Sunday, December 7, 2008

Terrorism: More action less talk please

By Neville de Silva

(ST)Some wag said that the acronym NATO stood for “No action talk only.” That is not really true. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which has expanded far beyond the dreams of its architects, has acted quite decisively in the former Yugoslavia and in Afghanistan, to mention just two instances.

NATO might not have bombed its own people (except in a few instances when casualties resulted from friendly fire) but it has certainly blasted others and bombed places back to the Stone Age. I was reminded of the cynical description of NATO while listening to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s response in parliament last week to Opposition leader David Cameron. Cameron was opening the debate on the Queen’s Throne Speech delivered earlier that day. Referring to the recent Mumbai massacre, Prime Minister Brown spoke of the transnational nature of modern terrorism and said that if the world is to fight terrorism that knows no frontiers, then countries have to cooperate more closely and help each other in that battle, or words to that effect. It is in this context that he said UK was ready to help India and had already sent Scotland Yard experts to assist in the task. He said that UK and India were already cooperating, suggesting that there is an ongoing exchange of intelligence. Full Text