We had to kill the people in the school to save them

Over in another front in a (pretty hopeless) War on Terror, Russian officials decided to storm a school at Beslan, Russia, resulting (so far) in hundreds of injuries and the probable deaths of 150 people, and some terrorists remain holed up in a school basement with still more hostages.
At least ten of the purportedly twenty dead terrorists were described as “Arab mercenaries”. It was unclear exactly what the terrorists were looking for, most likely the release of jailed Chechen comrades.
Cautionary tales of the war on terrorism, Russian style. Well over 100 were killed when Russians decided to storm a theater in Moscow last year, using a novel form of nerve gas. Here, well over 100 killed in a conventional storming. The message should now be clear to terrorists: engage in hostage situations in Russia, and expect the Russian government to take out the hostages for you… no political advantage to you as far as your “official demands”; incredible political advantage to you as far as making your impact felt on Russian civilians.
Don’t know what was gained in last week’s airliner downings, but perhaps these maniacs know.
Most Russians want a negotiated end to the Chechen conflict, and yet, they handily elected Vladimir Putin twice, precisely because he was so vicious there, and the more vicious he is there, the more they seem to admire him. Democracy is… complicated. Throw in good old guerrilla warfare, generally lax security, and… in this case, a horror show.
My God.