Terrorism is a long battle and has nothing to do with retaking lost territory nor does a battle plan for this fight have parameters. It is fluid, nebulous and almost impossible to eliminate for the enemy is unseen…writes Bikram Vohra
The plumes of violence continue to spread insidiously. The attacks in Kuwait, Tunis and France underscore the fact that extremism has not been dented and that the word ‘peace’ has lost its meaning. We are a world today freighted by anguish and fear and we realise that no land is safe from those who have put such a despairingly low price on human life and dignity.
How can the killing of people at prayer be justified by any yardstick? What goal is attained by smearing places of worship with innocent blood?
For the AGCC enclave what happened in Kuwait can only make them manage the grief by channeling it into an even higher commitment and united front against those that would use religion as a shield for the killing civilians. That these steps have already been taken must have short circuited many a vicious plan that we do not know about. Every government in the region knows the scourge is not ended and there is much more to be done.
Terrorism is a long battle and has nothing to do with retaking lost territory nor does a battle plan for this fight have parameters. It is fluid, nebulous and almost impossible to eliminate for the enemy is unseen. That is why a hundred successful thwarting of assaults are eclipsed by the one which gets through the defense. There will be always one that gets through; whether it wipes out one or one thousand. Failsafe is not an option.
The carnage in Tunis may have been the work of a lone wolf on the face of things but trailing his past will clearly link him to some militant group with no agenda but to enlist the disaffected and set them upon a path of destruction.
So, now that we understand that the element of gratuitous violence is on the rise in what is a paradox as the fight against it also becomes more intense it is not just the governments that can protect the public regardless of the paramilitary forces and the uniformed security that are on perilous duty.
The two major contributions can only come from an open sharing of intelligence and a heightened sense of common purpose. Already that togetherness is palpable but it must raise itself even further.
The second is the public, the citizenry at large. If there are fifth columns functioning in clandestine fashion they must be stopped. Every citizen has a duty to report anything suspicious be it movement, the presence of strangers in the area, odd unlisted cargo, overheard conversations, anything that resonates as out of the ordinary.
By that token public sense of responsibility has to become collective and continuous. The spread of rumours, misusing social networks to create panic, offering scenarios that scare without any grounds, even quoting anonymous sources, all these help the adversary and contribute to the public unease.
Help the adversary and contribute to the public unease.
Yes, such acts of violence are unprecedented. Yes, it has happened. Yes, the information is transparent and nothing is being hidden.
Armed with confidence that the authorities are doing their best if the man on the street becomes the eyes and ears of government agencies and plays his role rather than act as if he is uninvolved the stronger will be the resistance to the stench of death.