Sunday, September 03, 2006

Beslan — Two years later

It was brought to my attention this morning that today is the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on the school at Beslan. Other bloggers are offering their retrospectives, which are certainly worth a read. Mine is of a different nature, perhaps because I am naturally contrarian, but I hope it will not be perceived as heartless or insufficiently aware of the magnitude of the tragedy. My retrospective, which is uncharacteristically brief, is a reflection on the trap that, with the death of Basayev reported earlier this year, I believe we have avoided. My original post, written shortly after the attack, about my concerns along this line is here.

Whether or not there was the trap I wrote about I hope we shall never know. Whether I was right or wrong in my analysis does not concern me much; either I was right and we were clever, or I was wrong and either my concern was foolish or we were lucky. Either way, I am relieved that something worse thing has not — and I must I suppose add so far —followed up that atrocity. That relief tempers the memories even as it reminds me of duality that crowds my thoughts whenever I think about the current war: Things can always get worse, but they don’t always get worse. So in reflecting on the atrocity and what it may portend, I do not think it ignoble to also entertain some small degree of hope.