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August 24, 2005


Q. Thompson

It seems to me that al Qaeda infiltration into Bangladesh only can be sucessful by consensus of the citizens of Bangladesh and the region. I do agree that the world cannot ignore this problem. But, it should be the regional powers that should make an effort to combat the problem.

My question is, Why isn't their any outrage expressed by Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China, India, or the influential Muslim nations in the region? They are the ones that have a better grasp of the behind the scenes of what is happening there. Also, they are the ones that can have a better chance of connecting to the citizens of Bangladesh since they are all Asians.

Why is it when their is trouble in the world, there is a an outright demand that the west, particularly the US, should get involve. In my opinion, it is western intervention, especially the US, that add growth to terrorism. The only helpful thing that the west can do is to open their markets to free trade and offer moral support.

Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh is a muslim problem that should be dealt with by the government & citzens of Bangladesh, by other Muslim countries, and the Asian powers in the region. Western or US intervention will only exacerbate the problem.

Joe Katzman

Q., India has been more than a little bit concerned about Bangladesh. It's one of the issue that helped motivate the recent 10-year India - US defense pact.

We've been covering this stuff on Winds of Change.NET for a while now. Glad others are beginning to notice. One thing I will add is that there is an electoral politics aspect to India's Bangladesh foreign policy - quite a few folks in India's border states have Bangladeshi ties, and the Congress Party has sought to downplay the problems in Bangladesh in order to seek political advantage with this group.

Q. Thompson

Joe, If India is the only country in the region that is showing a little concern, why does Mr. Hossain compell the western world, especially the US, not to ignore the problem? It is baffling that there is a foreign policy crowd that advocate a roman empire type of action.

I am always bothered when experts strongly suggest that some type of intervention needs to take place. To me, this is the problem. In my opinion, Islamic terrorism can be only defeated by other muslims.

When will the muslim world give birth to democratic revolutionaries that are equivalent to early Americans? Why haven't they produce liberty demanding leaders such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the many other individuals that signed the declaration of independence?

Many experts claim that there is no clash of civilizations. This may be true. However, there is a clash of cultures. The western culture is not compatible with Islamic culture. Let's recognize this and respect it. Forcing western culture values on them is not helping. It is creating conflict. Let the western world demand that muslims deal with Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh.

David S.

Culture is indeed important, but as the piece suggests, this is primarily a matter of economics. Not to ignore Bangladesh is not a call for empire, it is a call for global responsibility, U.S. and otherwise. We do live in one integrated world. Terrorism is not solely a Muslim problem. Muslim as well as international parties, specially those who benefit through trade from a particular locale, should be on the watchout to avoid letting opportunists, who do portray the crisis as one of a clash of civilizations, take advantage. It does not absolve anyone from responsibility. However, ignoring Bangladesh today might not be diffrenet from ignoring Afghanistan in the post-Soviet era. Do it at your own risk.

Q. Thompson

This is no clash of civilization, this is a clash of culture. There is a muslim culture that warrant chaos and there is a muslim culture that warrants indifference. Its a shame, that not one muslim or islamic country, out of 57, is coming to the aid of Bangladesh. Islamic terrorism will not cease until there is a Islamic reformation that will stand up and fight it.

Non-intervention and ignoring are two different animals. I do not suggest that terrorism in Bangladesh should be ignored. What I do suggest is that the west, especially the US, should not get involved, politically or militarily.

Trade is the best amoral activity that will not give cause of offense. To go further than trade would place the US in the middle of an domestic disturbance that will likely have undesirable result.

Speaking of an undesirable result, we are suffering blowback from one right now. It was the US CIA that funded, armed, equipped, and supported Bin-Laden & his fighters in the Afghan-Soviet war. What if the US didn't intervene, would there have been a 9/11? There is a 50/50 chance that it may not have. However, the risk are greater by intervening than not.

For the pundits that suggest that the US should intervene, brush up on US history and you'll find American intervention added more fuel to the fire. This is why I strongly suggest a Libertarian foreign policy of non-intervention.

If you put your hands in the fire, you should expect to get burned. The best thing to do is not to put your hands in the fire.

David S.

Absence of evidence (in the US media that is), is not evidence of absence. There are many examples of trade and other considerations extended by many Muslim states to Bangladesh, including from Iran. The US remains the world's major economic superpower, and Bangladesh's largest market. As such, it has a substantive responsibility to insuring that a disruption resulting from trade arrangements does not lead to adverse conditions, in Bangladesh and elsewhere, including the US itself. Culture, Islamic and otherwise, as well as ideology, Libertarianism and otherwise, are besides the point.

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