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Posted: 9/3/2004 8:56:17 PM EDT

Humanity and Inhumanity at Beslan

They were taken hostage on the first day of school in Russia. It is normally a happy day and one filled with pride as the children are brought to school by their parents, who attend, all in their finest clothes and showing the traditional Russian protective reverence for their youth. There were at least 345 families there, plus staff and others; those family units, without regard to any sort of distinction between armed and unarmed, men and women, young and old, would be butchered: For the terrorists struck, a collection of men and women (males and females is more appropriate) infected with an utter depraved evil which cannot be adequetly described; still the events must be recounted, as a warning to the world of what shall only grow more and more prevalent as the infection of Islamism spreads like a malignant tumor through the civilized world.

First they lined up the adult men and they began to shoot them. As many as twenty may have been killed in this first act after the hostage-taking. A few escaped, one man with two broken limbs and a concussion crawling himself to safety. There were perhaps as many as thirty bodies outside from the initial actions; the bodies of the men shot, perhaps, or others and their's adding to the toll inside.

They assembled the children and the remaining adults in large rooms where they could be easily watched. They brought two dogs with them, sort of mobile canaries like miners once used, to warn against incoming gas and give them enough time to set off their explosives. And explosives, indeed, they had quite alot of: Rigged to the building, rigged to the women who had the task of setting off the suicide devices, with the grenades and rifles of the men completing the ensemble of death.

Their demands were impossible for any government to meet, and intentionally so. They demanded the Russian government give them victory in a war that has already killed thousands of Russian civilians in exchange for the lives of the hostages. If for the memory of those already dead, if for no other reason, Putin could not yield, and besides, history is replete with animals like these who, on having learned they can get what they want through terror, not stopping at one bite. To give in would have been but to feed the hopes of their insanity and that would have led simply to incident after incident; there could be no giving in.

And yet, the Russian government, so maligned these days, apparently tried to negotiate anyway. They even offered to release some men from prison. Putin has two daughters and it is irrational to think of him as heartless, a Russian who shares the prejudices of his people, one of the better of which is their love of children. He offered them as much as he could, but anything short of victory was only a call for them to die in the service of Allah and so they set their hearts on it.

Requests to send in water and food to the hostages were denied. The people in one room, hundreds of them, begged for water, water for the children who were desperately thirsty and by then no-doubt showing the signs of dehydration. In an act of depraved madness the terrorists brought those hundreds a single cup, such an act of sickness that one can only imagine them as laughing when they did it, animals, beyond any description as human and beyond any human thoughts.

When they escorted the children into the restrooms, some in their desperate thirst went for the faucets. They were beaten in punishment for their effort to save their lives, instinct and desperation matched against the unnatural barbarity of inhuman killers. These are people who's hearts are not simply black; they may as well have ripped them out of their own chests in exchange for possession by a sadistic and malevolent demon, and it would be nice if they had, too, for it would mean that human beings are incapable of turning themselves into such animals as this.

Outside the dogs the terrorists had brought with them began to eat the dead bodies. The Russians watched this and pleaded for permission to at least kill the dogs so that the sanctity of those already dead would not be further violated. No chances were taken and those defenders, the military personnel, the security personnel, the police, the cossacks and the armed citizens, they watched the bodies, perhaps of friends and relatives, being eaten by dogs rather than risk the life of a child who might still be alive.

But more were dying. Slowly the children began to expire from dehydration. The death toll mounted as those little bodies, pressed beyond human endurance through a lack of food and water, began to expire. One wonders if the reason they were made to go to the bathroom was to prevent them from collecting the urine in a desperate attempt to stave off the deaths of at least some of the children; by that point any fluid could at least not hurt, but of course even that was denied them.

There were bodies rotting all around, decaying for up to three days in the open, and the bodies of dehydrated children as well. A few hostages had been released; but from monsters like this it is unlikely to be sympathy but rather was likely simply the releasing of enough hostages so they could concentrate their guards, pack the remainder into the rigged rooms and around the women with their shrapnel-filled suicide belts to guarantee the death of as many children as possible. They behaved, in truth, in the exact opposite of every way a human being normally behaves. These "Muslims" had trascended their flesh and become demons in all the relevant particulars.

At last they let the ambulances come in to collect the dead. But they were not showing sympathy or any sort of gesture of mercy here. They were bringing more victims into the kill zone to guarantee the biggest possible slaughter. As the ambulances approached they were, by some reports, mined, and by others fired on by RPGs from inside the school. As this took place the bombs went off, the roof collapsed, and probably close to a hundred children were killed.

Most of them died as cowards killing children; some were even greater cowards who could not at least die along with their young victims. As fire poured from the school the police, security, and military forces--and the civilians, the people of the town and in all liklihood the members of the North Ossetian Cossack Army, those gallant defenders of civilization over the centuries, they returned fire and tried to kill as many as they could to salvage what they could of the situation.

The heroism grew. Unarmed Russian troops raced in to rescue children, as many as they could, despite the fact that there were still terrorists in the building, terrorists outside, firing, trying to kill as many as they could. This did not stop their heroism and I shall pray that it is remembered for a thousand generations; there are few examples that rank equal to it.

Many of the children running out had little or no clothes on. I do not know why this is. Perhaps they had flung their clothes off because they were burning. Perhaps the terrorists had stripped them from them to humiliate them before their deaths. Perhaps they had been sexually abused by the terrorists, obscenity piled on obscenity to demonstrate their power over helpless children before killing them. When creatures reach such a level of depravity as this nothing is beyond them.

Now many of the surviving terrorists tried to escape. They advanced out with children herded before them as human shields, just one more act of depravity to add to their dark satanic madness. They were not allowed to escape. As soon as it was safe they were shot. The children fled as best they could and the terrorists killed some; but more terrorists were killed. A few fled to a building elsewhere in town with their young hostages and they were surrounded by armed citizens; they were routed out. Some more fled to another building without hostages and that building is of last word being shot to pieces by the townspeople with their rifles. Others were chased down, likewise, by the citizens of the town and shot.

One tried, pathetically, to hide among the crowd of the desperate onlookers. He was beaten to death, a fate to good for him, and should I meet anyone who helped in the process I shall once thank them for dispatching such evil from this planet with their bare hands. A pity the crowd could not get them all; it had the right to after this atrocity, a word barely sufficient for what I have described.

It was not over, of course. There was more inhumanity to come; some of the terrorists did not try to run. Instead, as the survivors inside the school fled, they shot them down in the back. They shot fleeing children down in the back, as if a final sickening cap to the level of their monstrousity. Once it seemed that all the hostages were clear the Russians moved in and the terrorists were killed; my main regret is that they were not killed in ways more deserving after their atrocious acts.

There are a few still holed up in another part of the school. They may have hostages, they may not, and the Russians again want to be sure, first, as they exchange gunfire with them, before they rush in. One female suicide bomber was unable to set herself off for some reason or another, but perhaps regained some of her madness--or had orders to break out and do this from the start--and tried to get into a triage centre set up for the wounded to blow it up. There were enough guards and she failed; she is the only prisoner that I know of out of those who were so ready to die in the commission of these depravities, and I hope she is ripped limb from limb by the crowd rather than enjoying the pleasures of a justice system.

Welcome to the world of Jihad, and know that in the dark hearts of those who fight, they shall live for the chance to enact some sort of atrocity worse than this. Our enemy deserves no parley and no quarter.
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