Mumbai attacks a stark reminder of terrorism's danger
Photo: Reuters

We must fight evil

Cost of apathy, failed diplomacy will be far higher than cost of war on terror

I served for eight years in a patrol unit in the Israeli Police Force's Jerusalem district. My fellow officers and I were patrolling on the morning of June 18th, 2002. Just before 8 am, I heard a loud bang. Less than 90 seconds later I was the third patrol car on the scene of the suicide bomber attack on bus route 32A.


Whilst searching for a possible second bomber I found myself looking at a city street that had become a battle ground. Sirens were screaming. The injured were being evacuated and bomb squad units were poring over the destroyed the bus. I remember thinking with a burning clarity that those who commit and orchestrate the tragic evil of terrorism must be hunted ruthlessly and constantly. They must be hunted down wherever they may be, hunted down to the ends of the earth.


Efforts to fight terrorism continue in Afghanistan. There are those who call for the withdrawal of these troops, citing the irrationality of involving their citizens in a war that is not a direct threat to their borders. In fact, at last an honest endeavor to challenge evil is being made. Coalition Forces' deaths and the distaste of war are not easy to stomach. But the recent events in Mumbai are no more pleasant.


Saudi Arabia continues to fund terrorism with petro-dollars. Iran maintains and expands its role as a state sponsor of terrorism, stretching its poisonous tentacles to Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. Syria defiantly hosts terrorist organizations in its capital city. All of these countries are member states of the United Nations enjoying all the associated benefits, while the world stands idly by.

In Somalia, Islamic extremism and anarchy continue unabated. Hollywood and military analysts may benefit from the US Military’s operational blunder in Somalia in the early 1990s. But that true desire and brave attempt to actually make a change on the ground must be applauded. The resulting pressure for US forces to withdraw from the outskirts of Mogadishu still strengthens and goads those intent on striking at Western targets, whilst weakening the necessary public and political resolve to fight them.


There are still some who call for dialogue and patience and insist on political correctness when dealing with state and non-state actors that support terrorism and represent the epitome of evil. These calls as well as their naivety and caution are not only frustrating, they are dangerous. They are dangerous because they allow evil to flourish when it should be challenged. They are dangerous because they give terrorism time; time to breed and plan- - time to explode on the streets of Bali, Jerusalem, London and Madrid.


From Mumbai to ends of the earth

We must maintain the global war on terror. Those leaders who are involved in its battles must be supported politically and morally. Their commitment, despite the ugliness of such battles, must be supported, not criticized or abused as a political weapon by their opposition. Those politicians and members of public who still call for policies of restraint and almost unlimited dialogue when dealing with states and organizations involved in terror need to be aware of the consequences of such restraint. These passive policies contribute to the deaths of innocent victims as was seen just a few days ago in Mumbai.


Edmond Burke once said,” The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." There are those who have taken this truth to heart and are doing something. They are the coalition troops on duty in the mountains of Afghanistan, the members of the world's intelligence communities and Indian security force members who were killed in action last week fighting the terrorists in Mumbai. Their actions must be applauded, their deaths must be mourned.


The world must understand that the fight against terrorism will be brutal, probably endless, and sadly will involve further casualties. But the cost of apathy, political correctness and ineffective diplomacy will be far higher. Support must be given to the leaders and soldiers in this battle against evil. The price of failure has been felt too many times. For our safety and for that of our children the perpetrators of terror must continue to be hunted down where ever they may be - from Mumbai to the ends of the earth.


Gideon Scher is a Legacy Heritage Fellow and is currently working at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv


פרסום ראשון: 12.03.08, 17:52
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