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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Alive and kicking’

 
 

In the global picture, people have to realize they are at war, said Ehud Barak, former Israeli prime minister.
“We have realized to capitulate to terror is like feeding crocodiles,” Barak said. “The more you feed, the more they want.”
Barak spoke about global terrorism Wednesday night in Rudder Auditorium at “Global Terrorism: Strategies for Defense,” sponsored by the MSC Wiley Lecture Series.
The year 2006 will be defining, Barak said. The lessons of the next five years will begin to emerge, including a strain on the growth of the world arena, a need for determined leadership between the U.S. and the world landscape, a need to focus on political subtleties without losing sight of the overall picture and a need for cooperation between efficient world leaders, Barak said.
“The challenge for the U.S. is sharing burdens and responsibilities with others while remaining the world leader in freedom, liberty and a better future for the growing globalized trends,” Barak said.
A fully concerted effort on all levels is the only chance for success in fighting terrorism, Barak said. The good news is the Taliban is out of power in Afghanistan, Saddam is out of power in Iraq and the U.S. has not seen another attack with the magnitude of Sept. 11, he said.
The bad news is world terror is still alive and kicking, Barak said. Osama Bin Laden’s real success is his ability to incite millions to detrimental acts, he said.
“If only one of those tens of millions will try to join an extremist group, there will be hundreds of thousands of them,” he said. “If only one of those who join those terrorist groups turns into a suicide bomber, there will be thousands of them.”
Simple arrangements or innovations could help combat terrorism in the U.S., Barak said. Devices can be added to imported containers, which will help track when they were last opened, where they came from, and what the contents might include, he said, and airplane doors can also be improved to help guard from unwanted trespassers.
“Try to see how terrorists could even try to attack if such simple arrangements could be made national standards,” Barak said.
Terrorism is still a big threat, especially with the recent attacks in Madrid and Bali, said Kevin Turner, junior engineering technology major. Sooner or later, they will try to attack again in the U.S, he said.
“Like Professor Lake said, within the next ten years (terrorism) could be a weapon of mass destruction,” Turner said. “There’s definite threats to a lot of the world powers.”
Terrorism is an ever-looming threat, said Alex Brown, a senior political science major and MSC Wiley Lecture Series Chairman.
“One thing about terrorism is that there’s so many facets to it. It doesn’t just attack in a numerical sense – it adds an emotional base,” he said. “It attacks a population by scaring the people. It can happen at peacetime so there is no definite peacetime and wartime -there’s no armistice. Terrorism is scary even when we’re not directly under attack.”

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