Friday, September 03, 2004

Belsan Hostages

Few days ago, hundreds of people, including children, were taken hostage at a school in Belsan, Russia by Chechnyan, Russian, & Ingushetian militants. Many were killed, injured, or eventually rescued. Today was the 3rd day of the hostage standoff. It's hard for me to understand why people would do something like that. The militants even refused water, food, or medical help for the hostages - many who were injured or really hot due to the hot weather while being stuck inside the school.

The pictures I saw of the hostages, especially the children, who were rescued just ripped my heart. Imagine how they felt about being held hostages, being deprived of basic essentials, the shock and experience of being released from such hell/horror, and life afterwards. I wonder what kind of resources and support these children and their families/friends have there, especially since mental health and social services are relatively new concepts over there.

If this very same situation happened in Israel or even America, would Bush or America have reacted differently or even uttered the word, "terrorism?" Did Bush not say much due to diplomatic ties or knowing that Russia had resources to handle situations of this nature? What would Bush have declared? How would the media have exploited or portrayed this event? How would have the rest of the world reacted? I also question vice versa - about how Americans are reacting to the Belsan event in terms of their attitude, empathy, and sympathy.