September 24, 2001
Punishing the messenger would be a grave error
On Sept. 11 America was sent a message - that even the most powerful nation on earth is not safe. That we are in no better position than those nations, like Israel and India, facing the murderous terrorist attacks daily.
Yet, the terrorists who masterminded and carried out today's Pearl Harbor-style attacks are merely messengers. They did not attack us for personal benefits which they would be able to enjoy.
They had bigger goals in mind. These terrorists who are willing to die for their cause are driven by something far bigger than personal ambition or charismatic leadership. It takes a well-funded and well-connected organization to arrange such attacks, but it definitely takes much more than that to make a man willingly lay down his life. It is this evil ideology guiding and propelling the perpetrators' actions that needs to be exposed and defeated. After all, instead of simply targetting individual Soviet leaders, we worked for the comprehensive defeat and elimination of the Soviet System!
Terrorism is the sign of a civilizational conflict between inhuman, irrational forces and the democratic free world. Simply 'bringing the criminals to justice' as we have done in the past and which the analysts are demanding presently is not going to be enough.
It's high time for our leaders to coordinate and lead a global concerted action for containing and driving back the fundamentalist terrorist forces worldwide. Simply punishing the messenger while leaving the fountainhead of terrorism uncapped will be a grave strategic error.
Mac Kher, via e-mail