Monday, September 06, 2004


The tragedy of Beslan is part of a long cycle of violence and horror. This from the London Free Press in an article yesterday:

'President Vladimir Putin faces the same dilemma that earlier led czars and Communist commissars to seek "solutions" to the Chechen problem that were as brutal as any in the annals of warfare. ...

'Gen. Mikhail Yermolov, who led Russian forces in a ruthless 30-year campaign to conquer the Caucasus region in the 19th century, called the Chechens "congenital rebels." ...

'Yermolov eventually subdued Chechnya by incinerating its forests to deny cover to the guerrillas, and by executing dozens of Chechen hostages for every Russian soldier he lost.

'In 1944 Soviet leader Joseph Stalin accused the Chechens of collaborating with the Nazis and had the entire nation -- half a million people -- deported to Central Asia. An estimated 150,000 Chechens died during the forced winter march.

' "Deportation and the exile that followed united the Chechens, in bitterness, sorrow and rage," says Vladimir Dimitryev, an expert with the Russian Institute of Ethnology. "We are reaping the harvest today." '

CTBI offers the following prayers from its new Remembrance material, Beyond Our Tears.

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