President George W. Bush visited the Russian Embassy in Washington to honor the victims of the Beslan school terrorist attack. That attack by Chechen terrorists killed over three hundred people, about half of them children.
Mr. Bush said the massacre showed why the United States and other nations must remain resolute in the fight against terrorism:
“The atrocities that took place in the school were beyond comprehension. Many in America, and I know many in Russia, simply cannot conceive the hearts of a person that would mow down innocent children. And the killers, once again, remind us of the duties we have as free people to work in concert, to work in unity, to make this world a better place.”
The massacre at the Beslan school was the latest in a series of terrorist acts involving Chechen separatists. In August, two Russian airliners were blown up by two female Chechen suicide bombers. And in Moscow, at least ten people were killed and many more wounded near a busy subway station where police say a female suicide bomber set off explosives.
“Terrorists,” said Mr. Bush, “must be opposed wherever they spread chaos and destruction”:
“We're facing an enemy that is so hateful and so backward. They have an ideology that is opposite of ours and they use terror to try to intimidate us. That's the reality of the world in which we live. These are the people that flew the airplanes. These are the people that share the same sentiment of those who took the school over in Russia -- a mentality that tries to achieve an objective by killing little kids. The task at hand is to bring them to justice before they hurt us again.”
“We saw the horror of terror in Russia,” said President Bush. “That is why this country must be strong and diligent and never yielding.”