Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, September 09, 2004
JUST FOR A WHILE, when the pain of the people of Beslan was in our face, Auntie found the clarity of mind to call the perpetrators "terrorists" (AM on September 7th and 8th).

As far as the 7.30 Report is concerned the situation is normal. They're "militants", or "Chechen rebels" again, and back within the definition of people whose claims must be accommodated, as the European Union has rushed to tell President Putin, supported by that disgrace of an organisation Amnesty International.

Mark Colvin on PM prefers the more neutral, and uninformative, term "hostage-taker".

And it's not just the left falsifying events for us, as Daniel Pipes has demonstrated:

*Assailants - National Public Radio.
* Attackers – the Economist.
* Bombers – the Guardian.
* Captors – the Associated Press.
* Commandos – Agence France-Presse refers to the terrorists both as "membres du commando" and "commando."
* Criminals - the Times (London).
* Extremists – United Press International.
* Fighters – the Washington Post.
* Group – the Australian.
* Guerrillas: in a New York Post editorial.
* Gunmen – Reuters.
* Hostage-takers - the Los Angeles Times.
* Insurgents – in a New York Times headline.
* Kidnappers – the Observer (London).
* Militants – the Chicago Tribune.
* Perpetrators – the New York Times.
* Radicals – the BBC.
* Rebels – in a Sydney Morning Herald headline.
* Separatists – the Christian Science Monitor.

And my favorite:

* Activists – the Pakistan Times.
The list on Pipes's site gives you the links too.

The key, universalising ingredient of Islam is also being denied, although evidence that Islamism rather than nationalism was the driver of the Beslan atrocity is now mounting.