Only a fool ignores the lessons of life displayed around him. When that fool is an elected or appointed leader of people, the ignorance equals dereliction of duty; an unacceptable failure to perform. We, in America, have had the opportunity to learn from the unfortunate experiences of Russia as they suffered through the attacks at Nord Ost Theater in Moscow and at Middle School Number 1 in Beslan. This week's review is about John Giduck's book, Terror At Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools. While I almost feel disrespectful in saying so, the most important part of that title for us is, "...with Lessons for American's Schools." The detail Mr. Giduck gives to his analysis is impressive. The links he creates between terrorist performance, doctrine and training should be a wake up call to every law enforcement professional, school resource officer, school security officer, school teacher, staff and other employees. Every cafeteria worker should read and understand the implications of the terrorist doctrine.
Before I go on, let me honor a few Russian soldiers, just as Mr. John Giduck did in his book. Why? Because even though they are of a different nationality and Russia used to be at odds with America (and still is in some ways), ALL parents should appreciate and respect the actions of men who sacrificed their lives to protect innocent women and children. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Warrant Officer Oleg Vyacheslavovich Loskov
Warrant Officer Denis Yevgeniyevich Pudovkin
Lieutenant Andrei Alekseyevich Turkin
Major Roman Yurievich Katasonov
Major Mikhail Borisovich Kuznetsov
Major Vyacheslav Vladimirovich Molyarov
Major Aleksandr Valentinovich Perov
Major Andrei Vitaliyevich Velko
Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Gennadiyevich Ilin
Lieutenant Colonel Dmitri Aleksandrovich Razumovskii
An eleventh anonymous Special Forces soldier
Each of these men knowingly and willingly sacrificed his life to protect women and children--escaping hostages near the siege's end--from death or dismemberment. Each of them holds an honored spot in heaven's warrior halls.
In reviewing the book it is initially pleasing to see that Mr. Giduck didn't simply analyze the events at Beslan as they began the morning of September 1, 2004. Instead, he goes back several decades to first familiarize the reader with the history of that section of geography in Russia. The political history; military history; and geopolitical destabilization history are all examined. How the Chechen terrorist movement was financed, trained, equipped and grew in power is all reviewed so that the reader can fully appreciate what the hostages and rescuers in Beslan faced those horrible few days that the entire world watched.
Next, Mr. Giduck familiarizes the reader with Special Forces units in Russia's military and federal police services. The history and development of those units, along with selection process, training overview and final testing are all delineated.
Then, before getting into a day-by-day account of the siege at Beslan Middle School #1, Mr. Giduck gives the readers a review of all terrorist activity leading up to the Beslan siege. If most of you are like me, you're quite unaware of such events as: