Monday, March 29, 2010

20-year history

Let's take it for granted that it sucks that a bunch of people just died in Moscow. Because it really, really sucks.

You know what else sucks? In a way that directly contributes to continued violence of this kind? Every single sentence in that CNN article. For example: Vladimir Putin's immediate response:
We are providing Moscow metro with additional CCTV cameras. Today's events show we should not only continue this work but to make it more effective. Changes in legislation may be necessary.
Or this reaction from a bystander, which is totally understandable and it's probably bad of me to want to tell this person to wake up and realize that when people are willing to blow themselves up it's not for no reason, and that the perfectly valid question they're asking of the terrorists should equally be asked of their own government:
"It's disgusting," one witness said. "I don't know who did it and what they wanted. Life is so short. How could people commit such terrible acts?"
Or this link from the article, given the absurd headline "How Chechen rebels threaten Russian stability." Or the absurd notion, directly under where the article places that link, that there is only a "20-year history" of what they call "Chechen rebels' conflict with Russia." Absurd, absurd, absurd.

Right now I can think of no better proof of the continuity of empire than Chechnya. To my knowledge, Russia has been an imperial presence there continuously since the late 1700s. The czars, the commies, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin. And Americans think switching from Bush to Obama is some kind of world-shattering change.

By the way, "Female suicide bombers blamed." Nice headline there. I'm not sure whether I'm more disturbed by the need to indicate gender in the headline or by the use of the dehumanizing "female," as if maybe suicide bombers (Explosionisis suicidensis? I don't know Latin) are some kind of newly described species. Luckily they can't produce viable offspring with humans.


JRB said...

Yeah, dude: Life is even shorter when you blow yourself up. That should signify ... something.

Ethan said...

Yeah. Like I say, I don't exactly blame an eyewitness to something as awful as a subway bombing for saying something like that immediately after, but as a statement it's a bunch of nonsense. One that's tailor-made for people like CNN writers to take advantage of.