Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!
On the heels of horror, the poisonous concept of the afterlife taints the healing:
Russian teenager Chermen has his own assessment of why he survived the attack on School Number One in Beslan in which 326 people, 186 of them children, died.
"God wanted to save everyone but He saved only those who had the highest purpose in life. So I know that when I grow up I will become someone great," he said.
On the morning of 1 September 2004 Chermen was just eight years old and running late for the Day of Knowledge, as the traditional start of the school year is known in Russia.
Chermen made it to the commencement celebrations in time, but in doing so was in the school when a group of Chechen gunmen attacked, taking more than 1,000 people hostage.
The militants herded the hostages into the school gym, and there they held them for three days.
Inside the sweltering gym the terrorists refused to give hostages food or water, forcing them to take drastic measures.
"I drank pee. It was tasteless. I also found a piece of pear skin on a floor. It was really good," Chermen told me when we first met. "But mostly I slept."
At one point he was woken by the sound of an explosion inside the gym. Chermen saw how one of the militants had blown himself up with a grenade attached to his body:
"A terrorist grenade was hit by a bullet. He blew up and his brains hit me in the face. It was horrible. It was fatty and slippery," he said.
The explosion triggered a fierce gun battle between the hostage takers and the Russian Special Forces, who stormed the school in a desperate rescue bid.
"I can't forget how the terrorists were killing children, mothers and fathers right in front of us," she said. "They caused us so much pain. I am so angry with them I could kill them. They took the most precious things in my life, my brother and my father."
Laima, another survivor who is also now 14, has made a ritual of her visits to the grave of her best friend who was killed.
"I go to visit Zayka at the cemetery. I sit by her grave and talk to her. I ask her 'how is life over there? How are you doing?' I believe she is still near me. For me she isn't dead."
But others, like Christina, are still troubled by thoughts of those who died.
"I am scared of my dead friends. They come to me in my dreams. They have changed. They are dressed in black. They are angry and say 'Why us? We wanted to live too!'"
Is the belief in ghosts an aliment to the scars of survivor guilt? No, it is not. And just who was responsible for this act of terrorism? Surprise! A religious extremist by name of Basayev:
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the Russian school hostage siege in which at least 320 people were killed. He blamed the Russian authorities for the deaths in Beslan. He further claimed recent bomb attacks on two Russian airliners and a Moscow metro station.
And sure enough, who does he thank for this bullshit? Yep, you guessed it:
In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate... Who is responsible for the attacks on Rusnya [derogatory word for Russia]? By the Grace of Allah, the Shakhid [martyr] battalion, Riyad us-Saliheen [Gardens of the Righteous] has carried out several successful operations on the territory of Rusnya.
And like any good apologist – the blood is on someone else’s hands, not his own, or his contemptible genie:
What happened in Beslan is a terrible tragedy: the bloodsucker from the Kremlin killed or wounded 1,000 children and adults by ordering the storming of the school to satisfy his imperial ambitions and to keep his job. In the most impudent manner Putin is now trying to blame us for that, accusing us also of international terrorism and appealing to the world for help.
And of course, his demands were reasonable (that is, for a blood-soaked, froth-flecked zealot):
There are facts to prove that:
The mujaheddin made clear-cut and precise demands:
- We demand that the war in Chechnya be stopped immediately and that the withdrawal of forces be carried out;
- We insist that Putin immediately resigns from his post as president of the Russian Federation;
- We insist that all hostages, be it children or adults, go on hunger strike in support of our demands;
Also, the mojahedin set the following conditions:
- We will give water to everyone provided Putin immediately stops the war, sends all his troops to the barracks and begins the withdrawal of his troops;
- We will give food to everyone provided Putin begins the withdrawal of his troops in reality;
- We will release children under 10 as soon as they start withdrawing the troops from mountainous areas;
- We will set others free after they complete the withdrawal of the troops;
- If Putin submits a letter of resignation, we will release all the children and go back to Chechnya with others...
It is blaringly obvious to these crazed monsters (if they had the slightest bit of a brain cell between any of them) that none of these demands would be met.
And all of it palls in contrast to the ridiculous concept that some sort of justice will be meted out by a higher power, that all debts incurred in this life will be settled in the life after, that life unprovable, unsupported by any evidence outside of fuzzy feelings.
It is to weep.