Midweek Review
The American way

war1.jpg (17242 bytes)by Nalin de Silva
USA has been attacked by terrorists. Though it is still not known who is behind this brutal and dastardly act we have to condemn it in no uncertain terms. In this connection several things to come to mind. An analyst in USA commented that the freedom of movement of the Americans has been attacked by the terrorists. What he meant by that was that the Americans, meaning of course only the citizens of USA and not those of the entire continent North as well as South, cannot go to places that they would like to visit without fear of terrorist attacks. What the analyst as well as most of the citizens of USA (as USA is not playing cricket many of them would not know that there exists a country called Sri Lanka) do not know is that we have been experiencing all these for sometime now. It is not only them who are not aware of this fact but the so-called human rights people in this country. These human rights groups who are supported by the western Christian countries, can crow about Tamils being subjected to security checks forgetting that the LTTE is mainly a Tamil organisation and that the Sinhala people were subjected to checks during 1987-89 when the JVP, mainly a Sinhala organisation took up arms against the state. The citizens of this country, including the children leave their homes in the morning not knowing whether they would be able to go back home alive from their work places and schools. Our freedom of movement has been curtailed by the LTTE but we go around forgetting that simply because the terrorists are being protected by the richest countries in the world. Countries such as Canada allow the terrorists to raise funds to see that our freedom of movement is attacked, while they preach about human rights of others.

USA is a big country and every thing there from buildings to terrorist attacks are on a big scale. They together with the British control the media in general and especially in English language, and CNN saw to it that the whole world knew about the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York. However, they were careful not to show too many pictures of the pentagon and concentrated on the world trade centre. It is very clear that the human rights of the citizens of USA are more important than those of Sri Lankans and others in Asia Africa. While we feel sorry for the lives of all those innocent men and women who were victims of a barbaric terrorist attack what we cannot understand is why nobody is concerned for the lives of unarmed women and children who are killed by the LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka. The attack on the central bank building may not be as big as that on the world trade centre but to a small country such as Sri Lanka it was proportionately a bigger attack. The Katunayaka air base cannot be compared to pentagon but for an air force that owns only a few war planes it was a terrible experience. It is said that a terrorist who had been trained as a pilot was with the group that attacked Katunayaka air base and who knows what would have happened if they were able to hijack a plane. The terrorist attack in USA has exposed the myth that countries with high technology can overcome terrorist attacks. The terrorists have proved that even the most analytical and fertile minds in the intelligence units in the USA government could not prepare themselves for an attack such as that was experienced last week. While the pentagon and the FBI would have been thinking of inter continental missiles the terrorists who were living in the USA itself had different ideas. They needed only a few knives to attack the most powerful nation that has ever existed on this planet. While Rome was not built in a day neither was the Roman empire destroyed in a day. Similarly Washington was not built in a day and neither the world imperialism with Washington as the centre would be destroyed in a day by a terrorist attack. However one day it will vanish the way Roman empire had vanished leaving it to a future generation to recite "Aniccavatha Sankara".

Whether bin Laden or somebody else is behind the attack what we are witnessing is the clash between Islamic civilisation and the Christian civilisation, more specifically the Protestant civilisation based on the Judaic Chinthanaya. The Hindu and Buddhist, especially the Theravada civilisations (cultures) are not in a position to challenge the Protestant civilisation either economically or politically. Our strength is in our culture but as long as we do not attempt to create knowledge based in that culture we would continue to be exploited by the whole world. In the war between the Islamic civilisation and the Protestant civilisation one cannot ignore the fact the Christian world (including the Catholic to a certain extent) is united while it is not the case in the Islamic world. The Protestant civilisation (culture) has mastered the art of divide and rule over the last few centuries and some Islamic countries could be found on the side of the western Protestant civilisation. We are all for defeating terrorism and would support (not that our support matters much) USA in the wake of the brutal attack on the innocent people of that country. In fact even Pakistan and India have said that they would give their fullest support to USA in this connection, implying that they would make available their airports for an attack on any country that would be harboring the terrorists responsible for the attack. Pakistan is also prepared to send a delegation to Afghanistan to request them to hand over bin Laden to USA. Most probably among the countries belonging to the Islamic civilisation some countries such as Saudi Arabia would take a stand similar to that of Pakistan. While the western Christian countries in general speak with one voice, except for organisations like the BBC, a Catholic dominated institution in a Protestant country, when there is an attack from a different civilisation, they have made sure that the countries belonging to the other civilisations or even people belonging to the same culture within a country are devided on issues such as these. When USA is attacked (by terrorists belonging to the Islamic civilisation) the Christian world speak with one voice and even some Muslim countries, Hindu India and Buddhist countries unite against the terrorists. When the terrorists attack some other country belonging to a non Christian civilisation even the people in that country are not united. It is probably due to the fact that some of us, whether Buddhists, Muslims or Hindus have become respectively Judaic Buddhists, Judaic Muslims (please do not misunderstand me) and Judaic Hindus under colonialism, in the sense that their Chinthanyas are neither here nor there. They have all become "gandabbas" (neither in this world or the other world) and as a result we cannot speak with one voice. Whether the Christians in the west go to church on Sunday or not if the Westminster Abbey is attacked by terrorists from another civilisation we could imagine the reaction of the entire western Christian world. When Dalada Maligawa was attacked what was the reaction of the (Theravada) Buddhist world? Another reason for this is that there is no Buddhist brotherhood (Buddhism has no single model followed in all Buddhist counties. There are Sinhala Buddhists, Thai Buddhists etc., but no Buddhists as such. Only some Judaic Buddhists and the new Buddhists in the western world who have embraced Buddhism recently intellectually would think of themselves as Buddhists, however, referring to a kind of intellectual and Philosophical Buddhism.) as in the case of Christian Brotherhood and Islamic Brotherhood. Even with a strong Islamic Brotherhood the western world has been able to create dissension among the Muslim countries. What could be expected from the Buddhist countries?

Nobody in USA has said up to now that the USA government should start negotiations with the terrorists as soon as they are identified. The resolve of the USA government and the people is to punish them. The president of USA went still further and said that not only the terrorists but also those who harbored them would be punished. Compare this commendable attitude with what is happening here. Ms. Kumaratunga, perhaps because she is not a Buddhist of the Dutugemunu mould but an Olcott Buddhist (Judaic Buddhists in Sri Lanka could be called Olcott Buddhists.) preaches "peace talks" to the LTTE. In this respect the following interview, published verbatim, with the secretary of state Mr. Powell on 12th September is revealing.

"QUESTION: Mr. Powell, welcome and thank you for joining us.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, good morning, Tony.

QUESTION: We have an international terrorist network. There is no way we can negotiate with these people, is there?

SECRETARY POWELL: No. They have to be rooted.

They have to be destroyed. And we are hard at work on that this morning. We are trying to make sure that the world understands that this was an assault not just on America, but on civilization — upon all of the nations of the world. And it requires a worldwide response. And that response has to be diplomatic. It has to be political. It has to be going after their means of support. It has to be going after nations and states and other organizations that give them harbor and haven and support. And it has to be military, as well, if targets can be found that are actionable. And it has to be justice, too — if that is possible to bring somebody to justice. But it has to be a complete comprehensive response. It is not just one action that is going to be taken.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, last night the President said that we will make no distinction between terrorists and nations that harbor them. Let me read you a list of nations and see if you can pick out any that have not offered aid and comfort to terrorists: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan. Are any of those off the list?


QUESTION: We also have in the past — Saudi Arabia certainly has not cut off the spigot of funds for Usama bin Laden. Is that a problem, as well?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we’ll look at all possibilities of support to terrorist organizations in the course of our review of this particular situation as part of our ongoing struggle against terrorism.

QUESTION: You have said a number of times today in previous interviews that you think we’re pretty close to getting a perpetrator. As soon as we get that, what is the timeline — do you think — between now and the time that you think we will have pretty secure knowledge of who is responsible?

SECRETARY POWELL: I don’t know, Tony, so I would rather not speculate or predict. But there is a body of evidence that is starting to develop and come together that is starting to point us in certain directions. But that really is the purview of our intelligence community. So I would rather not speculate or predict as to when we can make an announcement or when we can let the world know.

QUESTION: To make diplomacy credible and also to send a message to terrorists, one presumes that we would need to respond rather forcefully and rather quickly. Again, how swiftly should the United States respond once it knows who is responsible?

SECRETARY POWELL: I would say that you respond as quickly as you can once you know who is responsible and once you have something to respond to. And this may take some patience. I’m quite confident it isn’t going to be within a day or so. You have to get something that is actionable and then put in place forces that can conduct whatever strikes may be appropriate. And I know that my colleague Don Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are examining all the options that are available to them, and then, of course, available to the president. Diplomatically we can start right away and we are contacting nations around the world. We’re very, very pleased with the response we have gotten from Russia, from China, from the UN, from NATO, from the European Union. And this will all be part of our strategy. The important point is that we suffered terrible losses yesterday. And our heart goes out — our hearts go out to all of our fellow Americans who are in such pain. But they didn’t get our spirit. They didn’t understand the resiliency of this great nation of ours. And as the President said last night, we will be back, we will respond. And they will regret to their death what they perpetrated against us yesterday.

QUESTION: When we tried to respond to the Munich disco bombing some of our NATO allies did not allow us to do over-flights in order to strike back at Muammar Qadhafi. Do we now have assurance from our European allies that they will give us their full support when it comes to fighting whoever is responsible?

SECRETARY POWELL: I have had expressions of full support from European allies and other allies. Now, we haven’t gone to them with any specific requests yet. But I sense there is a good deal of leaning forward based in the calls I’ve had this morning in recognition of the fact that this could have happened to any one of them.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, did we learn yesterday that we need more intelligence and more military power?

SECRETARY POWELL: You always need more intelligence. You always need the best, strongest armed forces that a nation can afford. And we can afford the best and strongest. But our intelligence community does a rather outstanding job. They have thwarted many attacks over the years. But it is not a perfect science. And someone who is determined to strike at America, an open society, can always find a way to do that. And they found the worst possible way yesterday and we are all suffering and in pain as a result.

QUESTION: Final question, sir, many Americans today are filled with anxiety. Could you tell them that you think that the attacks are over for now?

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I can’t say that. I simply don’t know. We have no indication that anything similar to what happened yesterday is afoot in the country. But at the same time, this is a time for caution and vigilance. But it is also a time for us to get back to work. It is also a time for us to show the world that America is working, to show the world that America is coming back from this tragedy and not to hide in bunkers, but to get back to work — as we are here in the State Department and as we are all over Washington and our facilities around the world.

QUESTION: Secretary Powell, I beg your indulgence for one last question. You’ve been working very hard on trying to work for Middle East peace. Yesterday Americans saw pictures of Palestinians dancing in the streets of Nablus, handing out candy. How did that make you feel?

SECRETARY POWELL: Awful, deplorable. And it just shocks me that people would find this something to celebrate. And it is an image that is seared in my mind.

QUESTION: All right, Secretary of State Colin Powell, thanks for joining us this morning." Make no mistake about it. When Mr. Powell speaks of civilisation he means the western Christian (Protestant Anglo Saxon, Anglo American) culture and by terrorism he means terrorism against countries belonging to that culture and nothing else. When he says it is an attack on all nations he means that all nations should give their support to USA to root terrorism against Protestant culture. Our attitudes, philosophies, logic etc., are culture dependent and sometimes though we may speak in general terms the meanings we attribute to them are very specific. There is so much misunderstanding among people because we do not mean what we say. Mr. Powell in another statement had proposed a world wide coalition against all forms of terrorism. But what does he mean by that? The USA wants the support of countries such as Russia, India and Pakistan to eradicate all forms, yes all forms of terorism against the west, especially the countries belonging to the Protestant culture. But what would they do when the terrorists attack the other countries. The USA government that would never think of negotiating with the terrorists who attacked Pentagon, New York (and Pittsburgh) advocates so called peace talks with the LTTE terrorists who attacked the Dalada Maligawa,Central Bank and Katunayaka air base. What is the rationale behind this policy? In fact it was USA that trained bin Laden as a terrorist to fight against the Russians. Even Tallebans were given all the support by the USA, though now they have turned against Mr. Powell and company. It should be noted that the interviewer is worried whether the European countries (most probably the non Protestant) would support USA wholeheartedly. As far as USA is concerned there is no general terrorism and there is only terrorism against the Protestant culture. The others are not terrorists. It is the rationale behind their policy of asking the Sri Lankan government to negotiate with the LTTE, which was first trained by India and then supported by the western Christian countries, and engages in terrorist activities against Sinhala Buddhist culture in order to deny the rightful place being given to Sinhala language, Sinhala culture, Sinhala history and Sinhala nation in this country. The Protestant culture does not know to speak in general terms relative to mankind and mean them to be so. Even in western Mathematics and the western natural sciences Physics and Chemistry, that deal with non living "substances" the knowledge they have created is based on Judaic Chinthanaya, and is not a so-called objective universal knowledge.

We should understand that USA proscribed the LTTE with other terrorist organisations, not because LTTE is a terrorist group in general, but due to the suspicion that the LTTE may have some connections with other terrorist groups operating against USA. Most of the organisations proscribed by USA had Arabic connections and USA was simply acting in her own interest. We should join Mr. Powell’s coalition against all forms of terrorism against Protestant culture but should not expect the coalition to take action against the LTTE, unless it is established that the latter has had a hand in the attacks on pentagon and the world trade centre. NdeS.