11 July 2006

What do we do next?

How do we end this terrorist violence? Some of the approaches followed so far:

USA - tighten immigration policies, spy on US residents' phone calls and financial transactions, invade country that is hosting the perpetrator as well as random country with a dictator who had intentions of using nonexistent nuclear / chemical weapons on USA.

Israel - answer violence against Israeli civilians with military violence against leaders of terrorist groups. The military violence is asymmetric so that people who have nothing to do with this die also.

India - promise a 'befitting response,' try to keep indians from killing other indians right after the attack, identify the perpetrators and kill some foot soldiers a few months later. Reeducation of terrorists that are caught for a chance to rehabilitate and join society.

Results
USA - No spectacular attacks on US soil - however presidency shaky due to autocratic methods. US citizens unsafe worldwide due to effects of attack on random country. No end to terrorism, however. Divisiveness and distrust between muslims / nonmuslims.

Israel - no end to terrorism in sight. New generation living in poverty, having their relatives killed creates a new cycle of suicide bombers. Hate / anger in both populations.

India - no end to terrorism with soft approach.

So... the question is what do we do now?
The jury is still out. None of these approaches have succeeded in stopping terrorism. The soft approach along with re-education may be the best long-term option, but it's hard to keep the population quiet without retaliation of some sort.

Poverty / no jobs may be breeding grounds for people who want to blow up other people. Their leaders are well educated people who know how to get things done. The credibility of those leaders should be targeted and the poor people reached so that they decide that playing football is better than running around blowing up people... or maybe blogging up people is better than blowing up people :)

Unfortunately there are no short-term solutions.


4 comments:

video said...

If you look back in history, the perisan king's tactics worked for a while. Dorias was the only ruler to be able to rule over lands without attacking a single nation(from turkey till India). He preeched non-violence (as did ghandi) and adopted various aspects of their culture into theirs to show his appreciation. All was well.... until... Alexander the great conquered all. Also at one point in history, India was completely Buddhist, until they realised that their 'love all' attitude allowed neighbouring nations to invade. So, I guess it's not going to end. Violence nor non-violence wont work.

Mosilager said...

Gandhi... Gandhi

I don't think it's known what caused the shift back from Buddhism to Hinduism, although it would be very interesting to find out. Buddhism got popular because the mercantile classes could wield power as well without worrying about being sons of kings or priests, as far as I know. Don't know about the Alexander story, apparently contemporary Indian and Persian sources say that Puru defeated Alexander. Greek sources say the reverse. I haven't read any of these so I'm not sure... a project for the future :)
India did manage to hold off the islamic invasions for a few hundred years more than Europe, for instance, so those guys weren't half bad. It was only our insistence on fighting battles within India rather than taking it to the enemy that eventually defeated us. That, and over reliance on what priests said instead of what the military commanders said, and inflexibility with regards to tactics.

Praveen said...

"No stone will be left unturned" in ensuring that terrorism is eliminated, the Prime Minister declared. -- Bull shit !!!

The govt has not convicted a single guy in connection with 1993 blasts ... the case is still wide open ... only trials happening for past 13 years ... no conviction till date

Manmohan singh's response to this blast was pathetic. He made the speech with a wooden expression. Nothing came from his heart.

Who knows, he might have read what Sonia Ji has written... He is one of the weakest PM india has ever produced ...

Need of the hour is a dynamic young leader who can think and act on his own without any pressures from coaliation or oppositions

Mosilager said...

Praveen,
There's not much the leadership can do about it. If the perpetrators are in friendly countries, we can ask them to extradite. In this case no-one knows yet, but the intelligence agencies have been saying that the planners are from ISI in Pakistan. Now, even assuming that we know the precise location of the person who ordered the attack, we cannot attack him in a foriegn country due to various reasons:

1. Attacks will continue as long as the Pakistani army is in charge. They cannot survive in power without an enemy. Our killing someone over there will not change their policy towards us. They will target our intelligence people directly also.
2. We do not have the ability to kill / arrest the one person responsible without causing civilian casualities. Our public is not ready for such collateral damage in any country.
3. The USA (and G8) will oppose our actions economically due to the success of the terrorists' nuclear umbrella. How much of an economic hit are we willing to take for short-term satisfaction?

Our justice system is too slow. Anyway, the kingpin of the 1993 blasts is happily sitting sipping chai with Osama so all we got are small fry.

It's pretty sad but I think that there are no options other than diplomatic pressure. And in future, we should not negotiate with terrorists. No repeat of IC-814.

Aam janta have elected these people and they are a reflection of what they think. If our middle/uppers start voting en masse then their opinions may be considered.

Anyway those were my 2 paise