Fear Psychosis

Terrorism wherever and against whomsoever it is perpetuated against, inevitably creates a fear psychosis in the minds of ordinary people. Terrorism today feeds on the fear that it is able to generate in the minds of people and the intimidating message that it carries for governments or societies. And it is for this reason alone that the terrorists have used this ploy to bring the world to its knees on more than one occasion. The latest move to go for a 9/11 type of attack, which fortunately had been stopped by the timely intervention of the security agencies in London, has once again led to panic stricken faces of ordinary people who will now think twice before getting on the next airplane. This is precisely what the terrorists want and they are getting it with much success. Freedom is at stake when terror groups succeed and the global community of freedom loving citizenry today find themselves more and more insecure. It should however be borne in mind that it is not a question of them against us but how antagonism on both sides can be resolved so that the world is a better place to live and in which there is a life of peace on earth. 

Violence, it must be acknowledged, will never succeed in unraveling terror minds. One would have to win the hearts and minds of those who create violence as well. One way to go about it is by addressing issues, the roots of terrorism. This will help in recognizing the circumstances that drive terrorists to such action. And it is only through understanding that the United Nations or national governments can draw up effective responses and one that does not alienate but draws people and nations into a closely knit community of inter-dependent states. And one of the first things that must be addressed upfront is the long drawn conflict situation in West Asia. Not only is the region of importance in a geo-political sense-a meeting ground of three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa with the presence of large deposits of oil reserves-but it is also the birth place of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The creation of Israel in 1948 has led to wide spread resentment in the Arab world with persistent hostility between the Arabs and Jews. Atop these the Palestine problem continues to elude a solution. There are many who will vouch that there is a direct causative link between the Israeli policy of building and expanding settlements and violence. Therefore it only highlights the need to address and resolve issues through the conquest of minds and not by military designs. 

As a counter-offensive for those who continue to spread terror, the powerful states that influence policy decision having global ramifications should know that terrorism can be tackled effectively only with a comprehensive approach. This requires collective political will, not watered-down by short-term political or economic calculations. Whatever the strategic calculations, the world cannot condone terrorism somewhere, while condemning it elsewhere, because this double standard will only allow terrorism to thrive. National governments must ensure a comprehensive counter offensive not dictated by military goals but by systematically using intelligence and technology to stem, in a non-violent manner, the resource at the hands of terrorist groups: refuge, finances and arms. Addressing terrorism therefore requires both the political initiative on resolving issues and also putting in place a global partnership to share intelligence about terrorist operations and countering them as was successfully done to unearth the recent terror plot in London.