Monday, September 06, 2004

More on Beslan 

Mark Steyn has some interesting things to say, as always, this time about the carnage in Beslan and the Western media's reaction to it:

"I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about 'asymmetrical warfare'."
He also has this to say:

"If the Russian children are innocent, the Russian state is not. Its ham-fisted campaign in Chechnya is as brutal as it is ineffectual. The Muslims have a better case in Chechnya than they do in the West Bank, Kashmir or any of the other troublespots where the Islamic world rubs up against the infidels. But that said, as elsewhere, whatever the theoretical merits of the cause, it's been rotted from within by the Islamist psychosis."
The irony - if one can speak of irony in the context of a tragedy like this - is that North Ossetia is as much, or as little, Russian as is Chechnia herself. Ossetians are not ethically Russian nor even Slavs (although most of them are Christians). It's almost (although not quite) as if Palestinian militants have taken hostages at an Arab school in, say, Haifa, to demand concessions from the Israelis.

Update: By way of background, check out Dan Darling's excellent long post on the Winds of Change about Chechnia and terrorism.


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