Too many protégés of big powers are selling that poison weed labelled ‘Your gunman is a terrorist, my gunman is a freedom-fighter’, and their mentors are buying into this fallacy
12/2/2015 3:19:42 PM
|written By : M J Akbar|
The terrorist assault on cities began in Bombay: not Bombay 2008, but Bombay 1993. A series of coordinated bomb blasts in February 1993 had an impact far greater than the destruction of half a dozen buildings. The thesis that a humungous metropolis constitutes a soft spot has been proved often since 1993 across the world. It is porous, and therefore particularly vulnerable to those whose only objective is terror, best achieved by the killing of innocents wherever they can be found. Nothing is sacrosanct: school, hospital, railway station, stadium, music arena. Terrorists are mass murderers; mass urbanization offers them a hunting ground. It once required armies to raze a city. Technology has changed the equation between offence and defence. A few can inflict the dread that once needed a host of uniforms.
The assault on New York, more familiar as 9/11, was perhaps the most dramatic, not least because of unbelievable visuals that still live on airwaves. But New York was not alone. Equally famous Western cities were hit and hurt, leaving each one in uproar, rage, horror, pain — and, in all cases till date, still groping for a comprehensive answer to a vicious problem. Nations have improved their tactical capacity to defend their cities, but have been singularly unable to agree upon the counteroffensive needed to bring terrorist masterminds to justice.