Thursday--October 24, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 407
& Russia's Terrorists
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, October 24 -- The major headlines in the US shouted the capture
of the sniper--but Pravda, the Russian newspaper, is filled with its own
World Trade Center Terrorism.
Terrorism is contagious, or, it has always
bred the same intensity and we're just realizing how powerful it can be to
strike Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the innocent, the
Hostage and children with Negotiators
In Moscow, Chechen
rebels seize a 1,600-seat theater, and hold over 600 hostages, demanding
Russia stop its war on their people. In addition to wearing "suicide
bombs," the rebels have wired the building with explosives, and threaten
to explode them, bringing down the structure and killing all within.
A majority of the guerrillas are
women, according to Pravda, the Russian newspaper and many are widows of
Chechen guerrillas killed by Russian troops. To avenge the
deaths of their husbands, Pravda reported, they are willing to kill
themselves and others. Hostages inside the Cultural Center had
planned to see a Russian musical.
Tatyana Solnyshkina, one of the
hostages, talked to Russian authorities via the cell. She
pleaded: "We beg you not to shoot, not to storm the building.
We beg you. Don't start the storm, don't shoot at them.
There are girls next to me with lots of explosives on them. Men with
machine guns. That is why--don't shoot at them."
The Terrorists warned that for any Chechen
guerrilla who is "hurt," they will retaliate by killing ten hostages.
The Palace of Culture for the Moscow Ball-Bearing Factory, where the
hostages are being held, is only three miles from the Kremlin.
What was also interesting in Pravda this
morning, was an article about why Russia should preempt the United States
and attack Iraq
Russia's Oil Giant
The author of the article noted that Russia is concerned
its oil interests in Iraq will be usurped by the United States if America
takes over the regime change. Russia's oil giant, LUKOIL, has a $20
billion contract with Iraq to explore for oil, and Russia is concerned
that if America leads the world in removing Hussein, the new regime will
nullify those contracts and favor American oil companies, claiming them
illegal because they were entered into with Saddam Hussein. In
a quote, Pravda said: "Now it is becoming obvious that the American
administration wants all Iraqi oil for its own oil companies."
The Russian's claim France is in the same situation, vulnerable to
America's thirst for oil.
A spokesman for LUKOIL, Mikhail
Dolgov, said that Moscow is obliged to stand up for the interests of
Russian companies in Iraq, regardless of the Baghdad regime.
In the concluding paragraph the following
question was posed: "What if Russia deploys its commandoes to
Baghdad for the sake of saving the people of Iraq from the horrors of war?
This no longer seems to be the idea of a fanatic. This move could
become much more efficient. Probably, it could provide a crisis that
the CIA and the US State Department analysts did not even think of.
Then, it will be time for a different kind of world order, taking into
consideration everybody's business."
Three degrees of Terror this morning--a
caught sniper, a building full of hostages in Moscow, and the innuendo
that Russia might preempt the United States in toppling Saddam Hussein.
John Allen Mohammed
One degree of Terror seems to be
resolved. The sniper suspect appears to be caught. John
Allen Mohammed, 42, aka John Allen Williams, and his 17-year-old stepson,
were arrested while they slept in their car at a rest stop.
Mohammed, who converted to the Islamic religion, is reported to be a
10-year Army veteran. Police surrounded the suspects' car based on a
tip from a passing motorist. MSNBC analysis, former FBI agent
Joe Cassandro, called the discovery of the suspects an "act of Vigilance
by the public." Descriptions of the car and suspects had been
broadcast on various networks and cable news shows over the past 24 hours.
The fate of the 600 hostages in Moscow
isn't as bright. The concert hall is surrounded by Russian
special forces. One of the Chechen guerrillas who decides not to
surrender can set off another holocaust, igniting the explosives and
bringing down the building.
And finally, whether the hint that
Russian commandos will assault Baghdad to preempt America and preserve
their oil stakes, seems improbable. However, in today's world,
the improbable can transform instantly into the reality.
Reading the papers this morning
reminded me of that carnival game where gophers pop up their heads
randomly and you try and hit them.
It seems Terrorism's head might be
whacked in one place, but in another it pops up, requiring "Terror
Hunters" to spin and twist here and there, almost ad infinitum.
It also suggests that we don't know what's coming "next."
As I write this, President Bush is
aboard his helicopter, Marine One, enroute to garner votes for Republican
candidates, then off to visit world leaders to get support for military
attacks on Iraq.
In the midst of all the global
jockeying to smother Terrorism, or change regimes, the power of Vigilance
seems to have popped to the surface--at least with respect to catching
A passing motorist, alert to the news
media blitz of the suspects' identity and car description, put their
capture in the hands of the people. Back in time, when we
lived in far more primitive environments, humans didn't wait for some
state or federal force to protect them. They weren't Complacent in
protecting their families or children. They took "Vigilance"
into their own hands - i.e. they assumed the duty and responsibility
for securing the peace of their "village."
It seems the finding of the "sniper" was an
example of the "power of the people," as was commented on by the MSNBC's
I'd like to believe that Vigilance across
America, and the world, would serve to protect us more than waiting for
government to do what is our duty. Pravda shot a barb at
Russia's security systems for allowing the guerrillas access to the city,
denouncing the security for not exercising closer controls.
Perhaps Pravda should have asked all its citizens to become Mothers,
Fathers, Parents, Grandparents and Citizens of Vigilance rather than
abdicating that role to the government.
When we look at our duty to
Vigilance, we can't look any farther than our own mirror. Any
attempt to point fingers at others is a form of Complacency, an act of
Intimidation, and a sign of one's Fear to face reality.
Reality demands we take charge of our
security as individuals, as family members, and as members of our
communities. This doesn't mean we don't rely on police
or law enforcement to back us up, but it does mean we don't hand over the
right to Vigilance to them, and walk around ducking and weaving in hopes
we aren't Terrorism's next victim.
And, when you boil it all down, John
Mohammad's acts of Terrorism can be traced back to his parents, his loved
ones. Somewhere along the line he was wrongly trained that violence
against others was just. The roots of his Terrorism do not
belong solely to him, if he is found guilty of the heinous crimes.
They belong to his genetic pool, to those who didn't teach him the art of
Vigilance--that his mission in life as a human being was to protect the
physical and emotional security of the children's children's children.
Had he learned the Principles of Vigilance,
he certainly wouldn't have allegedly shot over a dozen people, killing the
majority of them, including one child. Had his parents
subscribed to the Pledge of Vigilance, and shared their deep emotional and
physical love for him as a important asset to humanity, he would have
sought to build rather destroy humanity.
More importantly, he
wouldn't have subscribed his step-son to join him in such a killing
rampage, teaching a child Terrorism rather than Vigilance.
In Russia, the same holds
true of Terrorists holding 600 hostages. They have devalued
the lives of others, put the hostages at risk to further their own agenda.
As no good came from the attacks on the World Trade Center, no good will
come from blowing up the Cultural Center three miles from the Kremlin.
And the talk of oil in Iraq as the pivot
point for either America or Russia to make a regime change in Iraq is also
troubling. Where is the concern for the children? Or
their children's children?
One day, the resources of the
world will be prized not in the form of oil or gold or food, but in human
life. When we run deficits on billboards as New York City does
flashing the national debt penny by penny so all can see, we will
broadcast instead the economic loss of human life as our greatest human
deficit. When we look a the millions of dollars lost by
each person's untimely death, we might be able to translate human value to
That day will come as Americans and the
world slowly, but surely, embrace the Pledge of Vigilance, and the
attendant principles that accompany it. For when Fear
bows to Courage, and Intimidation skulks away in the face of Conviction,
and Complacency knows no hiding place because Right Action drives it from
the spotlight, the human right to evolution will accelerate.
Peace and prosperity will replace Terrorism and human bankruptcy.
Don't wait for the
next Terrorist attack.
Take your Pledge of
Vigilance today. Arm yourself with tools to secure your
family and loved ones, so when Terrorism next pops up, you will
have a way pound its head without fatigue or a sense of futility.
23--Terror Walking With My Grandson
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a