David Brooks reminds us that euphemism and avoidance are misleading:
"Three years after Sept. 11, too many people have become experts at averting their eyes. If you look at the editorials and public pronouncements made in response to Beslan, you see that they glide over the perpetrators of this act and search for more conventional, more easily comprehensible targets for their rage.
"The Boston Globe editorial, which was typical of the American journalistic response, made two quick references to the barbarity of the terrorists, but then quickly veered off with long passages condemning Putin and various Russian policy errors.
"The Dutch foreign minister, Bernard Bot, speaking on behalf of the European Union, declared: 'All countries in the world need to work together to prevent tragedies like this. But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened.'
"It wasn't a tragedy. It was a carefully planned mass murder operation. And it wasn't Russian authorities who stuffed basketball nets with explosives and shot children in the back as they tried to run away."
Evil is a reality.
It would be a new day if Brooks's own paper referred to the killers as something other than 'insurgents.'