Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

Back to main blog

RSS thingy

Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.


( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

The Old Comrades:

November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Pity the scapegoat. This account of the hysterical anger directed against the former headmistress of Beslan School No. 1, which I read on the ferry home, was displaced in my mind by Hurricane Katrina. But as the floodwaters subside it is worth another look as being another illustration that the human need to punish someone for an awful crime is a wave that will breach the barriers of reason unless we keep the walls in good repair. The full story in the Independent of 2 September is worth reading but requires payment, but you will get the general idea from this:
It was meant to be a sombre day of mourning and remembrance but the first anniversary of the seizure of Beslan's School No 1 was marked by a display of raw anger yesterday as the school's hated headmistress was forced to flee a mob intent on attacking her.

"Murderer! Murderer!" the mob shouted at a frightened Lidia Tsalieva. "Why did you come here?" The Kremlin, which local people accuse of tragically mishandling the siege and its aftermath, was also targeted.

What did Lidia Tsalieva ever do to deserve this? Was she supposed to predict that her school would be overrun by terrorists and she herself taken hostage? Was she supposed to drill the classes weekly in what to do when faced with men who slaughter children while shouting "Allah Akhbar"? With a five minute quiz on snappy techniques for press interviews afterwards?

She is an ordinary woman whose heart has been broken. Perhaps she lost less than her attackers, merely (merely!) having her pupils killed rather than her own children, but she did no wrong. One would have to be superhuman to be prepared for what happened, or to react to it without fear and mistakes. We can try to sympathise with the storm of grief that prompted the mob to pursue Lidia Tsalieva, the real murderers having escaped them by death, but their suffering does not make them right.