School kids as hostages

The Islamic extremists are expanding on the activities of earlier this week and last:

Heavily armed insurgents, some with explosives strapped to their bodies, seized a school in southern Russia today and herded scores of schoolchildren and others into its gymnasium.

More than a dozen guerrillas, including men and women, stormed Middle School No. 1 in the town of Beslan in the republic of North Ossetia, not far from Chechnya on Russia’s southern border with Georgia, just moments after the opening of the new school year, according to officials there and news reports.

According to one report:

…the hostage-takers threatened to kill 50 children for each of their number killed and 20 for each wounded.

This reminds me some of the Modoc Indian War.  Barb and have visited Lava Beds National Monument where the war took place several times and each time is just as interesting as the last.  The bit of history that is relevant here is that at one point the Modoc Indians entered into peace negotiations.  They didn’t really understanding how the U.S. Army worked believed that if they killed the “big chief”, the general, the army would just go away.  And so it must be with the Chechnya Islamic extremists.  They apparently just don’t understand what their actions mean to us. 

Probably just as important is that we might really understand them.  As one person in the CIA who worked with psychologists there told me, “Most people don’t realize just how different these people think than we do.”  It wasn’t an appropriate time to follow up on his statement but I would love to do that some time.  Just what can we do to “motivate them” in a manner consistent with our goals?  High velocity lead poisoning works but what other things could we be doing?  One thing is certain, they don’t know how to motivate us in a manner consistent with their goals.  My response would be somewhat along the lines of  “we are going to read up on the methods used on Dresden and it will be one city block containing a mosque for each child injured, one small town and all mosques for each child killed”.