Wednesday, May 11, 2005

An Eye for an eye

Here are some of the headlines in the news today at the channelnews asia website,

Deluge of car bombs kills 54 in Iraq

Powerful car bomb rocks Indian Kashmir's summer capital

Seven killed in Baghdad car bombing

They all have the B-word. Warfare has seen a shift to unconventional means, it's what happens when you have small fragmented groups (not necessarily disorganised) who are fighting a larger more organised and well trained group.

You're not going to face him head-on because in the conventional fight you are going to lose. So the terrorist or freedom fighter (depends on whos point of view) seeks unconventional means, by blowing up things and putting the enemy on high alert at all times. This creates tension and undue mental stress, ultimately lowering the moral of the soldier. America's push to Baghdad lasted only weeks and major fighting was declared over soon after, however bombs continued to rock the city and other places in Iraq until today.. I don't think things are really under control at all and I don't think that the violence will end soon.

During National service in the army, I've seen some explosions and it's nothing that you'd ever want going off anywhere near you. Claymore mines (little mean things packed with ball bearings aimed at the road to spray at passing infantry in an ambush), bangalore torpedoes (these tubes blow lanes in barbed wire obstacles for soldiers to pass), even explosives we put together ourselves.

Before you hear the blast, you will feel it.. a rush of wind as the shock wave radiates from the detonation, you can see the trees bend back a little as the wave passes, a split second later... just enough time for you to realise that something has gone off but not enough time for you to react.. a deafening boom hits you squarely in the face. This, is the experience from a safe viewing distance.

I hope we would never to have to raise our children in such an environment, where we live in fear. What do you say to a kid who hears the warning on the trains about suspicious packages....?

Son: Dad, Why do we have to look out for suspicious baggage?
Father: Er... there are terrorists who want to blow us all to pieces
Son: Why do people want to blow us all to pieces?
Father: They are bad pple who want to make a statement
Son: I wanna be a terrorist when I grow up!
Father: ... *two tight slaps*


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