…………but Gaddafi has never been saint. -TW
Having raised the threat level from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’ following the Manchester blast, Britain is bracing itself for another possible terror strike. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has vowed that his city will not succumb to division and anger due to the terror strike. But, Monday’s attack is likely to stoke tensions over race and religion. Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly decided to deploy the military to operate alongside police to ensure public safety. This is how societies plagued with terrorism get militarised slowly.
Prime Minister May has condemned the Manchester blast as a ‘callous terrorist attack’ which ‘stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting innocent defenceless children and young people.’ One cannot but agree with her. Pictures of lifeless victims, mostly tweens and teens, were shocking. What the world witnessed was a ‘tableau of horror’ as someone has rightly said. One can only hope that the ISIS savages who have taken the responsibility for Monday’s attack will be made to pay for the heinous crime.
Besides the Manchester killings, terrorists have so far carried out deadly attacks in Paris (130 killed in Nov. 2015), in Nice (86 killed in July 2016), Brussels (35 killed in March 2016), in Munich (9 killed in July 2016) and in Berlin (12 killed in Dec. 2016). At least now, the world powers must sink their differences and unite in the war against terrorism, which is as dangerous as Black Death or smallpox. Only a truly global effort will help eliminate it. Mere rhetoric won’t do.
Cartoon added by TW
The Manchester suicide bomber has been identified as a young British citizen of Libyan descent. What drove him to target defenceless, carefree youngsters and children at a musical event? A friend of his family has told the media that he had been travelling frequently between Britain and Libya, which is full of ISIS terrorists. He may have been brainwashed in Libya, but his handlers must still be in the UK. The question is how many other youth have undergone ISIS training?
Thoughts of all right-thinking people the world over are, no doubt, with the victims of the Manchester blast and their families. But, who weeps for the innocent men, women and children being massacred in post-Gaddafi Libya, which was plunged into anarchy by western-backed ‘rebels’ with hardcore Jihadist fighters among them? The violent elements who captured power in that country have resorted to savage tribal warfare at home and terror attacks in western cities. In a recent raid carried out by the soldiers loyal to the UN-backed factions of the Libyan army on an airport left 141 dead. Many of the victims were civilians and, media reports say, the attackers executed most of their captives.
The Arab Spring has given way to a winter of despair for the hapless Libyans. The UK is one of the countries responsible for making the streets in Libya dangerous for civilians, especially women and children by backing a bunch of desperadoes masquerading as rebels.
It may be recalled that Gaddafi warned former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the telephone twice in 2011 that his ouster would enable the Jihadists hell bent on gaining control of Libya and attacking Europe to achieve their macabre ends. The British Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which probed the western air attacks that facilitated the regime change in Libya and the assassination of Gaddafi in 2011, has published the transcripts of the aforesaid telephone conversations. In one of them Gaddafi says, “They [Jihadis] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.” If only the western powers had taken Gaddafi’s warning seriously!
Time was when Sri Lankans resident in western cities used to worry about the safety of us lesser mortals living in fear of terrorist bomb blasts in Colombo. Explosions used to kill scores of civilians in buses, trains and in public places. Whoever would have thought at that time the day would dawn one day when we, free from terrorism, would have to fear for the safety of our dear ones in western capitals?
It is hoped that the yahapalana government, which has naively allowed itself to be lulled into a false sense of complacency, will desist from subjugating national security to its political agenda. It must realise that its weakness is not a virtue and do everything in its power to ensure that Colombo won’t find itself in the same predicament as London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels etc. again