|You are in: Talking Point|
Friday, 21 December, 2001, 21:03 GMT
Where next in the war on terror?
Select the link below to watch the latest edition of Talking Point On Air:
US-backed forces are now flushing out the last remaining pockets of Al-Qaeda resistance in Afghanistan.
But with victory in Afghanistan apparently assured, strategists and analysts are now wondering where the war on terrorism will go next.
Iraq is a likely target. Some key Bush administration officials see Saddam Hussein as a sponsor of terrorism, but no direct evidence has emerged linking Iraq to the 11 September attacks.
Other countries that could find themselves in America's sights include Somalia, Yemen and parts of Indonesia, all of which are suspected of harbouring al-Qaeda cells.
Should American military action be extended beyond Afghanistan? Can the international coalition hold together if it does? Where next in the war on terrorism?
We took your calls on this subject in Talking Point ON AIR, the BBC World Service and News Online phone-in programme which was presented by Robin Lustig. Our guests were former US Defence Secretary, Caspar Weinberger and the BBC's Defence Correspondent, Jonathan Marcus.
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
Terrorism is a cancer. And, as any cancer survivor knows, to survive as well as ridding your body of the cancerous cells, you have to change your lifestyle. Right now, the US's foreign policy and it's global perception of itself invites terrorism. Allowing the war to spread at this point would be like a person who just cheated death by surviving lung cancer celebrating with a cigarette.
As an American I understand that I may have a different point of view then the rest of the world. Does that make it wrong? Lets not forget; countries like Iraq brought the USA into the Gulf war. If Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait the war never would have existed. So when people say that Americans should rethink our foreign policy, I say to them "maybe you should rethink your position on America."
The Taliban are removed from power in Afghanistan, and Bin Laden is absconding. The battle is won, but the war is far from over. This is no time to stat a new war or enlarge it.
Democracy and federalism must be introduced in Afghanistan and restored in Pakistan, especially the latter. Otherwise, the Al-Qaeda and Co would shift operations to Pakistan. Remember how even a rich and progressive, but despotic Iran fell a prey to the militant Mullahs.
Frank, Charleston, SC
Who appointed George W. Bush sheriff in this town?
How can the US think of going against Somalia or Iraq or anywhere else when it was the US that trained the Contras and legitimised the idea of terrorist training camps?
The only thing that will come out of an extension of the war is an extension of US imperialist interests, billions more spent on arms while even a massive proportion of US residents live in poverty and there are thousands more dead innocent civilians.
Why don't the UK and US look at a country like Zimbabwe as their next target against terrorism? The ruler of this country is nothing more than a terrorist and a dictator, using political power to do what he likes. This man should be charged by the world as a abuser of human rights and must be locked up for life.
Steve Caldwell, Spokane, Washington
There can be peace in the world if there's a will for it. It requires rational thinking and impartial action by the international community. The Palestinian and Kashmir issues are the highest priority flashpoints and could spiral out of control. Both of these conflicts could involve the use of nuclear weapons if they escalate. If the world adopts an impartial policy and applies pressure on the occupying parties instead of those facing persecution perhaps we would get results and to a large part the absolute frustration and resentment that promotes so-called terrorism would be done away with.
Surely terrorism is a war from within. When the consequences of this become unacceptable the freedoms of the West will be eroded and we will be left with one group against another.
In regards to Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab League should take more control of policing what is happening on their doorstep. They need to take a stand and clean out their own countries and work together as a whole. Their silence is deafening and their own complacency and lack of trust for each other is a sign of deep-rooted problems.
Leigh, USA (UK originally)
Until all the really 'civilized' people of this world - those who believe in real freedom, democracy, justice and the sanctity of ALL human life - stand up to the greatest terrorist threat the world has ever known, there can be no peace and justice only an endless cycle of slaughter and injustice.
Where to next? It has to be Israel - a state that has been murdering Palestinians and stealing their land for the past 45 years and all with the political, economic and military support of USA. Whilst Israel's right to exist must be recognised, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip must also be recognised as the free and independent State of Palestine with all Israelis withdrawing from these lands. This will only happen if USA says it must happen and are prepared to take all action as is necessary to make it happen. Then and only then will the Islamic extremist terrorism that threatens global peace quietly go away.
The United States will not beg, cap in hand, for permission from the rest of the world to defend itself. Countries have now been warned that if they pose a threat to the United States they will be pre-emptively attacked. The choice is theirs.
Saudi Arabia spawned Osama bin Laden, funded him for many years, funded Al Qaeda, and supplied that organization with many of its personnel. Clearly it is the power behind the September 11 attacks, yet the USA won't touch it. Why? Oil. America dare not bite the hand that feeds it, no matter what the cost.
I personally feel that militant Islam is posing as big a threat to the stability of the world as Hitler did in the 1930s. Some Governments and liberal minded, politically correct, people are all too easily finding excuses for and appeasing evil undemocratic regimes and they are quick to lay blame for their troubles on either Israel or the distribution of wealth, but apart from the US they all are failing to understand that these militant fundamentalists want to destroy Western democracies and form one Islamic nation. We must deal with Syria, Iraq, Iran etc and all the terrorist organisations in the Middle East in the same way that Bin Laden and his cohorts have been dealt with before it is too late.
Robert Morpheal, Canada
Military action should definitely be extended where there is deemed to be a further risk to our safety. We should stop apologising to the Muslim world - the decent moderate Muslims understand why action is being taken, and frankly for those who don't like it - too bad!! We have every right to defend ourselves.
It is far too early to crow victory. Yes, the Taleban have suffered a massive defeat. But the country does not yet have a stable government. The challenge is now for the central government to assert its authority, to get rid of the lawless warlords with their private armies, and end the state of perpetual civil war. This will be even more difficult than defeating the Taleban, and if it fails Afghanistan will once again become a refuge for terrorists.
One cannot help but wonder why people are in such a hurry to enrich our lives with their valuable opinions, when they quite clearly haven't ever bothered to read behind the major headlines of the western pro-government news agencies (like the one that hosts this forum). They all know who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. It must be an amazing existence with such simplistic views.
Although the US did not have much choice other than to attack the Taleban and al-Qaeda, this has started a horrifying new trend. Nations such as Israel and India are labelling popular movements for freedom in their countries as terrorists. They use this label as an excuse to commit crimes against civilian populations. In India's case this is especially dangerous because the repression of an indigenous separatist movement, for which the UN has twice called for a plebiscite, is being blamed on "foreign terrorists" from Pakistan. Terrorism is becoming a convenient excuse for state sponsored terrorism itself.
Michael Entill, UK
I guess terrorism is evil and it should be uprooted. Russia supports the West in its war but why won't the West support Russia in its war against terrorism? I mean the Chechen war.
What about countering terror with a campaign for global fairness, such as redistributing some of the goodies enjoyed by New York to the poor of the world? This would make a change from manipulating world trading systems to disadvantage primary producers in countries where basic needs are not being met.
To Chris R from the UK: A lot of Americans have travelled outside of the US - for instance the 500,000 that deployed to the Gulf War. The millions that fought in Vietnam over the 8 years of that war - hundreds of thousands fought in Korea - not to mention the millions deployed to Europe since the end of WWII - you get my drift don't you? While Europeans have spent the last 50 years becoming socialists, Americans were paying the price to the tune of well over a 100,000 dead and many times that wounded to defend democracy and freedom. We may be arrogant, but you Europeans have a superiority complex that just won't quit!
To Phil, CA, USA who claims that Americans have paid the price of 100,000 plus dead "defending democracy and freedom" since WW2: Millions upon millions of people have died throughout the world because the US has been "deterring" democracy and freedom. So long as the USA continues to dominate the world in this arrogant way it seems obvious that terrorism will continue to flourish. As for your claim about "you Europeans", our governments are little better.
I agree with John Berge, the Americans are simply going out for revenge.
They supply weapons to the IRA and have harboured IRA terrorists for years. The majority of United States dwellers have never even left their own country, hence can't distinguish between a world front against terrorism and a US front.
If we follow Casper Weinberger's simplistic line of reasoning about terrorism, Britain should have bombed the US for financing the IRA terrorists and harbouring them during their reign of terror in Great Britain.
R. Watts, USA
The problem with Americans is they don't think hard enough about the future of their actions. Bombing Iraq or any Muslim country will simply create more discontents and provide ammunition for, perhaps even justify, those terrorists out there just waiting for a crisis to whip people into a fervour.
I have been watching this war on terror. It seems to be a disease slowly infecting the whole world. It's like a cancer eating at the very social structure and civilization. First the US attacks Afghanistan. Now Israel is on the bandwagon using the excuse of war on terror. Then the Indian Parliament is attacked by terrorists and now an island in Indonesia has three hundred more terrorist on the way. Are we civilized?
John, Sydney, Australia
At what point was the USA appointed the world's police officer? I don't recall the United Nations sanctioning such a role.
International terrorism is an international problem that requires a careful, calculated and coordinated international effort over time. The kind of 'quick wins' that the USA seems to favour will not solve the problem.
Once this campaign in Afghanistan is over, all political leaders must spend some time reflecting upon the events of the last 3 months.
Bombing countries is not the solution to our political problems.
In many cases these so-called terrorists have an underlying political grievance that needs to be addressed.
Bombs, missiles etc breed more hatred and contempt among the people of these mostly poor countries towards the West.
Alan, Warsaw, Poland
Given that the US has sponsored more terrorism around the world than anyone else I think they need to do some serious soul-searching.
Stop messing about in Central America and stop supporting despotic regimes like Israel and Saudi Arabia; then the world might listen to you.
Until then get your own house sorted out and stop giving money to terrorists in Northern Ireland.
What about Saudi Arabia which produced most of the terrorists who masterminded the September 11th attacks?
Iraq - has to be. I can't help but think the world would be a better place without Saddam's regime in place. What do you think, Mr Weinberger?
What is all this talk of 'where next'?
Fathi Abd El Ati, Egypt
Is war the proper way to eradicate terrorism from the world. Why an organisation can't be eradicated by FBA or other secret agencies, which are made for the same purposes. Why the root causes are not going to be discussed. For a single organisation a country can be destroyed.
I'm sure that the US/UK coalition will choose an appropriate
target country especially one with little or no military power.
I think the question is a bit absurd. Why wait for the ongoing mission to end while there are terrorist cells around the world? Every civilised state should begin its own terrorist investigations.
Daniel Brett, UK
First, let's define terror. I would hazard a guess at: "The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians with intent to kill or maim, for political or religious reasons." At the very start of this, Bush was careful to state that the US would go against anyone perpetrating terrorism and those who harbour terrorists. This sentiment should be praised by all human rights lawyers (and I am one) as upholding the fundamental right to life. However, the means of achieving this end is another issue.
We can go after people in London, Paris or Hamburg, not with daisy-cutters but with much greater intelligence, anti-terrorism legislation and financial controls. A military solution should only be imposed where intelligence will have no effect. My main criticism of the west is that it thinks it necessary, in its pursuit of the terrorists, to cosy up to states which clearly harbour the terrorists themselves. There should be no appeasement of Syria or Iran. They, and places like Iraq, Libya, the Palestinian territories and Chechnya, should be targets of the next stages of the war.
We have to be in this for the long haul, otherwise we will have the same situation happening again and again. The Islamic fundamentalists who perpetrated this attack chose to use force instead of words to show their contempt at the US's foreign policies and support for Israel. They chose how this conflict would progress, so if it takes an all out war then I'm all for it.
Terrorism and fundamentalism are the root causes of all the evils on the planet. Any amount of diplomacy and mediation will fail to resolve the disputes between nations or communities, if a section of fanatic forces continue to resort to terrorism. The war on terrorism must be continued unabated - both militarily and politically - to defeat these evil forces. The US and its allies have already identified some terrorist groups as well as nations, which have been clandestinely aiding and abetting terrorism in different parts of the world. There should not be any difficulty in forming a general opinion to continue the fight against these destructive forces in the next phase of war against terrorism.
In response to Mahesh Chandra Somani's comment, in my opinion it is not terrorism and fundamentalism that are the root causes of all evil on this planet, but rather religion, greed and money. In regards to the US continuing on into other areas, I am sure that "should they or shouldn't they" will not matter. Once it has Bin Laden the US will put him on trial, send him to prison and the world will return to its humdrum existence until the next atrocity. I have no faith in any political power in Afghanistan, whether created by the US or otherwise. Its inability to compromise means that as soon as the US has what it wants and withdraws, business will return to normal.
Afghanistan was attacked because her government refused to hand over the perpetrator of the Sept.11th atrocities. But to continue the strong arm strategy by reducing to smoking rubble every nation which poses a potential terrorist threat to the West is unreasonable behaviour. In fact an objective and neutral observer could argue that it would amount to global terrorism. There are a dozen or so countries which might become targets for this treatment - and to bomb them all on a "just in case" basis would be an act of madness that would eclipse the worst that bin Laden has done.
I think the answer might be a better global intelligence system.
The US government must look to the needs and protection of its own citizens first and foremost. That's the only reason it exists, after all. Military action in Afghanistan was clearly in the interest of the individual American citizen. Military action in Iraq would not be. The question of Somalia is more difficult, but it should be remembered that bin Laden was under internationally recognized indictments before entering Afghanistan and that the Taleban government was (foolishly as it turns out) given years not weeks to comply with US demands for his extradition.
If there is a next it will be in Iraq or Pakistan. Belonging to the region, I do not wish any harm on people, but it is with regret that I note that these regimes have harboured and sponsored terrorists for decades now. If they are not stopped, terrorism will continue to spread like a malignant cancerous growth.
How can USA justify treating Pakistan as an ally? They are the ones that created, maintained and bolstered the Taleban. If USA really would like to wipe out terrorism they should go for the root not the branches. And this is the high time to do it, not after a decade of making "allies". If they want to attack Iraq because of the excuse that some terrorists are there, then what about the terrorist factory?
The war is against terrorists and those who harbour them, not against specific countries. The current phase of the war is not against Afghanistan, as the Afghanis are our allies. It is against Al Qaeda - whatever country they reside in. So governments can choose - support the terrorists, or support the Coalition - pretty simple really.
Zoe, London, UK
I say the US should go after Mr. Saddam Hussain of Iraq once the job in Afghanistan is completed. It was a job that President Bush Sr. left unfinished after the Gulf War of 1991. So President Bush Jr. must finish the job now !
The US should not forget Saudi Arabia either. A significant number of the hijackers implicated in the tragedy of Sept. 11th were of Saudi descent and belonged to the Wahabbi sect of Islam. By all accounts, Saudi Arabia is a haven for terrorists. I say the US should wipe out the House of Saudi in its current War against Terrorism.
A job half done is a job poorly done. Since terrorists reside throughout the world, it's appropriate and natural to hunt them down wherever they hide. Different places require different approaches, there is no "one size fits all" solution - what worked in Afghanistan may not work in Somalia, Indonesia or the Philippines. However, one must keep the pressure on - be it military, covert, overt, economic, legal, etc. at all times until the vast majority of terrorists are soundly removed from this Earth.
First, lets define terrorism. Afghanistan was a special case - if Mullah Mohammed Omar had handed Bin Laden to the US authorities, would this so called war on terrorism continued for so long now? Or would the Taleban have been dismantled from power?
We cannot even come to an agreement upon the definition of a terrorist. Until we do that, the US or anybody else does not have a right to topple a country's regime. Because as they say, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.
Martin, Vancouver, Canada
I would like to disassociate myself from the previous comments by another "Martin in Vancouver".
Wholesale bombing of another country by the USA can never be regarded as being policically correct. The USA had their chance to take out Hussain of Iraq 10 years ago. They chose not to then, so why now?
While Saddam Hussein does have an awful track record regarding human rights and has tried to increase Iraq's military power through biological and nuclear means, it is ridiculous to expand the war against "terrorism" by associating his regime with the events that took place on September 11th. There are numerous countries in the world that have developed weapons of mass destruction, including the U.S., France, the U.K. and Israel to name a few. It is especially hypocritical of the U.S., since no other country in the world has a worse record than America when it comes to using these deadly weapons.
Chris Devine, Providence, RI USA
Strange how the list of potential targets does not include a country where most of the September 11th terrorists came from, has extensive financial and human links to Al Qaeda, is a totalitarian society which oppresses women and chops off heads and hands, and to top it off spawned bin Laden... Saudi Arabia. But, hey, they are our friends and without their cheap oil how will we run the B52's, Cobras, Apaches and numerous paraphernalia we need to target the weak kid on the block?
Where next? Hopefully, some soul searching within the America's own borders. History has taught us that there is no such thing as a primarily military solution to a fundamentally political problem. The American leadership has not yet adequately addressed the question: "WHAT drives people to such extremes?" To do so would be to recognize what most of the world has been telling them: terrorism is horrible, tragic, and unjustifiable. But terrorism and extremism feed off injustice. So long as there are poor, dispossessed peoples in Palestine, Iraq, and other places, men and women who have nothing to live for and the Americans to blame for their situation, hatemongers like Bin Laden will have a ready supply of recruits for his war.
Terrorism is supply and demand. The U.S. war has so far addressed the supply. It's about time it realized that now is the time to quell the demand, since so long as the demand exists the supply will always be met one way or another.
When America started this war they said it could take a very long time. If they continue to fight the symptoms not the problem, that is exactly what will happen..
The world should also be on notice that another act of terrorism directed against citizens of The U.S. will likely result in unilateral response.
Chhun Yasith, self declared leader of the CFF (Cambodian Freedom Fighters), is wanted by the government of Cambodia (democratic and multiparty, if still beset with corruption) to stand trial for charges of terrorist atrocities. However the authorities where he lives refuse to hand him over. At what point do we start bombing Long Beach California until they comply and help us defeat terrorism?
As an American Liberal I find much that is great and much that is reprehensible about US foreign policies, and yet I have cast aside this ambivalence in light of the enormity of danger I still perceive. Before curing the illness that is the hypocrisy of American, British, and Western foreign policy, we need to stop the haemorrhaging that is the very real threat of the instant loss of thousands and thousands of souls to terrorist caprice.
The time for overt military action is ending. Now is the time for the majority of resources to be channelled into diplomatic, and covert operations to dismantle terror organisations as well as addressing the underlying issues, such as US Foreign Policy, Israeli domestic policy. The US must admit to itself that they may have made mistakes which have escalated into today┐s global anti-Americanism. Just pretending that it is jealousy at the US way of life is too naive.
Whilst having every sympathy for all those who died in the twin towers, I also have sympathy for those who have died in Palestine & Northern Ireland. All are victims of 'Terrorists' or 'Freedom Fighters' depending upon which side of the fence one is on. America clearly sees itself alone as determining who exactly is a terrorist, hence Bin Laden being 'Bad Guy', & Adams / McGuinness being 'Good Guys'. Somehow, I think they make the rules up to suit their own circumstances.
descurrie, Umdloti, South Africa
The next battle must be fought in the Afghanistan neighbourhood of Kashmir. Chances are the terrorists who fled Afghanistan are now in Kashmir, preparing for attacks against India.
We have already seen it with the attacks on the Indian parliament.
India should begin hot pursuit or pre-emptive strikes against these terrorists to any neighbouring region that harbours them.
The heartbeat of world terrorism emanates from Iraq, Iran and Syria. It is now clear that force is the only possible option against Saddam's regime and those that think otherwise are deluding themselves. However there's still hope that real international pressure can pull Syria and Iran back from the brink and give them an opportunity to end their support of terrorism and rejoin the world community.
Next stop the Terrorists gateway
into Afghanistan. The main country
responsible for moving funds to finance
these terrorists and train them and arm
them - Pakistan - has to be curbed from
its clandestine terrorist activities.
Will Lever, Chester, UK
The USA and the whole civilised world should go after terrorists and their supporters wherever they are and with whatever means. The deliberate targeting or total disregard of innocent people for political aims is intolerable. Any 'group' that cannot accept this will have made their choice.
The attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11 was part of a new phenomenon, different from previous forms of terrorism. In fact, I would argue that it is not "terrorism" as we previously understood it. The aim of the terrorist is to cause panic out of all proportion to the physical damage. To traditional terrorists such as Irgun, FLNA, EOKA, ETA and the IRA, the number of deaths always needs to be limited. The "ideal" terrorist action would be spectacular, very public, timed for prime-time news and with a minimum loss of life. It is worth noting that, until Lockerbie, the biggest death toll in a single terrorist action was Menachem Begin's attack on the King David Hotel in 1947 (which killed 91 people).
The new breed of "terrorists" of the 1990s actually aim for the maximum destruction of human life. They also seem linked to their own interpretation of religion (not only Islam, Timothy McVeigh was a "Christian Patriot" and Asahara of the AUM sect claims to be both a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and a Buddhist).
The priority has to be to take on al Qaeda, AUM, and the "Christian Patriots". Unfortunately, this stage will not be a spectacular television friendly war in a third world country. It will involve intelligence organisations from Russia, America, and probably some middle east countries.
Habib Hemani, San Francisco, USA
There is a clear relationship between chaotic regimes rent asunder by internal conflict and their dependencies on organisations like Bin Laden's. It is very easy for a country like the US to "take out" these regimes. The answer surely lies in both military action and some support for these impoverished countries, where most of the citizens have no say or input. The dangers for the "war on Terrorism" is mayhem on the international stage. The common tread with these wars is of large countries bullying small ones. It will be interesting to see if India responds to Pakistan┐s "act of terror". I suspect it will show these Wars only apply when a weak defenceless country is involved.
Just because thousands were killed in one day.. is it any different to the hundreds that have been killed over decades in Northern Ireland?
I have not seen a non-Muslim country as the next possible target. How is Mr Bush going to get support from the Middle East if he keeps attacking Muslim countries when there are plenty of terrorists (Real IRA, ETA etc)who are from non-Muslim countries?
It also amazes me how much they know about terrorists yet they fail to do anything about them until they have carried out the crime. Do they let terrorist attacks happen so it gives them a reason to attack the country they originate from?
David, London, UK
The US and allied forces have done a resounding job in bringing down the Al-Qaeda and Taleban within Afghanistan. The words of President Bush on this ghastly episode have rung true by the might of powerful military muscle by the US. But the story is not complete. Somalia is known for its training camps of terrorists, its continuation of Al-Qaeda which must be crushed and torn to pieces if vindication is to complete. Afghanistan is only the first step against this evil war on terror.
After success in Afghanistan, the war against terrorism should be extended further on other countries which support and harbour terrorists and their organisations.
The international coalition should stay together and united.
Sort out the killers in Northern Ireland and the Americans that fund them. But, of course, that isn't what the American or British governments want. Let's bomb another dust bowl in the Middle East or Africa instead. Makes good TV for the people at home.
So, Syria and Saudi Arabia get a grovelling visit from Tony Blair while Somalia and Yemen could face the full might of a US military campaign. It's truly heart warming to know that the west's foreign policy is founded on such ethical principles.
Somalia is a land virtually without central government with known links to extremist groups. It is therefore a likely place for al-Qaeda to have bases. If this is true then it would be a valid target.
What September 11 reiterated was that there are extremist groups with no regard for human life or civilisation, which are often based or founded within oppressive regimes. While people may find it morally difficult to go after Iraq there can be no doubt that Saddam has produced weapons of mass destruction, and this is unacceptable. We need to be more proactive rather than reactive. UN weapons inspectors need to be allowed to return to Iraq and if they are prevented, decisive action needs to be taken against Saddam's government.
It appears that al-Qaeda cells exist all over the world, including Britain and many European countries. Does that mean the US will have the right to again go gung-ho and try to take charge and flush out these people. If a man who lives in a cave can organise people from all over the world to fly planes into the WTC then the US has no chance of winning this war, and is no longer a superpower.
Matty wrote: "If a man who lives in a cave can organise people from all over the world to fly planes into the WTC then the US has no chance of winning this war, and is no longer a superpower." I think this is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard...The US is a regulator and EVERY country needs us. Hopefully, Iraq will be next and we can finish what Bush Sr. did not.
Anyone who thinks terrorism begins and ends in Afghanistan is either incredibly naive or incredibly stupid. I'm afraid it is a war, and we have to decide whether to see this through properly, or sit back and wait until some more skyscrapers are knocked down.
I think that the next terrorist organisations to bring down should be the smaller ones that are closer to home. At the same time, for more than 10 years now I've been afraid of what Iraq has planned for the west and I think that taking care of this problem would lift a huge weight off of peoples' mind throughout the world.
Ali, London, UK
With another sectarian murder in Northern Ireland today perhaps the government here should look a little closer to home? It's interesting to note that in the list of targets there is no mention of Saudi Arabia, which has links Islamic extremists, or Israel which, like Iraq, is violating numerous UN resolutions. No double standards here then! I think there should be a war against hypocrisy instead.
I agree with Dave Whyte, Manchester, UK because he is addressing what everyone else is too afraid to admit. The US and its allies now risk turning the coalition into a hypocritical mob of bullies attacking third world countries.
Dave Whyte is right on the button. The US should take care of terrorism within its own borders before trying to clean up the rest of the world. If they can find money trails to Bin Laden, then they can find money trails to terrorist groups within the US and to Northern Ireland.
Israel uses a government-sanctioned form of terrorism against Palestine but if New York Mayor Guilani visits Israel, then I guess they must be okay. Hypocrisy, you bet.
Some very valid points from Ali UK and Dave Whyte make you wonder when Cuba is going to get a mention. After all the US doesn't have a completely spotless record. Central America, early 80's - need I say more?
Although terrorism incited by Islamic fundamentalism continues to be firmly addressed, other forms are being ignored. Even if the US concentrates on global groups only, the world would be enriched if the threat from Basque terrorists and the like were removed. It would also give credence to the US claim that this is a war on terror, and not on Islam.
We Muslims keep telling the world community that the terrorist attacks against the US were because of their support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. There are 1.2 billion Muslims throughout the world. Does the US seriously think it can bomb the whole Islamic world into submission? Until all mosques in the Middle East are liberated, the US must never dream that terrorism will end.
Dr. Osman - if thats what it takes for us in the West to be safe, then so be it. It's either that or it is up to Islam to sort itself out and stop breeding these extremists in large numbers.
In response to Dr Osman: there are 1.9 billion Christians in the world, and 5 billion non-Muslims. So what? This isn't about numbers. It's about the crazed actions of murderous extremists. Globally, more Muslims than non-Muslims die at the hands of extremist fanatics. There is nothing to be achieved by addressing the issue of terrorism in playground terms of "my dad's bigger than your dad". It doesn't change a thing.
Dr Osman from Turkey is right - untill and unless the US stops supporting Israel and puts a stop to the illegal occupation of Israeli's settlers there wont be an end to terrorism.
Dr Osman identifies the real cause of Muslim terrorism when he Speaks of 'We Muslims' and the need for 'all mosques to be liberated'. These are the same sentiments that motivate all violent muslim separartist groups around the world: India and Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Thailand, The Philippines, Nigeria, Nepal, and Tanzania to name but a few. The Muslim faith needs to face up to its problem - the fundamentalist need for Muslim rule, and stop blaming everyone else for their problems. This would resolve the world's greatest terror. I for one am sick of hearing of Israel being the root of all evil.
10 Dec 01 | South Asia
Q&A: What next in war on terror?
Other Talking Points:
Links to more Talking Point stories
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy