Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why Sri Lanka's victory annoys Time magazine

Time magazine has done it again. In it's article it admonishes Sri Lanka after it has won the war against the most dreaded and bloodthirsty group LTTE. As Chuck in his post "How the West Was Lost" at The New Clarion points out-

Time looked at the victory of Sri Lanka over the Tamil Tigers, and concluded they did everything wrong, and their successful methods were exactly what we should not do. Never have I seen an analysis so utterly and spectacularly wrong as Time’s.


Only brute force could have worked with the well-funded LTTE who even had their navy and a basic air force. Tamil Tigers are the pioneers of suicide bombing in the modern times. They wanted the country divided on ethnic grounds and resorted to methods which would make any human being shudder. They achieved special distinction of using child soldiers and women suicide bombers; in fact they used one such women bomber to kill former Indian Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi 18 years back.

What Time doesn't recognize is that if Sri Lanka had even hesitated in their bombings, it would have prolonged the war even more and have caused more civilian casualties in long run. Any gaps in the bombings are used by the enemy to regroup and recover from the assault so it renders the attack useless. It also gives time for counter-attack and relocation of the valuable assets of the enemy.

Same logic applies to the negotiations which are just a delaying tactic and way of promoting propaganda. When have discussions with terrorists worked? Norway and others like it act like little UN's and just serve to prolong the agony of the people. I have lived with the specter of terrorism for a long time in India, first Sikh and now the Islamic variety. The looming threat destroys the quality of life and the terror grinds you down. You become jumpy every time you see an abandoned bag or packet and the crowded malls and market places become less inviting. You become fed up with being patted down and waiting at the inevitable roadblocks put up by the incompetent police when the terrorists have done their deed and fled.

As for the Sri Lankan tactics being old fashioned as Time puts it, as Chuck says, "old fashioned, rational tactics still work just as well as they ever did". There is a reason why they study historic battles at the West Point. Who cares how old the strategies and tactics are, as long as they work.

The conflict in Sri Lanka has dragged for decades but it took one determined leader only a couple of years to finish LTTE. There is much to be learned from the Lankan experience. So time to ignore untimely and ignorant advice from rags like Time magazine and use the lessons learnt in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

3 comments:

JG said...

Rajesh,
Great post.
My two cents on the topic:
First and foremost a great moral victory for Sri Lanka.
It is all those moral ambivalents (or those who would like to sit on the fence on this matter) of any sort -those who want to continue to make excuses for the enemy and find justifications for terrorists who openly admit that destruction is their end goal, who in my estimation are just as abominable (if not worse) -they are the abettors of the terrorists. Watching a man (or group, country-whatever) not wanting to fight for their lives in the face of grave danger, while they discuss minor trivialities (such as negotiations -what can one negotiate with someone who claims they want to kill you is beyond even cursory thinking!) is an unholy sight as any can be, and all one can feel is immense contempt for such people who give up the battle rather than fight to destroy the enemy.
WSJ had a good editorial on Sri Lanka worth reading a few days ago at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124277509671636811.html
Couple of really interesting quotes from the piece:
"Mr. Rajapaksa wisely ignored international calls for a ceasefire as he got closer to victory, including threats from the Obama Administration to block $1.9 billion in International Monetary Fund aid money.

"After decades of socialism, several rounds of liberalization have since paved the way for 6% to 8% annual growth even amid a civil war."

"As Colombo starts to grapple with those post-conflict problems, everyone else can take note: Thanks to a strategy of defeating the insurgency, Sri Lanka is now in a position to talk seriously about peace and economic growth."

Jasmine

JG said...

Rajesh,
Another interesting AP report appearing in WSJ from this morning:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124307495720249819.html

"Mr. Ban was among many world leaders who had called on the government to halt its offensive to safeguard civilians. Those calls were ignored.

At a festive victory rally Friday, Rajapaksa defied suggestions that he and his leadership should be investigated for war crimes.

"I am not afraid of walking up to any gallows, having defeated the world's worst terrorists, and I know that I have the confidence and the strength of my people," he said.
"
Mr Ban is from the UN and is visiting Sri Lanka.

Jasmine

Rajesh said...

Thanks Jasmine.
I wish there were more people sharing our contempt for these wimps.
As for the U.N (united na-mard), don't even get me started. You don't want to see some choice punjabi abuses (gallis).
Thanks for the links though.