A bomb exploded at Domodedovo’s international, Moscow’s busiest airport Monday. 35 people were killed and another 150 were injured in what is being called the worst suicide bombing in Russia in the past 16 years. Though no organization has taken responsibility for the bombing many writing in Russian on the Islamic website, kavkazcenter.com, praised the action. Islamic rebels have vowed to hit economic targets in the Russian heartland in an effort to bring their bombing campaign to there from the North Caucasus in the year before the Russian elections.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who shares power in a ‘tandem’ arrangement with the less influential Medvedev, has staked his political reputation on quelling rebellion in the North Caucasus.
He launched a war in late 1999 in Chechnya to topple a secessionist government. That campaign achieved its immediate aim and helped him to the presidency months later; but since then insurgency has spread to neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan.
Tensions between ethnic Russians and Muslims, at 20 million they make up one seventh of Russia’s population, flared dramatically last month in a string of clashes, which involved thousands of Russian nationalists who attacked passersby of non-Slavic appearance, many of whom were from the North Caucasus.
The worst incident involving North Caucasus rebels took place in 2004 when militants seized control of a school in Beslan. When Russian troops stormed the building in an attempt to end a siege, 331 hostages, half of them children, were killed.
President Obama condemned Monday’s bombing. Remember when life in America used to seem a lot quieter? Back before the invention of the internet and our total commitment to involvement in one world drama? Today the events of various countries appear on our televisions as only events in the various United States appeared in the past.
I suppose it has been an ongoing debate since the beginning of time as to whether progress is good or bad. In my life’s experience I have to say I believe progress has contributed more to the negative than to the positive. Most people I talk to say they miss the past, which might seem prejudiced if it were only people in my age group commenting. But the fact is I hear this assertion from people in all age groups. I do not know what is going wrong in the course of human evolution but I do not believe it is normal to hear a 20 year old saying, “I miss the good old days.”
God lead us out of this mess.