I continue to be amazed at how the internet can provide some of the background information needed to make sense of an insane world while the mainline media continues to ignore historical facts, instead prefering to focus on the sensational, emotional aspects of the news to sell their product.
I was originally motivated to provide the following links because of a vistor, one I presume to be a conservative Republican, who has twice commented on a much earlier entry entitled "This Ain't No Stinking War Blog," his point apparently being that protestors shouldn't have been picketing the Republican Convention because nobody was out protesting the killing of hundreds of children and parents in Chechnya.
Well, first of all, Mark, there's not much use protesting unless you think there's some hope that someone in higher power (in the convention's case, that would probably be the American voters) might actually act and change the current situation. Demonstrators could probably be accused of being naive enough to believe that a majority of people would act differently if they saw the world the same way the protestors did, but I'm sure that was the main reason for their largely peaceful protests.
If they were Republicans, of course, the protestors would have put more faith in the power of the dollar and depended on 30-second commercials to sway the American public to vote for the way they wanted them to vote. After all, it's worked so far for the Republicans. No wonder they're so outraged that the Democrats and their allies seem suddenly to have nearly as much money to spend on commercials as they do.
Unfortunately, it seems extremely doubtful that terrorists who would go so far as to kill innocent children are likely to be swayed by demonstrations. If so, I'd be one of the first ones out there demonstrating, as would most of my liberal friends, I'm sure.
If there is any hope in ever resolving the problem, though, one suspects that we need to begin by examining the roots of the problem and see how we can begin to destroy this cancerous growth before it destroys us. It's hard to see how you can hope to solve a problem if you do not understand the causes for it, though.
Personally, my search led me to What is Going on In Chechnya? which in turn let me to the Dhekr of the Chechens For me at least, these articles help to fill in some much-needed background on a part of the world I am woefully uninformed about.
My greatest fear is that it is precisely terrorist attacks like this that we may face in the future if we continue to allow our foreign policy to be driven by greed and ignorance. Until we know and address the causes of such violence, it's unlikely that anything short of genocide will end the problem. And while genocide may have worked in ancient times, it seems unlikely it will do so in the modern world where our actions are constantly monitored by the world's media.
Personally, I doubt most Americans are willing to live in a world where we attain some kind of illusory "safety" by killing millions of Muslims throughout the world.