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[GreenYes] An Article by Wing Commander Ravindra V Parasnis (retired)
I feel compelled to share an item which 
bounced from our list recently 
because it had too many graphics. 
(See The Rediff Special article below)
Thanks to GreenYes member Surekha Sule 
for this article, and thanks everyone for sharing.

After hearing phrases associated with 'War on Terrorism' 
in a recent speech by our president which sound 
remarkably like the phrases associated with the 'War on 
Drugs', which we are *still* 'fighting', I wonder how 
many times we have to play out similar situations before 
we can discover a method of negotiation that actually works. 
Does anyone really 'win' except those selling the 
weapons? While I don't condone this attrocity, I can't
help but wonder: what does this obviously well-trained,
well-funded group think our nation could 
have done to earn such animosity?


The Rediff Special (
[An article by] 
Wing Commander Ravindra V Parasnis (retired) 
Not very long ago, my old friend and colleague Wing 
Commander Joseph Thomas (retired) wrote to me that the 
'third world war' began on August 1998, when then US 
secretary of state Madeleine Albright declared war on 
terrorism after the Osama Bin Laden-sponsored terrorist 
attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and 
This war would seem endless, he warned, and would 
spread to every corner of the globe, including the 
heartland of the US. Terror, he believed, would be the 
primary weapon of the warring sides. He termed the 
retaliatory American missile attacks on Afghanistan and 
Sudan as acts aimed at striking terror in the hearts of the 
terrorists, so that they would never again think of 
attacking US interests. 
Terrorism would thus increase to mammoth proportions. 
Doomsday predictors and fiction writers could only 
imagine the massive destruction and loss of life that could 
be caused by a nuclear bomb. In reality, such an attack on 
the US seemed to border the realm of fantasy. Yet, the 
US tightened security measures in every possible way to 
protect her interests and people until she appeared almost 
invincible. An attack in the heart of the US was, in any 
case, unthinkable. 
 A previous bombing attempt on the World Trade Center 
was not successful; it failed to cause large-scale damage 
to life and property. It was, therefore, considered that 
really colossal damage could only be caused by a nuclear 
Human ingenuity has yet again proved that impregnable 
barriers can be breached. Enormous damage to property 
and huge loss of life can be caused without the use of 
nuclear weapons. Precision strikes can be made into the 
heart of the most powerful nation on the earth. 
No doubt investigations will bring out security lapses, 
inadequate intelligence and, perhaps, failure to draw 
correct inferences from intelligence already received, 
which could have led to early indications of the likely 
directions of attack. Many would have been involved in 
keeping this terrorist operation a well-coordinated secret, 
leading ultimately to its success. 
Be that as it may, one has to appreciate is the tremendous 
courage and discipline shown by the people of America 
in the face of this terrible crisis, the speed with which 
government agencies and NGOs began crisis 
management, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's 
personal involvement in the rescue and relief operations 
and the commitment of NYC officials judging from the 
fact that the fire chief and his deputy are dead and that 
over 200 firefighters and 78 policemen (at the time of 
writing) are missing in the line of duty. I salute them all. 
 Terrorism aims at killing the innocent and the unarmed. 
It has no ethics or conscience. It is evil and needs to be 
put down ruthlessly. The American response is bound to 
be severe and will have a heavy military component. 
I hope the entire world, including Russia and China, join 
them in this fight against terrorism. India has no choice 
but to do so. In fact, this is a good opportunity for us to 
destroy the terrorist training and regrouping camps 
responsible for causing terror and mayhem in our 
The third world war that Thomas talked about is upon us 
in all its ferocity. It may, like he says, be a war without 
end, but we must fight it with courage. This war calls for 
merciless punitive action, not thoughtless murders. While 
bomb attacks with mass-destruction weapons on some 
targets are unavoidable, it must be remembered these 
don't distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. 
This is why such attacks must be carried out selectively 
and carefully. 
This war cannot be won purely by force or by causing the 
other side an unacceptable rate of casualties. It has to be a 
pincer attack of punitive retributions combined with a 
message of love and tolerance. Using mass destruction 
weapons to wantonly strike terror into the hearts of the 
terrorists could prove counter-productive for, then, it 
wouldn't be God's war we are fighting; it would be the 
No one has put this better than former American 
president Abraham Lincoln. During the American Civil 
War, a lady said to him, "We are bound to win this war, 
Mr President, because God is on our side." The president 
replied, "I am not so sure about that, madam, but I do 
hope we are on His side." 

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