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Sunday, 28 September 2014

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Opinion:

Terrorists only understand lethal force - Barack Obama

“This group has terrorised all who they come across. Mothers, sisters and daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children have been gunned down. Bodies have been dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities have been starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded,” US President Barack Obama said addressing the UN General Assembly Session Thursday, September 24.


Displaced Yezidi people walk towards the Syrian border to flee the violence in Sinjar.

No.Obama was not referring to Sri Lanka's lethal terror group Tamil Tigers - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation declared as the most lethal international terror group worse that the al-Qaeda.

No. Obama was not referring to the Kathankudi Muslim Mosque massacre by the Tamil Tigers brutally killing the hundreds of Friday prayers.

Of course, Obama was not referring to the massacre of praying Buddhist monks and Buddhist devotees at the most sacred Buddhist place of worship at Anuradhapura.

Ethnic cleansing

The US President was referring to the Jihadist-extremist ISIS group which terrorises “all who they come across in Iraq and Syria.”

ISIS, in June, engaged in ethnic cleansing in Northern Iraq bringing misery to non-Muslims and Christians.

Does the South Asian nation - Sri Lanka - see a parallel? Or, do officials of the US State Department see a similarity of ISIS and the Tamil Tigers?

Then, President Obama made the following declaration: “No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.”

Obama reiterated “No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions.”

Truth

Those who justified Tamil Tiger terror often said that the Tiger terror emerged as a result of Tamil grievances.

This South Asian nation could recall that the US foreign service officers (FSOs) who served in Colombo and their counterparts in Washington often made that point. Simultaneously forcing successive Sri Lankan administrations to negotiate with the Tiger terror group.

The United States having faced the wrath of ISIS seems to have understood this historic truth that led to militarily annihilate the LTTE, its leadership effectively ending domestic terrorism in May 2009.

The American president addressing the UN General Assembly referring to Russia's expansionist moves toward Ukraine seem to have understood the following truth:

"This is a vision of the world in which might makes right – a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.

America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones, that people should be able to choose their own future."

Lethal

Here are some selected quotes from Obama's UN address on Thursday, September 24 some of which are very interesting.

“We have faced a more lethal and ideological brand of terrorists who have perverted one of the world’s great religions. With access to technology that allows small groups to do great harm, they have embraced a nightmarish vision that would divide the world into adherents and infidels – killing as many innocent civilians as possible; and employing the most brutal methods to intimidate people within their communities.

“I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon.

War

At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a

sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

“Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment.

Moreover, this campaign against extremism goes beyond a narrow security challenge. For while we have methodically degraded core al Qaeda and supported a transition to a sovereign Afghan government, extremist ideology has shifted to other places – particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where a quarter of young people have no job; food and water could grow scarce; corruption is rampant; and sectarian conflicts have become increasingly hard to contain.

Horrific crimes

“As an international community, we must meet this challenge with a focus on four areas. First, the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.

“This group has terrorised all who they come across in Iraq and Syria. Mothers, sisters and daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children have been gunned down. Bodies have been dumped in mass graves.

Religious minorities have been starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.

“No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.

Military might

“In this effort, we do not act alone. Nor do we intend to send US troops to occupy foreign lands. Instead, we will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. We will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back ISIL. We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground. We will work to cut off

their financing, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.

Already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. Today, I ask the world to join in this effort. Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can. Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone. For we will not succumb to threats; and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build

– not those who destroy.

“This is what America is prepared to do – taking action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished. The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but nor will we shrink from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the notion that peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of a better life.

Tensions

“I realise that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true.

In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalisation and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

“But we welcome the scrutiny of the world – because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems and make our union more perfect. America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. Because we fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary.

Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy – with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and countries for the better.”

Courtesy: Asian Tribune

 

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