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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Somebody at the State Department is Busily Not Counting This Right Now

Hostage Crisis Unfolds in Russia as Guerrillas Seize School. First day of school.
Russia's military campaign in Chechnya has faced fierce international criticism because its forces have been accused of killings and other abuses in their pursuit of separatist rebels. But the wake of the last week's attacks, political leaders from NATO, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe expressed common cause today with Russia, if not all of Mr. Putin's policies, in its struggle against terrorism.
The hypocrisy just drips from paragraphs like that. Either the Chechyn rebels have a case, or they do not. If they do, then Putin's brutal attacks are every bit as unjustified as the attacks on the planes, the subway, and now the school. But Putin has other choices for fighting; the rebels really don't. Terrorism is the tactic of last resort. If the Chechyns could call in tanks, helicopters, and jet bombers, I'm sure they would.

I can't find the link, but I think the most accurate definition I've seen this year may be: "A terrorist is a person with a bomb but lacking an air force."