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Hostages Were Helpless In Face of Chaos (Russia - WP)

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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 04:44 AM
Original message
Hostages Were Helpless In Face of Chaos (Russia - WP)
Excellent piece from the Washington Post, which provides details of the horrible events in Beslan, Russia which have been previously unreported.

It's four pages long, and it was extremely difficult to read. This is the most chilling article I have ever read. Ever. My thoughts are with the people of Beslan. What has happened to them is unimaginable.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62459-20...

Hostages Were Helpless in Face of Chaos
In Aftermath of Disaster, Survivors of School Siege Recall the Nightmare
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Nambe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think I will read it in the morning before church.
I'll see if the liberal preacherette can calm my soul.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It's my wish that DUers will try, just try...
Edited on Sun Sep-05-04 06:03 AM by VolcanoJen
... to feel the pain of the Russian people at this moment. We experienced this pain ourselves, just about three years ago. It is heart-wrenching, and very difficult to recover from. Just look at where we are in this country since, for example.

I realize this is certainly not the first time Russians have been the target of terrorism, not even the first time this week, but this has got to be the worst, the most horrific. God, those children... the parents, leaving their dead children behind to care for their living ones. The blown-off heads. The mob outside, that tore to pieces one of the terrorists as he tried to escape.

Can you even imagine if terrorists took a grade school hostage in this country? The reaction? The mob? The pain?

What happened there just eclipses everything for me. I'm so surprised we've busied ourselves all day talking about stupid polls and an endless thunderstorm the size of Texas.

I do hope you read it before you go to church, Nambe. And I hope church can comfort you afterward, because I'm still reeling.

Sorry for this rant... I just feel like I have nobody to talk to about how upset I am, except for this white blank screen.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. What can we do for Russia?
What can we do to help those families and the community?

Can we donate money to help cover funeral expenses or help rebuild? I know we can take flowers and motes to local Russian embassies, but it seems as if we should do something more.
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Today we are all Russians
Thanks for posting this.
I can't imaging the horrors experienced by those innocent souls.
As a teacher, I can only have visions of what our packed school cafeteria would be like with all of the students and those parents who always linger on the first day of school. Bombs, guns, no water, dead bodies, crying babies....

Could it happen here?
The global political environment is spawning terrorism. Who's behind it? Why?

Survival of the fittest, indeed. "He who dies with the most toys wins."? We need a new paradigm, fast.
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 05:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. I read it. Thank you for posting it.
I was challenged earlier for having "feelings" for the people of Beslan. I hold my ground. This horror is unforgiveable.

My deepest sympathies go out to all the people in the region. I hope that people of faith will pray Peace upon all over there.....

How very sad.

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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 06:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. 333 dead, 260 still missing
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. No. We're not. We're second guessers.
And a lot of people want the Russians to lose this.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. Interesting part of article - interviewed witnesses heard no Arabic
It's been reported in the media that some of the terrorists were Arab; the witnesses interviewed by the Washington Post seem to debunk that.

"Sit down, sit down," the guerrillas said in Chechen-accented Russian, according to survivors. None of the former hostages interviewed said they heard Arabic spoken, despite official accounts that Arabs were present. The survivors described a number of their captors as "Wahhabis," a reference to the Wahhabi sect of Islam originating in Saudi Arabia, because of their long beards and prayer caps.
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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. The other possibility is that the Arabs intentionally stayed out of sight
"Kasumova could see that the guerrillas were tense and exhausted. Since the siege had started, she had counted 16 of them mostly bearded men in their 20s and most of them Chechen, the rest Ingush and Ossetian though she suspected other fighters were stationed elsewhere in the school compound."

16 of reportedly 32 terrorists.

"Defenseless Targets"
http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,1300...
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Ohio rules Donating Member (283 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Not all Chechans want
an Islamic state ruled under Shaira law.
Only the rebels demand this.
The survivors described a number of their captors as "Wahhabis," a reference to the Wahhabi sect of Islam originating in Saudi Arabia, because of their long beards and prayer caps.

Chechen Rebels Want Own Muslim State, Laws

Fri Sep 3, 8:53 PM ET


MOSCOW - Rebels linked to the school hostage-taking seek independence from Russia and most want to make Chechnya (news - web sites) a sovereign Muslim nation.



The first war between Chechen rebels and Russian forces in the past decade had less of a religious element than the current conflict, which began in September 1999.

<snip>

Although most Chechens are Muslim, Aslan Maskhadov, who became president of Chechnya after Russian forces withdrew in 1996, was seen as relatively secular. However, he came under increasing pressure from radical Islamic factions led by warlord Shamil Basayev and eventually declared Sharia law, or Islamic law, an idea that has less support among the public at large than it does among the rebels
Basayev was a leader of the Chechen insurgents who mounted a raid into neighboring Dagestan in 1999 with the aim of establishing an Islamic theocratic enclave. That raid was one of the Kremlin's justifications for trying to forcefully regain control of Chechnya and touched off the current conflict.

Basayev was a leader of the Chechen insurgents who mounted a raid into neighboring Dagestan in 1999 with the aim of establishing an Islamic theocratic enclave. That raid was one of the Kremlin's justifications for trying to forcefully regain control of Chechnya and touched off the current conflict.



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040904/ap...

Should they be given independence in return for peace in the region?

Or would that be seen as appeasement?
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. This is tragic
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. Russian School Siege Town Buries First of Its Dead
By Richard Ayton and Oliver Bullough

BESLAN, Russia (Reuters) - The sound of weeping mothers who lost their sons and daughters in Russia's school siege drifted out of the homes of Beslan on Sunday as the first burials were held for some of the 338 people killed.

Alina Khubechova celebrated her 11th birthday the day before Chechen separatists seized her school last week. Four days later her grief-stricken parents buried her, grasping a picture of the pretty brown-haired girl with white ribbons in her hair....


Zarina Tetova, mother of killed hostages Irina (L), 13 and Alina, 12, holds their portraits in front of their coffins during a memorial in the town of Beslan in the province of North Ossetia near Chechnya, September 5, 2004. The sound of weeping mothers who lost their children in the bloody end to Russia's school siege drifted out of the houses of Beslan on Sunday as relatives prepared to bury the first of 333 people killed. Photo by Eduard Kornienko/Reuters



Questions have persisted about the storming of the school and how the gunmen managed to transport huge quantities of explosives and ammunition into the school. Soslan Bidoyev, 23, was shocked by his brother's account of events at the school when it was seized last Wednesday. "He told us that when the hostages were brought in, the gunmen made the adults pry open the gymnasium floor. They took out supplies of weapons from underneath the floor," he said.

more

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Ohio rules Donating Member (283 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-04 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Boy who begged for water was bayoneted.
AFTER more than 24 hours in the sweltering heat of the school gymnasium in Beslan, one of the boys trapped inside could not take it any longer.

Summoning up his courage, he approached a hostage taker with a bayonet fixed to his assault rifle and asked him for a drink. It was probably the worst error that he could have made.



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1247784,0...
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