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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In Support of a Tough Stance on Terrorism

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Email the Opinion Page Editor

I would like to express my condolences for the loss of life at the theater in Moscow. I have read quite a bit about it, and the pictures of the families who lost their loved ones are very sad.

A great friend of mine from Russia has told me that President Vladimir Putin had no choice but to act quickly, otherwise the terrorists would have killed all of the hostages. He told me that they are cold-blooded killers who do not care if they live or die, or whom they kill. They are a disgrace to humanity. I agree with him, although I wish that only the terrorists had been killed.

I agree with U.S. President George W. Bush -- it is the terrorists who have blood on their hands, not the police or the Russian government.

I saw Putin visiting survivors in the hospital. I hope that he is able to help the survivors get good medical help, and that he is able to help the survivors' families.

After Sept. 11, 2001, I remember that Putin called Bush immediately to offer his condolences on behalf of the Russian people.

I cannot do this on behalf of the American people, I am just an average guy living in Chicago, but I want you to know that everyone I know thinks that this was a terrible tragedy, and that they care.

James Harrington

I am just am average person from the United States. I want to give my prayers and sympathies to the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist act at the theater. I also want to say that President Vladimir Putin did every thing in his power. It takes a coward to hide behind women and children. I know all the people in the United States support you in bring the guilty to justice. Again, my sympathies go out to the families and friend and to all of Russia.

Kenneth Heil
Bucyrus, Ohio

Identifying Terrorism

In response to "Distinguish Terrorism From Separatism," an editorial on Oct. 31.

"Russia should try to distinguish between terrorism and separatism" -- so should your newspaper and call people who are determined to kill hundreds of civilians, children among them, by the proper name of terrorists and not blur distinctions by labeling them rebels or hostage-takers.

Nada Boskovska
Zurich, Switzerland

Hindsight Is Perfect

In response to "Was It Necessary to Storm?" a column by Boris Kagarlitsky on Oct. 29

I have to disagree with Boris Kagarlitsky on most of what he has written in the article. Is he suggesting that any leader of a country should give in to terrorism? Would you classify giving in to terrorist demands as a victory for Russia? I know I would be disgusted with the government of my country if it capitulated to terrorism.

The use of gas was a hugely risky thing to do. But bear in mind that, if the terrorists had been given the opportunity, how do you know they would not have blown up the building? Hindsight, as always, is perfect; unfortunately, the Russian military didn't have the luxury you have.

Whether the Chechens have any merit to their cause or not, the fact that they have resorted to terrorism, not once but several times, removes any sympathy I have for their cause. I think the article Boris Kagarlitsky wrote is one-sided in the extreme, and tries to excuse the disgusting strategy of the terrorists by passing the blame onto the Russian government. I would have expected better from an intelligent person.

Chris Steele
Sheffield, England

Pyrrhic Victory

In response to "Pyrrhic Win for the Future of Civilization," a column by Yulia Latynina on Oct. 30.

I would like to compliment Yulia Latynina for her excellent, insightful writing and well thought out perspective.

Indeed, I wholeheartedly agree with the author that the Islamic extremists are waging a world war against all of Western civilization: Russia and the rest of Europe, the United States, Australia, etc. My heart goes out to the innocent victims of the terrorists in the Moscow theater. However, I believe that President Vladimir Putin made a brave decision. Leaders of countries must make tough decisions, and all of the West knows that his intentions were sincere in hoping to save as many hostages' lives as possible.

It must never be forgotten that the Islamic terrorists were the murderers in this tragic event. God bless Russia during this time of national mourning.

Brynell Somerville
Munich, Germany

I thought the article "Pyrrhic Win for the Future of Civilization" by Yulia Latynina was extremely well written and right on target in many respects, except for the assertion that Westerners can only sympathize with Russia's recent tragedy because of our war with Islamic extremism.

Although it is always a danger to speak for a whole segment of people, I would like to reassure Latynina, and by extension all of the Russian people, that most people here in the United States have genuine sympathy for those who lost their lives and feel the Russian authorities did the absolute best they could under extremely difficult circumstances. Thank God, and thank President Vladimir Putin, for those who were saved.

We would feel the same way if Sept. 11, 2001, never happened.

Please accept our sincere condolences and be assured that you do not stand alone in your hour of grief.

Clifford Frederick
Phoenix, Arizona