OPINION

Commentary

According to President George W. Bush, the US is in a state of war; but the enemy in this asymmetrical struggle has yet to be precisely defined. Washington seems to target states which it believes tolerate terrorism. What does this mean? Will America organize a military campaign to overthrow the Taliban regime? Will it undertake bombing campaigns and impose sanctions to punish blacklisted countries like Sudan, Iraq and Libya? Or will its definition be so flexible as to include the peoples that celebrated, deeming the terrorist attack an act of revenge? International cooperation to ensure that all the requisite measures against terrorism are taken is an imperative for the democratic states, but we should all ponder the causes. There can be no excuse when it comes to the massacre of American civilians, but the same applies to the killing of all innocent people throughout the globe. It is no coincidence that many Third World countries are overwhelmed by despair and suffused with hatred. So long as such feelings prevail among millions of people, the number of those thirsty for blind revenge and of would-be martyrs will grow. The massive crime on Tuesday proved that even the most advanced security systems cannot provide full protection against terrorist attacks, especially when these are carried out by individuals determined to sacrifice their lives. The myth of the immune superpower collapsed along with the certainty of Americans that their territory was somehow immune from hostile attacks. The conclusion is an obvious one and has to be drawn by everyone. Regardless of the extent and intensity of the security measures, the West will always remain vulnerable to suicide attacks. Furthermore, it would be a curse rather than a favorable outcome to impose a suffocating net of restrictions on the everyday life of people in the US and the West. Security measures should not have a negative effect on the quality of life. The aim should be to eliminate the causes which render terrorism a reference point for entire peoples. This is the only way to turn the relentless fanatics from heroes of the indignant Islamist masses into marginalized criminals.