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Journey to my MBA

Monday, September 06, 2004

Tragedy in Russia

I just got up to speed on the Russian hostage situation and I cried my eyes out. I’m really sad for the survivors who have to recover from the trauma of the situation. In case you’ve been out of the loop like I’ve been, I’ll do my best to journalistically describe my understanding of what happened.

About a week ago, a Russian elementary school had its 1st day of school. Most of the students were escorted by many of their parents. This was a time of the year when the classrooms were flooded with people. It was then that 23 Chechnyan Muslim Terrorists who were already within the buildings took over the school. Shooting ensued and within minutes 15 students and parent were dead. The total population of the school that day had swelled to 1300 parents, teachers, administrators and students.

The hostages were all corralled into the gymnasium.

For 3 days, Russian authorities labored to work out a release of the hostages. Russian authorities were able to find out that the reason for this violent act of force was because these Chechnyan rebels were demanding Russia to leave their country. In the mean time, the parents and teachers pleaded for mercy to let the children go. Their cries fell on deaf ears. Not only that, but they weren't allowed to go to the restroom, eat or drink or go to the drinking fountain that was down the hallwayto even get a drink; a mere 5 feet away. The terrorists ate and drank in front of their hostages, tantalizing them like spectators look into a cage of animals at the zoo. The hostages were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves were they sat. 5 and 6 year olds were crying their eyes out. Now, the weather there was at about 100 degrees during this time. The bodies of the dead were also adding to the incredible stench. It must have been putrid and unbearable in the gym.

The terrorists were incredibly well armed. Survivors later reported that they were forced to open up hidden cavities in particular walls and dig and into the ground in various areas of the playgrounds where the terrorists had planted ammunition and armory. Clearly, they had planned the takeover months in advance and didn’t decide to do this at the last minute.

In the meantime, the Russian authorities managed to work out a deal with the terrorists to pull out the dead bodies with unarmed Russian volunteers/officials. About 15 went in. And that’s when things changed.

As the unarmed Russians went into the building, the Chechnyans’s opened fire on the entering volunteers killing a few and wounding many. The rest fled back out of the building. For 3-4 hrs, the wounded unarmed Russians lay there. Russian police and other authorities were able to pull them out later on.

Inside, the Chechnyans who had previously lined the roof of the gymnasium with explosives decided in their anger and frustration to activate the explosives with every student inside the building. Remember, these were innocent 5 and 6 year old kids. As the roof caved in nearly 100 students and parents were immediately killed.

In the chaos of the destruction, 5 year olds having seen their Mom or Dad killed beside them, and other students and parents decided to run. They tried to escape through windows and hallways only to find most of them blocked. The Chechnyans would have none of this and opened fire upon them with automatic rifles. Accounts tell of the terrorists targeting many of the children. And as they ran, they were shot in the back and their heads. They were shooting to kill; not wound them. These were 5 and 6 year kids getting murdered! Over a Hundred children were massacred at this point alongside their parents.

Can you just picture the scene? My heart breaks just thinking about the shortened lives of these children that will never know the possibilities of their life……………….. They’ll never know the wonder of having a boyfriend or girlfriend………………... Some of them will never know the pain of applying to Business School……………. This tragedy will last in the minds of the survivors for the rest of their life.

At this point, the Russian authorities had no choice but to send in their people to kill the terrorists despite the loss of innocent hostages that this action would result in. As the authorities went in, additional chaos reigned because of the escaping people. When the shooting stopped, the total body count from the roof cave-in and the terrorist execution of the hostages totalled a little over 300 students, parents and teachers.

What really made me angry was the cowardice of some of these terrorists who at this point, dropped their weapons and attempted to run out of the building while trying to blend in with the hostages whom they were shooting at seconds before.

The actions of these men can only be described as evil. They offered the hostages no mercy or pardon. They offered the Russian authorities no peace or options. And they offered us no choice but to hate them.

I don’t see our world as one of Countries with soldiers to fight wars anymore, but rather soldiers trained as professional counter terrorist’s forces. As far as I’m concerned, this is at the level of a Jonesville incident where years ago, hundreds of people followed one man and drank cyanide cool-aid as a guaranteed passage to heaven.

These Chechnyan terrorists lost their humanity somewhere along the line in life. They became evil in fleshly form. Truly, there are no bounds to the evil in this world.

On another note regarding Florida. All I can do is shake my head. I don’t envy Governor Bush’s position. I actually laughed when he chided in on a news interview that there was a law being passed that if anyone mentioned the word Ivan around him that there was a $5 fine. I wonder if that would be considered a moving violation. Uh, just kidding.

Anyway, I needed to lighten up this Journal entry a bit. Back to the books.


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