The Corner

Naming The Enemy

The NYT doesn’t want to. If you labored through its page one analysis yesterday of the siege in Russia in which nearly 340 people were slaughtered, you’d have to have gone deep into the newspaper and waded down to the 24th paragraph of the story to learn that: “While the extent of international support may be debated, the attacks bear some trappings of Islamic militancy. Officials here in Beslan said they had found notebooks with Arabic writing, and witnesses reported hearing Arabic exhortations, though the attackers mostly spoke Russian.” (Emphasis added.) Elsewhere toward the bottom of the report, the reader also finds indications that the Beslan operation was “financed by a man believed to be an Arab associated with Al Qaeda and identified as Abu Omar as-Seyf.” What is the good reason to be hesitant about noting that this latest barbarity, like its numerous predecessors, is the work of militant Islam? An enemy that doesn’t get identified, doesn’t get wiped out — and lives to fight another day, resulting in more Beslans, more Madrids, more 9/11s, etc.

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