Go to contents

Military Campaigns Alone Can Not Defeat Terrorism

Posted September. 23, 2003 23:13,   


During an international conference on counterterrorism, unilateral U.S. actions on the basis of its forces was heavily criticized.

Few showed their support to the U.S., a country that is risking many lives of their forces for anti-terrorist campaigns.

Though not directly mentioned of the U.S. and Israel, nearly 20 heads of state, administrative and foreign ministers, counterterrorism experts, and terror victims participated in the conference pointed out that “the roots of terrorism are oppressive control led by military strength” in chorus.

The conference was jointly proposed on August 22 by Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor and Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, the conference chair, expressed gratitude that Lugar attended.

During the opening address, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan indirectly criticized hardliners of the U.S. saying, “terror is crime that can never be tolerated. To fight terrorism, we must not only fight terrorists. We have to win hearts and minds. We delude ourselves if we think military force alone can defeat terrorism.”

Bondevik also showed his opposition to U.S.`s war on terrorism, saying "Fighting terrorism should be about more than using your military and freezing finances,"

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who supported the U.S. for the war against Taleban forces in Afghanistan also warned that "There is a growing sense among Muslims that Islam, as a religion, is being targeted and pilloried."

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov argued that the U.S. and Western countries have double standards, mentioning their unbiased condemnation on Russia for the war in Chechnya while giving implied sanction on the war against terrorism of the U.S>

French President Jacques Chirac, who led the anti Iraq War campaign, noted that "When a country is under foreign occupation, it unjustly captures the struggle for freedom for its own ends and terrorism can take on the mask of justice,

Jean Chretien, prime minister of Canada, which kept distance on Iraqi issues despite having been one of the best allies to the U.S., said, “How mighty a country may be, it alone can not have all the wisdom and abilities to root out terrorism. Ostentation of one`s power may make others feel insulted, so it has to be cautious.”

U.S. representative, Sen. Richard Lugar showed his concerns over the terrorists` acquisition of weapons of mass destruction but had to be satisfied for just urging countries to participate in the war against terror, saying, “In order respond to the situation, we need firm commitment.

Kwan-Hee Hong konihong@donga.com