I don’t know if I’m feeling a leftover spirit of international fellowship from the Olympics, or just general human concern, but this Russian hostage case has me feeling both interested and a little tense here in Toronto. I’m far more interested in what will happen to the 300 Russian hostages than I normally would be. As well, I’m a little troubled by my news-watching habits in this case. They eerily resemble my habits of following the Olympics and other sporting events: I’m checking online for regular updates to see what’s been going on, soaking up TV and radio news footage, and feel like an intrigued spectator more than anything. What has the Olympics done to twist my view of the world? It’s a little scary.
What’s really getting to me at the present time is how every news report says that no one has claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking, but Chechen rebels are suspected. Same thing with the two planes that were exploded in Russia recently. If the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” extended to whole nations of people, the Chechens would definitely be getting a raw deal. I understand they are the most likely candidate for stirring up shit in Russia, but it’s still unfair. It reminds me of when international (read: brown) terrorists were suspected of blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, and it turned out to be Tommy McVeigh and friends. It simply feeds the hysteria and suspicion of certain groups to assume they are behind all nasty situations.
Let’s just hope as few people are hurt as possible in Beslan.