As the news slowly trickles in - and now that the sniper situation has calmed down enough for it not to be sensationalist, CNN and other outlest are finally giving Russia due coverage - there are reports of knockout gas being pumped into the theater before the seige began. Of course, I told you that 5:30 yesterday morning.
It's being said that most of the hostages who died, died from the effects of the gas.
It had to be done. While I feel deeply for the families of the hostages that did not make it out, this is a case where you need to look at the bigger picture. There were approximately 700 innocent people inside a theater rigged with bombs and mines. Two hostages had already been shot by the terrorists. The small number (relatively speaking) that died from the gas were a necessary casualty. Had the Russian commandos not been able to get into the theater, they would have ended up with 700 dead innocents, not 90.
Decision to use gas during storm of Moscow theater approved by hostages: Former hostages agree that if the gas used before the storm of a Moscow theater had not been sufficiently strong, the terrorists would have had time to blast their explosives.
"When gas seeped into the theater after the terrorists killed the first hostages, I saw that one of the terrorists, who sat on the stage, jumped up and tried to put on a respirator. He made several convulsive moves, trying to pull the mask over his face, and fell," a former hostage, currently undergoing medical treatment at a Moscow hospital, told Interfax, recalling the first minutes of the storm.
He said the terrorists had expected the use of incapacitating agents and brought in respirators and gas masks. "If they had not been incapacitated so quickly, they would have had time to carry their plans through," he said.
At least the former hostages and Interfax are referring to them as terrorists, unlike most U.S. news agencies.
Let's turn to the non-U.S. press: from the Telegraph:
The Telegraph has learned that a number of Arab fighters, believed to be of Saudi Arabian and Yemeni origin, were among the group that seized control of the theatre...."There were definitely Arab terrorists in the building with links to al-Qa'eda," said a senior Western diplomat. "The Russians will now want to know how much help the Chechens received from bin Laden's organisation."
Mr Putin had claimed that "foreign elements" were involved and suspicions about al-Qa'eda's connection deepened after the Chechens broadcast a pre-recorded message on the Qatar-based al-Jazeera television network, which is frequently used by bin Laden and his lieutenants.
How are these people not terrorists? Why is the U.S. press so afraid to use that word? It's not a matter of semantics this time, as were my arguments with people over what to call the sniper. This is not only outright terrorism, but the more we learn about the murderers, the more we see the link between them and Arab terrorists. The Chechen 'rebels' are just one of many enemies in the war we are fighting.
As the links between Iraq and al-Queda grow, the lines between terrorist forces will become so blurred as to all but disappear. Our enemies are morphing into one giant killing machine. If you think that a hostage situation like the one in Russia could not happen here, you are sadly mistaken. If you think that terrorists world wide are not all being funded through the same channel, then I want to know what world you live in because it sure must be a nice, pretty place.
There are no peace signs in my little corner of the world anymore. You can march all you want, and refuse to use the word terrorist all you want and try to understand the psyche of our enemies (see, Horsefeathers), but I'm not playing that game anymore.
The world is a big, ugly place. It's getting uglier by the day. Playing nice and using euphemisms and pandering to the appeasers are not going to get us anywhere but dead.
Just in case you were having trouble with it.