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(2001-10-06)

Terrorism is no distant threat
By Chua 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. (来源:老牌的英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  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.

  (The writer is a leader writer with Lianhe Zaobao. Translated by Yap Gee Poh.)
 
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