THE TERROR TRAP July 16, 2005Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
Suicide bombing are, as Professor Robert Pape has said, a form of asymmetrical warfare. One side in these conflicts does not have the technological means of warfare that they other has in abundance.
Suicide bombings are not without strategic success. Most spectacularly in the case of the withdrawal of the Indian Army from Sri Lanka – but that was a no-brainer. Any Indian political leader of minimal insight and intelligence could apprehend the implications.
The suicide bombings by Palestinians have attacked the counter-insurgency excesses of the Israelis, which are rarely if ever fully reported by the Western media giving rise among other issues, as we discover, to an increased sense of grievance in the Arab and Muslim world. The Israelis can stand resolute and uncompromising knowing they have the full support of the Americans, who see them as a valuable support for their purposes in the Middle East.
And suicide bombing represent a form of daily horror in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Yet we watch on as if indifferently, with the prospect that this may lead to a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, which might lead to far worse consequences. The case for a timetable for withdrawal from the occupying forces is overwhelming. Of course, such a staged withdrawal needs to include contingency strategies, but it is not beyond the wit of possibility.
But London is different. The London bombings drive the message home as no other event in the non-English speaking world could. The Madrid bombings were a major story, and after six months following the change of government at the Spanish election the new government withdrew it’s troops from Iraq. London is the story. The Saturday papers – The Sydney Morning Herald and The Weekend Australian – are full of it, but carefully avoiding reporting cause and effect.
Understanding the motivation of the bomb couriers, three of whom were British born of Pakistani descent, was a puzzle to me. The New York Times attempts to provide an explanation.
With time – perhaps three or four months – the Iraq war will again assume centre stage. The Bush Administration, and perhaps the Blair government, will argue the case for not giving into terrorism. They will say that we must pursue the course of defeating terrorism, while giving cause for increased terrorism.
The terror trap is a box for Bush of his own making. The initiative will have to come from elsewhere – which leaves Britain looking into mirror and the crystal ball.