THE ATTACK ON WORLD TRADE CENTRE AND IT’S FALL OUT
America’s first war of the 21st century began on Sunday, October 7, 2001 after a comparatively long period during which America and Britain mobilized their forces on land and sea and exhausted all means to get Osama Bin Laden, the kingpin of terrorist blitzkrieg on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, surrender. Addressing the American nation on October 7, 2001 the U.S. American President Mr. George Bush said the U.S. military has begun strikes against Al Qaida tourist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The idea was to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as terrorist base of operation and attack the military capability of the Taliban regime the President said that at war there will be combined Anglo-American operation against the Taliban and Osama and claimed that countries like Canada, Australia, Germany and France had pledged forces as the military operations unfolded. He said that more than two countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more shared intelligence, he said.
When we strike military targets, we will also drop food and medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan, said the President Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves.
The first of attacks came by way of cruise: missiles from ships and submarines, followed by attacks by F-16 to destroy, communication systems electrical grids and any facility that should be used in a hostile fashion by the Taliban. More than land based bombers including the Stealth B-2s 25 strikes jets from the carrier battle groups, joined in the strike. British and Americans surface ships and submarines unleashed 50 cruise missile. The attacking forces, used both precision guided weapons and non-precision bombs raids in Kabul on the night of October 8, 2001.
The Taliban called the Anglo-American attack in Afghanistan as a ‘terrorist act” and reiterated their determination not to hand over Osama Bin Laden “We will fight the Americans the way we fought Russians” said a spokesman for the Taliban. It is said that the Taliban leadership had already dispersed to mobile weapons in far-flung areas of the rugged terrain in Afghanistan particularly towards the north and north eastern areas. According to Russian intelligence reports the Taliban receiving no ground attack from the south has already moved its men and long range artillery and multi based rocket launchers to the north, close to Uzbekistan which shares a 1137 kilometer long boundary with Afghanistan. Taliban threatened to attack Uzbekistan for providing military assistance to the US and UK.
For the first time in American history the people in mainland America are gripped by a creeping sense of fear that they too will not be safe as men, women and children die in the wake of the war their government is waging war to bring peace to them. All of them know that their country is no safe haven after what happened in September 1, 2001. The two towers of world trade centre were always an icon for New York but never were they so central to the geography of the great city than they are now, in their absence. New Yorkers came to see the sheer vastness of the wound on their great city inflicted by terrorists and the wounds on their minds might take years to heal, as they fear that the suicide bombers may strike again.
A byproduct of the war has been growing tension between India and Pakistan creating ripples of fears in the subcontinent and anxiety in the American establishment. The heightened tension has been created by Pakistan bellicosity and unlimited militant violence in Kashmir says the eminent journalist Mr. J.J. George.
We always talk in terms of war that brings peace. No war in history has ever brought peace to anyone. The victor or the vanquished war brings in its trail untold misery death, dismemberment, disinvestments of society uprooting of families.
Here Indians watched with great anxiety that is going to happen in our neighbourhood. The happenings in Taliban country would have a direct impact on India. India would also monitor the scale of cross border terrorism. It would be assumed that if the intensity of terrorism in the valley rises, it would be time for India to take steps to safeguard their interest. It is high time that India thought nationally and not globally as far as Kashmir is concerned. It was our global vision that brought Kashmir to the United Nations. If Kashmir is an integral part of India why drag others in our battles. To depend upon the U.S.A. or any other country to fight our battles amounts to expansion. It would be for India to assume that after USA has tackled Osama and Taliban, they will take care of our concerns in Kashmir.
The suicide attack on September 11, 2001 and the bloody response have changed the course of history. Every country including India has to remain on high alert against suicide attack and biological warfare. For a change all the Defence strength and nuclear arms no antidote, to suicide bombers America’s strategy of arming itself to the teeth and concept of Star wars all lie buried in the debris of the twin towers of Manhattan. A handful terrorist can hold large nations to ransom. It is immaterial whether America wins the war against terrorism or not but it is high time America release itself from its old grooves of thinking and looked the world in the face. They cannot be masters of their own if they don’t let others decide their own distinctive way of life.