More on Chechnya and Beslan

The events in Breslan again raise a familiar, difficult, and depressing issue. I’ve followed the problem of Chechnya for a while. I remember the leveling of Grozny. Here’s a brief primer by Masha Gessen of Bolshoi Gorod.

“The war, which began on Dec. 11, 1994, lasted nearly two years, cost at least 80,000 Chechens and about 4,000 Russian soldiers their lives, and ended in military defeat for Russia. In 1996, Russia pulled its troops out of a virtually demolished Chechnya, leaving it to fester—again. For the next three years, Chechnya, whose infrastructure had been bombed out of existence, turned into a state run by and for criminals. . . . The second war in Chechnya began in September 1999, following a bizarre and brutal series of terrorist acts. Two apartment buildings in Moscow and one in the south of Russia exploded, killing more than 300 people.” (read on)

Gessen side steps a very large issue: a host of movements and peoples who’ve been the victims of horrid atrocities have not chosen to kill children en masse. And we may be left to only judge them to be evil or psychotic or both.