AN EPEDEMIC OF TERRORIST VIOLENCE!

BY

ANIL ATHALE.

It is now nearly four weeks since the attack on Twin Towers and Pentagon, and there has been no action against the perpetrators. Obviously, getting together the wherewithal for action takes time and in that sense the delay is both understandable and inevitable. But there is another disturbing view that is begun to emerge slowly. This point of view, mainly espoused by the Peaceniks as well as sundry groups is opposing use of massive force on the ground that it will alienate the world Muslim community and also cause ‘innocent civilian casualties’ in Afghanistan.

THE WORLDWIDE IMPACT OF DELAY.

It is nobody’s case that many of the incidents that have taken place since 11 Sep. outrage are directly linked to Osama bin Laden. The massacre of 14 legislatures in Swiss provincial parliament , the suicide bomb attack in Srinagar , the downing of a Russian civil aircraft over Black Sea and even the hoax of hijack in India, could all be isolated incidents. But this ignores the fact that many of these incidents are certainly ‘copy cat’ terrorism, influenced by the ‘success’ of 11th September. The more the delay in retaliatory action, the more such incidents will take place, not just in the US but elsewhere in world.

The fear of flying, slowdown in economic activity and bankruptcy of many airlines, has already taken a massive toll. Millions world wide have lost their jobs and world economy seems unable to get back to normal. In that sense the terrorists have already achieved their objective. If action that is exemplary is not taken soon, we may be in for a long period of depression, both psychological and economic. THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY CANNOT BEGIN UNLESS THE CIVILISED WORLD SHOWS THAT

  1. IT IS UNITED AGAINST THE MENACE.
  2. IT HAS FAR GREATER POWER THAN THE TERRORISTS.

WHO ARE INNOCENT?

No terrorist activity can take place unless there is large body of supporters and passive sympathisers. It is axiomatic that the plot of bombing New York and Washington must have been known to several thousand people- though not in exact details or in timings! Can these individuals, groups or nations be called ‘innocent’? Can the Afghans who thronged the football stadium to cheer the executions being carried out by the Taliban regime be called ‘innocent’? If co-lateral damage does take place in Afghanistan, don’t the people who supported or remained passive in face of Taliban deserve it? It is like saying that Germans who suffered in II World War, were ‘innocent’ victims of the Allied bombings!

Societies and nations that support wrongdoing MUST pay the price. That is the only way to ensure that no Osama or Taliban rise again. Massive force has worked against Libya and Gadafi, there is no reason why it would not work against the Taliban and Osama and his support base.

GRADUALISM VERSUS MASSIVE FORCE.

World history is witness to the fact that force has not just physical but psychological effect, intended or otherwise. Often military planners concentrate heavily on the physical effect and forget the psychological aspect. Those who do so soon come to grief. The single aim of all military operations is to hit at the ‘will’ of adversary to fight, in this case the terrorist. This objective cannot be achieved by graduated force as being advocated by some.

Time is running out for the world as harsh winter in Afghanistan will soon make military operations difficult. In interest of the future of mankind and world economy, it is hoped that the right decision is taken and implemented single mindedly.

It is the melancholy duty of the strategic analysts to point out that less force now may well end up in forcing great disaster and carnage later. Such has been the record of follies of mankind.