There are very few things in the world which are as humbling and at the same time disturbing as sub-ordinary vision from extraordinary people, (what makes them extraordinary is their successes and ability to be there).
One of the most glaring examples is the world’s favorite punching bag Mr. George Bush. When what the world needs is greater energy security, when you know the best way to cut terrorism is suffocating the financial supply to Islamic fundamentalists, by investing in alternative energy sources, we have the “most powerful person on the planet” indulging into ad-hoc cowboy-ism.
I fail to understand what he is after, are we living in an illusion that terrorism would end if Bin Laden is captured? This would be the naiveté at its worst, and I would like to believe that world deserves better leaders. What one needs, is to cut all sources of finance and capital to these terrorist groups. What to me appears obvious is that most recruits are not passionate Jehadis looking to die for a cause, but young men, who see this as the only way to meet their ends meet.
To my mind there are few steps which can help battle the scourge of terrorism, provided our world leaders are listening:
Technological thrust on developing alternative source of energy – With the rise of millions in countries like India and China the energy consumption of the world can only head North, and at a rate which shall be unprecedented to what the world has seen in the past. This shall lead to crude prices hardening, and giving more financial muscle to few of the worst governed rogue states with oil reserves. What it also does, it enables the rest of the world to impose sanctions on these rogue states, without worrying about their own energy security.
Also, this shall help reduce carbon emissions, provide energy security for the world providing cleaner fuel for sustainable development. The damage the increasing number of cars in developing countries like China and India is doing and the way we are making world a less livable place, is something, the coming generations may never forgive us for… though that is a separate discussion altogether
Cutting Financial Supplies – The power of money cannot be overstated. The “industry” of terror, thrives on the money generated by rogue nations through sale of crude and drugs. A closer scrutiny and surveillance on flow of money across the world to these identified nations and outfits to suffocate their financial vessels will go a long way in curbing their effectiveness.
Arms Control – With the technology for making arms so readily available through internet, books, trained personnel, this might be the most difficult thing to contain. But what this also means, is that more and more of these terrorist outfits shall be using internet as a tool to upgrade their weapons, planning their attacks, understanding geographical positions and alternative routes to their targets. And the good news is, that all search on internet leaves a trace behind, a greater surveillance of such searches on the net, shall be a source of vital leads to trace and pre-empt attacks. The intelligence agencies should monitor closely (I would like to believe they are already doing that) such trails on the net.
Inclusion of Islamic states into mainstream – A large chunk of Islamic states have been left out of the development and progress happening in the developed and neo developing world like China and India. The seclusion from participating in the progress, is one of the reasons, they are more prepared to hurt this “world” which they are not a part of. Once they are part of the mainstream, the world we all know of, they shall be reluctant to hurt their own world. This ownership to the world has to be instilled to the Islamic world.
Humiliation – It sometimes, surprises me how often the Islamic fundamentalists use the word “humiliation”. I don’t think poverty begets terrorism, if that would have been the case, Sub-Saharan Africa, left out parts of India and China, other underdeveloped nations would all have been at arms with the developed and developing countries. But fortunately, that is not true. It is the propagation of the “humiliation” syndrome that has put arms in so many hands. A world wide campaign to dismantle this false belief should be taken up. The world leaders should take initiative and use every opportunity to show their respect to Islam as a religion, Muslims as people, and Islamic states as countries.
The criticism of terrorism should be strictly issue based and objective, without delineating the vast Islamic populace from the mainstream.
Education – Modern education of Science, Mathematics and humanities should be made available in Islamic countries and hotbeds of terrorism. This needs to be done with a missionary zeal, providing implementation linked subsidies from the developed nations, collaborating with states to implement that, espousing the benefits of such education through exemplary statesmanship and maybe even pressurizing rogue states economically to make that happen. But as I mentioned before, our dependence on them for energy security has to be eliminated, before we can exert pressure on these countries.
It’s unfortunate, that we are still living in a unipolar world, where the leaders lack imagination, to understand the core world problems like:
The long term solutions of thee problems are there, but needs perseverance and imaginative solutions.
I hope our eyes shall open soon, lest we shall use up all our energy reserves, and destroy our planet in no time. A crime, our future generations will not and should not forgive us for. For out children sake, the time has come to make sacrifices as human beings, as communities and as nations. It’s time for consumerism and individualism to take a back-seat.
Think, think whether we are a part of the problem, or part of the solution… least we can do is think.