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Editorial: The First Rule of War

War on Terrorism is Lost if We Fail to Properly Identify the Enemy.

The just completed Bali ceremonies of mass mourning for the victims of
October 12th; the boastful confessions of the man apprehended for that
crime; the mounting evidence that the outrage was the work of terrorist
with international connections; the perverse glee revealed in recent
public statements by Al Qaeda rejoicing at the death of Bali innocents;
the heightened states of security alerts now in effect for New York and
Washington; and the fears of poison gas attacks in Great Britain and
Europe - all point to the irrefutable fact that the world is engaged in
an international war on terror and its ruthless practitioners.

Joining the War Effort

The victims of New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and Kuta-Legian were
only yesterday by our sides and sorely missed by grieving family and
friends. Yet, if the intensity of the rabid hatred preached by their
killers is any indication, there are more wakes for us to keep and
funerals to attend before the current war comes to some sort of "final"

Having just tasted the bitter fruits of this war, the people of Bali are
anything but neutral non-combatants in that war. In a single night of
madness, Al Qaeda and its fellow travelers launched a brutal attack on
the peaceful people of Bali, managing to alienate its 3 million people
and eliminating the chance of feeling any real sympathy for Al Qaeda and
their claims of religious victimization at the hands of the West.

Notwithstanding the current prayers for peace and reconciliation being
offered on this island, it's been suggested that if raffle tickets were
sold for places on the firing squad to execute Amrozy and his
accomplices, sufficient funds might be collected to substantially reduce
Indonesia's massive national debt. History shows that blood flows red
and warm in the veins of the Balinese who steadfastly demand justice
from their police, prosecutors, and judges in connection with the
bombing of October 12th.

In the war against terrorism, the people of Bali are now fully enlisted
foot soldiers against those who perpetrated that outrage and threatened
their very way of life.

The First Rule of War

Consequently, the United States and the rest of the developed world
needs to be reminded that the cardinal rule of war is to first decide
the battle lines, clearly defining who are your allies and those that
you consider your foes.

Deciding sides in the current war on terror, without its clear battle
fronts and distinct demarcation lines, will sometimes prove difficult
and certainly require more than the knee-jerk reactions currently in
evidence in the formulation of travel warnings now in effect for
Indonesia, Thailand, and other nations in the region. These difficulties
aside, the need to correctly differentiate the enemy from your allies
remains vitally important for the battles ahead.

It reeks of both folly and simple-mindedness to decide the identity of
the enemy in the current war on the simple milieu of "us" and "them."
When terror can strike at any place in the globe, to arbitrarily declare
vast areas of the planet occupied by other potential victims of terror
as unsafe reveals all the wisdom of an ostrich whose head is soundly
buried in a hole standing in the middle of a mine field.

In the face of the just issued U.S. security alerts for Washington and
New York, we ask: Should Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand warn its
citizens to defer all travel to the United States, withdraw their
nationals working at the United Nations, close their respective
embassies, and terminate all their business interests there?

It's Enough to Make Osama Smile

If the Al Qaeda terrorists intentions are to unsettle world economies
and bring the West to it knees in fear, they are currently enjoying
tremendous success by anyone's standard. Our airlines teeter on the edge
of bankruptcy, international trade has been negatively impacted, our
children are considered security threats and no longer issued visa to
attend Western colleges and universities, and - as seemingly reflected
in current visa and travel advisories - the West views the people and
this region with both fear and loathing.

No doubt, that repugnant cave dweller who fancies he has a direct line
to God could not have prayed for more spectacular results in the wake of
his heinious attacks on the West. How, in his wildest dreams, could he
have envisioned the west would crumble so quickly after his initial
forays of terror?

Rather than introduce policies grounded in fear and xenophobia, what's
really needed is to undertake the moral equivalent of WWII's lend-lease
program to combat the scourge of international terrorism. Instead of
playing into the enemy's hands by resorting to isolationism, no effort
or resource should be spared in preserving the lines of free commerce
between peoples and cultures. Air and shipping lines should be viewed as
critical industries in this war and kept in operation at any cost. Our
best minds and system technologists must be called upon to devise
systems to keep the wheels of international business and tourism safely
flowing. Governments should underwrite terror risk insurance to prevent
those who profit from fear from crippling international commerce. If
necessary to get travelers flowing, incentives should also be offered to
the brave hearts who lead by example and send the enemy "a message" by
undertaking a program of international travel.

The west has both the know-how and the technology to reduce the risks of
travel to acceptable levels. And, undoubtedly, in achieving this goal
we'll spend heavily and suffer casualties along the way. But, do we have
any choice except to wage all out war against terrorism when the only
alternative is capitulation to those evil plotters hunkered down in
their far-away caves?

Isolationism and the spread of fear are the best friends and main
comforts of cave-dwelling terrorists.

The last thing we need to do is to play the game by their rules.

-----Original Message-----
From: balinews-owner@balidiscovery.com
[mailto:balinews-owner@balidiscovery.com] On Behalf Of Bali Update
Sent: 18 Nopember 2002 13:18
To: balinews@balidiscovery.com
Subject: BALI UPDATE #322

Yield the World to Terrorists?

Hungary, 18 November 2002.

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