Saturday, September 04, 2004

*Ø* Beslan

Our hearts go out to Beslan today. No suffering that has happened in Chechnya, no matter how vast, can ever justify the taking of innocent lives, especially those of children.

The Chechnyan people have suffered horrifically under the Russian boot, with organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture of one accord that human rights are still being systematically repressed in Chechnya.

It's all for Chechnya's oil, for rich industrialists and shareholders living in luxury in Moscow, Berlin, New York, Tokyo ... and countless thousands of innocents have been killed, tortured and "disappeared" to support their lifestyle.

Homes have been bombed indiscriminately, and the huge occupying Russian force behaves like Nazis, aided by the other major nations whose profit-making elites and their media ensure their citizens know practically none of the facts. Like Iraq, it's yet another case of "Sorry, but our oil is under your sand".

Even this 2001 report, 'Endless Brutality' from Physicians for Human Rights, reveals the level of the crisis, and it's quite out of date now and things have got much worse. We can well understand how long-brutalised people can get so desperate that violent reprisals seem the only choice.

Terrorism is wrong, and obsolete
However, terrorism and revenge are to be condemned as cruel and ineffectual methods of personal or political action. History records no lasting successes from the use of violence, and the skills of non-violent resistance are now well developed. There is enough experience of alternative methods of conflict resolution and self-defence to have rendered violence obsolete, especially terrorism which always turns global public opinion against the groups that employ it. Terrorism is clearly a method that works against the people who have the grievance.

People of goodwill are urged to spread knowledge of these superior strategies and tactics, information on which abounds on the Internet. The survival of our species and our world depends on it.

Crisis in Chechnya: A very good overview on one page, lotsa links. In fact, it's a must-read, IMHO.
American Committee for Peace in Chechnya
BBC's Chechnya timeline
The Politics of Non-Violent Action (Gene Sharp)


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