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Unpolitically incorrect, Sir!
Most terrorist movements eventually wither away for they fail to replace an armed struggle with a political one
First, a Big Moose question. Who defeated the LTTE? Answer: The LTTE did! Even before the Sri Lankan Army!! Lest you start blaming the Big Moose thought process [Well, who defeated the British? The British. Who defeated Napolean? Napolean... Duh], read on to understand our take on Orwellian avatars that need not necessarily have Brad Pitt’s river running through it.
Guerilla warfare is not a new phenomenon and is not essentially another gift of the 20th century. For ages, those fighting a potent enemy have used subversive tactics to preempt and ambush erstwhile uneven contests to obtain a more even keel in which the seemingly weaker eventually turned out victor. If David proved it in fables against Goliath, then the kiddy king Robin Hood vindicated it successfully against King John. Yet, it was essentially the 20th century when guerrilla warfare, freedom struggles, armed resistance and political activism, all started getting enmeshed into one. The flowchart logic was pretty simple when faced with adversaries who weren’t necessarily Presbyterian ministers. When your ‘demands’ are not being met [and have no hopes of being met through dialogue – well, not every ruling government is British], then throw a few bombs, burn a few trains, kill a few security personnel/ruling politicians, and to add special effects, showcase a few suicide bombers. There; once you’ve got the attention of the powers that be, enter into a negotiation dialogue, grab whatever best political power you can out of the deal, and live life happily ever after as a part of the matrix. In case the ruling party reneges on the deal, go to the start of this paragraph and follow sequence to the tee.
In fact, one of the first organized armed resistances of the 20th century was the Irish movement against the British rule which led to a fierce conflict in between 1919-1921 that eventually led to the formation of Ireland while Northern Ireland remained part of the British Empire.
It is said that even though Irish Republican Army was no way in a position to defeat the British Army, yet the guerilla warfare it resorted to, made the British existence in Ireland inviable – not only politically, but also economically [a critical reason for the English to occupy territories even before World War II] – just as the Mujahideens did for Soviets in Afghanistan. Later on, the Provisional Irish Republican Army was formed in the 1960s for carrying on the protest against the two-Ireland policy and for ousting the British from Northern Ireland. But a war of attrition cannot be carried on without harming the common populace. Expectably falling prey to this paradigm, the subversive activities of IRA – which included bombings and assassinations – eventually made it lose much of the support it had in the Republic of Ireland and even in Northern Ireland. Eventually, after more than three decades of continuing a war of attrition against the British rule, in 2005, in the face of ever expanding domestic opposition, IRA finally agreed to lay down arms and carry on its struggle though democratic and political means; Sinn Féin became its widely accepted political front. If Sinn Féin [read its EU election campaign agenda and commitment to the ‘Peace Process’ to understand the gargantuan philosophical transformation] epitomised this intelligent change in IRA, the same gambit was chosen by the Maoists of Nepal, Fatah in Palestine and even say, Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.
That said, the critical point to note is that the political ideological bent of an undermined group cannot [and we suspect, should not] start before a violent precession. That means that however much you might wish to peacefully get your own territory or claim your own rights, history has provided evidence that a purely non-violent struggle [one that has no genesis in violent uprisings] has almost always never succeeded. Nelson Mandela [and F.W. De Klerk] rode on the peace wave due to support of public that was sick and tired of the ongoing violence in South Africa. For those not in the know, Umkhonto we Sizwe [Spear of the Nation] was the name of the military wing of Mandela’s African National Congress.
By:- Pathikrit Payne
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