September 05, 2004


I was shocked watching the pictures of the gruesome bloodbath in Beslan in the media. Its true that many of us have been accustomed, even inured with the news of the murder of innocent lives by the terrorists, whether it is in Dhaka or in Jerusalem. But this was beyond any imagination. Young kids traumatized by masked killers wearing bomb-belts, forced to drink their own urine, when they were kept hostage for over 3 days without any food or a single drop of water. A mother was forced take the toughest decision of her life, when she was asked to chose one of her children for a hostage release. None of the children, parents and teachers killed and wounded in Beslan deserved this barbarism. None of us deserve to watch and live with it. Does anybody have answers to the hostage families grieves?

But what can we do about this depraved military tactic - "taking hostage of innocents" - soft target as they say. The terrorists find it easy to impose terror on soft targets in a desperate situation, when they cannot penetrate the strong defense of law and order/occupied forces. If the hostage-takers in Beslan knew they were likely to die, they also knew they would die with the world's attention upon them. Had they died in a regular firefight with Russian forces, we would neither have known nor cared. But whatever the reason is killing innocents is morally wrong and we need to find out the root cause of the Russian soldiers becoming terrorists. An Article in the Guardian says:

Since plunging recklessly back into Chechnya in 1994, Putin, his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, and the once proud Red Army have caused such untold misery, such rank injustice, such fury and despair that, like the Americans in Iraq, they created a breeding ground and magnet for the religious extremists they struggle to extirpate. In effect, it was Russian generals and their turncoat allies who internationalized a war that should never have begun and which could have been peaceably resolved long ago. For this foolishness, Russia's conscript soldiers still pay a terrible price.

It has been reported that out of 27 terrorists, 10 were Arabs. How do the Arab fit here? Have they become mercenaries? Or is it that they are spreading the anarchy, the notion of jihad everywhere in the world? How to deal with these fucked up minds?

In asymmetrical warfare everyone is involved and anyone is a potential victim. To fight asymmetrical war with tanks makes as much sense as trying to shoot mosquitoes with a machine gun. The result is counter-productive.

So we should be tactical about using force against these demons. The media can play a role here, showing the nature of atrocities to the world to make these terrorists understand that this is wrong. It would lessen the number of sympathizers of these terrorists. And I plea to all the terrorists:

* leave the women and children away from your warfare*

Related posts:
Carnage in Beslan
* The path to school number one
* Russian bear ready to glass the mideast?


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