This was not a pleasurable book to read, nor did I enjoy it. I am glad that I read it, because I think we need to know what is out there waiting to take our lives and the lives of those we love. I am glad that the author wrote the book, and I hope many people will not only read it but take it to heart, but as I said it isn't an easy or enjoyable book to read.
I want to quote a few things from the book. I warn you some of it is hard to read, but it is important to understand what we are up against. Until we are honest about who we are fighting and what they will do we can't possibly be ready for our own Beslan.
From the beginning the hostages were shocked at the feral, animalistic behavior of the terrorists. "Once inside they just went crazy, beating people, raping girls, killing some hostages, all the while shooting and screaming threats," one military officer told me. "The girls were raped in the most brutal ways imaginable," several government and military representatives who were on scene reported. Some were raped right on the floor of the gym in front of all the hostages and small children. Among those, a number of the girls were raped with the barrels of the terrorist's guns, and any other objects that were at hand. Those who lived later required emergency surgery to repair the internal damage done by the sadistic assaults. Many of the girls were dragged upstairs to the auditorium where they were held and raped repeatedly throughout the ordeal. In all, the behavior of the terrorists, as a group, was very abnormal, both Marina the police psychologist and another military psychologist explained. "The Ingush and Chechens, in particular, would constantly beat the children hostages, laughing at the sport of it all," said one young man who had been a student at the school and who had friends inside. (pages 117-118)
We in America must be ready and willing to react when such violence comes to our shores. Hand wringing won't help, we must act and quickly.
Reports that almost two dozen older teenage boys and men were herded into the adjacent room to the east of the gymnasium, lined up against the wall and killed, would prove to be - unprecedentedly - underrated. In the morning of the first day 16 adult men and older boys were taken onto the second floor and executed. These would not be the only ones so brutally dispatched. The Chechens and Ingush are not large people physically, and are generally intimidated by the bigger Ossetians who hale from a wrestling culture. They feared organized resistance and so prevented any such efforts by killing outright the largest of the hostages. Still, some Spetsnaz told me that among those executed there were some shockingly small teenage boys. With this demonstration of the terrorists' power, others were conscripted into the labor efforts of the terrorists to fortify the school. Furniture was moved and stacked at the windows and other crucial choke points in the school's corridors. In the industrial arts shop in the far southern arm of the "W" that formed the building's basic shape and enclosed the south courtyard, wood and metal working machinery was moved about as fortifications for the Arab terrorists who used the large room as a base of operations. Throughout the first day and morning of the second, as the usefulness of these older, larger males ended, they were executed. At least 21 men and boys would ultimately be killed in this manner. (page 123)
Few Americans have any substantive knowledge of the history of Islam, and the growth of modern radical extremist Muslim groups in the modern world. For if they did, they would see a direct and incontrovertible path of violence headed in our direction, not unlike the visible trail of a missile as ti soars unerringly toward a great jet airplane flying so far above the fray that it does not think to look for threats racing toward its soft underbelly. in order to understand the threat we face today, what the terrorists are planning for America this very minute, some grasp of the history of Islam and its impact on the world is essential. As Dr. Mary Conroy often lectures: "A people without knowledge of history, is a people with amnesia." For too long we have suffered this malady, and it has now proven to be a deadly affliction. (page 375)
It has become popular and politically correct to publicly tout Islam as the "religion of peace." Though the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives, it remains a faith steeped in a foundation of violence. Today, there is no other single common factor in the wholesale slaughter of innocent men, women and children around the world than the perpetrators' conscription into the Islamic faith. And when a terror attack occurs, the average, everyday Muslims living in America are all-too-quickly seen on television decrying the non-Islamic community for blaming them for the acts of the terrorists. Their only response is that the consequences of the terrorist attacks should not be taken out on them. In this, they too prey upon the sensitivity of the Americans to claims of discrimination and bigotry. Strangely, what seems to never be heard is an outright condemnation of the terrorists' atrocities. For a single religion to spawn so much hatred, so much inhuman capacity to commit violence against the innocent - even if those innocent are citizens of a perceived enemy nation or culture - there must be a cause. That cause cannot be the preaching of tolerance and peace so often ascribed to it. (page 375)
We must be prepared this kind of violence is coming to America. It is no secret that they hate us and our values, nor is it a secret that they would love to kill as many of us as possible. American needs to quit hiding it's head in the sand and start protecting ourselves.