first, use the tactics of suicide bombings or other terrorist tools. As the fighting goes on, the Chechen rebels are joined by Mujihadeen from countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and other Islamic countries and groups. It is well documented that Al-Qaida offered training for these rebels and was instrumental in developing their core strategies for defeating the Russian troops. Not surprising, they have had some success in this area considering these are the same groups that defeated Russia in Afghanistan. Russia has as yet to develop new fighting tactics.

The turning point for this assistance must be seen as about 1999, when the mujihadeen assistance appears to begin to take over the movement. Before that, in 1995 - 1998, the tactics of the rebels seem to be those of any small armed groups, hiding in the mountains and performing guerilla tactics against the larger armed forces.

1996 Russia sends 100k troops into Chechnya, but refuses to use maximum force against the capital for fear of the number of casualties. However, estimates place casualties on both sides, including civilians, up to 70k. Russian withdraws it's army but still refuses to recognize Chechen independence. During this time, there are ever escalating human rights violations on both sides as Russian troops take people from their homes and execute them without trial on suspicion of being a member of the rebellion. Rebels take hostages and summarily execute any Russian soldier that falls into their hands.

At first, the rebels execute the soldiers with a simple shot to the head. Later, as the mujihadeen begin taking over the leadership, torture and beheadings of hostages and prisoners become common place. The stories of the executions run rife through the Russian military and the response is an ever more brutal put down of the rebels. Russian soldiers begin killing themselves by strapping grenades and other incendiary devices to themselves should they be wounded or taken prisoner.

During this time, the west has stood silent, preferring to see these actions as strictly in internal civil war for Russia, although, there are some grumblings about the conduct of the "professional" soldiers as well as the rebels. Since the atrocities seem mutual and there is not way for anyone to just enter Russia with peacekeeping troops and try to resolve the conflict, there is little the west could do to quell the situation from either side.

In 1999, the first inkling that the separatist movement has now turned into an Islamist movement to create Islamic theocracies on Russia's borders is apparent. Chechen separatists join mujihadeen in Dagestan to try and help them break away from Russia as well and install an Islamic government. Russia sends soldiers and the fighting is put down. In the same year, the first use of terrorist bombs within Moscow occurs. This is the same year that the beheading of hostages becomes common place and is video taped for distribution.

Once again, Russia sends 100k troops to Chechnya, but this time the the troops do not stop at the door, but occupy much of Chechnya and pulverize Grozny.

Of note, during this school hostage situation, the terrorists claim that this was in retaliation for the 42k dead children of Chechnya.

The terroristic behavior of the rebels continue to grow. 2002 they take 750 people hostage in a theater. All of the rebels are killed, including women, but so are about 100 hostages when the Russian army uses a new anesthetic gas. In 2003, 11 bomb attacks against Russia. Russia offers Chechnya a roll as a separate Republic within Russia. While this move is accepted by many Chechens as a way to end the bloody civil war, Chechens refuse as the constitution does not fit within the Islamic frame work they had in mind and the "President" seems to be elected with a rigged vote.

The President is later assassinated by a suicide bomber in May 2004. From Aug 24 through Sept 1, multiple suicide bombings of planes, subways and the Russian school hostage situation occurs. In all of these actions, the tactics of the Islamic mujihadeen are readily apparent. They have successfully hijacked a region's bid for independence and turned it into Jihad. Western countries are even more reluctant to condemn Russia's actions against the groups as they are now lumped in with the enemy of the western civilization by allowing the Jihadists to take over. Where before they might have garnered some sympathy due to the Russian tactics of collective punishment, it was squandered when they cast their lot with the Jihadists.

Certainly, once the Jihadist arrived, their tactics were increasingly successful, as I pointed out, Russia has learned little about fighting successful guerilla wars since their days in Afghanistan. However, it is apparent that Russia will not simply give in, no matter how many terrorist actions. It is also apparent that Russia is willing to take casualties in it's civilian population in order to stick by their rule of not negotiating with terrorists. Chechnya is a strategic area. It is the way of oil pipelines and the oil rich Caspian sea. Russia will not simply lie down and let it slip away. This seems like the most futile struggle on the part of the Chechens.

According to
the latest story, Russia stormed the building with spetzna (special forces) troops after many gunshots and explosions were heard. Hundreds were wounded and the latest reports indicate upwards of 250 dead including men, women and children. Russian officials indicate that at least 9 of the dead were Arab or Sudanese and not Chechen natives.

I point to this picture and say "This Could Be Us" for the simple reason that, now that the Chechen rebellion has been joined by the Islamist, their terror tactics have escalated to taking a school full of children hostage and killing them. All be it, after some negotiations occurred, it seems apparent that the rebels knew they would not leave the area alive and had nothing to lose. This is the fear of every American. That our children might someday be in school and terrorist will blow it up without discussion. If they are willing to do it in Chechnya, they are willing to do it here.

Does that mean that we should not send our children to school? No. They are in danger just walking down the street or playing in the yard.

The real question is: How will Russia respond? What does that mean for our future? If the same happened here, what would our response be?

A blow of this magnitude would have far reaching consequences in our society. Would it mean instant isolation and attempts to open dialogues or instant retaliation of the massive kind or would it mean a continued slow plodding ahead on our current policy as we work through the middle east, continuing to take casualties?

I will be waiting to see what Russia's response is.

Interesting how the US is demonized as empire building for the purpose of oil, but the Islamists seem the most interested in creating their new Caliphate over the entire oil region. Any guess why that is? Read my other posts on the enemy and you will find out.

An interesting note: I read five stories and watched CNN, MSNBC, Fox news and BBC. All channels but Fox referred to the terrorists as either "Islamic hostage takers"; "Chechen rebels"; "militants"; "gunmen"; etc. Fox referred to them as "terrorists".

There seems to be some aversion to using this word in the public sector. Apparently, some news organizations have taken the stand that "terrorism" is a tactic and not a group of people and can be used by anyone, including us, to intimidate the enemy. One person recently indicated that the "shock and awe" bombing of Iraq could be referred to as "terrorism" as it was intended to terrorize the enemy and make them flee the battle field.

All of these things are true, but I think these news groups are deliberately trying to separate the current connotation of the word from it's base in an effort to force their own meaning or descriptions of these people as "rebels" or "resistance", etc.

News flash for the news: Once a group of men and women run into a school with bombs and guns; summarily execute some of their victims and threaten to blow up or shoot any remaining victims unless their demands are met, they are terrorists.

Once any group of men and women take part in this behavior, they are no longer rebels. They have demonized their movement and should be treated as such by any civilized person.

Moral equivalence by any person that tries to equate a war against a government, fought with weapons between two armed forces, where civilians MIGHT be injured and compare it to 30 armed men and women purposefully killing men, women and children, is bizarre. I've said it to many people: that is not sophisticated, that indicates a lack of morals.

Try calling these folks what they are now: Islamic Terrorists. They should now be counted among our enemies as they have just moved the goal posts of depraved human behavior.

Sources

Chechen Timeline


23 comments:

91ghost said...

Thank you for this post. Is it just me that sees the press trying to actually downplay this latest incident of utter barbarity committed by the true global imperialists? It seems as if they are trying to frame this most savage and unforgivable act as being singular to the Russia/Chechnya conflict and not connected and intertwined with the enemy's (oops, pardon me, I mean "insurgents" or "militants" or best and most romantic sounding of all, "rebel fighters") overall agenda. I could not agree more with just about every word you have written here. Indeed, they have ratcheted it up a notch to the point of no return. I have been saying this until blue in the face but allow me to say it once more: until this enemy, and the culture that supports this enemy, is dealt with in kind, these instances will only continue and will only grow in their frequencies and severity. The enemy perceives us, the West, as being weak--and accoriding to their terms and definition of weakness, we have definitely showed ourselves to be just that. The lamb and lemming like public ultimately will have to come to the realization that this situation extends well beyond the realm of politics--no politician is ultimately going to solve this problem--we will, if we can find our stomachs and spines. My only point of difference is with your title for this post--I suggest it be changed from "This Could Be Us" to "This Will Be Us" Anybody can call me what they will- paranoid freak, extremist, etc, etc, but I feel some cold winds blowing our way---better keep the rifle at the ready.

Nas said...

"An interesting note: I read five stories and watched CNN, MSNBC, Fox news and BBC. All channels but Fox referred to the terrorists as either "Islamic hostage takers"; "Chechen rebels"; "militants"; "gunmen"; etc. Fox referred to them as "terrorists"."

Kat,

It almost seems that there's more behind their refusal to call them terrorists than just ideology. Perhaps its that they don't want the American presidential race to be influenced, as recognizing terrorism in this ugly incident would remind people that Bush is stronger on terrorism than Kerry.

But it seems to go deeper than that, really. When watching CNN several days ago (before the killing of the 250 or so) their 'news' story never mentioned Chechen, or anything about who the "hostage-takers" were or what they wanted. They used the term "hostage-takers" exclusively, and so often that in a 90 second segment they must have said the term 20 times - sometimes 2 to 3 times in just one sentence. It became obvious they were trying their hardest to drive a point home of "hostage-taking," not simply that they were avoiding the term terrorism.

Perhaps now that Bush has come out with a statement of condolence to Russia in which he uses the word terrorism, those other stations will be forced to join Fox in reporting the truth. But why - why - must they be forced?

Paul G. said...

OMG!
I always suspected that Oklahoma was a muslim breakaway state and now you've confirmed it.

I'm pulling my kids out of public school tommorrow, non of us are safe anywhere.

Nas said...

Oh - and I forgot to add that one thing that made me furious was the way the AP commented on all of their pictures in Yahoo, something like "Up to 100 people died when the Russian military stormed..."

See - it was the Russian military's fault! Yes, they did mention below this opening line that the school had been taken over by 'hostage-takers,' but clearly put the blame on the Russian military instead of terrorism.

I wrote them an email blasting them for this. Its the only time I've felt the need to do that. But I think its time we all started speaking up in any way we can.

91ghost said...

Yeah, your right Paul...let's give them hugs instead of bullets. We all need just a bit more understanding, just a bit more sensitivity, just a bit more tolerance, just a bit more empathy for their plight. Just a bit more leftist indoctrination...

cjufnf said...

As always, this is a great post, Kat! I'm thankful that you explain in detail what really is going on over in Russia. I remember seeing on the news (just a passing glance) that a school was taken hostage. That was it. They never explained any possible reasons behind this atrocious attack.

And Nas, I never would have thought of that, but it makes complete sense!

I really am thankful for this blog. Between Kat and the commentors (or is it commenters? or commentators?), I feel much more enlightened about certain current events in the world today.

Francis W. Porretto said...

The Chechen Muslims' actions constitute a declaration of war against the entire civilized world.If you meet a leftist who disagrees, ask him if he believes "the children are our future."

tescosuicide said...

My god man - Paul, you have kids?!?

Kat said...

I, for one, would hate to see Oklahoma break away into a muslim separatist state as I have many friends there.
Of course, my friends would probably make sure the bid to break away lasted about 2 seconds. And, I'd be down there to join them. LOL

Paul...you know you're being silly. You know quite well that the issue here is not that these were Chechen rebels, but the fact that they have been joined and supported by and now, led by, members of Al-Qaeda, that is the issue here. The second issue is that, any time a terrorist group ups the ante in one part of the world and there is not wide spread condemnation, including from the people they wish to have approval from, that gives the tactic legitimacy and can, and will, be used somewhere else in the world.

Maybe not 30 people just driving up in a truck, but even one truck bomb driven into the play ground, or one suicide bomber walking into the cafeteria.

As the 9/11 report said, it is our failure in imagining the worst case scenarios that makes us vulnerable to just such attacks.

You go ahead and hide your head in the red Oklahoma clay. Maybe you won't have to see the next bad thing. Or maybe, by your post, we should be like the Europeans and just take casualties and accept that as part of life?

Paul...seriously, do you think the 9/11 attacks are the only attacks we are ever going to see on our soil?

Kat said...

Nas...yes, I noticed that comment, too, about the dead hostages AFTER the Russians stormed the place. But they've got the story all screwed up.

First, the terrorist immediately shot anyone that tried to escape as they rounded them up into the school. 12 dead bodies lay outside the school for 3 days in the sweltering heat. Some of them died out there because these "hostage takers" (terrorists) wouldn't allow anyone to come close to the school and give them aid or pick up the bodies.

Second, they killed 10 more men immediately as they appeared to be the strongest and would possibly confront the terrrorists.

That's 22 right off the bat.

Then, according to the story, the terrorists took off their masks. That is a bad sign. That means these folks were exposing their identities because they had no hope of getting our of their alive which means they were ready to take the hostages with them.

Then, the two women terrorist suicide bombers took more hostages into another room and blew themselves up. This is what damaged the building to the point that it was collapsing by the way.

This is the deal, they were planning to die and take everyone with them. A squad of 30 death seekers.

The buidling was collapsing, making groaning noises and parts falling in, as one freed hostage noted. At the same time, a thunderstorm began. The crashing of the thunder seemed to make the terrorists edgy. They began randomly shooting. Some one returned fire. The terrorist began firing back in earnest and shooting some of the hostages as they promised they would should the Russians attack. The hostages panicked and tried to escape. While some terrorists shot back at the Russian army, others began shooting the escaping hostages.

there were booby traps all around. The terrorists set off the bombs. Look at the other pictures in this series. You note that the pile of dead children are suffering from burns and wounds due to explosions. You don't have to be a forensic scientists to figure that out.

In short, the terrorists are strictly responsible for the deaths of these people. They were responsible from the moment they jumped out of the truck.

I read a recent article from a prominent sociologists that talks about how terrorists are successful because they have learned to turn the blame from themselves and tell the victims that it is their fault or their government's fault they are victims and people like Paul fall for it.

This is similar to people who abuse children and spouses and those that rape. It is always the victims fault why this occurred. It is never the perpetrators. And we are exposed to this every day by the terrorists and the "abused children" on the left that think this is the right way to think.

I guess some one like Paul thinks, you know, this is ok, because they are "freedom fighters". As far as I'm concerned, they lost any claim to that title the minute they suicide bombed innocent civilians. They are simply terrorists now and I'm not sure I care what tactics Russia uses to put them down.

Kat said...

91...you are right. This WILL be us. It is only a matter of time. Only foolish people think that these things only happen "over there". It's already disproven. It will happen here.

It has in some way. You know, Columbine, it's just that the terrorists were not Islamists bent on destroying America, just two punk kids who lost their minds.

It can certainly happen here.

And speaking of kids and schools. Here is my worst case scenario. A teenage boy who attends mosque is approached by a man. They discuss the prophet and jihad. The man impresses the teenage boy about his duty. He convinces the boy to carry a bomb with him into his school. His school does not have metal detectors. He takes the bomb with him in his backpack and blows himself up in the cafeteria.

Like many suicidal teenagers, the parents have no idea that was coming.

You think this scenario is strange? It happens every day in Palestine and Israel. Children are taught hatred in Saudi Arabia and surrounding Islamic countries, in mosques in France and Britain, Imams preach a message of hate, death and destruction. And we let them.

The same thing could be going on here. As a matter of fact, their are pro-Palestinian groups who invite speakers to our colleges every day and they bring, not a message of hope or asking for basic assistance in convincing the world that the Palestinians are oppressed, but, they talk about America and Israel as evil and the destruction of Israel if not the destruction of the US.

Some would like to say that the PATRIOT Act is too far reaching. If their are suicide bombings of this ilk and the Muslim community does not stand up and help police themselves, the PATRIOT Act will be the least of our worries.

Kat said...

CJ...always glad to be of service. You've got to know some history before you can make sense of people's actions.

Paul G. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul G. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul G. said...

This isn't my day for putting together a post.
After the tension caused by Frances while it was in Florida (Friends and relatives in harms way), part of it is headed here and it's my turn for immediate concern.

madtom said...

The guy with the flag on his shirt, I think he's asking for help.

Madtom

Frater Bovious said...

Just wanting to add a thought. All the attention on al Qaeda... They are just the Muslim Extremists of the Moment, due to the size of the organization and 9/11. However, they are just the current hot property in the world of muslim extremism; they are not the only one. And just like about the time you think you've had enough of Brittany Spears, along comes Jessica Simpson, some other group will rise in prominence if/when al Qaeda fades.

This realization, ignored in the media and the current political debate, is the misunderstood part of the concept of pre-emption. You can't destroy rap music by killing Tupac Shakur. You won't end muslim extremism by wiping out al Qaeda. fb

Bronson said...

Nice Post.

Too bad Pooty poot encouraged us to "negotiate" with Saddam Hussein prior to the US reserving the right to defend ourselves (invade Iraq). Now he looks a bit hypocritical when he says "would you negotiate with Osama bin laden" after a reporter asked him what negotiations took place with the terrorists prior to the final killing spree. I hope Putin and frankly the rest of the world will start seeing the light and join the US in the global war on terrorism. Stop dogging us in the UN over the Iraq issue and condemn Germany and France for their opposition of the Iraq war.

There was a time when the Basque separatists or IRA would actually call in a warning before setting off a bomb. Now there seems to be no limits to how low these muslim extremists will go.

I like your point that atrocities have likely happened on both sides.. but any intentional targeting of children for rape and kill is wrong and should be punished; both those who do it and those who enable it.

My condolences to all victims of terror, but unfortunately appeasers and apologists who defend or try to explain the motivations of the murdering terrorists tend to be like those who oppose the Death Penalty... only once it happens to them can they possibly see things from the victim's perspective.

Frater Bovious said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kat said...

Paul...

I hope you comer back and post. I might not agree but I don't mind discussion of other ideas because, in the end, it helps pull some pieces together.

I want to apologize for digging on you a bit and just slamming you as a "lefty". Maybe you are, maybe you're not. But I saw your other posts and hope you realize that I was referring to some history of the Chechnya Russia issue from the beginning of their annexation. Since I wasn't a citizen of either country, I could practice some pragmatism and recognize the wants and drives of both groups, but, as I point out, they were taken over and no longer represent a "revolution" in the strict sense of the word and have turned to Islamism as their preferred state.

At which point, I think I said a couple of times, my sympathy for their situation is quickly cut down to size. No country should allow any part of their country to be institutionalized into the first state of the Caliphate.

Not a hard thought. Particularly when the killing is so damn indiscriminate. Some would like to point to US war and the civilian deaths that have occurred, but honestly, I don't know one damn soldier or commander that says, "look, a school full of muslim kids, lets blow it up" or "look, a mosques full of men, women and children of Islam. Let's blow it up." Don't happen, so I don't equate it.

I know (I think) that you agree with that supposition. We aren't that far apart on the morals issue.

Kat said...

madtom...

yeah. I think that's a subliminal SOS.

I am he and he is me. They are our children.

Kat said...

Frater...I think I would agree.

This is a multi front war. It has to have force and diplomacy all rolled up in it. The only way we can defeat this ideology is make it out to be the losing proposition that it is. IE, if you are a muslim fundamentalist, you will either be dead or you will be marginalized with no place at the big global table.

That message has to be from a united front.

Some would say this is what Kerry would bring to the table, but, I don't think we are going to get that kind of committment from these other countries (france, germany, etc) when they haven't felt the full force of the Islamic terrorists (lately). So, we aren't going to get the kind of "united" front we'd like.

But, we can offer some of this now. Politics, economy, force. Split the enemy. Make them look for allies. We are big. They are small. Some say they have the advantage of blurring into the populace. In that regard, they have equal chance to get recruits as well as turn people against them.

Also, it's worth repeating what the Pres did say, because, no matter who is in charge, this thing in the ME is not going away tomorrow, in two years or in four. This is a LONG battle against an ideology that takes it's roots from a number of other evil ideologies, and I don't mean Islam.

Further, I have had some extrememly rightwing volitile folks stating, over and over, we should withdraw all diplomats from the area and bomb the ME until they forsake Islam (just saw that last night). Craziest idea I've heard in a long time. There is no way in hell you can wipe out a religion with over 1.5 billion adherents.

What we can do, and must, is make the extreme point of that religion untenable.

I don't think we have all the answers now, but I do think we will figure it out. They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. Let's just say that the USA is the best mother of all.

Kat said...

Bronson, thanks for the comment.

Unfortunately, like many in the US, I don't think we are going to get that exact support from our allies. Russia might do the big turn around after last week, but Putin is probably still a little ticked that we didn't take his advise and allow him to claim some of his world leader status again.

He's basically the leader of a large defunct state that can't even outfit his army properly anymore. Too bad for them, but I think someday, they will get their stuff together. You can't be that size and be nobody.

And yeah, both sides have done some really dispicable things, but, once someone directly kill civilians and children without compunction, it erodes the basic tenets of warfare we have always lived by. it destroys the Geneva conventions and makes the protection of civilians within the enemy lines a little less important to some people.

Can you imagine, some of the soldiers that were there will go home and wonder what they are doing and pray for peace. Other soldiers and civilians will remember what they saw and did and want the worst kind of revenge.

Kind of reminds me of people over here.