The death toll of hostages has risen to about 120, presumably as many of the hostages have died after being rushed to hospitals once the seige was over. Sadder still is the apparent fact that every hostage but one died from the unspecified gas that Russian special forces pumped into the theater to subdue the terrorists prior to their storming of the building.

This is definitely unfortunate, and it remains to be seen whether or not there will be some sort of outrcy against the Russian government for choosing to take an action that ended up directly killing more than 100 Russians .

I hope there isn’t one. At this point, I am still convinced that Russian authorities did the right thing. 700 innocent civilians are still alive today because those terrorists didn’t get a chnace to detonate the explosives whihc could have brought the entire building down . As I argued before, in the grim duty of weighing human life in a crisis such as this, allowing 100 or so to die so 700 could live is a good tradeoff, and furthermore, as Putin himself said, Russia “cannot be forced to its knees.”

I have a feeling the bold actions taken will go a long way to stopping terror in Russia in the future. Some might even call what the special forces did reckless .

I do know however, that accepting a fraction of casualties while demonstrating that you will definitely fight back at whatever operation terrorists engage in is preferable to a situation in which all the hostages were freed without bloodshed but which required you to give in to the hostage-takers’ demands, an act that only serves to further embolden more such despicable acts in their compatriots.

It’s becoming clearer now that these Chechens had significant ties to Al Qeada, and were even trained by them. If so, I believe it’s a safe bet to assume that they too will not be satisfied with concessions (short of the ultimate concession: complete surrender), and that the only non-suicidal action for the West to take is to face them head on, destroying them if necessary, at the very least bringing them to an abject defeat .

It seems Putin was committed to doing this in Russia. I have no idea how competent Russian pre-emptive anti-terrorist operations are or have been in the past. Perhaps the fact that these Chechens were allowed to carry out this raid in the first place bespeaks a failure of Russian intelligence and law-enforcement. If so, one would hope that this episode will alert Russia and spur her towards a stronger preventitive program of anti-terrorism.

But at the very least, this crisis has shown that Russia and her president have exactly the right attitude towards facing terrorism when it threatens you: concede nothing and fight them mercilessly and fearlessly. Having that kind of resolve is at least as important as having good preventitive systems in place, because intelligence can never be perfect, and there will always be times when it breaks down and something gets through. Showing that you’re willing to fight, however, can ensure that the population of those willing to mount terrorist plots against you is much lower.

last update : 26-5-2018

Comments are closed.