It's a small town, some 25,000 people, and with about a 1,000 people affected directly, dead or wounded, more or less all of those are connected with the others. Relatives, friends etc. People having lost their kids, grandchildrens, siblings, parents etc. A tragedy for that town of such a magnitude I think few are able to grasp it.
I think there's a reason why that town was selected, and that we'll see more of that kind coming. Russia is sort of centralized, a remain of the old Communistic rule where the real power was in Moscow. That way, a lot of people feel sort of "on the outside", and a sort of distrust towards "Moscow", the same way that people in the northern of Sweden feel that everything in Sweden is done in the favor of Stockholm, or how people in Colorado or Nevada etc, feel that those Washington-politicians have no understanding of them.´
I guess, by attacking Beslan (or similar towns), the terrorists hope that those areas will turn even more against Moscow. A sort of.. "We're in danger here, why don't Moscow do anything to help us?". Creating an even higher feeling of being "on the outside".
When the Soviet Union crumbled, Chechnya was among those that ended up in the crossfire. While other countries were able to get their independence, Chechnya didn't as such. Even if they declared their independence and an elected president was reckognized by the Russian goverment. They couldn't reach a solution to the question of total independence or staying as a part of the new federation. The question more or less created a civil war in Chechnya, and when there were the risc of that spreading to neighbouring regions that might want their independenc, Russia stepped in and launced one of the most brutal wars in modern history, totally devastating large parts of Chechyna. The Chechen Rebels, now officially in war with Russia, stroke back in part through "terrorist" attacks in Moscow. One of the main points in the election when Putin became President some 5 years ago, was the question of Chechnya.
Putin had been one of those responsible for going into Chechnya, and with the people in Moscow living in fear at the same time as they saw thousands of Russian soldiers coming home in body bags, Putins declaration that he was gonna go in hard in Chechnya and bring an end to the conflict within months was an important factor in him getting elected.
5 years later, we still haven't seen the end of it, and Putin again declares tougher action against the rebels/terrorists..
It hasn't solved anything in the last 5 years, so why would it do that now?
The situation between Russia and Chechnya is very similar to what happens between Israel and Palestine or in Iraq. At times, one could be mistaken for thinking that George Bush has e-mailed his speeches to Putin.
Violence has never been effective against violence. It has more the effect of pouring gasolin on the fire..
President Putin has, since 9/11 been riding on the War against Terrorism, starting to likening the Chechnyan rebels with terrorists, rather than rebels or freedom fighters.
You remeber the Al-Queda attack in Madrid? The Goverment in Spain declared that it was an act of ETA, and did everything they could to spread information pointing towards ETA. Things that later turned out to be nothing more than lies.
President Bush after 9/11, already having plans for Iraq and just waiting for the right opportunity to go in, was fast in pointing towards Iraq, and when it was clear that Iraq had nothing to do with it, did everything they could to make a link between Al-Queda and Iraq (Forgetting the fact that Al-Queda and Iraq is bitter enemies and wouldn't touch each other with pliers. In fact, the chances for Usama Bin Laden to do something that overturned Hussein was far larger than they doing something together. Bush didn't exactly lied, saying there were any direct links, but it wasn't as if he didn't help media in creating that connection.
Putin does exactly the same now. As far as we know, the only thing those hostage-takers demanded was independence for Chechnya (Even if that has come from Russian sources). Russia has said that the hostage-takers was Al-Queda, and saying there were Arabs among the hostage-takers, to indicate a link to Al-Queda, despite the fact that nobody in Beslan has seen any Arabs.
Even the Chechnyan Rebel Leader has spoken out against the situation in Beslan, and calling it total madness (But wouldn't go as far as ruling out that it might be Chechnyan extremists, since there's independent groups that's been driven to such desperation by the force of the Russian war on Chechnya). Now, it seems that there weren't any Chechnyans among the hostage-takers at all, which indicates that support for the Chechnyan cause has started to spread and gain in strength (Which might be really worrying for Russia, since they have problems enough with Chechnya, and sort of counts on the support for their actions in Chechnya, and already have problems with dissatisfaction in the outher territories).
Most of you know that I refuse to take a side in something, since I'm neither Pro- or Anti-something, in that sense.
I'm against violence, whatever side it's coming from.
The difference is that, with Russia and Chechnya, it's Chechnya that does suffer and with Russa having the strenght, and as such the ones that could initiate peace. Not saying that the Chechen Rebels are without any blame, but speaking for them is the fact that they're the ones at disadvantage. David against Goliat.
The same in Israel. It's the Palestinians that suffer from Israels "close to racistic" rule, without nowhere to go than suicide-bombs really. But, Israel is the one's that has the strenght and power to open up for peace (But they haven't exactly showed any interest in that. Possibly because of all the support they've gotten for protection. It's only now, when the tide has sort of turned, and with USA maybe backing out from supporting them, they've really started talks about leaving the occupied territories).
It's one thing to understand why it happens, a completely different thing to support it, because.. how could one ever support violence? Whatever side causing it.
What's so bad with hugs?
If you go up to someone and hit them, they're most likely to hit you back, and before you know it there's a fist-fight..
If you hug someone, the chances of them hitting you back is far lower, if ever.
In the Holy Bible it tells about an eye for an eye, but the same Bible always tell about turning the other cheek.
Why is people so much better at believing in an eye for an eye, and supporting people that lives by that?
President Bush spoke about showing weakness would cause tragedy in the rest of the world. (As in: USA have to go out in the world, dictacte the rules and enforce them with power), and if you don't live by eye for an eye, you show weakness..
President Putin says the same.
it came on flashing bright in red and blue
the man steps in with a terminal grin
blue skies turn to grey
young men die and children cry
why is it always the same
DEVO: Some Things Never Change