[EDITORIALS]Right response in MoscowThe hostage situation in Moscow that had the whole world holding its breath drew to an end with a Russian special unit breaking into the theater where Chechen militants were holding some 700 theatergoers as hostages. Armed with bombs, these terrorists sat among the audience, threatening to set the bombs off should their demands not be met. The precarious four-day situation was one long moment of crisis in which the free will of humanity faced the choice of either resisting or bowing to the demands of terrorism.
Considering the urgency of the situation, it was inevitable that the Russian army should attempt a rescue attack. It was a most regrettable tragedy that more than 100 lives were taken in the process ?all the more so because there are allegations that more lives were taken by the nerve gas used to suppress the hostage-takers than by gunfire.
Chechen separatists claim that this situation was an extension of the war protesting the forced Russian presence in Chechnya, and that the Russians have engaged in even more violent deeds in Chechnya.
Nevertheless, as the UN Security Council resolution Thursday confirmed to the world, hostage taking is an act of abominable terrorism that cannot be justified under any circumstances. No matter what pure and desperate needs the terrorists may have had, it still did not justify their act of taking innocent lives and using these lives to threaten the world.
Terrorists must realize once and for all that humanity abhors and will oppose any form of terrorism. They should realize that extreme acts of terrorism, instead of strengthening their position, will only isolate them from the rest of the world.
The situation in Moscow that captivated the world, even before we have recovered from the shock of the Sept. 11 terror attack, took the lives of many more innocent people. Tragic as the situation is, the response has shown that mankind will never bow to any kind of terrorism and that it always wins in the end. We express our deepest sorrow for the victims and extend our condolences to their families.