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September 03, 2004

No More Study War No More For Me, Thank You

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. --John Adams

photo via Logic and Sanity

9 out of the 20 dead terrorists are arabs.

With (some faint) apologies to Willie Dixon,

Won't that be one mighty day
When we hear the mullahs say
"You don't have to cry no more"
"We're givin' it up, we gonna let it all go"

Update: From the Telegraph

The small bodies slumped in men's arms, hanging there as loosely folded as a length of heavy cloth, are each of them a Pietà, the archetype of pity. Each is a Cordelia carried on at the end of Act V, the cruellest moment in any play ever written.

Each carried body is a bitter parody of a sleeping child cared for in the arms of its father, in which every line is the same as it should be, but the meaning of every line is the opposite of what you hope it might be. The death and wounding of children - by women terrorists, for goodness sake - shown like this, when the wounded parents must do the carrying, and carry on doing the carrying after the crisis is over, is the denial of everything that matters most in life: the chance that the future might be better than the past; and the hope, which is in each child's face, that the world will be good to them.

Donations to help the children of Beslan can be made here.

Postscript: Allah pointed me to this story.

Zalina Dzandarova cradles her son Alan as he sleeps with his small face buried against her stomach. He is the child Dzandarova was able to save. The child she chose to save, really.

It is the other one, little Alana, her 6-year-old daughter, whose image torments her: Alana clutching her hand, Alana crying and calling after her. Alana's sobs disappearing into the distance as Dzandarova walked out of Middle School No. 1 here Thursday, clutching 2-year-old Alan in her arms.

Guerrillas armed with automatic rifles and explosive belts who are holding hundreds of hostages at the small provincial school in southern Russia allowed 26 women and children to leave. About a dozen mothers, like Dzandarova, were allowed to take only one child, forced to leave another behind.

Unlike more than 200 others, Alana made it out alive.

Alana told her mother she was saved from the burning gym by a 15-year-old boy, a fellow hostage. "She just hurled her arms around him and begged, 'Please don't leave me behind' " -- the same words she had uttered to her mother 24 hours earlier.

"She just held on tight to that boy. If it had not been for him, I would probably never see my girl again," she said.

"She was extremely happy to see me and be back with her family again," Dzandarova said. "We hugged each other and just felt like one single whole that was put back together again."

Posted by Bigwig at September 3, 2004 12:57 PM | TrackBack
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I think the full quote expresses it even better.

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

Posted by: niall at September 3, 2004 04:54 PM

There's something surreal about that little girl's face, behind the blood like paint. What did they do, club her in the face?

I have been reading John Gardener, lately, so that is why I say

Non-sapient. Non-sapient. Non-sapient.

Because I think he's got it right in his science-fiction universe, where only a non-sapient would deliberately kill a sapient being.

Posted by: B. Durbin at September 4, 2004 01:09 AM

> Because I think he's got it right in his science-fiction universe, where only a non-sapient would deliberately kill a sapient being.

In this universe, sapients do deliberately kill other sapients.

Acting as if they don't is merely self-nomination for the Darwin award.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 4, 2004 02:26 AM

Check out my article on Russia and the Chechen rebels that I wrote Thursday on my blog:

Tom P.

Posted by: Tom P. at September 4, 2004 10:37 PM

There's never been a worse event in human history. It simply doesn't get any worse. I can't even fathom it.

Posted by: Jim at September 5, 2004 03:54 PM

Andy: I meant that the very act of killing a sapient being (deliberately) pushes the person into non-sapience, by Gardner's definition. It's the same as labeling them goblins.

Posted by: B. Durbin at September 5, 2004 04:48 PM

> I meant that the very act of killing a sapient being (deliberately) pushes the person into non-sapience, by Gardner's definition.

You and Gardner may mean that, but that just means that you're both wrong. The problem is not a communication failure; it's that what is being communicated is wrong.

Killing someone does not imply a lack of the "ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight".

While expressing such sentiments might get you laid (by women who didn't notice that you just said that you'd sacrifice their kids) ....

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 5, 2004 05:45 PM

I am simply horrified... that the Russian police officer could be smoking a cigarette near that child. Doesn't he know that second hand smoke kills nearly a thousand people a year in Europe? Granted, it's fewer people than the vacationing children of pensioners kill each Summer, but still, I'm in high dunder about this.

Still, the phot begs the question: why do they hate us?

Posted by: Blackavar at September 6, 2004 10:17 PM
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