This original post was published here in September of 2004, just after the massacre of young school children by Muslim fanatics (so-called Chechen Rebels) in Beslan, Russia. Long since forgotten by most Americans, if they ever really acknowledged it all all, the horific events that unfolded on September 1st of that year should serve as a stern and chilling reminder of what might happen any morning in any town in America. A sobering post from wretchard this morning over at The Belmont Club, reminded me like a prescient brick to the head, of the terrible possibilities that lay in wait this or any other day if we don't stay vigilant... and possibly even if we do. Being prepared, does not necessarily provide one with the ability to prevent tragedy. It also imparts the constitution necessary to survive beyond the disaster.
Note that the only thing that has changed since this post, is that the London massacre has since occurred.
The Ghosts of Beslan...
The events and details of the massacre at Beslan have all but unfolded for the world. Unfortunately, the sins of a cursed political season have yielded little coverage of the savagery from the mainstream America media outlets, who have addressed the event superficially and reluctantly, if at all. More images of the carnage and sorrow have circulated on Free Republic, it seems than all newspapers and television news combined. Together with in-depth analyses from Bloggers like wretchard at Belmont Club and The Command Post, the horrors of the event have been mostly realized for those concerned, yet detached observers…. Mostly! Yet, while the profound horror of tortured and murdered children may be conveyed through reporting to the rational mind, short of the actual experience, a tangible empathy is only possible with the aid of literary vision. There are few instances of similar horror so boldly recorded. And there are certainly none so penetrating as James Fenimore Cooper’s singular account in his novel, The Last of the Mohicans, of the beginning of the massacre of British troops and Colonials at Fort William Henry after their surrender to French and Huron forces in 1757.
The Huron savages under French command, no more represented the totality of the Native American peoples than do the butchers of Beslan or madmen of Manhattan represent the people of Islam. And yet the good people of that once-proud religion may do well to learn how the ghosts of those massacred victims seared a distrust and vengeance into the American spirit so profound as to doom all aboriginal occupants of the continent a century beyond one act of unconscionable barbarism on the shores of Lake George. Many have debated the historical accuracy of Cooper's fictional analysis of the historic event. Yet, accurate or not, his conception of the horror conveys a visceral comprehension of the misery and rage of the ghosts haunting Beslan today. Most mothers and fathers there were not spared the horror of loss with a similar blow to their skull. Their blow comes each morning anew as waking lights the flickering memory of a smile dashed out of existence by Islamic fascist butchers. Like it or not, we are again and in fact, engaged in a struggle for existence on the frontiers of civilization with brutal savages that would just as soon dash the head of our infants against a rock, as they would shoot them in the back, burn them alive, or shred them with shrapnel by the hundreds. And regardless of the inability of some to see beyond their own sophomoric delusions, the consequences of error are real and final. The ghosts of Fort William Henry and of Beslan will join with those of Manhattan, and Madrid, or even Seattle, Dallas, LA, Des Moines, Columbus, Pittsburg, Portland, and perhaps even London and Paris as grim reminders that capitulation to terror is an invitation to slaughter.
The savages now fell back, and seemed content to let their enemies advance without further molestation. But, as the female crowd approached them, the gaudy colors of a shawl attracted the eyes of a wild and untutored Huron. He advanced to seize it without the least hesitation. The woman, more in terror than through love of the ornament, wrapped her child in the coveted article, and folded both more closely to her bosom. Cora was in the act of speaking with an intent to advise the woman to abandon the trifle, when the savage relinquished his hold of the shawl, and tore the screaming infant from her arms. Abandoning everything to the greedy grasp of those around her, the mother darted, with distraction in her mien, to reclaim her child. The Indian smiled grimly, and extended one hand, in sign of a willingness to exchange, while, with the other, he flourished the babe over his head, holding it by the feet as if to enhance the value of the ransom.
"Here-here-there-all-any-everything!" exclaimed the breathless woman, tearing the lighter articles of dress from her person with ill-directed and trembling fingers; "take all, but give me my babe!"
The savage spurned the worthless rags, and perceived that the shawl had already become a prize to another, his bantering but sullen smile changing into a gleam of ferocity, he dashed the head of the infant against a rock, and cast its quivering remains to her feet. For an instant the mother stood, like a statue of despair, looking wildly down at the unseemly object, which had so lately nestled in her bosom and smiled in her face; and then she raised her eyes and countenance toward heaven as if calling on God to curse the perpetrator of the foul deed. She was spared the sin of such a prayer for, maddened at his disappointment, and excited at the sight of blood, the Huron mercifully drove his tomahawk into her own brain. The mother sank under the blow, and fell, grasping at her child, in death, with the same engrossing love that had caused her to cherish it when living. (Chapter 17)
It wont take much chaos to cause the hollow spirit to crumble like an empty crysalis. Then we'll see if America has the same reserved grit deep within as it did December 8th, 1941. Unfortunately there has been a tremendous political effort spent over the last 7 years dividing this nation to its core. And we know what Patrick Henry warned about that. We'd hope to never recall those ghosts again. But some horrors do not like to be forgotten or ignored; so much so they are determined to haunt repeatedly until their terror is fully manifest in a way that their spirit never can be.