AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 9/08/2004 09:15:00 AM ----- BODY: Remember your first day of school? In the schools I attended, there was always a beginning of the school year assembly where we met our principal and teachers. Sometimes we'd sing some songs (usually of the patriotic variety) and someone would always bring gifts for a teacher. There was laughter and nervousness, fear and excitement. The first day of school. Like Americans, Russian children had an assembly on the first day of school. Some had brought flowers for their teachers, most were likely wearing their best clothes, as to make a good impression. Old friends were greeted, summer stories were exchanged. Questions were asked there that are asked in every school across the world: What's the teacher like? Who will I sit next to in class? Will the tests be hard? Will there be much homework? The first day of school. Just outside the celebration, a group waited. They heard the laughter of children, the high-pitched singing. They saw the smiles and the trepidation of children who were about to begin a new academic year. Did they gain any satisfaction in knowing they would soon bring more fear to these children's faces? How hard did they work at subordinating their humanity to their ideology? Was it easy, motivating oneself to point guns at the innocent and brutally kill children? Did they pray to their god for the strength to do evil? The children of Belsan lost their humanity to appease a wrong idea of god. They became pawns to a cause and a sacrifice to appease a hatred that could only be quenched with the blood of enemies. Children were shot or knifed for requesting a drink of water. Children were raped as a form of entertainment. Adults were killed for standing up to their captors. Civilization became an afterthought, a hindrance. There are those in this country who believe one can negotiate with those who commit such acts. The men running for president from Massachusetts and North Carolina believe that words can appease the evil that causes people to shoot children in the back as they run away. Many of their supporters believe that somehow, the west is responsible for terrorism. What did the children of Belsan do to deserve death? Perhaps Ted Rall, Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky should visit Belsan and try to explain how terrorism is really the fault of those terrorized, not those who wield the gun or trigger the bomb. Regale us with your sophisticated-sounding theories and try to explain away the slaughter of children by those who want nothing less than the fall of Western civilization. Putin's Chechnya policy is not wise, but it does it warrant such a bloody and inhuman response? The children of Belsan are the latest victims in a war that John Kerry and his supporters refuse to acknowledge. Islamic terrorists helped plan and carry out the horrors of Belsan. Radical Islamic ideologies motivated them. If it were possible, those same terrorists would have carried out an attack on schools in Bangor, Maine or Beeville, Texas. The location means nothing. The victims are chosen at random. The only thing that matters is the terror, and the killing. This is a war. We just received another reminder of why it's essential that we win it. If I have a message this Wictory Wednesday, it's vote accordingly. --------