Bombings Will Strengthen The West's Resolve
London Bombings Will Strengthen The West's Resolve
Many of us will know the places well; Russell Square, Liverpool Station, Kings Cross and Edgware Road; they are places loved in our memories; and now they are the scene of tragedy.
For the last 25 years since the end of the Cold War, the western world has been locked in battle with pitiless radical Muslim terrorists.
Al Qaeda have been responsible for attacks on the US Embassy in Nairobi, the World Trade Centre in 1995, the now infamous 2001 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Bali bombings in October 2002, the Madrid train bombings in March 2004. It now looks like they have perpetrated this latest outrage, with four bomb attacks on the City of London's transportation system, killing dozens of innocent civilians, and maiming and injuring hundreds more.
The issue Western leaders struggle to comprehend with these attacks on innocent civilians in peacetime, is motive. The Muslim extremist networks loosely referring to themselves as Al-Qaeda are seemingly attacking the Western world's ideals: Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights.
After the end of the Cold War, states such as Afghanistan, were left rudderless as the former Soviet Union pulled out. The vacuum began to be filled by militant extremists with access to conventional weapons and military techniques.
Slowly, a movement towards nihilistic global terrorism began to build. Afghanistan began to emerge as a terrorist training ground, and when the Taliban regime was enshrined in 1994, it began to sponsor terrorism around the globe.
This is how Al-Qaeda was born: established by Osama Bin Laden in around 1990, it aims to be a network of militant Muslim terror, co-ordinating finance, manpower, training and transport to extremists world-wide. We must defeat these terrorists, both militarily, but also by not yielding. To do otherwise would be sending a message to the terrorists that their actions are successfully challenging our values. Western governments have little choice but to remind their citizens that giving in will bring more terror attacks. And to re-evaluate their security restrictions.
In the coming weeks the British public will be able to reassess their acceptance of the proposed new I.D cards. The UK government is proposing to join France, Belgium and Germany by introducing cards for the purposes of identification for police and other government authorities. Obviously, in a time of global terrorism, being able to identify every one of the 60 million citizens throughout the UK may make people feel safer, despite the 'big brother' connotations.
It will be a fine line between better security measures and civil liberties.
New Zealand has been playing its role within these difficult times. Our SAS is engaged in hunting down Al-Qaeda militants on the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is a time to remain firm - and to ensure that our defence forces are properly equipped and armed to defeat terrorism. This is a fight that will take time and patience.
Yesterday has been a terrible reminder that terrorism will strike anywhere at any time; and that all Western nations are vulnerable in the fight to defend our Western values.
8th July 2005
13th July 2005 Wayne Mapp is hosting a Public Meeting on Transport, 7pm Venue: School Music Room, Murrays Bay Intermediate School For Enquiries, phone 09 486 0005. 18th July 2005 Public Meeting on Defence, with National's Defence spokesperson John Carter, 7.30pm. Venue: The Rose Centre, Belmont. For Enquiries, phone 09 486 0005