Reader reactions to ĎThe War on Error beginsí
The many faces of terrorism
Why is it only non-state groups that use terrorist tactics, according to many? Was the Serbian and Croatian campaign of genocide against Bosnians not terrorismÖ or the Serbs in Kosovo.... and hello... 8,000 innocent men murdered in a couple of days time in Srebenica.† And then the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fire bombing of Dresden.... ALL done to commit mass murder of innocent people for political purposes. How many victims are we talking about there?
And then what to think of denying adequate food and water to starving people around the world... that kills more than all of the above each year...do we label that terrorism Ė not officially? But it definitely kills innocent people through neglect, at best.
B. van Driel
A question of support
I think the issue isnít with the fact that you have violent extremists in every culture and nation. You do, at least in most. The problem is with the level of support they get from the general population in those countries.
Kahana Chai in Israel is not only outlawed, itís not socially legitimised either. I donít know of a single person who supports them. Support for these wackos? Maybe among the more extreme settlers. Mainstream Israel does not accept their views, let alone any violent actions on their part.
The Etzel is the group in charge of the famous terror attack in the King of David hotel. Even they had their excuses, saying they did inform the British about the bomb, and never meant for any civilians to be hurt (you have to admit, this is a lot more than what the Muslim suicide bombers do). Either way, Etzel and Lehi, were social and political outcasts in Israel. The first thing that Ben Gurion did when Israel was established was to outlaw both of these organisations and simply take their weapons away from them, by force. They were detested to the extent that Ben Gurion would never call Begin by name.
I think the same goes for the other groups you mentioned. How much support does the KKK get in mainstream America? How much support does the Supreme Truth group get in mainstream Japan? I don't know about Sri Lanka and the other places you mentioned, frankly, but if you look at the Western world and check how much support does the IRA receive in Ireland today, you get a clear picture.
Now, check the support for Hizbullah, Hamasís suicide bombers, the Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda in the Muslim world. See the problem? I have talked to Palestinians, Israeli Palestinians and people from the territories. Today, with the internet, I donít even need the media for that. I talk to people from the Arab world on Skype and Yahoo all the time. There is huge support for the terrorist groups, Khaled. Sometimes people will go on to explain how they wish me no harm and want peace. At the same time, they will glorify Al Qaeda, Hizbullah and Hamas. They think these people somehow rectify something, defend the (lost?) Arab honour, or whatever. The bottom line is, as far as I can see, the average Muslim in the Arab world today, supports terrorist groups. We can discuss the whys of this phenomena, but itís there, and I think itís a huge problem.
A El Hashahar
Pardes Hana, Israel
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