September 03, 2004

Decisive Leadership

On CNN Headline News, they were just discussing the Russian history of storming into siege situations poorly prepared. There was the hostage situation in Moscow, for example, where use of a too-late identified soporific resulted in a heavy death toll. During this school siege, there were other problems. The EU is questioning their procedure, while extending their sympathies.

But you have to admit, the Russians are nothing if not decisive and steadfast. They decisively ended the last hostage situation with a synthetic opiate that killed unnecessarily many people because they steadfastly refused to disclose the nature of the toxin until the victims had already slipped away. Then they decisively shot all the hostage takers dead before they might have awakened, losing an opportunity to gain further intelligence. This time, when negotiating skills failed, the resulting pandemonium resulted again in heavy loss of civilians and the death of all the hostage takers.

Revenge, of course, feels good. And when it comes to pinning down responsibility for these kinds of situations, it ultimately rests in the hands of a bunch of people who would hold hundreds of school children hostage under threat to their lives. There's no excuse for that.

Yet when responding, the other side gets a chance to show their own colors. It may be 'decisive' to storm in, but it can reasonably be asked whether it's wise to go forward without preparation. It may be a sign of 'steadiness' to respond the same way every time to a threat, but terrorist opponents thrive instead on changing strategies in response to altered circumstances.

In the end, you get a lot of dead people. If those in charge of responding learned nothing in the process, they truly die for nothing.

Posted by natasha at September 3, 2004 06:53 PM | International | Technorati links |

Boy Natasha,

That sure really speaks well for the decisive leadership dubya is so proud of and sounds really familiar. Especially the part about doing the same stupid f*cking thing over and over again for the sake of being decisive.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at September 3, 2004 07:16 PM

I'm ready for a president who can say oops!! don't think we want to do that again. But I'm not getting my hopes up, after all even though Kerry doesn't represent the Dark Side he is still a politician.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at September 3, 2004 07:22 PM