Russia is preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the Beslan hostage taking whose dramatic outcome traumatized the country. This celebration is being prepared while Russia debates about the glorification by the Anglo-Saxons of the organizer of the massacre, Shamil Basáyev. The controversy increased when an interview given by Basáyev to the pro-separatist journalist Andrei Babitsky was broadcasted by the U.S. TV network ABC. He defended himself in the Russian edition of Newsweek by explaining how he got to Basáyev after meeting with different separatist groups, and stated that by giving them the word and debating with them was the best way to not recognize terrorists. This notion of the anti-terrorist fight should count upon the support of ABC that broadcasted the interview, although this logic appears to be applicable only to Russia’s adversaries.
The Russian newspaper Gazeta published a text from Shamil Basáyev himself in which he indicated that Beslan operation was possible thanks to the utilization of a triple agent who manipulated the Russian troops. He expressed his satisfaction for the success of the action (remember that it killed hundreds of people, and most of them were children) and invited to respect the memory of the martyrs of Beslan, that is, his men. In his text, he suggested that it was the Russian forces who triggered the massacre, opinion that was widely admitted by the Western media and supported by the pro-separatists governments such as Lithuania, that made the European Union demand explanations from Putin, or anti-Russian personalities like the French André Glucksman.
The leader of the Russian Peoples Institute, Kim Tsagolov, denounced this point of view in Gazeta. He not only launched an attacked on the Western satisfaction with regard to Basáyev, but also ascertained that the terrorist leader could not be supported without foreign assistance. He mentioned that, contrary to what many international media have said, the Russians are not considered disregarded in the Caucasus, although he recognized the mistakes made in that region.

The latter point of view properly illustrates the one that is generally admitted in Russia, but has little opportunities to be heard in the international media. The Chechen terrorists actually enjoy a wide audience and the calls for the fight against global terrorism rarely include them among the entities that should be fought. In the dominant Western media, “the” terrorist is a “jihadist”, generally Arab, who fights against the West for hating it and wishes to establish a world caliphate. The separatist Chechens do not fit in this model.

London attacks provided a new occasion to lash this figure of the terrorist and stir once more the spectrum of the Muslim internal enemy. In a forum published by the New York Sun, The Australian, and Jerusalem Post, Daniel Pipes rejoices at this wave of racism. The administrator of the U.S. Institute for Peace fully recognizes the politicians who have gone further with the racist discourse and promotion of banning policies of Muslim populations. He even invites the United States to get inspired from them, as a proof that after having launched the movement of the “clash of civilizations”, Washington was joined by one of its followers.
However, no one officially assumes to be in favor of the “clash of civilizations” and every one pretends to avoid it. The Bush administration, which has focused its strategy on Samuel Huntington’s project, denies stimulating it. The advocates of this strategic concept hide behind the most appropriate justifications from the political point of view. So they’d rather speak about a “battle of ideas” between democracy and the “jihad” or a civil war at the heart of Islam between a democratic and an Islamic trend in which, obviously, the West would side with the first ones and help them. This presentation of facts is perfectly illustrated by the column of Bassam Tibi in the International Herald Tribune. This professor of Syrian origin, a specialist of Islam highly welcomed by the neoconservative group, has stated that it is necessary to organize a battle of ideas against “jidahism”, which he presented as a conquering branch in the heart of Islam.
This notion is also shared by Frank J. Gaffney Jr. in the Washington Times. The hawks’ coordinator favors the “battle of ideas” rather than the “ideology of the evil”, a term that he prefers to change for another one more evocative, the “Islamo-fascism”. In his opinion, the main difficulty that Blair’s government will find in this battle would be to differentiate the Muslims from the Islamists. By taking up the analysis of Daniel Pipes pertaining to this matter, he condemned certain Muslim organizations and urged Karen Hughes, in charge of propaganda under Bush administration, not to have relations with them.
This explosion of racism worries the advocates of a “soft” U.S. imperialism grouped around the figure of George Soros. In this regard, James A. Goldston, executive director of Justice Initiative of the Open Society Institute, rejects in the International Herald Tribune that in the name of terrorism the principles of the “open society”, the political model promoted by the multimillionaire, are affected. He therefore requested the government of Tony Blair not to adopt segregationist policies. However, the author does not challenge the vulgate about the figure of the terrorist.
Without questioning the official version about the perpetrators of the London attacks, the journalist Adam Curtis is opposing in The Guardian the image of terrorism given by the media. Author of a documentary about the use of fear as an instrument, he lashed the media “experts”, that after having presented Al Qaeda as a superstructure very well organized to justify the attack on Iraq, described it as an “ideology of evil” to justify the racist policies of Blair’s government. In his opinion, this is counterproductive and could only increase the risk that tensions might come up among the communities.
Far form the very limited debate about the nature of the Islamist threat, the Arab media does not hesitate to ask who are the real perpetrators of the attacks in London. Samih Saab, journalist of the Lebanese newspaper Annahar, indicated that these attacks were a real gush of fresh air to Tony Blair, mistreated in his country due to his alliance with George Bush and the Iraqi adventure. Blair, who had repeated that the Iraqi war was part of the war against terrorism, is able to see how the attacks confirmed his analysis. Hence, he is the first beneficiary. Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, chief of the Council of the Guardians of the Iranian Revolution, goes beyond the limits of the Lebanese journalist. As published in Asharqalawsat, in his point of view the first beneficiary of the attacks, must be considered as the prime suspect. Furthermore since in his opinion the hypothesis of al-Qaeda lacks solid foundations.