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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Non-Violent Approach to Anti-Terrorism Durable Link to this BLOG
A Non-Violent Approach to Anti-Terrorism

Excerpts from a message I sent to protest the Bribing of Pakistan stragegy suggested by some leaders in USA.

The people of Pakistan, Taliban and many Muslims elsewhere are brought together by a vicious religious fundamentalism. This is much bigger than interests of economics or selfishness. Just pause and wonder how many suicide bombers, like the ones we saw, can we recruit with money? None. Some things money cannot buy. Religious blasphemy perceived) is one of them.

Why are we not making any attempts to win over supporters of Osama Bin Laden (OBL)? You know, convince them of the wrongs they are engaged in, and provide a path to their redemption. This is the way to go -- seek support of Pakistani people by *converting* them to our side, rather than seducing them.

Covert seduction is how we created OBL, didn't we? Short term solutions are dangerous, and just won't work. We've seen this strategy fail time and again (Taliban in Aghanistan turning against USA, Hizballah turned against Israel who created them to destabilize Lebanon, and the Akal Dal in India whom Indira Gandhi created to control an opposing party).

Perhaps, the supporters of OBL will convince us of an unjust behavior we are engaged in, and we should be prepared to accept that.

The best way to counter social evils, Mahatma Gandhi has said, is to convert people to see the injustice. The Civil Rights Movement, hence brought a more fundamental social change than the Civil War in America. The Taliban once had a strong opposition called Rabbani, and Taliban is still unpopular within Afghanistan. We need to strengthen the opposition's hands there (and I do not mean by supplying them with arms), just like we strengthened the hands of Nelson Mandela during his epic struggle in South Africa. Again to quote Gandhi, "a few men, however powerful, cannot rule millions of non-cooperating citizens". Hitler, the Japanese, Marcos, Khomeini all enjoyed popular support without which their agenda would not advance. We need to break this popular support.

Yes, this non-violent war will take years. Just like the Bush proposed armed war of bombardment will. Both will take a heavy toll. But a non-violent war has a logical ending. A violent conflict does not. True, the non-violent approach will mean we'll never get our revenge, or salvage our honor, but it might ensure that a tragedy like 911-01 will not happen again. On the contrary, a violent struggle will beget us revenge, honor, and more violence in return.

Some of Both?

Perhaps Bush will do some of both - so he can salvage America's honor, yet seek a long term solution. You know, eliminate the bad guys, and then work with the moderates.

The risk of President's strategy is that the moderates might become the bad guys during the conflict. The beauty of non-violence is that at the end of it, there are no bad guys.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, September 27, 2001
Last Modified: 2/6/2003

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