Reality check

SO, A prominent British think tank, the Oxford Research Group, has realised what the rest of the world has been crying hoarse about for much of the last half-decade — the terror-war is actually aiding the cause of Al Qaeda and co. And even though the British establishment has started betraying a strong comprehension of just such a reality, whether or not similar enlightenment will find its way to Washington remains seriously doubtful.

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Published: Wed 10 Oct 2007, 8:10 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:02 AM

It bears noting that the report points at a policy change “at every level” to ‘contain and minimise ‘Al Qaeda’, which has clearly registered the largest meaningful gains during the ‘ideological conflict’. But such calls are not new. Even heads of state critical to the terror war, like Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf, have called for a thorough overhaul of the approach to this endeavour.

Perhaps the West’s greatest mistake was dismissing the 9/11 tragedy as simply a barbaric act of terrorism perpetrated by freedom-hating ideologues that continue to have a strong mental attachment with a by-gone era. Surely, much more effort and attention should have been invested in understanding the reasons for any adult to be pushed to such gross acts of violence. The West that is otherwise known for its exceptional R&D skills that formed the backbone of its meteoric economic/social rise, failed to look hard enough into the reasons for this particular backlash from sections of the east, and unfortunately ventured upon a very wrong path in its hasty bid to ‘nip the evil in the bud’.

It makes little sense in continuing to dwell on how the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, especially the latter, are responsible for this orgy of death and destruction that the world is held witness to every place the wheels of the terror-war march into. While that argument will remain true, trying times of the present require an approach that might restore calm to war-mangled Afghanistan and Iraq before any ideological advances can be made. And the answer does not lie in more war, as pointed out by the report, especially in the part cautioning against a military adventure against Iran.

The bedrock of all passions and sentiments that push Muslims, moderate and extremist alike, to develop a distaste for Western policies is the latter’s recurrent procedure of oppression against Muslims, especially in Palestine. Western powers would do all concerned a big favour by realising this reality of modern existence sooner rather than later. Short of ending the mentioned repression, any approach will amount to little save fuelling the fire of what the West dubs terrorism.

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