Bloody Shootout Ends Russian School Siege

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Reuters account here.

Background on the larger, and long-lived conflict here. This one's not ending any time soon.

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  1. neb okla —

    1) What could the Russians have done to prevent this sort of thing?

    probably given chechnya a measure of independence or outright home rule. there’s nothing russian in the heritage of these people. let them go.

    2) What can Americans do to prevent this sort of thing here? It’s not like we haven’t had bombings and mass shootings stateside – yet our schools are still soft targets.

    agreed, and they always will be, i hope. there are no fast solutions, imo, short of instituting a stalinist police state, closing the borders and sending all possible “suspects” to their deaths. (is this the current plan? hmmm…)

    in the longer term, i think the only viable method — the one the french and british eventually were forced to broadly acquiesce to — is to resolve the grievances these people have with you on some level. you can’t win a “war” with them short of initiating a genocide. arresting or killing terrorists has little effect when tens of millions support their aims and replace them when they fall.

    much as it was with the first-generation empires, there were decades of pounding the imperial head against the stubborn brick wall and hundreds of thousands dead before it sunk in that there could be no victorious peace. america, russia and israel have yet to learn that lesson, apparently.

    imo, what could be done would be to retract ourselves from our global imperial position, bring most of our 1mm in overseas troops home and quit spending so much time and effort in controlling and conquering the mideast. instead rely on our economic power to buy what oil we need on the open market.

  2. Or am I to interpret you literally about the school and the joining the empire details, like you took me literally about the statute of limitations comment?

    Take it however you like. You equated them, I joined in for all its absurdity.

    The Chechen rebels took their vengenace on an autonomous region that wasn’t doing the killing…the school isn’t even in Russia.

    If we fought Afghan mujahideen-turned-al Qaeda militants in Pakistan, and a.Q. stormed a Pakistani school and started killing kids, should the bodies just be subtracted from the cost of American “injustice” in Afghanistan?

    And they’re not avenging deaths, they’re “avenging” an election that didn’t go their way.

  3. DA:

    “So, I guess we are taking intent out of the equation to make that argument.”

    So you are saying that the US intention when they dropped the A-Bomb was not to kill tens of thousands of Japanese civilians? or what is your point?

  4. 200 years an eternal gulf of foregiveness.

    But it is most certainly a span of time over which one cannot hold another personally responsible for whatever occurred. Nothing in this exchange is justified on either side. But this does not endear me to the Chechen cause.

  5. gaius marius –

    So you think the solution is to simply appease all terrorist groups that would carry out such attacks?

    I’m kind of bothered by your statement:

    there are no fast solutions, imo, short of instituting a stalinist police state, closing the borders and sending all possible “suspects” to their deaths.

    …mostly because you seem to think that a “stalinist police state” would be any kind of viable solution at all.

  6. Leaving aside scholastic arguments about the justification for assymetrical violence – the terrorists were stupid. There are pictures coming out of Beslan now that are very hard to look at. Children were shot in the back and clubbed with rifles. No, there aren’t pictures available of Russian atrocities against the Chechens. And that’s too bad, but it doesn’t change the situation now.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the rank and file of Chechens who are going to suffer for what those murderers did; just like I have a lot of sympathy for Palestinians who don’t blow themselves and other peoples’ children up.

    Anyone want to bet that the Russians will respond in the same way that the Israelis respond? If you think that targeted assassinations and border checkpoint humiliation and security fences and mass arrests are brutal, you haven’t been paying attention. Anyone want to bet on Russian interest in addressing grievances?

    Gaius, talk of “america, russia and israel” is kind of funny. One of these countries is not like the others; one of these countries just doesn’t even pay lip service to the same rules of war that the other two do.

  7. “our mechanized armies have committed irredeemable atrocities against these peoples.”

    And their mechanized armies have committed irredeemable atrocities against each other. Does the Iran-Iraq war ring a bell? Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds? How about Nasser’s use of poison gas in Yemen? How about Hama and Black September? Yes, Western countries may have abetted or turned a blind eye to some of these actions, but they weren’t the ones pulling the triggers.

    At the same time, while Western nations have committed their share of abuses in the Islamic world, there have also been a number of better moments. If you’re going to talk about the Russians in Chechnya, the French in Algeria, and the Israelis in Lebanon and Palestine, you also need to talk about Kuwait, Kosovo, and Somalia. Or for that matter, the efforts of the British in ending Ottoman rule on the Arabian Peninsula.

    And you need only a cursory reading of history to note that many non-Islamic lands in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia suffered from Western colonialism for a much longer time, and to a much greater extent, than most of the Middle East. And we’ve propped up our share of dictators in many of those countries as well. Yet while some bitterness often remains, they haven’t created any kind of movement that resembles what we’re seeing in transnational Islamist terrorism.

    Saying that the growth of Islamist terrorism all boils down to a backlash against our abuses in the Islamic world is as intellectually lazy as the “they hate us because we’re free” rhetoric of some right-wingers.

  8. Speaking of violence in Schools, this is an interesting story.

    Some guy in Michigan blew up a school back in 1927.

    It seems he didn’t like the tax implications.

  9. Stubby sez, “Gaius, talk of “america, russia and israel” is kind of funny. One of these countries is not like the others; one of these countries just doesn’t even pay lip service to the same rules of war that the other two do.”

    I like riddles but this one’s got me stumped.

  10. There are a lot of very good points being made here, for and against (Eric2 and stubby, esp.). I personally have some very strong feelings on this issue. I live in Washington, DC, and take the subway every day. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and wondering when/if I am going to be made a corpse by some lunatic. I also have a child and a teacher-fiance in school (which is very large and has very poor security), and now I’m wondering if their building will be over-run. I’m not feeling anything but burning hatred towards those who would harm the ones I love to make a political point.

    To those of you who think that somehow these animals are remotely justified in these actions: imagine yourself standing outside a school building and wondering if your little girl is going to make it out alive. How much of that imperialistic white western guilt are you feeling?

  11. …mostly because you seem to think that a “stalinist police state” would be any kind of viable solution at all.

    i wouldn’t, neb okla, i wouldn’t. but some would — including members of both the bush admin and the kerry shadow admin.

    So you think the solution is to simply appease all terrorist groups that would carry out such attacks?

    lol — because “appeasement” has taken on the connotation of “traitorous” since 1938, i’d try a different word: “pacify”.

    but that’s exactly what i mean. it does nothing for our self-image of the size of our genitalia, i’m sure — but your interaction in the world doesn’t consist of beating into submission everyone who doesn’t give you all you want, does it? neither does mine. we all pacify. we all appease. and why? because it’s sometimes the best possible solution. while is didn’t work in 1938, it often does.

    i’m of the considered opinion that we refused to consider these peoples’ — our imperial subjects, as it were — opinions when they expressed them civilly, and that’s why we’re having to address them now when stated uncivilly. we can either respond in kind and worse — uncivilly, barbarically and bang our american heads on the same spot in the wall that the british and french did for decades — or we can admit our original mistakes and do our best to correct them. i know that some terrorists are going to see reward in terrorism in that; even so, it will bring a faster and more final end to terrorism than the alternative of perpetual slaughter.

  12. one of these countries just doesn’t even pay lip service to the same rules of war that the other two do.

    i agree, stubby, russia has behaved more reprehensibly than either.

  13. US intention when they dropped the A-Bomb was not to kill tens of thousands of Japanese civilians?

    The intention was to cripple their manufacturing. Had the intention been to kill civilians, they’d likely have dropped it on Tokyo.

  14. … Kuwait, Kosovo, and Somalia. Or for that matter, the efforts of the British in ending Ottoman rule on the Arabian Peninsula.

    not everything we do is awful, e2, i agree. but to expect these people to cancel out the more horrific things we’ve done because other people do it too and we gave them a few good moments is not realistic. many arabs respected some aspects of the ottomans, and many respected some aspects of the british — but that didn’t mean peace and forgiveness.

    Yet while some bitterness often remains, they haven’t created any kind of movement that resembles what we’re seeing in transnational Islamist terrorism

    i wouldn’t speak too soon about that. but i would say that our constant and much higher level of intervention and interference (meaning the west generally, now) because of our desire to control oil has been the difference-maker.

    Saying that the growth of Islamist terrorism all boils down to a backlash against our abuses in the Islamic world is as intellectually lazy as the “they hate us because we’re free” rhetoric of some right-wingers

    but, having said that, i fully accomodate that the complexity of this situation is vast. coherency of culture is one; relative wealth is another; islam yet another. what do you think are the differences in the sub-saharan reaction and the arabic one?

  15. To those of you who think that somehow these animals are remotely justified in these actions: imagine yourself standing outside a school building and wondering if your little girl is going to make it out alive. How much of that imperialistic white western guilt are you feeling?

    mr nice guy (great moniker, btw), it’s fine to personalize these things — the idea of losing my family destroys me too. but it’s important, in the hopes of understanding, that so do chechens and arabs feel this way — and when you say this:

    I’m not feeling anything but burning hatred towards those who would harm the ones I love to make a political point

    … you directly state the reason behind this hostage-taking. chechens feel burning hatred for russians because of the loved ones the russian army have taken from them.

  16. The intention was to cripple their manufacturing. Had the intention been to kill civilians, they’d likely have dropped it on Tokyo.

    that’s disingenuous bullshit, rst, and you must know it. they all knew very well that they would kill tens of thousands of civilians. they could have demonstrated it in a farmer’s field and probably won the war on the spot, and in fact they considered it — and chose not to.

    the bomb was, among other things, payback of the most base and cruel sort.

  17. The intention was to cripple their manufacturing. Had the intention been to kill civilians, they’d likely have dropped it on Tokyo

    I suspected, RST, but now I have evidence. You are a nincompoop. We skipped Tokyo so the emperor would be alive to witness the destruction, intended destruction, of people and buildings, a large fraction of Japan vaporized. And by the way, we firebombed the shit out of Tokyo targeting military and civilians. And it worked, and Im glad we won. But to pretend otherwise is willfull ignorance. I think it was Socrates who said the first step to wisdom is calling things by their right name.

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  19. To combat terrorism:

    How can such be done when the homicidal murderers are willing to take
    their own lives and take the lives of others?

    They do not value life at all.

    Cover our weapons with pig fat is one way to fight these
    Islamofascists. Deny their way to heaven by doing so.

    Then there is out and out resistance.

    Throughout history genocidal murderers have gotten away with such
    atrocities because they take upon the collective fear that is
    inherent in human beings crowded together under their imposed threat
    of death.

    How did the NAZI’s murder millions in their concentration camps?
    This question in history demands an answer even today. Why did not
    those being herded up not rebel and take the NAZI guards down?
    Relitively very few murdered millions.

    Sure if they had offered resistance, some, and maybe all could have
    died, but then again maybe some if not most might have survived.

    The Polish Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the NAZI’s is one such
    demonstration of the Jewish resistance to NAZI genocide. Those that
    fought it against the NAZI murderers knew that they would die anyway,
    but not without a fight.

    The bottom line in this is that when dealing with suicidal-homicidal
    maniacs such as these Islmamofascist bastards today, people must take
    a stand.

    Like those that got together on flight 93 that crashed in PA on
    911. “Let’s roll” was their battle cry against terrorism. In their
    fight they died that those that were the intended target in
    Washington D.C. might survive. In that they won, but had they
    overcome the Islamofascist bastards on that flight, killing them
    outright and getting control of that plane then maybe some of them on
    that flight would have survived.

    Taking these Islamic bastards down will take guts and courage– Every
    bit as much as those on Flight 93. If we are to win the War on
    Terror, extraordinary measures must be taken– Even if it means that
    we die in the process. Everyone is a soldier in the War on Terror
    because we as civilians are the targets. We cannot hide, nor must we
    as civilians be allowed to become hostages to them in their sick
    demands. Should we become so, we must not have the mentality that we
    are sheep being lead to the slaughter.

    I for one have my machine guns ready. And the bullets are slathered
    in pig fat. I for one will stand against these Islamofascist
    bastards should the occasion warrant it– EVEN IF IT MEANS MY LIFE.

    callforjustice911

  20. callforjustice911, uh, I think you’ve got the wrong blog. Head on over to http://www.nationalreview.com, search for the corner. There you will find a home.

  21. “Let’s roll” was their battle cry against terrorism

    *eyes roll*

    i agree with robert graves as he cited the letter from “a little mother”:

    “england looked strange to us returned soldiers. we could not understand the war madness that ran about everywhere, looking for a pseudo-military outlet. the civilians all talked in a foreign language; and it was newspaper language. i found serious conversation with my parents all but impossible. quotation from a single typical document of this time will be enough to show what we were facing.”

  22. “In the long run, the question of Russia simply withdrawing from Chechnya might come up, but it is too early for that and that would be the hardest thing for Putin to do since his own reputation would be at stake.”

    Above from the BBC.

    So we have Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin and his Texas cowboy pal in similar fixes, eh?

  23. You’re right Anon (from 1:06 pm). Hiroshima was also bad, and I wouldn’t have agreed with it.

    Therefore, I’m sorry to be bitter about the slaughter of schoolkids in Russia just hours ago. I should’ve really just shrugged my shoulders and immediately said, “Well, the US Government did the same in the early 1940s,” and slither away in self-hating guilt. With each kid shot in the back, and with each journalist’s throat slashed by the Islamic Resistance of Whatever, I’ll just keep thinking about a completely unrelated war that took place 30 years before I was born. Why live in the Now and condemn these acts of bloodshed? It’s better to recall what “we” did and condemn “ourselves”, and explain away the Chechnyan terrorists. Thanks for clearing that up.

  24. It’s better to recall what “we” did and condemn “ourselves”, and explain away the Chechnyan terrorists

    not just that, da, but at least make that a part of our understanding instead of full-blown denial.

  25. call for justice – are you posting from iraq or afghanistan?

  26. It’s not that I disagree with you on that.

    But must every act of intentional cruelty toward innocents (esp. to children) be tagged with, “Well, the US Government did such-and-such to so-and-so in the Xth century, so ‘we’ have no moral ground to condemn or feel P.O.ed. about another round of islamofascist killing.” [Not saying this is you, specifically, but this is what I gather from a number of people]

    Kind of counterproductive.

  27. Gadfly:

    I’m sort of sleepy today, and one of the last things I heard when I left my house this morning was Big Bird singing One of These Things is Not Like the Other, One of These Things Just Isn’t the Same. (Actually, the very last thing I heard was Barney and those horrible children, but my AntiBarney Chip(TM) keeps that stuff out of my head.)

    The US and Israel, for all their evilness and brutality and their status as Number One Combined Greatest Danger to the Entire Planet, do not conduct military or anti-terror operations with Russia’s zeal and nonconcern for collateral damage.

  28. Kind of counterproductive.

    lol — surely. but the truth remains that our *current* activities in places around the world are close to the source of not just “islamofascist” but generally world resentment of the united states as an empire (which is quite widespread, as we all can see).

    it seems to me that we deliberately took the militarist reaction to 9/11 — conquer land and kill a lot of people — instead of the rational one — put your best cops on the case to get the guilty, see what you can do in policy to mollify the innocent but angry. instead of treating root causes, we treat symptoms. poor policy, and one that will allow the infection to fester.

  29. and the same should be said for russia in chechnya, of course.

  30. A lot of those who object to these sorts of actions appear to be arguing that it is immoral to undertake such actions; or that they at least lack proportionality. But this suggests that warfare has “rules.” I’m slightly skeptical of such an assertion.

    DA,

    Well, certainly its a tu qouque argument, but nevertheless, stating that somehow the killing of civilians is now “beyond the pale” seems to go against the grain of the nature of warfare as it has often been practiced, and an example of why this is so is perfectly illustrated by the U.S. firebombing Japan and killing a hundred thousand people in a day in the process. How can we acknowledge this fact and at the same time state that what happened in Russia is “wrong?” What’s the difference between the two? Is the merits of the underlying cause for which either action was taken? Is it some sort of utilitarian argument?

  31. This is counterproductive, at least when dealing with Russians. Why anyone would think that this would give them leverage, instead of all out war, is beyond me. It’s what leads me to suspect that this type of terrorism isn’t as rational as tit for tat, you killed my kids so I’ll kill yours. I guess I understand the Western liberal insistence on ascribing rational motives to clearly irrational (I’d say beastial, but that’s so judgmental and emotional) acts like these, but such motives just don’t stick.

    The IRA didn’t do anything like this in Northern Ireland. The Kurds haven’t done anything like this in Turkey. The whole hold the kids hostage, refuse them food and water, line the building with explosives and shoot them as they escape – not even the Palestinians have done this.

    This isn’t just about Chechnya. The Chechens have been hijacked, or infected, or seduced, by the jihadis.

    I don’t know anyone who could view this as reasonably and fairly as Gaius, Matt, SR, et al. And I think I’m glad.

  32. GG,

    Within the USSAF at the time, the firebombing of Japanese cities was a matter of debate among some high level officiers. It was defended on utilitarian grounds, as the critics were skeptical of its value (for good reason). By contrast, the British firebombing of Dresden was purely done for revenge.

    Of course, the atomic bombs actually helped to end the war. That, and the threat of the Red Army . . .

  33. Economists refer to “sunk costs,” money already spent, which will cost even more if one hopes to redeem the investment.

    Russians and Chechens have been killing eachother for a long time. Objectively, who started it is irrelevant. Killing the other side’s wives and children won’t bring your own back.

    The only way this can end is if Russia decides to swallow its pride, cut its losses and get out of Chechnya. I’m sure it will tear them up, but is endless war a better option?

  34. Don,

    Whether the Army Air Corps debate the matter is beside the point. Plus, General LeMay had no problem bombing the fuck out of the Japanese and destroying their cities en masse; indeed, consider that fact that over half of Tokyo was burned to the ground in those raids, and that similar acts were committed against approximately sixty other Japanese cities.

    Psuedo,

    I don’t think a Russian withdrawl will end the attacks; of course, I also don’t think their present strategy will either. Both sides will continue to clash like naked mole rats.

  35. This incident actually makes me even more sympathetic to the plight of ordinary Chechens. They’re caught between the rock of the brutal Russian gov’t and the hard place of terrorist lunatics doing their best to make Russians even angrier at Chechens.

    Whenever the lunatics lead the charge against an oppressive regime, it’s the ordinary people on both “sides” who get caught in the middle.

  36. “clash like naked mole rats.”

    ?!?
    What a strange simile to use. Just out of curiosity, how did you settle on those little sausage casings with teeth? (Unless that’s a common phrase – I certainly have never heard it.)

  37. callforjustice911, uh, I think you’ve got the wrong blog. Head on over to http://www.nationalreview.com, search for the corner. There you will find a home.

    Comment by: Matt at September 3, 2004 02:31 PM

    Matt,

    Thanks for the “advice” and National Review is a high class environment. So, I am quite flattered. However, being that I was not so specific as to relate my post to the topic at hand I will do so now.

    This incident in Russia where children are being killed by these Islamofascist bastards, my “opinion” relates to that and all the other things that these sub-human individuals do.

    And again, there is one way to deal with them, as I said, slather your weapons with pig lard and dispach them to hell where they belong.

    Reading some of the introspective posts where collective “self guilt” over events in history are being expressed here…

    Dumb to say the least.

    Now is NOW.

    And we must deal with terrorists NOW.

    Hash out the past and die, that is what the terrorists want. Say what was right or wrong then. Look back at historical events. Keep your noses in the past, but all the while enemies today approach with weapons to kill you now.

    But not me. I don’t look back. I am ready, how about all of you who deprecate our country in looking backwards at previous wars long since done?

    Today, over 200 Russian childeren died as a result of Chechnyan Islamofascist terrorism. That is now, not 35 or more years ago in wars long since settled. And if such atrocities were closer, on US soil ?

    What then?

    You would sit at your computers and debate about it ?

    For me there is no debate. These sub-humans need to be eliminated from the presence of us humans.

    AND to dhex:

    call for justice – are you posting from iraq or afghanistan?

    Comment by: dhex at September 3, 2004 02:57 PM

    NO. I am too old to have been called to fight. But if I were, I’d be in the battlelines busy sending my machine gun bullet slatered with pig lard into the guts of Islamofascists. I certainly would not be posting my words regarding them here or anywhere else. I’D BE KILLING THEM IN BATTLE !

    But, in my old age, just in case their promised “holy war” comes my way– My legally owned machine guns are ready– and the pig lard slathered bullets, too.

    And I wait to send them to hell.

    callforjustice911

  38. J,

    If you read the transcripts of the communications between Kennedy & Kruschev you’ll note that Kruschev mentions the potential for US & the USSR to “clash like blind moles.” I think that naked mole rats are a more appropriate animal in this case, since, as you probably recall from biology class, meetings between naked mole rats are rather violent affairs.

  39. Um, okay, so Callforjustice 911, just for the sake of clarity, is it your goal just to machine gun the Islamofascist subhumans or ALL MUSLIMS ON THE PLANET? Please clarify.

    BTW pork products are strictly treyf [though damn tasty].

  40. Call for justice–
    For a moment there I wasn’t sure if your original post was intended to inspire the Russians or the Chechens. I’ve long thought the Russians should get the hell out of Chechnya, but at the same time I agree with your idea of washing the bullets in pig fat.

    I work for a defense industry consulting firm, and while editing a military budget report on the price of bullets the other day I noted that we’re spending a bit more than we have to by refusing to buy Israeli ammunition, so as not to offend the sensibilities of the people we’re killing. So it’s okay to kill people but unacceptable to offend them? Maybe if we tried doing more of the latter we wouldn’t have to do so much of the former.

  41. Jennifer,

    Its not the terrorists that the policy is meant to deal with; its Muslims who are not terrorists.

  42. Jennifer-

    Did it actually say in the report that we refrain from buying Israeli ammo to avoid political/diplomatic ramifications? Are there any other reasons, e.g. Israeli ammo isn’t as good on certain criteria, or higher shipping costs relative to domestic manufacturers? Knowing nothing about guns and ammo I really don’t know the answer to that.

    As to washing bullets in pig fat: Does it actually make a difference in terms of weapon performance? If it doesn’t improve weapon performance then why go to the trouble? I mean, once they’re dead they’re dead, and it’s not like a terrorist killed sans pig fat is any more likely to get into heaven.

    Final question: If we saved money by using kosher Israeli ammo, could we still use the pig fat? 🙂

  43. thoreau,

    I suspect it has as much to do with pork barrel politics as anything.

  44. In English does Putin mean “rootin’ tootin'”?

  45. It’s extremely difficult to understand any cause that resorts to murdering and terrorizing women and children, and civilians in general. I think all bets should be off in these situations, and no force is too strong to root these animals out.

  46. Um, okay, so Callforjustice 911, just for the sake of clarity, is it your goal just to machine gun the Islamofascist subhumans or ALL MUSLIMS ON THE PLANET? Please clarify.

    BTW pork products are strictly treyf [though damn tasty].

    Comment by: E. Steven at September 3, 2004 07:02 PM

    Mr E. Steven,

    I think the term “Islamofascist” explains it all. Not all those of Islam are of this ilk. These ultra Islamic fundamentalists have much in common with the KKK, Christian Identity and other such radical groups that have aims that are contrary to the social norm of the societies that harbor them. And many nations in the Islamic world fund them, and their radical Madrasses, or at the very least look the other way regarding them.

    Islamofascists are those trained from childhood in the radical Madrasses (Islamic seminaries)of many Islamic nations. Their form of religion spawns hatred for Israel right from the start, then hatred of infidels, hatred of America, hatred of western values and society… so on and so on they rant.

    Hatred is what these Islamofascists preach and practice. And they will not relent till all of the earth is under their grip and that sharia law is the law of the world.

    Imagine the entire world under a Talaban government– that is what these bastards want.

    The are today’s fascists, no better and perhaps even worse that the NAZI’s and their aims.

    So, that said, I think that I have clarified the point regarding “Islamofascists.”

    And at all costs they must be stopped in their aims to destroy civilization as we now know it.

    callforjustice911

  47. Chechens seceded from Russia and declared their independence on November 2, 1991. They passed a constitution, on March 17, 1992, and have considered themselves to be an independent state, with a president and parliament, ever since.

    Maybe this can be a model for democracy in Iraq. Because America supports democracy abroad, er right?

  48. It’s extremely difficult to understand any cause that resorts to murdering and terrorizing women and children, and civilians in general. I think all bets should be off in these situations, and no force is too strong to root these animals out.

    It’s extremely difficult for me to tell if you are talking about the Chechens or the Russians from your wonderfully ambiguous statement. Intended, no doubt.

  49. Matt: Tell me what you really think. Are you saying the terrorists are justified?

  50. Mr. Nice Guy: Tell me what you really think. Do you think any women and children and civilians were killed when Imperial Russia annexed Chechnya in the 1800’s?

  51. Do you think any women and children and civilians were killed when Imperial Russia annexed Chechnya in the 1800’s?

    Now that it’s 200 years later the relevance there is minimal. Are we to entertain our colonial grudges today? I’m sure we still have a score to settle with Canada over 1812 too. Let’s go blow them up, Matt.

    It’s extremely difficult to understand any cause that resorts to murdering and terrorizing women and children, and civilians in general.

    There is no need to understand such a cause, only to eradicate any and all who would do this.

  52. Matt:

    The Russians most probably killed Chechan civilians 200 years ago and (to be fair to you) to this day. If the Chechans organized and struck against the military force that oppresses them, I would be a lot more sympathetic. But they choose instead to attack innocent civilian targets like airplanes, theatres, and schools. I suggest you look at those pictures of bloody children (who, by the way, were imprisoned in an overheated gymnasium for two days without food or water), and answer my question: are the terrorists justified?

  53. Call for justice–
    For a moment there I wasn’t sure if your original post was intended to inspire the Russians or the Chechens. I’ve long thought the Russians should get the hell out of Chechnya, but at the same time I agree with your idea of washing the bullets in pig fat.

    I work for a defense industry consulting firm, and while editing a military budget report on the price of bullets the other day I noted that we’re spending a bit more than we have to by refusing to buy Israeli ammunition, so as not to offend the sensibilities of the people we’re killing. So it’s okay to kill people but unacceptable to offend them? Maybe if we tried doing more of the latter we wouldn’t have to do so much of the former.

    Comment by: Jennifer at September 3, 2004 07:15 PM

    Jenifer,

    If Israeli bullets offend their sensibilities, and they are “kosher” which means that they were not lubed with pig fat, just imagine if we as America buy those bullets and lube em’ up with good old American swine grease.

    Sound funny, but not really. The Brits found out about the virtues of pig fat on ammo in WWII warfare in India dealing with Moselem separatists. They greased their weapons and the tracks to trains in India with swine products as a deterant to Islamic individuals blowing themselves up and the trains in an effort to have their own state– promised by Japan if the did so.

    To Islamofascists mentality, to sacrifice one’s life in Islamic aims gains immediate entry into their version of heaven– except if they are NOT DEFILED.

    One of the means of defilement first on the list is eating or touching or being contaminated with pork or the essence thereof.

    It is true, I have seen it, when I was a student in college many years ago. There was a Islamic student from Saudi Arabia that made the mistake of eating a hot dog that may have had pork in it.
    Just at the suggestion of such, I saw him put his finger in his mouth and throw it up. And he feared the rest of the week that he would not go to heaven if he died so defiled.

    LET IT BE KNOWN TO ALL ISLAMOTERRORISTS:

    WARNING OUR BULLETS MIGHT BE FROM ISRAEL AND LUBED WITH PIG FAT !

    Gee… Every airport should have special little mace cans available for all passengers that wish to purchase them…

    Spray pig fat on anyone that attempts to take down a plane.

    I am not kidding.

    Screw Islamofascist sensibiliites! Toss out any consideration of not offending their sensibilities, for they think nothing of our religion, or our sensibilites, and they kill innocents, and now our children.

    My religion says “Know thy enemy”

    Well, I know my enemy and what he fears.

    And my bullets are lubed with pig fat for good measure. And should I ever have to use them in the War on Terror, I will make it a point that that was done even as I open fire.

    callforjustice911

  54. Looks like yes, he is saying the terrorists are justified. He’s saying that it’s okay to murder kids. Or at least that it’s not so bad, cos, you know, others have done it. I mean, the Russians have killed kids. So it’s okay to kill more kids.

    Think he has any?

  55. In the early years of the war, the Chechen uprising was strictly a nationalist affair, with the kinds of terrorist attacks that you’re seeing today being unheard of. It was only as the conflict continued to rage over the years that it began to be hijacked by Islamist elements, both Chechen and foreign.

    Had the Chechens been granted independence in the early years of the uprising, Islamists – terrorists or otherwise – would have no more of a role to play in the country than they do in Bosnia today. You might remember that Bosnia began seeing Jihadis creep into the country back when the Serbs were still carrying out massacres. But fortunately, a peace agreement was reached before they could gain much influence in the place.

    There are probably some parallels to be drawn with the way that Hamas and other Palestinian Islamist groups have grown in appeal since the end of the first Intifada, but there are notable differences as well.

  56. If I lived in 1940’s Poland I would have killed any occupiers regardless of gender or age, If I thought it would expel the beasts any sooner.

    nah, terrorism is never justified. I just like to point out that when a state terrorizes and targets civilians by taking land and killing whoever gets in the way, it has a tendency to be excused over time or couched in clinical terms like “annexation”. When the rebels fight back with similarly grotesque tactics, the well fed and unthreatened peanut gallery start crying foul.

    What is the statute of limitations on an occupation, rst, 200 years? I can only infer from your statements that had Britain/Canada won in 1812, after a certain time had elapsed, you wouldnt care anymore.

    Gotta admit guys, its a freaky day when libertarians are defending 19th century Russian imperialism.

  57. Terrorists blowing up schools and shooting children, hijacking planes, and bombing trains. All I want to know is, what does Bush plan to do with my social security!!

  58. > “If I lived in 1940’s Poland I would have killed any occupiers regardless of gender or age, If I thought it would expel the beasts any sooner.”

    I fail to see the apples-to-apples comparison. Are you suggesting that the kids, attending school in Russia, are accountable in the occupation of Chechnya? Am I “fair game” to be held hostage because of what’s happening in Iraq?

  59. Matt – your 1940s Poland point is well taken. However, I don’t believe there were any children among the Nazi invaders and occupiers. I’m not so concerned about gender – some of the monsters in the Beslan school were women and I hope they were among the terrorists who met local residents’ rough justice.

  60. You know, we really shouldn’t be commenting on this; its bad for the war effort. 🙂

    The Russians most probably killed Chechan civilians 200 years ago and (to be fair to you) to this day. If the Chechans organized and struck against the military force that oppresses them, I would be a lot more sympathetic. But they choose instead to attack innocent civilian targets like airplanes, theatres, and schools. I suggest you look at those pictures of bloody children (who, by the way, were imprisoned in an overheated gymnasium for two days without food or water), and answer my question: are the terrorists justified?

    Historically civilians have always been fair game in warfare (even when various codes of conduct stated that they weren’t); so I am puzzled today why the killing of civilians is considered so “evil.” Was General Curtis LeMay “evil” when he firebombed the hell out of Japan, for example?

    DA,

    Am I “fair game” to be held hostage because of what’s happening in Iraq?

    From the logic of “total war,” yes.

  61. Gotta admit guys, its a freaky day when libertarians are defending 19th century Russian imperialism.

    I’m not a libertarian.

    If I lived in 1940’s Poland I would have killed any occupiers regardless of gender or age, If I thought it would expel the beasts any sooner.

    Yeah, and if the school was full of Russian loyalists’ kids in Chechnya, you still wouldn’t have a point. As it is, the school is in North Ossetia, a state whose loyalties are (more or less autonomously) to Russia.

    When the rebels fight back with similarly grotesque tactics

    You will have to demonstrate when in history Russian forces descended upon a school and began killing children until the Chechens joined the empire.

    What is the statute of limitations on an occupation, rst, 200 years?

    “Statute of limitations” is a term generally defined as the amount of time that can lapse before a criminal case can be brought. If the Chechens have such a complaint, then perhaps they should consider an appropriate forum. Regardless, there is no characteristic of the occupation that justifies action against a bunch of kids born perhaps 15 years ago. If you have a 200-year old grudge, it is not with any living being but with a history and a system. It is most certainly not with children.

  62. Hmmm,

    You kill my children; I restrict my retaliation to your army.

    You kill my neighbours children; I restrict my retaliation to your army.

    No I see you’re about to kill my sister’s children as well. What should I do? When do I break from the strain and try something else?

    I disagree with the actions of the terrorists and I feel for the families, but I can see why they do it.

  63. No, no, Gary, you don’t undestand. When you murder women and children from 15,000 feet up or via over-the-horizon artillery bombardment or via cruise missile from your ship 600 miles away, i.e., when there’s no chance in hell your victim could do anything to you, you’re a hero. When you murder women and children at close range, i.e., when someone might be able to actually stop you, you’re scum.

  64. Terrorism is a squishy word. If we accept its definition as “intentionally targeting civilians”, then it takes me all of three seconds to trot out justified American/Allied terrorism; Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima. Which, by the way were very effective in ending occupations and Im glad we carried them out. If you want to propose another definition of terrorism that excludes these examples, Im all ears. Try not to hurt yourself contorting.

    What we see in the Russian school today is terrorism by any definition. Im asking why people tend to accept state terrorism and deplore it when its carried out on a smaller level. Why do Chechen rebels have to play by the rules when Russia did not?

  65. SR,

    I knew that weak parallel was going to be trotted out (i.e. how can we criticize Chechnian rebels for shooting schoolchildren when the U.S. “does the same”, but from a distance?)

    So, I guess we are taking intent out of the equation to make that argument.

  66. Hiroshima, whatever Russia did 200 years ago, what Chechnian (Islamist) “rebels” did 2 days ago… It basically involves equating one individual to another by having the same ethnic background, and distributing fault equally. Individuality is all but removed, as all the above acts were collectivist acts.

  67. DA, second degree murder is usually defined as “killing with depraved indifference to human life,” i.e., the killer could be reasonably certain that an innocent person would be killed by his actions, even if he *did not* intend to kill any one particular person. Dropping a bomb with a “kill radius” of 500 meters into an urban area with an average population density of 5,000+ persons per square mile certainly fits that definition. The difference intent to kill a specific individual makes is between second degree and first degree murder. You can make a utilitarian argument that the killing of innocent civilians is justified for the “greater good”, but both actions are still murder.

  68. I believe the Chechnian black widows have a bit more of a recent beef with the rooskies than 200 years ago. Russia has bombed them twice in the past 10 years. The black widows’ message: you kill our kids, we’ll kill yours.

    Here’s an excerpt. You won’t find much on the Russian slaughter since they banned western journalists from covering it.

    “…The Russian military campaign has been pitiless. At the peak of the bombardment during the first war, Grozny, which had almost half a million residents and was the largest city in the North Caucasus, was hit by, on average, 4,000 artillery shells and bombs an hour and became a latter-day Guernica. Much of Chechnya?which is about the size of Connecticut, with roughly a million people before the first war?was turned into a rubble-strewn graveyard, as thousands of survivors became orphans, widows, and grieving parents, and many more were left homeless refugees. The vast majority of those killed were civilians?Chechens and Russians who constituted about a quarter of Chechnya?s population and had the misfortune to live in Grozny.

    The estimate of Chechen deaths ranges from 20,000 to 100,000 for the first war and 14,000 to 80,000 for the second; the lower figures are favored by Moscow, the higher ones by Western governments and Russian human-rights organizations. If the latter are right, roughly 15 percent of Chechnya?s civilian population has died since the first Russian invasion. More than 300,000 Chechens have become refugees in Chechnya?s interior…”

    http://www.bostonreview.net/BR29.3/menon.html

  69. Gadfly, thanks for providing the examples. I was to lazy to track them down myself.

    I wrote When the rebels fight back with similarly grotesque tactics

    RST wrote — You will have to demonstrate when in history Russian forces descended upon a school and began killing children until the Chechens joined the empire.

    Yo RST, you read that? Or am I to interpret you literally about the school and the joining the empire details, like you took me literally about the statute of limitations comment?

    It seems to me we’re watching terrorists fight terrorists, by any definition. It aint pretty. I wish it wasnt so. But that dont change a thing.

  70. I think the real questions are:

    1) What could the Russians have done to prevent this sort of thing?

    2) What can Americans do to prevent this sort of thing here? It’s not like we haven’t had bombings and mass shootings stateside – yet our schools are still soft targets.

  71. The estimate of Chechen deaths ranges from 20,000 to 100,000 for the first war and 14,000 to 80,000 for the second; the lower figures are favored by Moscow, the higher ones by Western governments and Russian human-rights organizations. If the latter are right, roughly 15 percent of Chechnya?s civilian population has died since the first Russian invasion. More than 300,000 Chechens have become refugees in Chechnya?s interior…”

    any of you that don’t understand why people can remorselessly slaughter children (and fly planes into buildings, for that matter) should read that should read that all very carefully. chechnya is not a big place. the russian army has essentially tried to exterminate the chechens in the way we once did the native american.

    the depth of western ignorance on the origins of islamic world antipathy for the west just amazes me. it’s time we started to admit that we are not simply “the good guys”, and that — regardless of whether or not you think it was necessary or not — our mechanized armies have committed irredeemable atrocities against these peoples. we’re going to be reaping that for a long time to come.

  72. 200 years ago

    moreover — simply because the average american has a 30-second attention span and considers anything older than 10 years to be “ancient” does not automatically make 200 years an eternal gulf of foregiveness. traditional institutions and societies — ones that aren’t fleeing their past as ours is — have looong memories. (ask the catholic church, for example.)

  73. Gary,

    Thanks for the info on the Kennedy/Kruschev communications. I?d never heard that phrase of Kruschev?s but I like his sense of imagery.
    I didn?t learn anything about naked mole rats in a biology class, although I have spent a bit of time in Kenya as a field assistant to someone studying them. For what it?s worth (very little, at this point and in this thread), they?re not at all violent in their normal day-to-day business with other members of their own colony. But I understand (although I didn?t personally see it in Kenya) that confrontations between members of different colonies, or on the rare occasions when a new queen is being determined, can be quite vicious ? this would presumably be the source of your class lesson that they?re very violent. And I can personally attest that they have a _very_ strong bite, having felt one nip me through a thick leather glove. But this is all far off topic on a dying thread?.

  74. Thoreau-
    That report I read was written for people who already knew the background of the situation so it didn’t go fully into detail, but the phrase I read was something along the lines of “refusal to buy Israeli bullets for reasons of ‘political correctness.'” So yeah, I’d say it was all about people’s feelings.

    And based on other reports I’ve read, Israeli ammo and weapons are definitely high-quality killing tools.

  75. Jennifer,
    You are the note of sanity in the cacophony.
    I was in WalMart in Madison, IN, today and noticed 100 shotgun shells for under 15 bucks.

    You, WalMart and I could eliminate terrorists far more effectively, swiftly and expeditiously than Dubya and his people.

    Our wonderful government has yet to engage Walmart other than to piss it off.

  76. J,

    I think basically Kruschev was scared shitless about the possibility of a nuclear conflict. In Castro he got more than he bargained for I think, since it appears that Castro was more than willing to have a nuclear exchange with the U.S. Given that – unknown to the U.S. at the time – warheads were in Cuba during the crisis, this was a distinct possibility. McNamara has stated that Castro wanted a nuclear war, and that his thinking might have been driven by the CIA’s efforts to assasinate him (talk about blowback!).

  77. J,

    Thanks for the info on the naked mole rats; here I have been wrong all these years. 🙂

  78. i agree with callforjustce911 completely. while our foreign policy could use a little work, the only way to deter these islamofascist, subhuman monsters from their utterly dispicable acts is to deny their supposed entry into heaven.

    In *rational* individuals (and i know i’m going to get hell from the PC, ” but islam is so fucking great” people) the fear of death or punishment acts as a deterrent against such heinous acts as those we’ve seen these terrorists commit. True, there’s the occasional suicidal nutjob who doesn’t care either way, but they’re the exception.

    The thing about our current enemy is that they actually WANT to die, so threatening them with death is rather pointless. Making it known that upon committing their vile acts their bodies will be defiled, however, will do WONDERS in stopping this shit. And the punishment for convicted terrorists (and i mean the actual ones, not the ones “convicted” by our “justice” department) should be placement in a vat of boiling pig fat.

    Happy Labor Day! 🙂

  79. Well that proves that Bush’s foreign policies are a disaster. Don’t believe me, then read this article and see for your self how Bush and Putin are responsible for the tragedy:

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/597/597p12.htm

  80. Gais:

    Thanks for your comments. Buddha said vengeance is like a thirsty man drinking salt water until it kills him. Jesus had a few choice words about the subject, too. However, these higher ideals are very difficult to grasp in situations like this. I really wonder if any of us would be so charitable if faced with what these innocent parents and children had to deal with.

    I have to admit that I’m enjoying those pictures of black-masked Russian police roughing up the school terrorist they captured (they are not even bothering calling him a “suspect”). Yes, this is totally fascist.. but it seems so appropriate to me, provided that this man is actually what they say he is.

    It makes me crazy to think about it.. if some third-world subhuman shitpile hurt anyone I loved, especially a child, I wouldn’t be like callforjustice.. I would be worst.

    On a much, much lighter note:

    “I suspect it has as much to do with pork barrel politics as anything.”

    Brilliant!! I declare ye thread-winner 🙂

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