Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Beslan revisited

International coverage of this horrific event is intrusive and insolent

The scenes around School Number One in Beslan, North Ossetia, precisely one year ago on Wednesday September 1st 2004, were the stuff of nightmares, with hundreds of screaming, terrified children running for their lives as the incarnation of evil ran amok.

The figures read 344 dead, 172 of them children. These children were not targeted by the Chechen and international terrorists who perpetrated this act of savagery because they were Yuri or Anna or Natalia or Nikolai but simply because they were Russians.

Innocent children chosen as targets by hardened terrorists, the softest of options for a bunch of cowards. "Drink piss if you're thirsty!" "Shut up!!" (backed up by machine-gun fire). "If you try to escape, we'll blow up these" (pointing to bombs).

One of the most striking acts of evil in living memory? Yes?

According to Western news sources, apparently not. The slant today is, as usual, one of insolence and intrusion, focusing more on the accusations levied by some Beslan mothers against the Russian authorities than on the tragedy itself. One has only to remember the demand by the European Union immediately after this act of terrorism, requesting an explanation from Russia about the use of force to see how utterly divorced from reality the western mind is, proof of a policy of brain-washing which infected generations of supposedly intelligent persons.

Victims of the hostage crisis in Beslan: Photo gallery

The bottom line in Western media sources is, try to find anything negative or embarrassing about Russia and sell the product to the consumer. This sinister manipulation of the truth is not journalism, it is propagandism. How many publications, how many "journalists" are guilty of presenting the finished product which the bought media wants to present? Using Beslan as such a tool is, however, unacceptable.

The act of evil perpetrated by Islamist extremists, sympathizing with the cause of the Chechen terrorists (freedom fighters, in the vocabulary of some), put Beslan on the world map for all the wrong reasons. The apparent sympathy expressed by the international community, criticizing the Russian authorities for using force and now, wallowing in the mud thrown by a handful of mourning family members, is a telling reminder as to where the hearts and minds of this community lies - hung over from the Cold War, determined not to let go, because to do so would wipe NATO off the slate with one clean sweep.

Beslan is for Russians to mourn and for Russians to resolve. The authorities on the day did what they thought they had to do with the means at their disposal. The death toll was 344. In the circumstances it is a miracle that it was not all 1.300 people taken hostage.

What were they supposed to do, apologize to the terrorists and provide more children for them to slaughter?

As for the international community, the correct approach is to profoundly regret what happened, to remember September 1st as the Day of Knowledge and to relegate this horrific incident to the annals of history, specifically the pages which document where human evil just occasionally gains exponential proportions.

To use the incident to attack the Russian authorities is to tacitly support the evil elements which perpetrated this outrage against human civilization.

Photo AP

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