Monday, March 29, 2010

1. I read in a magazine that an American airline lost one billion dollars since 9-11. Joseph Stiglitz wrote in a book that the Iraq war has cost the United States three trillion dollars. It must have cost the British and the others more billions.

2. Checking passengers at airports is now very stringent. Apart from inconveniencing travellers, the personnel and equipments cost billions. But every now and again a determined “terrorist” would break through. Besides examining shoes, now underwear has to be checked also.

3. But despite all these the fear of “terror attacks” has not abated. Nor has the war in Iraq and Afghanistan shown any sign of ending.

4. The terrorists may not have won but they have not lost either. The end is nowhere in sight. The cost is going up very rapidly. Even if the proposed attack against Iran does not take place, the Governments and the business commmunity in every country will suffer huge losses. So will people everywhere.

5. New weapons and equipment can be invented and developed. They will cost money again but it would take only one incident before there would be a scramble to counter the new methods of attack by the terrorists. Seems that all the sophisticated costly weapons invented and deployed have failed.

6. This state of affairs can go on and on. Short of killing all the Muslims in order to ensure that none of them would become “terrorists”, I don’t see how an end to terrorism can be achieved.

7. But we cannot do that can we? So what is the alternative? Well go for the root cause. Why are they doing these things, “terrorising” the world? The answer is that they feel a strong sense of injustice. Who are they? They are the people most affected; the Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Iranians. But there are also those who for various reasons sympathise with them; their co-religionists and many others.

8. All these people feel for the Palestinians’ loss of their land, for the invasions and killings of Iraqis and Afghans, the ill-treatment of Muslims everywhere, their demonisation and the demonisation of their religion, their humiliation etc. etc.

9. Until the Palestinians regain their country, until Iraq and Afghanistan are freed of foreign occupation, until the oppression of the Muslim people stops, the attacks by the terrorists would go on, and fear of such attacks would remain.

10. Don’t surrender to the terrorists! It would only encourage terrorism. But look at it from their angle. If they surrender to the seizure of their lands, to their oppression by their enemies, then they would be encouraging their enemies to continue the seizure of their land and their continued oppression.

11. The super powers need to try to look from the viewpoint of those they have labelled as terrorists also and not just from their own viewpoint.

12. Until then we are going to see lives being lost, people living in fear and trillions of dollars wasted on efforts which will yield no worthwhile result for years and years.
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