23 March 2004

Terrorism Works

While Wayne State students have been on spring break this past week, there has been quite a bit of action happening around the world. And since none of us want to be caught on Jay Leno’s Jaywalking segment looking like an idiot, let’s do a quick run through of last week’s events.

Terrorism is huge in the news this past week. Starting our review with the attack on the trains in Madrid, Spain, we see that terrorism works. During Thursday morning rush hour, ten bombs went off simultaneously (those clever terrorists) killing at least 190 people and wounding another 1,500. This attack took place just three days before the national elections in that country. Supposedly the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, terror organization aligned with al-Qaeda, carried out the attack because they were unhappy that Spain was an ally to the United States in the “war against terror.” Possibly because of the attack, the Party helping the U.S. lost the election, and the new party in Spain will be bringing their troops home from Iraq. So what have the terrorists learned? They’ve figured out that if you kill enough people, governments will cave into any demand asked for. This is equivilant to begging a bully not to hit us anymore. Wonderful.

And of course the biggest news over the last couple days was that Israel did the world a favor. Not that the world has realized it yet, because they haven’t. Israel killed Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the head of the Hamas terrorist organization. Hamas has been responsible for the murder of hundreds of civilians as well as thousands more who were wounded because of their attacks. Americans have been among those who have been murdered. Americans like us who attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem on an academic exchange program.

Funny enough, after the bombings in Spain, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin called for “the entire international community” to unite against terror, the entire international community certainly has united. (news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/3504046.stm) However, it was not against terror - but in support of it.

When Israel cut the head off the snake of Hamas, many world leaders except for the United States condemned the action. Javier Solana, foreign policy chief of the European Union, stated that, “These type[s] of action do not contribute to dialogue and peace in the region...” (Jerusalem Post “World Blasts Yassin Killing” jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1079929448131&p=1078027574121) Really? Yassin was a man who had dedicated his life to the destruction of the Jewish People. There was no talk of peace from Yassin - only suicide bombings. But yet, he is mourned by the World. When both Britain and Iran agree on an issue, there is something to wonder about. 

Americans wonder if the government had information about earlier opportunities to kill Bin Laden prior to 9/11. If the government did have a chance to get rid of him and had saved those 3,000 lives but didn’t, they would be as responsible as Bin Laden. But America didn’t know. Israel had an opportunity to kill a man who had the blood of hundreds on his hands. Not to kill him would be irresponsible and only let Yassin continue in his planning and mass murder. Israel took that chance and is paying for it in world opinion.

What have we learned from this past week’s events? We have learned that terrorism works. Spain is a quick study. Israel is another. World reaction is telling. Words are cheap. Words such as, “Let us all unite against terrorism”. But when it comes to actions -- goodness, we must forbid anything that resembles self-defense against murderers.

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