There are nearly 40 people dead in Moscow who ought not to be dead. They were innocent civilians and government workers, simply going about their days when they were maliciously cut down by extremists looking to make a point. These extremists want more than just independence from the Russian Federation, they also want to establish a reactionary Islamic Caliphate in the Caucasus Mountain region, or so they say. Truthfully, for the victims and those who empathize with the victims, the goals of such extremists do not particularly matter — these are terrorists, after all.
Only a few days after the bombing of the Lubyanka Metro station, a pair of explosions in the Dagestan province derailed a Russian train. Combined with yet another suicide bombing in the Dagestan province, more than 50 people are dead.
The United States has traditionally advocated moderation when Russia goes to deal with its own insurgency, traditionally groups identifying themselves as Chechen Rebels. The 1999 war against Chechnya, led by Vladimir Putin, resulted in significant condemnation from the American government, as the tactics employed against the Chechen people were considered too indiscriminate and harsh.
Following the latest attacks, however, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised that the “terrorists will be destroyed” and that he will have them scraped “from the bottom of the sewers” in retribution. The dirty little secret with all of this? Ask most Americans, white or blue collar, Democrat or Republican, and I would venture a guess that most of them would issue their own support for Putin’s new vendetta against the Chechen terrorists.
When determining what a terrorist is, their methods must be looked at carefully. Separatist groups with legitimate cause to strike out against a corrupt regime ought to strike against the regime itself, or its satellites, such as government agencies and military targets, not metro lines, theaters and grade schools, as Chechen groups have done over the past decade.
When Prime Minister Putin leads his next campaign against the “Chechen Problem,” there is no doubt that the blood of innocents will be left in the streets of Chechen towns, and we will mourn. However, we will also cheer the brutality wrought upon those who understand and deserve only brutality. With this said, it is undoubted that the world will cheer whom we will later call murderers. Until then, let Vladimir Putin and the Russian Fifth Army wreak their vengeance against those who would murder innocent and loyal Russians, and let us call them heroes.