This terrorist war is based on ideology not poverty and discontent
Stabroek News
December 6, 2001

Dear Editor,

I refer to your editorial captioned "A turning point" (28.ll.200l) in which you discuss the Afghan conflict and the future of the world. The editorial is full of flaws and its analysis is inadequate.

For example, you omitted in your analysis any mention of China and India, two states with huge markets, half the world's population, impressive military establishments, and with fast-growing technological revolutions in such exclusive areas as space, nuclear and information technology.

Another flaw is the error of your statement that the Americans have never been clear about their objectives. The Americans are perfectly clear what they are about.

The American and western analysis is that they are fighting a silent and clandestine war, that is the war against terrorism. This war is of the same dimensions as the cold war, this silent and clandestine war is based on fundamentalist suicidal ideology and is not caused by poverty and discontent in the developing countries. This silent war does not emanate from Africa, Latin America, East or South Asia where the vast majority of the Third World poor live. This silent war emanates from the Middle East. Accordingly, it is nonsense to say that poverty is the cause of this silent terrorist war. This war is simply based on anti-western ideology.

When great powers like the US are fighting a war, they publish propaganda, some of it in the form of disinformation. It is only the naive who would believe that the US were going to war to kill bin Laden or merely to overthrow the Taliban.

The silent war has already been declared on America and the September 11 atrocity is its most notable success. But America is now taking up the challenge and the Afghan campaign is merely the first theatre of engagement.

The aims of the Afghan campaign are (a) to destroy one of the main bases of the clandestine enemy (b) to show to the world, and especially those who are waging the silent war, that the USA has the power, capability and will to strike back with even greater force (c) to show those prophets of doom that western civilization is still the most vibrant, creative and humane with a capability of successfully defending itself.

The cold war lasted 50 years and this silent and clandestine war may last as long, but have no illusions, America and the West will emerge victorious.

Yours faithfully,

Mithra Bhushan