Today’s Four at Four focuses on terrorism and dealing with it.
The CS Monitor examines The lasting impact of the 1983 Beirut attack twenty-five year ago today. The bombing killed 241 Americans, most of them marines, in the deadliest day for the Marines since Iwo Jima. “The bombing that left the Reagan administration’s Lebanon ambitions in tatters continues to reverberate today in shaping US diplomatic, political, and counterinsurgency policies toward Lebanon and the Middle East.”
The blast rippled across Beirut just after dawn, throwing Khodr Hammoud out of bed and stumbling to his front door.
Gazing across the packed houses of the Shiite-populated slums east of Beirut airport, the young Shiite resident saw a huge plume of smoke rising into the pale sky…
“When I heard that marines had been blown up, I couldn’t believe it,” says Mr. Hammoud. “We didn’t think of [the Marines] as an enemy then like we do now.“
McClatchy Newspapers report Indonesia fights terrorism with power of persuasion. Indonesian government “authorities try to ‘de-radicalize’ militants, debating religion with them and re-connecting them with their families instead of relying on the high-tech weapons and harsh interrogation techniques that have characterized President Bush’s approach since 9/11.
“Because terrorism is an ideologically motivated crime, it is not possible to stop it using mere physical operations,” said Ansyaad Mbai, the head of the Indonesian government’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinating Desk. “Based on our experience, the harder we hit them with military force, the more radical they become.”
Mbai is critical of the Bush administration’s approach to fighting terrorism. The war in Iraq, in particular, has made the job of handling terrorism in Indonesia harder, he said: “Even the moderate Muslim leaders find it difficult to explain that the war taking place in the Middle East is not a war against Islam.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, treats terrorism as a crime, not a cause for war.
Four at Four continues with a bombing in Iraq and a missile strike in Pakistan. Plus, there is a poll to vote in.