the world is a safer place? hahahahahahahahahahaha

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    Terrorism Escalates Worldwide

    Fri Oct 8,10:32 AM ET

    By Lee Kuan Yew -

    This year's U.S. presidential election has special significance for East Asia. A Pacific Ocean diminished in size by technology has linked East Asia's economic future with America's. Any slowdown in the U.S. spells problems for Asia. Although intra-East Asian trade has grown by double digits yearly since the 1990s, the end destination for about 25% of the region's manufactured products is still the U.S. Asia needs a U.S. Administration that supports free trade and is able to restrain domestic pressures to protect American jobs by restricting outsourcing.

    Of even greater concern to Asia, however, is the Islamist terror threat. Because globalization has brought about a planetwide focus, suicide bombers now target Americans and America's friends in Asia. In Iraq (news - web sites), besides Americans and Britons, terrorists have taken Italians, Egyptians, Turks, Nepalese, Indians, Pakistanis and many others hostage. When the Italian government refused to withdraw its troops from Iraq, terrorists killed the Italian journalist they were holding. They had expected the Italian government to yield in the same way that the Philippines had in order to save its countryman. Terrorists in Iraq have also beheaded one Nepali, two Bulgarians, one South Korean and three Americans, besides killing many others. Terrorists now have taken two Italian women aid workers. The "Islamic Army in Iraq" went beyond demanding the withdrawal of foreign forces; it threatened to kill two French journalists if Francedidn't rescind its ban on the wearing of head scarves by Mus lim girls attending French state schools.

    Some believe that if the U.S. had not attacked Iraq, the terrorists would not have become so numerous and so barbaric. Escalating terrorist outrages both inside and outside Iraq show a dynamic independent of what's going on there. Every new horror is quickly copied, including coordinated suicide bombings, hostage-takings and intimidation through the posting of videos of beheadings on the Internet. Disparate terrorist groups outdo one another in extremes of savagery. They are eager to die and take with them as many victims as possible. Islamists consider an attack on Muslims anywhere as a crime against all Muslims. Their Web sites tabulate massacres of Muslims in Chechnya (news - web sites), Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir (news - web sites), Mindanao, Ambon, Poso and Palestine, citing all as atrocities against the Muslim ummah (community).

    To influence Indonesia's presidential elections on Sept. 20 and Australia's elections on Oct. 9, Islamic jihadists exploded a huge car bomb on Sept. 9 at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, killing 9 and injuring 182. To their credit, Indonesians and Australians have not allowed this attack to influence their elections.

    Al Qaeda has supported disparate Muslim insurgencies all over the world, providing funds, training and expertise in the art of mass killing. Chechen terrorists have bombed a subway station in Moscow, blown up two Russian planes using suicide bombers and, in concert with other terrorists, taken more than 1,000 Russian parents, children and teachers hostage in a school in Beslan. They killed more than 330 in cold blood at that school--more than half of them, children. Extensive preparations and perfect coordination, as well as the use of suicide bombers, heavy surveillance and possible rehearsals were the hallmarks of al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks, as noted in the U.S. 9/11 Commission Report. The Beslan terrorists had studied the 2002 Moscow theater siege, avoiding mistakes made there. Windows at the school were shattered to prevent debilitating gases from overwhelming the terrorists. Children were targeted--to shock and to gain greater publicity. Employing such methods, these sav ages may yet succeed in alienating the rational Muslim majority.

    The roots of conflicts may be local, but the methods terrorists use to exploit them are global. Many of the diverse Islamic terrorist groups fought and bonded together in Afghanistan (news - web sites), where they forged blood ties and joined in a higher cause--to make America bleed and ultimately expel it and any other Western powers from their lands.

    The World Needs a Resolute America

    Al Qaeda tells the world that America's support of Israel's ruthless suppression of Palestinians is justification for its reprisals. Indeed, the horrors in Palestine have fanned Muslim passions and made recruiting new terrorists easier. Any abatement in Israeli-Palestinian tensions would reduce the terrorists' recruiting prospects. But regardless of the outcome of the Palestinian issue, Islamist terrorists will not abandon their ultimate goal: driving the U.S. and other Western powers out of the Middle East so they can gain control of the region's oil and create a worldwide caliphate, one that extends from North Africa across Saudi Arabia, Central and Southeast Asia and, later, across all continents.

    Americans rightly worry about their diminished standing because of the Abu Ghraib prison atrocities. However, America cannot allow its moral anguish to be perceived as weakness. Islamist terrorists are waging an allout war against all who stand in their way. They want their enemies to lash out at all Muslims, so Muslim resentment will grow stronger. The world needs a steadfast America, one that is resolute in its belief that Islamist terrorists are dead wrong in thinking they can terrorize the world into submission.

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