Terrorism in Russia: More murder without a cause

With the three-year mark of Sept. 11 approaching, we’re still not able to comprehend what happened in New York on that weary fall morning. Life has gone on with the hope that everything possible is being done to prevent terrorism, and that countries like Russia do all they can to fight their own terrorism. In the past three weeks Russia has endured an unprecedented amount of terrorism, starting with a suicide bombing in a Moscow subway station that led to 10 fatalities. The following week, two airline jets went down along with the 89 passengers aboard. Apparently two female Chechnyan terrorists strapped themselves with explosives and managed to get themselves past airport security. The final blow of Chechnyan terrorism came at the cost of 326 victims, 150 of them children, when 32 terrorists took hostage of close to 1,200 students, parents, and teachers on the first day of school in southern Russia. A total of 424 innocent lives were lost in a matter of three weeks.

Little is heard about all of this in the U.S., since the media doesn’t follow issues that don’t concern American security. In fact, during the school siege most people weren’t even aware of what was happening because every TV station was blasting fear-inducing images about the snail-paced breeze called Hurricane Frances. I understand the need to inform the public about their immediate safety, but the media also has a responsibility to report news of imminent danger around the globe.

The current government has used scare tactics since 9/11 to enact laws, and the media has always been willing to broadcast any hint of terrorism. Yet, many people don’t know that the U.S. and Great Britain have granted political asylum to people directly connected to terrorists. The U.S. encourages Russia to sit down and negotiate with Chechnya over a peace settlement; the U.S. has even held correspondence with the rebel Chechnyan government. Our government has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, yet they act in the most hypocritical ways when it comes to their own interests. As Russia’s President Putin responded in regards to Western criticism, “Why don’t you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?”

The U.S. wants Russia to act in a civil manner when they are under constant attack. Yet we reserve the right to go into Afghanistan and Iraq and take the appropriate measures when it comes to America safety.

This isn’t something that should be an issue in the upcoming election; instead, this should be one of those eye opening conversation topics like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Tibet’s occupation, and the vision of Castro’s demise that gets everyone worked up over. This conflict, rarely mentioned in classrooms and almost never reaching the American viewer, needs to be discussed on college campuses to generate interest and stimulate hope that peace can be resolved, for any neglect of worldly events such as this only feeds our ignorance.

Slava Borshchukov can be contacted at v.borshchukov@umiami.edu.