May I offer my heartfelt condolences to Tuesday's attack victims. I hope and
pray that all US American CCNet members, some of whom are working in the
Pentagon, are well and unharmed.
DEMOCRATIC UNITY IS THE ONLY ANSWER TO TERRORISM
>From The Times, 13 September 2001
By EHUD BARAK
No country should feel safe harbouring those who perpetrate such horrors
Terrorism has declared war on the free world and the free world must
unite to fight back. This is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from
the horror of Tuesday's attack. Just as the enlightened world mobilised
in the past to combat challenges to its core values, so must such an
international coalition be built today.
The nature of the attack defies belief, yet should surprise no one. Its
spectacular audacity and its devastating cost in human and economic
terms are truly unfathomable and may remain so for a long time. They
will certainly remain etched in human memory for generations.
Let there be no illusions. This attack is an attack on everything that
Western civilisation holds dear - freedom, the rule of law, the sanctity
of human life. It is an attack on the open manner in which business is
conducted between people and nations and on the very fabric of human
interaction as we know it.
And we know who the attackers are. Whether Osama bin Laden was involved
directly or not, or whether it was another grouping, the world's
governments know exactly who the terrorists are and exactly which rogue
states support and promote their activity. Countries like Iran, Iraq,
Libya, Sudan and North Korea have a proven track-record of sponsoring
terrorism, while no one needs reminding of the carnage wrought by the
terrorist thugs of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and even Yassir
Arafat's own PLO. The lines of battle are clearly drawn.
Israel, sadly, has known the scourge of terror for many years. Our
citizens have been the targets of attacks unspeakable in their ugliness.
Munich in 1972, Maalot in 1974, Tel Aviv's Dolphinarium in 2001, these
are just a few examples of the challenge posed to our way of life
consistently over nearly two generations. We have learnt the importance
of vigilance and determination, of the need to develop political,
diplomatic and operational options for dealing with the myriad
challenges posed by those who have no respect for the bounds of ordinary
morality, of the need to stand resolute in the face of terrible pain and
Of course, there will always be those who seek to link Tuesday's
horrendous assault on the free world to the Arab-Israeli peace process,
but it is insulting to the intelligence, let alone to the victims of
this crime, to suggest such crude causality. All it takes is a quick
look at the statements, publications, ideology and actions of the
world's terrorists to understand that their hostility to the West is
fundamental to their sense of self, and is not conditional on
concessions at the Arab-Israeli negotiating table.
The brutal reality which has been brought home so terribly this week is
that there is no room for compromise - in any quarter of the globe - in
the face of the threat these groups pose.
A range of measures is available to the international community as it
addresses this challenge in the coming days and months. Fundamental to
them all is the need to act in concert. A war such as this cannot be won
if cracks exist in our defences. Indeed, this is one of the reasons that
the terrorist scourge has flourished for so long. A broad coalition of
all peace-loving states must be built to defeat this enemy.
A concrete, operational plan must be developed, one which will harness
and deploy the full diplomatic, intelligence, economic, and operational
resources of the free world. This plan must use the broadest possible
array of preventive measures and effective responses to all evidence of
terrorist activity, wherever it may be found. Terrorists must be pursued
wherever they may hide, using every means. They must not be allowed
passage through any port or airport, their economic and material
resources must be diminished, their funding and communications networks
disrupted and downgraded.
New international norms must be set. The international community must
make it clear that anyone who harbours, aids, or gives succour in any
form to terrorist groups will be held accountable and pay the price of
such behaviour. Sponsors of terror and the rogue states who harbour such
people must be immediately isolated by the family of nations, and their
ability to aid terrorism curtailed. No government must be able to
consider itself immune to the consequences of allying itself with those
who target the citizens of the world.
Under the leadership of America, Great Britain and the other European
powers, and Russia, the civilised world must maintain the values and
clarity of purpose that have made it possible to build democracy and
freedom and to ensure their primacy in the modern world. The coalition
they build must include the many moderate Arab and Muslim states, and
all who seek stability and order in the world.
This is a time for action and a time for all nations to stand up and be
counted. Terrorism respects no borders; neither can the defences against
it. All nations must make it clear on which side of the divide they
stand. This campaign will not be quick and it will not be easy. The
network of terror already enjoys too much immunity and it may take
years, and perhaps more tragic losses, before it can be overcome.
The alternative to fighting back, however, is further devastation, fear,
and damage to the way of life which all peace-loving peoples rightly
hold so dear.
This is a defining moment. The world as we have come to know it is now a
different place and the community of nations must respond. The direction
the civilised world takes in the years to come will be determined by how
it mobilises now to address this systemic threat to all civilisation.
With unity and resolve we will prevail.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.
CCCMENU CCC for 2001