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The face of the enemy

The situation in Beslan in Russia has ended in predictable horror. Whilst Russian behaviour in Chechnya has never been a model of surgical restraint, I have yet to hear plausible accounts of Russian forces rounding up children, blowing them up and then shooting survivors as they try to flee.

The horrors of September 11 2001 have receded into being little more than a ‘televisual curiosity’ in many circles in the USA. However the Russians have been getting regular reminders about the nature of the enemy with whom they are at war, an enemy by no means unconnected from Al Qaeda.

In Beslan, one of the surviving terrorists was kicked to death by enraged civilians after being dragged out of an ambulance and I suspect this is just a hint of what is to come on a far greater scale. The political pressure on Vladimir Putin to move against anyone even suspected of sympathies with Chechen Islamists will now be overwhelming.

Coming on the heels of the destruction of two Russian domestic airliners, a great many Russians will probably see the extermination of Chechnya as simply a matter of survival and I fear Chechen innocents will be given about as much consideration as those Chechen terrorists gave the innocent Russian children of Beslan.

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42 comments to The face of the enemy

  • David Crawford

    And do you expect your average Muslim to condemn this horrific act without giving the usual “But …” statement? Quite frankly, I doubt that there are that many Muslims world-wide who are unreservedly outraged by this act. Rather, I think most Muslims are sitting back, with sef-staisfied smiles, thinking that the Russians finally got what was coming to them.

  • GCooper

    Perry de Havilland writes:

    “…an enemy by no means unconnected from Al Qaeda.”

    Quite! The claimed presence of 10 ‘Arabs’ among the hostage-takers gives the lie to the pretence that this latest atrocity by Islamists is the sole consequence of ‘oppressive’ Russian policies in Chechnya (as Moslem apologists on the Left have been claiming for days), any more than the continuing chaos in Iraq is ’caused’ by Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Both are being used as excuses for jihad.

    The BBC is so terrified of offending Moslem opinion that I could find no mention of the ten ‘Arabs’ on its website, while the EU’s response to this latest act of barbarity was a masterpiece of insensitivity, arrogance and conceit (according to the BBC: ‘the EU would ask Russia to explain how such a tragedy could have been allowed to happen.’ – why do we have anything to do with these clowns?).

    I can’t help feeling that Putin made a tragic miscalculation when he opposed the Allied invasion of Iraq. There seems to be flawed logic in, on the one hand, claiming that Russia’s problems with terrorism are part of the ‘war against terror’ while, on the other, opposing the countries who should be his allies, when they try to do something to prosecute that war.

    Putin’s Russia is not a bedfellow the West might choose, but we are at war with an enemy quite as evil and quite as ruthless as any we faced in the 20th century. If we were able to stomach fighting alongside Stalin against Nazi Germany, then we should be more than willing to give Russia every assistance.

    Of course, to do that, we first have to admit that there is an enemy – something the Left refuses to do, preferring either a hand-wringing “it’s all our own fault – we brought this on ourselves” or “there is no single cause – we must respond to each situation individually”.

    Which, of course, is crap. There is a single cause. It is a mediaeval, superstitious, authoritarian, misogynistic, paranoid, violent, totalitarian creed which has declared war on everything that it does not control. It is our sworn enemy and we will have no peace until it has been destroyed.

  • Dalmaster

    In the nineteen twenties and thirties, a Europe deep in depression was visited by a glimpse of apocalypse. Annihilation would come in the shape of metal and fire. Imaginations conjured up images of entire cities reduced to rubble, the utter destruction of our way of life, our future and our history. What they feared was aircraft and their carpet bombings.

    Over half a century later: the world has not ended. How did Europe escape death?

    All sides dropped bombs; cities were reduced to rubble, industrial infrastructure crippled and hundreds of thousands killed or maimed. However, when confronted with the threat for real, the ordinary people were not demoralised into submission: they walked straight through the fire, they emerged stronger than ever. Whipped into a bastard incarnation of altruism and blood lust, shouting, “We will never surrender!”

    Carpet-bombing is the ancestor of terrorism: One side will unleash it with their full force, while the victim will become the aggressor and respond in the same way. Previously unconventional ways of warfare become no longer atrocities but legitimate and fully sanctioned.

    But there is one disparity: Terrorism is a tactic employed by causes that are too weak to fight conventionally. The only reason they have not yet been annihilated by the stronger is not because of some amazing feat of subterfuge, but because the stronger force cannot justify killing the innocent children which surround their every side.

    I’m sure you see what I’m getting at. To initiate terrorism is to justify your very own apocalypse, many more Arabs and Chechens are going to die than Americans, Europeans and Russians, because our ability to carry out terrorism is greater than theirs.

  • Twenty years ago almost the exact same thing happened at Ma’alot in northern Israel ‘only’ about twenty kids were killed at the time but the PLO and its Soviet supporters reckoned it a great success.

    Today’s Russia is not just a victim of Islamist terror, but to some extent it is also a victim of the Communist’s cultivation of terror as an anti western tactic.

    The US gets blamed for supporting the Mujahedin Afghanistan. Certainly the CIA should have exercised tighter control and not allowed the Pakistani ISI to run the entire show, but this plague was incubated in a number of places and we should examine them all.

  • Most victims of Islam fall outside the calculus of European guilt. The dirt farmers of Mindanao and Kashmir or the blacks of Darfur are not only innocent of carpet bombing, they are innocent of carpets. Too weak to resist Islamism conventionally and yet men enough not to kill Islamic children, they are are a counterexample which refutes the supposed rule. If “terrorism is a tactic employed by causes that are too weak to fight conventionally” what allowances would you give the colored victims of Islam? Say rather that Islam is limited by its means and others, by their ends.

  • “…one of the surviving terrorists was kicked to death by enraged civilians after being dragged out of an ambulance ….” Too bad they didn’t get to interrogate him first. But I sympathize with the crowd.

  • Vanya

    Bush should start the ball rolling by ending the CIA’s assistance to Georgia, and Putin should then reciprocate by pulling the plug on the Iranian nuclear program, and providing any intelligence that will help in the process of destroying it. Uncle Sam and Uncle Ivan could work well together, and provide a powerful antidote to clueless Euros like Chris Patten and Mr Bot, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Vanya has roughly the right idea, but I don’t see Russia giving up the highly profitable Iranian Arms business, and I don’t see the US giving up access to Caspian oil.

    The best thing right now, would be for the US to coordinate it’s aide to Georgia and give Russia a ‘droit de regard’ over US assistance, Russia could reciprocate over Iran.

    Of course, if Russia really wanted to fight the Islamist enemy where it hurts, they could send a Division of ‘decentniki’ to Iraq, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • mike

    spacer: what is a ‘decentniki’? while i’m at it what does ‘GOP’ mean (seems to be a yank term, something to do with elephants and jackasses)? goddam’ yank-speak.

  • Decentniki= Paratrooper , as in decending from the sky. based largely in Tula south of Moscow.

    GOP = Grand Old Party i.e the Elephants = free food free champange=good party at least on Monday night.

  • mike

    Appreciated. And what do they call the jackasses – the Grand Dole Party??

  • Shawn

    After November we’ll be calling them losers.

  • The Jackasses are just called the Dems as in “Dem billionaire commies from Massachusetts” I used to live in what we lovingly call the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts”.

    Dole of couse was a great GOP senator from Kansas, who earned his purple heart the hard way.

  • Tatyana

    Mike, paratrooper=desAntnik (a, not e); paratrooperS= desantnikI (plural).
    Tula is not Moscow suburb, it’s a large city, regional center.
    Paratroopers aren’t only based in Tula; it’s part of special forces and they are spread everywhere, even on Russia’s borders – just like Marines.
    Spacer, stop spreading your imperialist lies to the innocents! You’re in NY, call me and I’ll arrange Russian likbez for you. [what’s the deal with your site? link failed]

    Now, seriously: Vanya, are you suggesting that Georgia is behind this latest horror?
    And since CIA is giving assistance to Georgia we somehow triggered the reaction?

    Russian Foreign Ministry issued a note to the Dutch, saying that “double standards are unacceptable and it’s time to stop recognize “good” and “bad” terrorists.”
    As one of the LJ-users noted in his journal today, undoubtfully Russia’ll stop condemnation of Israel actions against Palestinian terrorists and will not support Siria with it’s vetos on Security council anymore…
    What’s the expression? When pigs will fly?

  • Tatyana

    I always thought that Tula was a major Paratroop base comparable to Ft. Bragg.

    I know Tula is a seperate city I just wrote it was south of Moscow.

    It looks as if the horror in North Ossetia is a wake up call like 9/11 was to us.

  • GCooper

    Tatyana writes:

    “Russian Foreign Ministry issued a note to the Dutch, saying that “double standards are unacceptable and it’s time to stop recognize “good” and “bad” terrorists.””

    I do hope they sent copies to the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent. Watching these three bastions of bien pensant thinking in the UK twist and turn, trying to “explain” (for which, read “justify”) this barbarous act is truly one of the least edifying sights in recent years. Mind you, today’s Telegraph wasn’t a great deal better.

  • Tatyana

    Tula is just one of the closest paratrooper bases to Moscow (or that’s what I think, I’ve only general knowledge of military matters), to “serve” the city – in case of.

    Russians had their wake-up calls for many years. Remember Moscow theater siege? More than a 100 dead hostages (and not by terrorists doing). Here, again, 15% of the dead aren’t killed by terrorists. No wonder the public asks questions.
    Exploded apartmment buildings, metro stations, hospitals, etc. – Russia is in a state of perpetual conflict.
    It’s a big simplification to equal Russian and American situations with terrorists. Putin came to power and stayed another term on his promise of eradicating Chechen terrorists. He has no other excuse to his line of choking free market, cultivating his own cult (bookstores are full of his various portraits, f.ex.) and blackmailing so called “oligarchs” into submission.
    Still his policies don’t seem to reach his main goal. President, who announced to the world he’s going to “damp them in the toilet” (I’m making the expression much milder than it is) seems not to have other solution in mind except military.

    Time to change.

  • Tatyana

    GCooper, here’s related link from Reuters.uk(Link)

  • Tatyana

    America had lots of wake up calls before 9/11 , the Cole Bombings The Embassies in Africa and so on and so on. It seems that societies react very very slowly to these threats.

    I know that Putin pledged to get tough on the Chechens years ago and that his policies have so far failed. He is obviously nostalgic for the old USSR. I’m also fairly sure that he is not stupid enough to want to go back to Marxism and to the system which built factories that subtracted value from perfectly good raw materiels.

    If he, or Russia are ready to try something else then perhaps they may want to reexamine their relationship with America. Bush 41 and Clinton threw away the chance to set up truly close relations with Russia in 1992-1994. Both side should reconsider, together we’d make a great team.

  • Vanya

    Tatyana, no, I wasn’t suggesting that either Georgia or the CIA had anything to do with the events in Beslan, as it was almost certainly a Chechen/Arab jihadist atrocity. I was merely pointing out that there are some serious obstacles in the way of any closer co-operation between Russia and America.

  • Well Putin claims he wants help from the West with his own insurgants, linking them to Al Queda. Wonder if Bush will be able to get an apology out of Putin for his unhelpful attitude towards the war in Iraq.

  • Hylas

    Tatyana and Vanya,

    1) What are the prospects for closer ties between the US and Russia? What are the main obstacles from the Russian point of view?

    2) Do you think this atrocity will make Russia rethink its support for the Iranian nuclear program? If not, then what will it take?

    3) What’s a likbez? Can I have one too?

  • Susan

    G Cooper: Don’t worry. Unfortunately, the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC will all have plenty of opportunities in the future to “explain away” even more barbaric Islamofascist atrocities. They will “explain” and “explain” and “explain” until they have no readers or listeners left except jihadists.

  • J

    I don’t see how you can criticise the media for trying to explain the actions of the terrorists. Sure, they can be criticized for explaining badly, or incorrectly, but not for simply trying to do it.

    It is difficult to explain why someone would kidnap hundreds of children, with no expectation of themselves surviving, and then simply attempt to kill them all rather than make any coherent demands.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Maybe “Because they were brainwashed by charismatic muslim preachers” is the answer, although personally I doubt it.

    Maybe “Because they were inherently evil people, and they saw in radical islam a network that would allow them to act out their bizarre, sadistic fantasies.” That actually strikes me as far closer to the truth, but still quite a long way off.

    There are many interesting things to notice about Chechnya. The transition from a traditional guerilla liberation campagn to a traditional terrorist liberation campaign, to a modern islamic ‘kill people randomly’ campaign. Why and how did the transition occur? I’d quite like to find out more. If that counts as LLL ‘explanation’ then I’m all for it. Sorry if it offends those who take the simpler ‘inherent evil’ or ‘islam’ lines of argument.

    Why do Arab Islamists appear keen to get involved in Chechnya, when they seemed completely uninterrested in the Balkans? Both were situations where non ethnic-Arab Muslims were being heavily persecuted by Christians. What changed between 1991 and 2004?

    We need less breast beating, less competition for who can decry terrorism with the most purple prose, and more cold blooded analysis of geopolitical realities. That’s how this will get solved.

  • Susan

    J: There is a vast difference between “explaining” and “justifying.” I should have used the latter term, because that is what the Creepsome Threesome actually do all too often.

  • J


    Yes, although the differences is actually quite subtle, I think. It’s important to realise the role of cause and effect in this stuff.

    I’m forever seeing arguments on blogs along the lines of “A did something bad, but only because B did something bad, therefore A is not to blame”. Sometimes this is reasonable, sometimes not.

    If someone punches me outside a pub, and I go away, get a gun, and kill him, it’s pretty clear that I’m to blame for his death – even though he wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t decided to punch me.

    If someone runs infront of my car, it’s pretty clear I’m not to blame for his death, even though he wouldn’t have died if I’d decided to stay home that day.

    If the Independent says “Nothing can justify this attrocity, but it would never have happened if the Russians hadn’t waged a long a vicious war against Chechnya.” They are factually right:

    1. Nothing can justify this attrocity. True.
    2. It would not have occured if Russia had not waged a long bloodthirsty war in Chechnya. True (IMO).

    Many people think that statement 2 somehow weakens statement 1 – that despite statement 1, statement 2 “sorta kinda is a bit of a justification”. That may well be what the author intended, but so what. Stick to the facts.

    In other words, the following two statements are both true and are NOT contradictory:

    1. The Russians brought this on themselves
    2. The Russians did not deserve this

    You know damn well that if you wage a scorched earth campaign against a neighbouring country that hates you, and then you lose that campaign and have to settle for sticking in fake elections and puppet politicians, then THAT COUNTRY IS GOING TO HURT YOU ANY WAY IT CAN.

    I get annoyed at people who don’t see that. Like you expected them to lobby the UN for a fair resolution to the problems in Chechnya? Please, only Tibet does that. And let’s face it a few dead Chinese civilians would be a fair price to pay for a free Tibet. Wouldn’t it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no sympathy for the Chechens (or Arabs or whatever) that did this, and I’ve got lots of sympathy for the families of the dead and wounded. But I’ve got no sympathy for Russia, as a state, in the way that I do for the US as a state after 11/9.

  • Julian Taylor

    Forgive me for being so blunt on this, but “Carpet-bombing is the ancestor of terrorism” is a remarkably trite statement to make, especially given the horrific event that the post relates to. “Terrorism” goes back a lot further then Hassan el Sabbah (The Old Man of The Mountains) and his 11th Century ‘society of hashisheen’- no doubt Bin Laden’s role model for the callous use of human life for his heinous acts.

    The only possible way I feel you could have interpreted that is from the term given by the Nazis to the British and American bomber pilots, as ‘terrorflieger’. The general feeling on BOTH sides in WW2 has long been accepted that the Germans ‘had it coming to them’. The only noted exception was the bombing of Dresden, which was felt as unnecessary and possibly only served as a warning to the Soviet Union.

    One favourite Nazi propaganda item of the time was “Allied bombers deliberately strafed children picking flowers” – an item reinforced by insisting that bomber crews (sorry, ‘terrorists’) should be killed, rather than treated under the terms of the Geneva Convention, upon capture.

  • Susan

    J: It’s too early here in the morning for me to come up with a cogent response. Let’s just say, you are obviously on the justification side no matter how much you protest that you are not.

    I guess I would expect that if the Chechens had an ounce of decency, they would fight against military targets, not little kids.

  • Bryan Wales

    i remember reading the article in the local paper on my way up to my grandmother’s house. it struck me as so absolutely horrible that anyone could blow up children for any cause whatsoever. it made me furious that such things can happen. it makes me furious that various groups of people can only argue back and forth over the politics of such a tragedy. instead of blathering over russian policy or blaming muslim extremists, cannot more people realize that innocent children were must murdered en masse? knowing this, it makes for great difficulty not to take the Boondock Saints route and just go out and kill the mother f’ers. which leads to the next point: ARMED CITIZENS.
    allowing citizens the right to defend themselves from force is a cornerstone of any free society. it is the best preventative to crime, and would work magic on terror as well. the more teachers in that building who owned guns, the likelyhood that this tragedy occurs drops dramatically. the same is true of 9/11, and of every terror attack against any nation. it is high time that these ‘social good’ governments start doing something that is actually good for their citizens; allowing them to defend theirselves.

  • Tatyana

    Hylas (and Jon),
    You ask very important questions, unfortunately, I’m not qualified to answer.
    It sure looks like Putin’s best interest is to form new political alliances, but there are so many other factors at play, some of them irrational, it’s difficult (for me) to predict anything for sure.
    F.ex, Putin has to consider Muslims inside the country and former SU Muslim republcs who are now bordering independent states. How Azerbaidjan will react to 180 deg. change in Russian policy towards Iran? Is this reaction negligeable? Muslim republics of Central Asia form their own alliances – f. ex., Kirgizstan with China, how big is this vector in total calculations?

    On the other hand, Soviet policy in Middle East is traditionally anti-Israel, pro-Arab aggression. I don’t think Putin is motivated enough to change it now, even if he’ll appear a hypocrit, denouncing “double standard ” in world view of terrorists when it concerns his country and immediately employing this same double standard when Palestinians terrorize Israel.

    As to the reasons for the slaughter at Beslan, I found (thru somebody @ LJ link) this very pro-Chechen site, based in UK – totally mad, in my opinion. But it’s a good insight into “resistance fighters” mind (Link)

    Fell free to brawse this rabid nonsense collection, I’ll translate a small passage to illustrate alleged claims of terrorists, which were never voiced, according to Rusian media (and which explains why children were not given any water for 3 days):
    “Those who occupied Beslan school request that Russia immediately end military occupation, stop genocide of Chechen people…To the locals – we request you start “dry” hunger-strike for end of the war and Putin resignation. Hostages inside the school already started the hunger strike”

    Interesting, that this text only appears in Russian version of the site, I wasn’t able to find it in English version.

    Oh, and likbez is an abbreviation of “liquidation of illiteracy” – it was the name of the national campaign in Russia in the 20’s , which resulted in millions of illiterate people learning how to read. I don’t think you need any lessons in that…

  • J

    Susan: “J: It’s too early here in the morning for me to come up with a cogent response. Let’s just say, you are obviously on the justification side no matter how much you protest that you are not.”

    Why do you think it’s obvious? I’m trying to show that it’s possible for something to be explicable without it being justifiable. Do you not think so? Or do you just not believe me when I say that I think so?

    I’ll grant you that I’m entirely cold blooded in these matters, partly because I’m interested in history. If you look at how people behaved in, say, Spartan or Viking society, what happened in Beslan was nothing special – so once humans didn’t really get so upset about killing a few hundred innocent people – and I don’t think we’ve changed genetically in any significant way since then.

    Think about even a comparitively ‘advanced’ civilisation like the Romans. They forced civilian slaves to kill each other for fun, and they even built a complex economy around this entertainment. Doesn’t that strike you as being just as weird as killing a bunch of children belonging to an enemy nation? And today – hey – we make films about how cool Galdiatorial combat was. Sure, we take the line that is was ‘bad’ but we basically get entertained the idea of guys in armour killing each other in a big arena. Cool!

    Even as late as the 17th century it was considered acceptable to execute captured soldiers. That meant cold bloodedly (and manually) killing thousands of helpless people. No-one thought this was bad – just the way of war.

    I’m not saying we should go back to the dark ages. I’m not even saying that such actions were morally good at the time. I’m just saying that people killing each other en-masse in nasty ways is really not so unusual. It’s only in a few western societies, and even then only in the last 300 years or so, that people have stopped doing it (although they carried on doing it to foreigners with dark skin for a bit longer).

    The morality of terrorism isn’t interesting. Yeah, I agree, killing lots of innocent children is bad. I’m interested in how the world reduces the amount of terrorism, and I honestly don’t think that seeing who can give the best fire and brimstone condemnation of Beslan is going to make any difference.

  • GCooper

    J writes:

    “It’s only in a few western societies, and even then only in the last 300 years or so, that people have stopped doing it (although they carried on doing it to foreigners with dark skin for a bit longer).”


    You were doing quite well there until the Independent Op/Ed party line crept in and gave the lie to your having a grasp of historical fact.

    Clue: People kill people, their colour is incidental. Blacks kill blacks. Whites kill whites.

    Anyway, you’re telling us that killing one another is par for the course. Agreed. You go on to ask for answers, loftily brushing aside anyone who dares say anything against terrorism, waving away dissent with an airy: “The morality of terrorism isn’t interesting.”.

    Maybe that’s because there isn’t any.

    But you have to live in this mean old world too, J. So tell us: what do you think we should do about people who bayonet babies because they ask for a drink of water?

    Just what is your suggestion for combating this plague of evil?

    Of isn’t that in the A-Level syllabus these days?

  • verity

    J – could you do all of us a petite favour? You’re obviously not American, so could you please stop trying to sound with the programme by saying ‘hey!’? You don’t understand the contexts, sweetheart. You are not American.

    Also, “Yeah, I agree, killing lots of innocent children is bad.” Like, w-a-a-a-y kewl!

    This is American usage and doesn’t fit with the rest of your grammar. You are a poseur, an American wanabee, while disapproving of America. You have not clothed yourself in credence by cloaking yourself pretentiously in catchphrases of a country you don’t understand.

  • A_t

    Verity, wow… so one has to be American, or love America, in order to appropriate Americanisms now? Better tell that to the French! In the meanwhile, let the man talk as he wishes. Also, where has he condemned America, or said he hates the US? (if in a previous thread, apologies… i have a little catching up to do)

  • Cobden Bright

    Perry wrote – “Whilst Russian behaviour in Chechnya has never been a model of surgical restraint, I have yet to hear plausible accounts of Russian forces rounding up children, blowing them up and then shooting survivors as they try to flee.”

    The Russian military has carried out far worse atrocities than this latest terrorist episode. Putin is a bigger war criminal than Bin Laden, by a long way.

    Remember access to Chechnya is heavily restricted – that is probably why you have not read many eyewitness reports from third parties. The Russian state will of course play up in the media the horror of this recent attack – whilst suppressing worse horrors that it perpetrates. No libertarian should be so gullible as to let them off the hook, even in a relative sense, just because they happen to be a powerful state and their victims of little interest to the western media or governments.

  • Diederik

    This is ridiculous.
    J is the only one so far that has made any sense.
    He is so far the only one that has said anything that is not immediately dismissable as “emotional bullshit”
    or “pro-bush rhetoric”.
    His logical deducation of the credibility of what was stated in certain british newspapers is right on.
    Furthermore, I do understand why chechen rebels do the things they do eventhough i dont think it is morally correct.
    Those women that strap themselves to a belt with explosives, have nothing to loose, because most often a russian military platoon shot her children and her husband and the rest of her family and burnt down her entire village. In her situation any of you revenge-fanatics would have done the same.
    I however always plead for turning the other cheek.
    Revenge is a downward spiral.
    The only way for the US to overcome the terrorism against them is by NOT doing anything back.
    And recognizing the mistakes they made in the past.
    Just sit there and let those terrorist do what they think they need to do. I assure you that if america did nothing in return of 9/11, and didnt bomb afganistan and didnt attack iraq, there would have been alot less hatred against amerika then there is now, and probably alot less then before 9/11 aswell.
    The exact same goes for russia and for israel.

    I can already see the responses most of you people will have on this, im guessing i’ll be called all sorts of names and there will really be no good arguments against my theory but the good thing is i am backed in my opinion on this subject by the most influential and important thinkers in the history of mankind, namely: jezus, Ghandi, Buddha and some others like martin luther king and
    They all profess: turn the other cheek.
    Love your enemy as if he was your own.
    Revenge is stupid.

    Yet almost noone realizes this.
    I wonder why.
    Pretty much every religion professes this
    moral theory, yet almost everyone wants to revenge some wrongdoing by someone else because they feel it is their moral right to receive this feeling of vengeance.

    Islam, christianity, budhism, hindoeism
    they all say: accept each other and forgive eachother for their mistakes. But noone really listen as soon
    as they loose a family member or even just a country-men they want to bomb the wrongdoers country into rubble.

    You really think thats going to solve the problem?
    really? are you that dense?
    Did you not pay attention during any history lesson?
    Violence begats violence.
    An eye for an eye is a never ending spiral of violence.

    Anyone that doesnt see that receives my utmost sympathy because you’re in for alot of violence in your life. I hope you enjoy it.

    To conclude If my family is killed by a muslim extremist, which i don’t hope,
    im not gonna want to bomb their country or anything violent.
    Im gonna use all my power and potentials to forgive them for doing it and helping them solve their problems
    and understand that what they did does not solve their problem and only makes it worse.
    I know it sounds unlikely, but that will be my goal if such a thing might happen to me.

  • GCooper

    That’s ok. Lots of us felt much the same way when we were 17.

    If you are allowed to grow-up – by which I mean if you aren’t killed by some moron with a belief which he insists matters more than your survival – you may, one day, feel quite differently.

    And I’ll guarantee you will if, heaven forbid, your fantasy about how you would feel if a loved one were killed by a fanatic were ever tested by cold reality.

  • Paul Marks

    The President of Chechnya was killed by the Russians some years ago (a missile targeted on his mobile phone). The President was an exSoviet Air Force general (in command of the Baltic sector) and certainly not an Islamic nutter.

    What few people here seem to understand is that Mr Putin WANTS the resistance to Russia to be dominated by Islamic nutters.

    As for Georgia: The President there (a friend of the President of Chechnya) was first overthrown and (later) killed in Russian influenced operations.

    Georgia now seems to have independent government again – and people here seem to be prepared to hand over Georgia to Russia.

    The Georgians are not even Muslim – they are Christian. Why should they be betrayed (again), in the cause of “good relations” with a K.G.B. man like Mr Putin?

    No doubt this will be misinterpreted as support for the Islamic nutters in Chechnya. The Chechens are now corrupted by hate (I accept that) and the terrorists should be shot like rabid dogs. But do not forget who has gained from all this (right from his time as Prime Minister many years ago) – V. Putin.

    It may well be too late for a moderate independent Chechnya – Mr Putin’s argument is that it is “me or the terrorists” and he may be right.

    But do not forget who did all he could to make sure these were the only alternatives. Many thousands of Chechin women and children have been killed by the Russians, many killed (contrary to Perry) quite deliberatly.

    History shows that wickedness is often rewarded. And the reward for Mr Putin has been power.

    My fear is that it will be Russia that is the great victim of Putin, but I still hope that will not be the case.

    I do not really think that Putin is a Marxist (my guess is that he believes in nothing, apart from his own power), and I hope he will be gone in 2008.

    There is still hope that the great civilization that is Russia will see better days.

  • A_t

    “you may, one day, feel quite differently.

    And I’ll guarantee you will if, heaven forbid, your fantasy about how you would feel if a loved one were killed by a fanatic were ever tested by cold reality.”

    Your patronising guarantee is by no means borne out by the behaviour & sentiment of all the current relatives of victims of terrorist violence. My understanding is that they hold many different views on the topic of revenge.

  • Diederik

    It makes me giggle to see that you have the moral guts to patronize me on this subject.
    I have infact lost my only son to purposefull evildoing of others. Yet you think you can lecture me on “how my views will be bla bla bla”
    You have no idea pal.
    I have taken years to contemplate how i should react towards the loss of my son, and in the end i came to the conclusion that revenge is the most ignorent and stupid way to respond, and therefore i have forgiven the people that took my son and it has been cathardic.
    I could ofcourse have raped and killed and carpetbombed their entire family in retaliation, but then i would be as stupid as the american government and plummet myself into certain destruction, so i decided not to do that. And well i feel great about it, and the real pain and suffering is for the people that have to live with what they did to me.

    At any rate, valiant effort to undermine my comment,
    but alas somewhat rash and ignorent.

  • It would be fair to say I would have no hesitation killing people who were responsible for the death of someone I cared about and I would equally be prepared to kill their supporters if that support is a factor in enabling what they did.

    I do not believe in assigning collective guilt for the actions of a few but I also cannot accept that there is never such a thing as ‘acceptable casualties’. One must try to avoid killing innocent bystanders when attacking a legitimate target in a war or other justified conflict, but the prospect of innocents dying that cannot stop you from attacking the target with enough force to destroy it if the conflict itself is justified. Violence is not a game and it is a messy world we live in. I have met many people who have lived under totalitarian regimes who have told me that at the time that if they had been killed during an attack which overthrew the regime which was oppressing them would have been ‘worth it’.

    I am sorry for your loss (no sarcasm intended) as I am sorry when any innocent dies at the hands of what you correctly describe as an evil doer. Moreover I can understand how you could reach the conclusions you hold. I do not share them however and speaking personally, the only time I will turn the other cheek is to move my rifle onto my left shoulder for a shot around suitable cover.

  • Diederik

    It is because most people think like you,
    that there is so much war and terrorism in the world.

    Changing the minds of people like you is
    the only effective way to rid the world of war/terrorism,
    anything else is an exercise in futility.

    I prefer to set my goals and ideals as high as possible, and I’d rather die then to let my ideals down.