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Terrorism is no distant threat

2006-09-24 22:54Chua Chim Kang

  The Sept 11 terror attacks on US soil have focused world attention squarely on terrorist activity. The cold-blooded acts have been condemned by all and have led to unprecedented global cooperation to fight terrorism.

  Taking full advantage of the sensitive issues of race and religion, the terrorists have created a false image of being victimised by developed nations. By playing up conflicts between the West and the East and the assaults of the powerful on the weak, it hopes to deepen misunderstandings between different camps in the world. It also hopes to dramatise the humiliation of the helpless and innocent by Western powers, with the evil intention of splitting the world.

  The vicious plan has worked - American university students are now up in arms against war - a repeat of the blind opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.

  Some Singaporeans may not have an adequate understanding of the nature and root cause of terrorism.They have also been won over by some plausible arguments supporting anti-war sentiments, and have begun to adopt a conciliatory and condoning attitude towards the evildoers.

  They have forgotten that the crimes of terrorism are not acceptable by any human standard. Terrorist acts that ignore all rules are a tremendous threat to any peace-loving person, including Singaporeans who live in a country that is very open to the outside world. To condone the atrocities of terrorists is to encourage them to cause more havoc - and put more innocent lives on the line.

  In the first week after the terrorist attacks, Americans were rather united in their determination to hit back at terrorists.But as the decision to strike drags on, anti-war voices begin to grow louder. It is also inevitable that countries in the world will have different views on the military response to be taken. Terrorists must be delighted at these developments.

  We must not sit on the fence and ask the US to think twice before opening fire - just because terrorists are far away from us. We must also not lose sight of the big picture and start appealing for peace. Being sentimental will not help and will weaken the resolve to eradicate terrorism.

  The despicable means terrorists employ to attack civilised society can happen in any cosmopolitan city. We should not be fooled by terrorists - by backing off from the showdown that is shaping up and losing our focus on the need to stamp out terrorism.

  With wounded pride, the US, which is leading the war to safeguard peace, should be supported by the rest of the world. While no organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks, actions against terrorism must remain consistent and the intensity must not dwindle too.

  Every country that advocates peace must be on the alert. More important, they should put aside their prejudices and selfish interests to root out terrorism collectively and relentlessly.

  It has been noted that the influence of religious militancy has been growing in the region. Some terrorist forces have even become threats to some Asean members by openly opposing the governments of these countries. Without strong backing, it is doubtful that these terrorists could have been so bold and brutal.

  This is a war about the very survival of mankind - there is no room for wavering and indecision. People who are blinded by humanitarianism and thus against war are in fact helping to create a situation favourable to terrorists.

  Nobody wants war. But if we retreat when the battle lines are drawn, we are bowing to evil forces. Do not misinterpret the meaning of humanitarianism and be bogged down by concern over the loss of lives which may be inevitable. To allow terrorists to grow stronger is to invite worse disasters for ourselves and cause even greater loss of lives.

  恐怖分子并非远在天边● 蔡深江

  美国九一一惨祸引起世人对恐怖主义的高度警惕,并且同声谴责惨无人道的暴力行为,更促成国际社会史无前例的合作,连手展开打击恐怖主义的行动。

  恐怖主义的恶行已经超越了人类可以接受的范围,威胁平白无辜的人。

  恐怖分子阴险地踩在国际间最脆弱的族群和宗教议题裂缝上,刻意造成文明对落后的欺压假象,强调西方与东方的冲突,以及列强对弱国的攻击,目的正是要扩大国际间不同阵营的误会,顺水推舟演一场西方霸强凌辱无助百姓的煽情大戏,恶意分裂这个世界。

  恐怖主义分子的诡计果然见效,美国大学生起而示威,重演越战时期大学生盲目反战的戏码。一些本地人或许对问题的本质和根源缺乏认识,加上受到一些似是而非的言论影响,竟然也受到反战思想感染,开始产生息事宁人、姑息恶人的态度。他们忘了恐怖主义的恶行已经超越了人类可以接受的范围,不按常理和常规表达意见的手段,正狠狠地威胁着全世界每一个爱好和平的人,其中当然包括新加坡这个非常开放和全球化的国家。世人越是姑息恐怖主义活动,越会助长疯狂破坏世界和平的气焰,平白无辜的人就越受威胁。

  在袭击悲剧发生一周内,美国上下敌忾同仇,对付恐怖活动的共识很强。攻击行动拖宕日久,国内反战的声浪渐渐大了起来,国际间对军事行动的看法也难免产生分歧,正中敌人下怀。

  我们绝不能抱隔岸观火的心态,以为恐怖分子远在天边,要求美国在开火之前三思而行。只看到小枝小节,就对和平做出空洞诉求,不但流于感情用事,也削弱了对付恐怖活动的力量。恐怖主义分子以拙劣而卑鄙的手法攻击文明社会的事件,也可能发生在其他繁荣大都会,因此世人绝不能上恐怖分子的当,受制于隐隐形成的对抗危机,也模糊了打击恐怖主义的焦点。

  美国受创后,带头打这场维护和平之战,应该得到世界各国的认同和支持。尽管没有组织承认这起事件,对付恐怖主义的动作应该保持一致,力度更不容减弱。每一个主张和平的国家都必须提高警惕,更重要的是要捐弃成见,抛开私利,结合集体正义力量,毫不手软地将恐怖主义斩草除根。

  我们也注意到宗教极端主义逐渐在本区域扩张影响力,恐怖主义甚至在一些亚细安成员国形成威胁势力,与当地政府公然展开对抗。如果不是背后有强而有力的支持,这些恐怖主义分子不会如此猖狂凶残。

  这是一场全球人类休戚与共的生存战,不容丝毫迟疑与动摇。一些人基于盲目的人道主义立场,逢战必反,反而把事态引向恐怖主义分子想看到的局面。没有人期待战争,可是在该战之际反战怯战,恰恰是向恶势力低头的行为。如果执著于一兵一卒的损失,曲解了人道的精神,只有让恐怖主义分子坐大,将导致更大的悲剧。

  (作者是《联合早报》言论组评论员)

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