You want drama queen?
Here's one of her more robust tales, from last April. I took one look at it and decided not to post it (not much pity for Chechens left after Beslan, sorry), but it's pretty interesting in its own way:
NINE-MONTH-OLD GIRLS ARE DECLARED MARTYRS
Who fired rocket no. 350 F 5-90?
In Chechnya they are once again catching Basayev - for the last two weeks in a row. Accorrding to official information from the regional operational headquarters of counter-terrorist operations (ROHq), a "large-scale troop operation is being conducted to destroy members of armed gangs, and has already liquidated seven gunmen."
...It was like this: two military aircraft, whose tail numbers no one could recall, flew over the houses. A few minutes later the aircraft fired rockets. Imar-ali Damayev who lived at the farmstead was at that moment in a nearby cemetery. Seeing the aircraft, he broke into a run towards home, where his wife remained with their five children.
The scene that confronted him would convert a strong soul into either an eternal pacifist, or a kamikaze: Imar-ali's 29-year-old wife Maidat was already dead, clutching 4-year-old Janati, 3-year-old Zharadat, 2-year-old Umar-Khazhi, and tiny nine-month-old Zara. Mother's embrace saved none of them; shrapnel killed them all. The body of Zura, Zara's twin sister, lay a bit to the side. Maidat had neither the reach nor the time, apparently, to shield her fifth child under her body, while Zura could not crawl the two paces to her mother.
Soon people came running. Rocket fragments were collected, and they found out that the serial number of the killer-rocket had been preserved: 350 F 5-90. They began to bury the dead, and an ulem, a Moslem law interpreter from the adjacent settlement of Nokhchi-Keloi, said that he would declare all those killed to be shakhidy - martyrs. And so they were buried by evening of that day, as martyrs, without washing the bodies or wrapping them in funeral shrouds. They were buried in the clothing in which they accepted death.
...Thus patience wears out. In the almost five years of this second Chechen war, the interpreters of Sharia law had not declared a single baby to be a martyr, since ALL the murders of children during shoot-outs and cleansing operations since 1999 still remain unopened cases. There were not investigated by law-enforcement agencies, the baby killers did not take their seats on the defendant's bench, and for this very reason patience wears every thinner against a background of servicemen in Chechnya who behave as if they were out on the training range and everything around them is completely empty and clear of people and children.
...I will end (Struw comment: she doesn't, though
) with what has happened for the first time since the beginning of the war, about declaring children to be martyrs. It goes without saying that this was a strong reaction by the ulem of Nokhchi-Keloi, and not simply a flash of emotion. Nokhchi-Keloi is near the village farmstead of Rigakh. For the last two years Nokhchi-Keloi has been living with a tragedy that happened there in 2002, when officers of the GRU general staff's special operations force also participated in a 'troop operation' (they were catching the 'wounded Khattab'). In an offhand manner they killed and burnt six villagers in a UAZ minibus on a scheduled bus route, traveling home to Nokhchi-Keloi from the regional center. Among the passengers were the director and the principal of the village school that was to become the savior of Imar-ali's oldest son. Also killed in the 2002 raid was a pregnant woman who had seven children at home.
After that 'large-scale troop operation' there were 28 orphans in Nokhchi-Keloi. The killers were quickly arrested, and the jury verdict should be issued April 19th in Rostov-on-the-Don. Nokhchi-Keloi did not quite make it to April 19th, to the sentencing of the culprits of the previous villainy. Now this same village has a new tragedy: the incomparable horror of mass infanticide. It is not difficult to understand the ulem, especially when the entire village agrees with him.
(Struw comment: so much for ending
)...The world seethes around us. Hostages die. Countries and peoples demand that their governments and international organizations send troops to save the lives of people who are performing their duty. Everything is quiet where we are. The deaths of children and their subsequent reckoning to be martyrs did not entail a single demand to send troops, or even that immediate discussion begin about what is going on in Chechnya, for the purpose of the seeking ways to a dialogue, to pacification, demilitarization, and everything else that needs to happen at the end of a war.
Of course Anna Politkovskaya personally saw all of this, or did she take the word of the al-Qaeda lead Chechens as Gospel? If the truth be known she never was near this village, but they brought the propagandists to her for the interview. This reminds me of the reporters in Baghdad reporting from the front lines, when actually they are drinking Jack and coke in the bar of the Marriott.