On air: Can governments really protect us from terrorism?

Mumbaikars, still shocked and fearful after last weeks horrific events, are struggling to come to terms with their grief and their anger at the perpetrators. But many are now also asking what could have been done to prevent the attacks?

Today there have been more political resignations after India’s Home Minister stepped down yesterday in the wake of the Mumbai massacres. The chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, and his deputy have both offered to go.

As details emerge of warnings, months ago, of a planned attack on Mumbai – and a recent specific warning against the Taj Mahal Palace hotel – anger mounts on the streets that not enough was done to protect the city. Who had the information? Was it taken seriously? Were there contingency plans if an attack came? Was the security response fast enough? Or too little too late?

In the city, some candle-lit vigils to remember the dead and injured have turned into protests – people demanding explanations from the government.

But how far are politicians able to protect citizens against acts of terror? What, if anything can governments do to stop a determined group from causing such catastrophe? And what impact might stricter security measures have on society – do we really want them?

Have you been affected by terrorism and how has your government handled the threat? Do you feel safe or is the threat of terror part of the modern world? Cities like Istanbul, Mombasa, Madrid, Islamabad, London, New York, Cairo and many more — all affected by such attacks — are they now safer because of better security?

133 Responses to “On air: Can governments really protect us from terrorism?”

  1. December 1, 2008 at 16:17

    Hello Everyone,
    The answer is simple and straight forward:No,never,never!

    How can you expect those corrupt political leaders to protect us?And its not actually a thing of their capability.I mean, Taj is supposed to be one of the safest places in Mumbai,isn’t it?I am sure the ministers had put full force there,but still the security could break through.Thats the main point.It proves that someone or the other was corrupt there.Its not the problem of Ministers not providing enough security,its the case of corrupt people in a nation.

    Thank you

  2. December 1, 2008 at 16:22

    No, Governments cannot protect civilians who are unarmed because the local governments come up with laws that the good sheep citizens follow.

    Terrorists feel it is better to attack innocent children and civilians rather than armed soldiers.

    The founding father of the United States had it about right disarm the citizens and then only the bad guys will have arms.

    can you imagine being in that hotel unarmed, and being totally at the mercy of some wacko kid with a full automatic weapon?

    If some of the 600 people who were shot in that terror attack were armed with handguns at least a few of the 10 fools could have been shot and stopped before the killed so many. Thirteen year old girls and kids being slaughtered, and police and soldiers being killed, because the citizens inside the facilities could not kill the ones that were obvious.

    For good reason the Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled, that the second amendment is in fact a right. If there were armed people on those highjacked ships at sea, and decent vigilence a few armed outlaws would have a much more difficult time taking over tankers and freighters at sea. But no the authorities have to insist that everyone not be armed.

    So the bold, win…….not the meek smart ones.

    troop on the Oregon Coast

  3. December 1, 2008 at 16:26

    The fight against terrorism shouldn’t be at the expense of privacy and individual freedom. Politicians should be accountable for terror attacks if their security measures are lax and terrorist attacks are carried out when it should have been prevented in advance.

    Morocco wasn’t immune from terrorist attacks as it was disastrously its victim on May 16th, 2003, leaving 42 dead. However, precautions were taken to surround Isalimsts suspected of sympathizing with terrorism or planning it. Terrorism is seen as a savage form of making a point.

    However, Morocco, despite its ongoing dismantlement of many terrorist cells remains a safe country for its citizens and visitors. Millions of tourists visit it each year mainly from Europe. This year it’s approaching eight million visitors.There are thousands of Europeans who have come to live in it, especially in the old city of Marrakesh where they easily and comfortably mix with the locals.

    What matters to deal with terrorism is continuous vigilance, sensitizing the citizens about its dangers and securing for them a stable life not to see destabilising the country through terrorism or otherwise as a means to voice their protest and to take action.

    And finally the rest of the world should embrace the idea of living and letting live. In other words, there shouldn’t be just the notion of ME, but of YOU and ME.

  4. 4 Alex from Nairobi
    December 1, 2008 at 16:26

    Methinks the world is not becoming any safer and NO,try though they may, our leaders, whether political or otherwise cannot guarantee our security.

    Look, attackers or murderers(I avoid calling them ‘terrorists’ because it seems to apply depending on who is being tagged so.) have all the time and resources to plan their hits. They don’t accord their victims such privilidges. The Indian security may have been forewarned but, and quote me, if every threat was to be taken seriously, sirens and alarms would blare all the time.

    At home here, Mombasa and Nairobi have been hit and the government has claimed that it has improved preparedness towards such occurences. Im sure though that the Kenyan government, like most other governments, cannot stop a group of determined, well organized and heavily armed group from making hits.

  5. 5 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 16:28

    Governments cannot provide 100% protection, but they can do more, but the people have to want to allow the government to do that. Most people complain about their civil liberties being violated, while not producing any evidence of how they are being violated. In the US, we hear people whining about the Patriot Act, and how the government in theory can find out that you checked out some Harry Potter book in the public library, and are up in arms about this, despite the government never having used the power. I cannot find a single person who has ever told me who didn’t sound schizophrenic how their lives have changed from the government’s war on terrorism, it’s always a “say if they did this, then…”

    So long as people think a thereotical situation is more important than life, then there will be more terrorist attacks than there have to be. However, there is no way the government could provide total protection. They could do a better job if we were to allow them to.

    At least the government is aware who is conducting the terrorist attacks. Most of the people who are anti Government war on terror are the types who blame 9/11 and Mumbai on “Zionists”.

  6. December 1, 2008 at 16:31

    Much of what passes in the media for “terrorism” is actually government-sponsored black ops, known as “false flag” operations. These have the purpose of changing public opinion against some group or country so that politicians can justify an otherwise unjustifiable military operations. The ultimate goals may be empire, or a police state, or just more profits for those who fund wars, i.e. bankers.

  7. December 1, 2008 at 16:33

    The contemporary police force seems to be more concerned with less demanding issues that normally would not go out of hand say the do not intervene. Police and Armies have lost their brilliance and power to digressions and corrup practices. I suppose nations should work out and sponsor Computerized Security Systems and let the already sleeping dogs lie.

  8. December 1, 2008 at 16:40

    No. Even if a government wins 99 times out of 100…that hundredth time is a disaster.

    I lived in the UK for more than 30 years and security services there were second to none. Even so, our lives were all-to-frequently turned upside down by terror attacks.

  9. 9 Brett
    December 1, 2008 at 16:41

    Sure governments can protect us from terrorism. By not setting us up in the first place to be hated by many around the world would be a start. “Oh but we must upset SOME people no matter what we do!” Yes, but we can also act in ways which are not 100% or even 51% or greater, self-serving at the expense of others.

    *flame suit on* (no pun intended)

    Governments and nations are hated for reasons. Most of them are hated for reasons stemming from their own actions. Of course with the 3,000 lb gorilla (or God) of religion in the room, the reasons are partially out the window.

    In any case, the government can protect us by acknowledging the impact of their actions worldwide and who they may or may not affect, and what may occur due to that affect.

  10. 10 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 16:43

    @ Zack

    LOL. Thanks for proving my point.

  11. 11 Adrian Hilton
    December 1, 2008 at 16:43

    No of course they can’t. They can’t protect us aginast every eventuality. To do that you would need a police officer every 20 feet!! All that any government can do is make us “as safe as possible”, but there is no way that you can be fully protected against a terrorist.

  12. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    December 1, 2008 at 16:46

    Government will never be able to fully protect us from terrorism or from any other type of crime. The idea isn’t to completely eliminate crime, though — the idea is to reduce crime to the fullest extent possible while not infringing on civil rights.

  13. 13 Ramesh
    December 1, 2008 at 16:47

    Yes, why not? It requires the will, imagination and intelligence of the ruling elite in Inida. They can not be complacent now because the victims this time were not poor people. The rich and powerful are not safe either in India is the message out of Mumbai. Instead of blaming Pakistan, India should try to work together with Pakistan in the fight against terror.

  14. 14 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 16:49


    Thank you for the voice of reason.

    Well said!

  15. 15 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 16:50

    @ Brett

    Enough of that “understanding” rubbish. no other group does this. lots of people have grievances with other nations. I personally cannot stand the Iranian government, but I would be more likely to jump into a swimming pool of great white sharks than even think of harming iranian civilians because I don’t like their government. So enough of this “understanding” rubbish. People need to be expected to behave like civilized human beings. You don’t kill people if you don’t like their government. Only uncivilized savages do that. You cannot “understand” why crazy people do crazy things. they are just crazy. remember, EVERY single person killed in mumbai was killed over some insane person’s belief in a fictional deity. You really think “understanding” why they did it would stop it in the future? You cannot “understand” a crazy person unless you are crazy yourself. it’s time we realize we are dealing with incredibly mentally ill people. Stop the political correctness and call this what it really is.

  16. December 1, 2008 at 16:56

    It is high time that countries that are affected by terrorism get together and declare all out war against the leaders of terror and their followers. They have to accept that their borders are open so that the terrorists and their leaders can be attacked freely by a collective force when it is determined these terrorists live and plan their terrorist attacks. Naturally innocent civilians may die as a result, in all wars innocent people have died as a result. Wherever terrorists reside in safety among non terrorists, these innocent people may find they are risking their lives may well deside to inform the country’s government about the insurgents that live amongst them, or find ways to get rid of them. Intelegence agencies have a good idea where these terrorists are, but lack of agreements between govenments that protect their soverignity deter an effective attack against the terrorists.
    The United States, Britain and France have a huge arsenal of weapons and should use them in areas where it is believed known terrorists and their leaders are sheltering themselves. A war cannot be won on a softly softly basis.

  17. 17 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 16:59

    No Government can provide 100% security. Furthermore it is impossible to provide security playing defense continuously.
    Islam has become a perversion and the Islamic terrorists roam freely with impunity in the tribal areas of Pakistan. It seems to me that Pakistan has been a sponsor of State sponsored terrorism.
    While it may not solve the problem the civilized world must clean out the infection that is in Pakistan and start dismantling the Mosques that preach hate. We must go on the offense and drop the politically correct stupidity in the way we have approached this problem.
    If Islam is to survive it must come to the understanding by force or otherwise that Freedom of Religion does not give it leave to destroy the world and as Arabs seems to only understand force I am afraid it must be an overwhelmingly harsh lesson.

  18. 18 Brett
    December 1, 2008 at 16:59

    @ Steve:
    Enough of that “understanding” rubbish. no other group does this.

    You’re right, lets just invade and blow up those who don’t agree with us….
    Wait a minute…. That’s not working so well, is it?

    “Less understanding, more action!!!” – Not sure if that sounds right…

    So enough of this “understanding” rubbish. People need to be expected to behave like civilized human beings.

    Yes, and they may be expected to do so, but who says they will. And when they don’t it impacts more people than just themselves.

    You cannot “understand” why crazy people do crazy things.

    And you cannot “expect” them not to do such things. Such expectations are false hopes. We are dealing with reality, not a game where everyone plays by the rules.

  19. 19 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 17:02

    It never ends but some news of violence (Mumbai) merits more coverage than other news.


    Try a little exercise:

    Read the posts here then forget who wrote them and substitute Osama bin Laden’s name for the posters.

    Then ask yourself why violence against others continues.

  20. 20 Donnamarie Leemann
    December 1, 2008 at 17:03

    Hi, World Have Your Say Team,

    Governments can HELP protect us from terrorism, but there is only so much they can do.

    Terrorists do not spring to life with malice in their hearts and weapons in their hands. They come from parents, communities, religious and other traditions. Only the societies from which terrorists come can finally eradicate terrorism.

    I do not believe that the government of Pakistan is responsible for the outrage in Mumbai. The Pakistani government IS culpable for not doing more to control the tribal regions along its border with Afghanistan where terrorists are indoctrinated, harboured, armed and trained.

    All the best,

    Donnamarie Leemann
    La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

  21. 21 Roy, Washington DC
    December 1, 2008 at 17:06

    As far as anti-terrorism measures here in the USA…I don’t think I have met a single person who thinks that the TSA makes us any safer when flying, or that the silly color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System makes us any safer in general. The TSA is a perfect example of “security theater” — feel-good measures that do absolutely nothing to improve security. The HSAA is perhaps even worse, since it will give the bad guys an easy way to tell when we have our guard down.

  22. 22 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 17:06


    World War 1 was supposed to be the war the would end all wars. So much for that concept!

  23. 23 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    December 1, 2008 at 17:12

    No. I think governments can only protect us sometimes. Nothing is 100% safe. We have to not let the terrorist keep us prisoners. Continue to live and be happy in the moment will make them see that terror is not an effective way to change the way we live out our lives.


  24. 24 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    December 1, 2008 at 17:16

    @ Roy
    Being an ex-airline employee and agree with you. Not even securing the cockpit doors did anything. The main reason I do not fly anymore is because it is easier to drive a few hundred miles then go to the airport with the checks. I think the TSA has caused more issues for the airlines then the terrorist did.

  25. December 1, 2008 at 17:19

    Hi Steve
    Enough of That “Understanding” Rubbish!
    TEHRAN – Europe wants stability and security, Iran fires missiles towards the Gulf; the world talks of trade and prosperity, Tehran talks of Hizbollah, Amal and Hamas. There is no stopping Iran.
    Europe failed to expand to the East. Turkey was perhaps the last hope for Muslims. A rich heritage of 700 hundred years, the Ottoman Empire in its heyday commanded respect. It was not to be.
    Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria or Romania still can’t match Turkey in terms of commerce, trade, incentive and motivation. Turkey is a Godsend in a God-forsaken world. Worse still, Europe aimed far too wide with an over-expensive currency and monotonous rhythm of the same over and over again.
    America has its own problem but terrorism, riots, public dissatisfaction will become more and more common in our corner of the worldin the next couple of decades. Europe failed to grapple with the Eastern problem. Integration in the true sense hasn’t caught on. The stifled struggle for a better life and source of income in Asia Minor and Mideast hs turned nasty and erupted into scuffles and rebellion.

  26. 26 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 17:20

    @ Brett

    Yes, all the “understanding” is working so well, and last I checked, the US hasn’t invaded Pakistan ever, let alone any time recently. And if you look at the al jazeera comments I linked to yesterday, many of the posters think that even the India-Pakistan conflict is because of ISRAEL… Can you believe that? So again, how do you reason with and “understand” the insane?

    Remember Alan Johnston? What did trying to “understand” get him? Got him kidnapped by those who he was there to tell the story of. That’s what happens when you try to understand insane people.

  27. 27 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 17:25


    You need to come to the understanding that there is nothing these Islamic terrorists want to talk to you about and there is NO understanding. They simply want you dead.
    They have been fed on a constant religious diet of hate, murder and destruction (even against their own) and will not be stopped because you want to understand them so as to “heal their inner child”.

  28. December 1, 2008 at 17:26

    Firstly we must define what a terrorist is, George Washington was a terrorist, no? He went on to form a ‘nation’, Gerry Adam’s a terrorist – he is now a part of the NI Assembly.

    Will a terrorist be called a freedom fighter in the future? Will these acts be seen as something completely different than the murderous slaughter that they were?

    Who knows – but a person so willing to murder civilians for a perceived, imagined and indoctrinated cause is a terrorist. One who is willing to perform vile acts to put the fear of God in us all.

    Can we be protected – no. But, and as some have already said, and are willing to lose their civil liberties, I am not – we cannot allow these vile creatures to cause us such fear – but we must allow our governments to do what they have done for many years – find them but not stand on their own citizens doing so.

    Our vigilance is needed and so is our governments. The hate that these people espouse should be met full and face on – that is the way to defeat them.

  29. December 1, 2008 at 17:28

    Terrorists are too smart to be destroyed easily. They’re like a cancer that finds a way to grow when it’s attacked in its first location. Like a cancer it should be treated in its infancy. But now it has become lethal threatening to develop unnoticed because it has its evasive ways.

    Governments can fight terrorism radically if it has sophisticated security means and the whole population is mobilized to refute its strategies and ideologies, and to inform about any suspect terrorist individual or network. If terrorists can’t be put out of existence, at least they won’t have the chance to create havoc now and then on regular basis and at places of their choice, leaving the security corps look impotent and fooled.

  30. 30 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 17:30

    @ Dan

    A friend of mine is an FBI agent, and several years ago he was talking to some terrorism suspect, not a formal interrorgation, but rarther just having a chat, and he asked him “why do you want to kill us?” and the guy responded “because you exist”. Not because of support for Israel, not because of US troops in the middle east, but simply because we exist. When you get brainwashed for so long, you just become absolutely insane and complete lost cause. It’s sad, but some people are too sick to live peacefully in the world.

    Offering hugs to islamic terrorists will get you blown up. These people need to understand you cannot “understand” away people are are so insane they will die for their religious beliefs.

  31. 31 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 17:34

    @ Will Rhodes

    George Washington didn’t target civilians. He was a traitor, not a terrorist.

  32. December 1, 2008 at 17:40

    Yes, the government can protect us. I want to thank President Bush for protecting us here in America, thanks to him and his administration we have been safe for eight years because of his efforts. All the credits go to him. That is why is a great president and history will be kind to him. I will miss him.

  33. 33 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 17:40

    How can we expect governments to protect us from terrorism when they can’t even make sure we are fed?


    Terrorism is the least of the worries of hungry people.

    The amount of fear that is exhibited here is sad to behold. Don’t you know the “terrorists” have won already?

  34. 34 Tony From Singapura
    December 1, 2008 at 17:42

    No, a state cannot guarantee 100% safety from terror attack, certainly effective intelligence gathering and other civil/military defense mechanisms can be put in place or improved.

    There remains some significant residual risk that we all accept in order to carry on with our lives. Indeed we all cannot stay at home for fear of being run over by a bus. As individuals we make choices that affect our exposure to risk, some significant proportion for personal safety must be borne by individuals.

    My feeling however is that more could be done to address root causes through more enlightened foreign policy and actions of powerful states.

    If you look at many of the conflicts that are associated with terrorism they seem to be associated with those unfortunate lines drawn on maps during the decline of colonialism, e.g. Palestine, Kashmir, Kuwait.

    We did not do things right in Palestine by allowing the Isreali state to become a rogue occupier and oppressor.

    We did not do things right in India by moving the Muslims north and the Hindus south, then leaving a wishy-washy area in the middle.

    We reap what we sow.

    Let us make a late start at solving a few basic problems by abolishing the power of veto for United Nations Security Council members.

  35. 35 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 17:44


    What does world hunger have to do with our topic unless you are trying to change the subject? World hunger sucks, but perhaps the terrorists should have spent money on food instead of grenades and Ak-47s? Seems they don’t care about world hunger at all, since they spend more money on trying to kill people than to feed them. I see lots of food aid coming from the US. I don’t see too much from the terrorists.

  36. 36 Brett
    December 1, 2008 at 17:48

    @ Dan and Steve:

    So then what do we do? If we don’t care to understand them in order to resolve the situation/s, then what’s left? Blow them all up?

    In my opinion, you have to understand a problem before you try to solve it. You don’t have to agree with the opposition, you don’t have to submit to a resolution with the opposition, you don’t even have to engage the opposition in discussions or resolution talks necessarily. But you must, absolutely MUST, understand the situation, all factors involved, and what implications your actions may have.

    Action without understanding is what has gotten ‘them’ and ‘us’ where we are today.

  37. 37 Syed HAsan Turab
    December 1, 2008 at 17:50

    To resolve the issue first we have to dig out the histry of terrorisam, in modern days fast media & communication the news move so quick. If terrorist’s dont have the resources our media companies help them out to communicate there messages.
    Histry of Modern days terrorisam started from injustice & political blunder’s along with soficated propongada machiney & migeration, without knowing the fact that victory is always for truth & justice.
    This is very clear that minorities may not dominate over majorities of this global village.To resolve the issues we are in urgent need to remove injustice from our society, to restore the justice we may establish a Counsil of Equil Rights to bring the satisfactory Justice in our modern days societies, no doubt each & every humanbeing have legetiminate right to live in this Global Village & diversity is our strength.

  38. 38 VictorK
    December 1, 2008 at 17:51

    Yes, governments can protect us, as long as they have the will to do so.

    The West’s failure to effectively deal with Islamic terrorism is in large part down to liberal squeamishness. As a result Britain, to take one example, has become a haven for many terrorists fleeing from foreign jurisdictions because they know the UK government will never, as a matter of principle, deport them to any country that has the death penalty. Moral cowardice dressed up as liberal principle.

    During the IRA’s terror campaign no attempt was made to assassinate a single one of the IRA’s leaders (and all of their leaders were known to the security services), though the terorists came very close to murdering Mrs Thatcher and most of her cabinet at Brighton. When Mrs Thatcher was presented with a plan that would have destroyed Sinn Fein (the IRA’s ‘secular’ wing) as an electoral force, she got cold feet and rejected it (the plan involved handing parts of two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone, to the Republic of Ireland, dumping several hundred thousand Catholics out of Northern Ireland in the process). Throughout the IRA’s terror campaign citizens of the Republic of Ireland were able to move freely between Britain and their own country (to the greqt benefit of the terrorists), and they continued to enjoy the right to vote in British elections (as part of a failed ‘hearts and minds’ appeasement strategy by the British government).

    Governments and leaders with the will to defeat terrorists will do so (Saddam, a man of will if ever there was one, didn’t have a terror problem); governments that believe that there are more important things than defeating terror (such as appeasing the communities from which the terrorists come) will continue to flounder and misfire in their attempts to tackle the problem.

  39. 39 Brett
    December 1, 2008 at 17:51

    and will not be stopped because you want to understand them so as to “heal their inner child”.

    Lol who ever said I was trying to heal anyones inner child. Ammusing mislead deduction in any case. *thumbup*

  40. 40 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 17:52

    @ Tony

    What does Palestine have to do with the attacks in Mumbai? Anyone? Can ANYONE answer me why this is somehow being linked unless you have a need to blame israel for every problem on earth?

  41. 41 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 17:55

    @Will Rhodes

    The amount of moral confusion is astounding.

    George Washington fought for Freedom and the battles involved MILITARY not innocent civilians.
    When the Israeli’s fought for their independence it was against the British MILITARY and those that did kill civilians were brought to justice by the Israeli’s.

    Jeeezz….can we not see some simple facts?

    What the Islamic terrorists are fighting for is to see the world destroyed. They claim they want us to become nice little Muslims but the Islamic terrorists kill Muslims as well. They are fighting for nothing other than destruction of God’s creation.

  42. December 1, 2008 at 18:03

    Government cannot protect people from anything absolutely. However, government can put people at less risk. That is, government can quit advancing the interests of one class at the expense of all others, which ends up doing the recruiting for the terrorists and criminals. Also, national governments can use and strengthen the UN, giving moral dimension to prosecution that “us vs. them” lacks.

  43. 43 John in Salem
    December 1, 2008 at 18:10

    No. There is no way to prevent an attack by a single individual who is willing to die to accomplish his goal. Against a group the odds are better but it still means operating at a level of paranoia that would strangle any society. You have to live your life with that assumption and weigh your choices (and their risks) on your own.
    But I worry when I see Homeland Security spending resources to protect infrastructure when that is never the target of groups like al-Qaeda whose M.O. is always to kill as many people as possible. It makes me think they’re doing it just so we’ll think they’re doing something proactive to protect us, when in reality they’re as helpless as the rest of us.

  44. 44 Vijay
    December 1, 2008 at 18:11

    Can governments really protect us from terrorists?
    Yes,most of the time if they do their job.
    In India the way that the police , military and civil servants etc.are hired ,promoted and deployed is corrupt,even if you want to be a bus driver you have to pay a bribe of a few thousand dollars for the privilege.
    Half the police for example in New Delhi are on VIP and VVIP duty,in other words baby sitting politicians and their relatives,which leaves the other half of the police to pick up protection money from drug traffickers ,vice and shop keepers.There are of course a few token police on traffic duty,who harrass ordinary citizens and take bribes from people who do not have any Identification or vehicle documentation.
    The Armed forces after Independence became politicised, full of nepotism and cronyism,recruitment quotas meant that certain groups have been denied employment in their traditional occupations.

  45. 45 Shane in Oregon, USA
    December 1, 2008 at 18:16

    The #1 cause of death in America is cardiovascular disease. Far more people die from this than terrorist attacks and we continue to pour billions into national security rather than the scientific research we need to prevent disease. I would rather live freely than be imprisoned to survive.

    Makes you wonder where the priorities are. Ask yourself this question: Which is more profitable? War or Scientific Research?

  46. 46 viola
    December 1, 2008 at 18:18

    Vote with your mouth. Use your manners when doing so.

    The best way to combat terrorism, bar none, is for everyone with clear vision and reason and a good grasp of history not to tolerate the nonsense that is used to justify terrorist acts all over the world.

    When you are in a conversation or a discussion on the subject of terrorism and a fact you know is false is being thundered as “the truth,” speak up. If you are silent or appeasing, you are empowering terrorists. Don’t be bulldozed into silence by those who think the best posture to take with terrorists and their backers is a submissive one in the hope their evil gazes and evil actions will pass you by. By speaking up, you put them on notice that their vision of the world situation will not prevail.

    Peace is best. If peace is not on the table, choose which side you believe best represents your vision of how the world should be ordered. If you under attack, as in Mumbai, admit it, you would not choose the attacker’s vision.

  47. 47 Justin from Iowa
    December 1, 2008 at 18:23

    As long as people in a country support the terrorists, whether actively or simply through inaction, the government cannot protect them. The government’s job is to minimize the impact of terrorists, to make their damage as little as possible.

  48. 48 natalie sara
    December 1, 2008 at 18:30

    No, even my ‘corruption-free’ government could not prevent a terrorist escaping a detention center and he has been at large for a few months now! it was pretty scary at first because the center was opposite my school and there were commandos patrolling everyday till they ‘gave up’. my leaders blame the ‘complacency’ of the nation as a whole and have not taken responsibility and stepped down from their posts. how ever embarrassing, the government desires power over the nation and would not admit their mistakes for terrorism operating in home soil.

  49. 49 Dolapo Aina
    December 1, 2008 at 18:33

    Governments cant guarantee her citizens full security. The best they can do is a semblance of security or an illusion of it. If they can how do criminals and terrorists evade them?

    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  50. 50 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 18:35

    There are Americans here who have bought into their President’s gung ho attitude of hunting down “terrorists” so I started wondering how many Americans have actually been directly affected by terrorists acts. I found this by googling.

    In the past 10 years, more than 210,000 Americans have been the victims of criminal murder, more than 300,000 people have taken their own lives in suicide, 420,000 people have been killed in car accidents, 5,400,000 have died of cancer and nearly 7,500,000 have died of heart disease. In the same 10 years some 3,300 have lost their lives as a result of terrorism. Relatively few Americans know someone who has been directly affected by a terrorist attack whereas many know people who have died as a result of murder, suicide, car accidents cancer or heart disease. We might consider that part of what makes terrorism so frightening is that it is unfamiliar. …from the book Psychology of Terrorism by Bruce Michael Bongar, et al..

  51. 51 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 18:41

    @ selena

    That’s still changing the subject. While you’re more likely to die in a car accident than from terrorism, it’s because terrorist attacks are rare, due to the security precautions we take. If they took place on a daily basis, you’d be singing a different tune.

    If you recall after 9/11, the big fear was biological weapons attacks. You can kill a LOT of people with a tiny amount of agents like anthrax. IF they got their hands on it, and delivered it in an effective manner, , lots, and lots more people would die. same with nuclear weapons. So that 3,300 figure would rise to the millions. The thing is, we never know what capabilities the terrorist have. is it just AK-47s or is it going to be anthrax next time? there WILL be a next time.

  52. 52 gary
    December 1, 2008 at 18:47

    Governments dominant in the global economy cannot protect their citizens, for the simple reason that economic activities are predicated upon low cost acquisitions. Of course, the lowest costs are achieved by simple larceny. Then the “There’s no such thing as free lunch.” thing kicks in, and people die.
    If citizens of highly developed nations can be forgiven the naive belief their riches were earned, why shouldn’t citizens of poorer countries believe themselves victims of theft? Ultimately, the truth is of no importance what so ever. Only individual perceptions determine rich and poor, combatant or victim. Governments fight for survival in ways in which they are able. Accordingly, no reason exists for unique categorization of terrorism as a savage undisciplined warfare selecting the softest targets. People die in many ways. War is war, and “good” business decisions are easily as deadly as IEDs. Both ignore the cries of the innocent.

  53. 53 Jens
    December 1, 2008 at 18:48

    i have lived through the violent IRA campaigns in London. In fact I was within a mile radius of 4 major bombs having gone off during that time. Granted the IRA was trying to hurt Britain economically and usually call in warnings. neverthelss, all of these attacks did not intimidate me or made me live in fear. they actually may me more resilient and determined not have these terrorist destroy my life……

  54. 54 jamily5
    December 1, 2008 at 18:50

    You make a good point in your last post.
    Yet, we are not willing to put forth as much money and effort to fight … … let’s say “Heart disease.”

  55. 55 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 18:51


    Well said! You have summed up the crisis in a nutshell.

  56. 56 Raquel in Trinidad
    December 1, 2008 at 18:59

    I’m afraid not, there is little way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors, in rich and poor neighbourhoods there could be terrorists planning to kill and destroy lives and countries. No government, no matter how sophisticated could pre-empt every attack.

  57. December 1, 2008 at 18:59

    Hello/Good Evening and Good Morning to All,
    Terrorism is a mentality rather than just an act. To grapple with terrorism, we need to instill in the minds of Arabs, Israeli,America and her allies the message on peace and coexistence. There is too much double standards in the geopolitics of our time. Many of there cunning power plays are culminating into deep rooted hatred amongst people of the world. Governments the world over and all of humanity must confront terrorism from changing the mind set perspective. I believe with this, our world will be a safer place to live.

  58. 58 Jens
    December 1, 2008 at 19:03


    you are wrong about the biological agents. it is actually very complex and difficult to weaponize a biological agent and make sure that it is effectivly disaminated. and additional issue is that it can severly backfire. while anthrax, especially the pulmonary form is very leathal, it is fortunatly also very difficult to have an effectice delivery vehicle.

  59. 59 Ogola Benard
    December 1, 2008 at 19:03

    what security can a politician also provide with out knowing the technical parts involved with it? These well-to -do guys are actually supposed to be work out security measures around their political boundaries by cautioning the voters about suspicion leakage and by using the crime report by the police and other security agents! but where? A politician is always right according to his scope of knowledge not forgetting how much he should make the next season? how about my firm? My second wife!!
    However its everybody’s dutyto fight terrorism. Its something which affects all of us and it can not be left to the armed forces alone since the terrorist does not attack the hard copy but the soft copy which is the civilian.
    Its quiet shocking about how a group of armed men would gain entrance into another territory, gain access to hotels and start shooting indiscriminatingly? and engaging the countries forces for three day?
    Some years back my country was struck by planted bomb’s in taxies, parks,petrol stations, restaurants and hotels. once one left a brief case in a place, the whole place would empty in seconds. Everybody was suspicious.
    The government, then formed its force ” operation wembley”, perhaps operated by military lunatics – Am telling you! the blind saw, the lame walked,the damp spoke, the mad became sane and the deaf heard! street children where nolonger seen in the streets – there where no beggers and people lived in fear not to be on a suspect list.

  60. 60 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 19:03

    HOORAY!!!…You’ve got it I think.

    Maybe you have the right answer that if we become more resilient and pay less attention to the doom & gloom from the media the Islamic terrorist will lose their platform and this may stop.

  61. December 1, 2008 at 19:05

    My first post vanished in thin air. My argument is that we should confront terrorism from a mindset perspective. We need to instill in our people the mentality of peace, love, tolerance and mutual coexistence. America and others need to alienate their moribund strategy of divide and rule. This double standard is formenting too much hate around the world. Changing minds and changing attitudes will help to make our world a safer place.

  62. 62 Vijay
    December 1, 2008 at 19:09

    Governments have to value life and lives.
    Now that the haunts of the rich and famous have been targeted in Mumbai there is outrage , when thousands of ordinary people were killed in bomb blasts all over India the response was comparatively muted.
    In India life is cheap, lives are cheap, the rich and powerful have to learn that ordinary people are not just cannon fodder.

  63. 63 Robert
    December 1, 2008 at 19:10

    Can they protect us completely? No. So long as there is some freedom and privacy their will be somebody who’ll use that to harm us. Could they do more to protect us yes. To start they should better understand the who the opponent is so taht effective measures can be taken against them.

  64. 64 Betsy in Washington DC
    December 1, 2008 at 19:10

    Government has the obligation to protect its citizens, but it has proven time and again that it does not have the manpower to perform. This stems from its lack of concern for human life and more their own agenda. India’s terrorist attack and America’s response to 911 are cases in point.

  65. 65 Archibald in Oregon
    December 1, 2008 at 19:10

    @ Dan, Troop

    Understanding the plights of others and realizing ones complicity in making it that way is a long way from that oversimplified rubbish about “healing their inner child”. I say to all those who always advocate force over understanding. It is not meek to promote understanding and compassion. Conflict mentality is a tool to keep us from seeing one another for the humans that we are, simply, reacting to our environments in the only ways we and our respective societies know how.
    No government will be able to keep its people safe from the wild card murderers all the time, but, if they do not inform their people about the possibilities of such attacks and educate them as to how to deal them, then those who wish to do us random vicious harm will succeed.

  66. 66 Ana
    December 1, 2008 at 19:11

    Thank you for this discussion.
    My prayers and thoughts are with the people of India & Pakistan.
    The gov’t cannot defend its people from terrorism.
    We have to learn how to live with our brothers and sisters irregardless of our differences with respect and dignity.

  67. December 1, 2008 at 19:14

    Terrorism needs to be looked at from a global angle rather than just narrowing it down to Islamists. It is this prejudiced opinion about others that is helping to make our fight against terrorism difficult.

  68. 68 Siva, OH USA
    December 1, 2008 at 19:15

    This terror attack at Taj Hotel in Mumbai was a lesson to India.
    We need our Rich and Politicians to realize that what they do to keep people in poverty and lack of education will back fire on them and their families at some point of time. So politicians stop being corrupt and work for the people’s welfare! We need a more prepared defense force.

    India and pakistan should realize that the Western conspiracy of divide and rule of the Imperial era should not rule use even today! Is it that success of Lord Dallousie?

    Thank you.

  69. 69 Jens
    December 1, 2008 at 19:16

    @ Dan,

    in addition we have to move away from this false pretence that we can achieve 100% security or safety. I just look aty my place of work and the idea of 100% safety is now actually leading to a level of bureocracy that actually prevents work to be done. i work with nanoparticles and i have to do special safty classes, label all doors and fridges of my lab etc etc. meanwhile i cannot do the work, BUT whenever you combust something one creats nanoparticles……it’s beyond a joke. and the same thing with security, just look at the increasing lines at airports. the terrosist will win as long as we happily chop away at our own freedom.

  70. 70 Vijay
    December 1, 2008 at 19:17

    If I might paraphrase Governments have to be “Tough on terror tough on the causes of terror”.
    The causes of terror have not really been addressed at all since
    9/11,Chechnya,Israel/Palestine,Kashmir,American troops in Saudi Arabia ,the low statis of Muslims in India,Shia/Sunni divide and corrupt Muslim regimes.

  71. 71 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 19:23

    I applaud what I think you are trying to say but I think you have this turned around.
    In WWII Gandhi suggested that the Jews and others needed to submit to Hitlers will and walk calmly into the gas chambers as a non-violent protest.
    Through the passage of time we can see how foolish that was.
    I think that you need to train your preachings of living together toward the Muslims not the civilized people of the planet.

  72. 72 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 19:23

    Shutting down mosques would just drive the “terrorist” movement underground.

  73. December 1, 2008 at 19:24

    Governments could do a lot better to protect us. The people of Mumbai were badly let down by their security forces. They could have reacted to the information they received a lot earlier.
    Terrorism is ultimately a threat to the level of civilized living we have achieved, where we can walk about freely without having to be armed against those who do not understand how to cope with modernity and the real freedom, that comes from education and secularity.

  74. 74 Gerry
    December 1, 2008 at 19:25

    In the aftermath of a terrible terrorist attack it’s very easy to get carried away by emotion. The actual statistical likelihood of getting killed in an attack is less than that of getting killed by lightning. So let’s keep this in proportion and not once again allow those with an Orwellian agenda to introduce even more draconian laws to “combat” an exaggerated threat.
    Gerry, Berlin.

  75. 75 kimani from Nairobi kenya
    December 1, 2008 at 19:27

    we have been attacked by terrorists in this country.goverments cannot protect citizens from terror attacks.the best they can do is minimise both the gravity and re-currence of attacks.goverments’ actions are part of the radicalisation process.untill the US foreign policy is rationalised,terror will always be a way of life.thank you

  76. 76 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:30

    A comment was read on air about if you don’t give minority groups political clout, then there will be terrorism. While I somewhat agree with that if we presume these minorities have self control, why in the case of Mumbai was the targets the west and not actual Indian things if it was some oppressed minority group? I didn’t realize western tourists or rabbis and their wives oppressed Kashmiris. So in this case, would giving kashmiri muslims more political influence in india have prevented this given that it was non indians that were basically the primary targets?

  77. 77 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:32

    @ Selena

    If the “terrorist” (I presume you don’t consider them terrorists since you used quotation marks, tell that to the victims, were they killed by “freedom fighters”???) would move underground, then I presume the terrorists are above ground and in the open now? Are you suggesting they don’t even bother hiding their extremism?

  78. 78 Tony From Singapura
    December 1, 2008 at 19:33


    Let us consider the economics of death…

    Even though only some 3300 souls were lost to terrorism, the effect on the economy needs to be considered. As I recall the USA came to a complete standstill for several days after 911.

    Many of the 7,500,000 souls lost through heart disease contributed significantly to the economy through sales taxes on cigarettes etc, and created employment in the junk food sector. Subsequently they contributed massively to the health care industry during their convalescence and in so doing have helped to maintain a healthy demand for high-skill high-value jobs.

    We all have to die of something, it is better to do it in a manner which benefits the rest of the community.

    Death through terror attack is bad for business and as such it correct that governments should dedicate significant resources to it.

  79. 79 Denise in San Francisco
    December 1, 2008 at 19:33

    We need more diplomacy to determine the cause of terrorism and less police state tactics that takes away rights of the citizens we are trying to protect.

  80. 80 Michael in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    December 1, 2008 at 19:35

    Why is nobody asking why these extremists are carrying out terror attacks? What makes a young man with his whole life ahead of him take up arms? What are the conditions in their cages?

    Thank You

  81. 81 Sanjam Suri
    December 1, 2008 at 19:35

    Yes, government can protect its citizenry. I live in Canada and the government has passed tough anti-terrorism legislation to curb terrorism. The intelligence agencies are vigilant. The government has to be proactive rather than reactive. Indian government has been known for its oblivious nature. The Americans learned their lesson from one terrorist attack, however events like these continue to happen on Indian soil and the Indian government has been an utter failure.

  82. 82 Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite
    December 1, 2008 at 19:37

    I have not suffered any terrorist attack in the latest sense of the word but I have suffered planned violence which I consider to be an extreme act of injustice against a woman in Europe. To alleviate the suffering from terrorism Governments should cooperate internationally to nip the acts of terror at their inception but this is does not seem to be a simple thing to do. Thank you.

  83. 83 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:38

    @ Michael

    Who cares? There are lots of people who live in bad conditions that don’t target innocent people because they have some kind of grievance. The real question is how these people got so insane that they kill innocent people due to having some grievance? What mental illness is behind them killing over a grievance, and killing someone who has absolutely nothing to do with said grievance.

  84. 84 Khan Ali
    December 1, 2008 at 19:39

    It must be noted that the mess we are in, has resulted because of goverments across the world. The State of Israel’s creation was a terror attack on native people. Those people had no one to turn to and therefore they took up arms. Those people are now called terrorists.

    India has killed 100,000 people in Kashmir, those people’s families will have no law to protect them when the army of a country kills its own people. The result is the natives picking up arms. Those people are now called terrorists.

    Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Iraq, are all examples of bad goverments resulting in civil unrest who the opressing goverments call terrorism.

    Now to the main question can the goverments protect the people, my answer is yes they can if justice prevails, if the people starting from politicians to the military and extremists are all held accountable for the lives they have destryed. The goverments must provide justice in order to protect the people. I hope and pray that the people who rule us get the sense to learn that people can be killed but goverments will end up having more to be killed.

  85. 85 Cris
    December 1, 2008 at 19:39

    We continue to focus on trying to stop people who are willing to die for their beliefs, why do we not try to minimize their effect? Shouldn’t this be the focus? It seems to me that attacks like this are often committed by heavily armed men, why not reduce or stop the production of weapons? They used assault rifles and grenades, you cannot tell me that if these weapons weren’t made they would have still been able to hold themselves up for so long. We may not be able to stop homemade bombs, but if we really wanted to we could stop the production of most of the tools of terror and everyday violence.

  86. 86 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:41

    What is the guest talking about, with so many instances of people being asked to leave airplanes? That has happened, what a handful of times over the past years, and there are thousands and thousands of flights every day?

    If people are a threat to the flight, they’re going to get thrown off the flight, and rightfully so. I’m not prepared to die so that someone doesn’t get offended. I hope nobody else here would be willing to die to prevent offense to someone either. If you are, I recommend you see a psychiatrist.

  87. 87 selena in Canada
    December 1, 2008 at 19:41


    What are the conditions in their cages?

    Perhaps we are too afraid of the answer to ask the question. When the day comes when we can look at ourselves in the mirror, remove the logs from our eyes and confront our complicity in “terrorism”, we will be on the road to no more terror.

  88. 88 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:44

    @ Selena

    If we’re going to ask that question, why can’t we also ask the question that other groups living in the same areas, under “oppression” don’t engage in acts of terrorism. Let’s use Palestine for an example. Christians and muslims live under the same “occupation” yet ONLY the muslims conduct suicide bombings. So is it the conditions, or perhaps the religion that’s the problem?

  89. 89 VictorK
    December 1, 2008 at 19:45

    @Selena: shutting down mosques was my example on air.

    How would it drive terrorists underground? It’s not as if they are overt operators. Mosques would be closed for preaching hate (which plenty of them do here in Britain) or when a connection with a known terrorist had been uncovered (usually after the terrorist has committed an outrage, is dead, and has been identified).

    @Vijay: the causes of terror aren’t of any interest to some of us. The mess that the Muslim world and Muslim communities have made of themselves is their affair. I don’t see why any Western government should get itself involved with Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan (I support withdrawal from the last two, even if it means a bloodbath in one and a return to power by the Taliban in the other).

    It’s not the business of the West to bring freedom, democracy, prosperity, clean water and peace to Muslims anywhere in the world: they need only concern themselves with protecting their citizens against Muslim terrorism, by any means necessary.

  90. 90 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 19:47


    I am afraid you missed the point. Fewer than 3,000 people died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Should we have just said “Oh well…more people die in car accidents”?
    We went to war to end fascist tyranny and remove the darkness that was spreading over the world and secure Freedom. Had they prevailed you & I would not be exchanging views on this blog.
    In the end we are facing the exact same type threat but the names of the threat have changed.

  91. 91 Gerry
    December 1, 2008 at 19:51

    UN figures say that 2 million Indian children under the age of 5 die each year because of the lack of basic care. Maybe the Indian government should keep things in proportion and concentrate its resources on the bigger problem.

  92. 92 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:52

    @ Dan

    Don’t you get it? We should have looked to Japan’s grievance. The root cause of what made them attack us at pearl harbor, then we bend over backwards to seek their approval, ignore their rape of manchuria etc. See how silly the “understanding” them rubbish really is?

    Would understanding hitler, or offering him hugs have stopped WW2? Do people NEVER learn any lessons? Are people really this stupid? IS there ANY hope for humanity?

  93. 93 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:53

    @ Khan Ali

    Nice diflecting the blame. #1 Israel has NOTHING to do with India winning Kashmir from Pakistan. #2 The rabbi and his wife nad the others at the Chabad house have NOTHING to do with Kashmir. Again, why did the jihadi scum kill them? Need to make more excuses?

  94. December 1, 2008 at 19:56

    BBC, please ask the fundamental questions and get the world do debate them if you are honest and serious to end what we call terrorism, the murder of innocent, helpless and peaceful people. The questions are:

    What is terrorism?

    What action is terroristic?

    Therefore: Who is a terrorist?

    Blaming a group of people and calling them terrorists would neither solve the problem of the use of violence to advance, enhance, or sustain (or preserve) state, national, personal or group political, religious, economic. cultural, or globalisation interests.

    Maybe, I should begin this investigation by saying that the divide-and-rule strategy of the British government, while it had sway in the world, which set the people of the same history and the same or similar tradition against each other, is a cause that should be considered.

    Secondly, the strategy of using war to advance the eternal god and lord of the world interest and politics by the USA government, begun after the WW 2, is another cause that should be considered.

    We cannot be right to call reactionaries terrorists and terrorists democrats or promoters of human rights and freedom.

    Prince Awele Odor

    Lagos, Nigeria

  95. 95 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 19:57

    Most of the stories about muslims condemning the attacks, seem to be equally concerned about the image of islam, rather than the actual acts of terrorism. The terrorism should be completely condemned, with THAT being the motive of the condemnation, not worrying how people think your religion is.


  96. 96 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 19:57


    I agree mostly with you. I do not see anything of value to us or humanity in Afghanistan.
    If they want schools, roads, actual toilets and clean water that is their concern. Let Iran deal with Heroin problem that Afghanistan is flooding the dearly beloved Muslim neighbor with.
    Let the Israeli’s deal with the Palestinians and leave civilization alone.
    Iraq is another problem as they have the oil that we all need for the time being. Perhaps you are right that if we withdraw the Muslims in Iraq will kill each other off and we can get the oil for free.

  97. 97 David
    December 1, 2008 at 19:57

    They key here is to recognize the appropriate response. Terrorism kills far fewer people then say heart disease. The government’s job should be to simply shine an appropriate light on any sort of terrorism and to be straight forward in it’s response against the group/person that caused the problem but also in it’s communications with the people it governs. It should not conflate or confuse the people with their analysis of the situation. For example, had the US not given the group Al Queda it’s name, it is undoubted they would be less powerful. Since giving them the name their power to recruit has gone up and the calls for disproportionate reaction (invading Iraq or to even continue a war in Afghanistan) have only hurt us.

    We simply need to be more responsible and adult in our replies to what only equivocates to school yard bullies.

  98. 98 David
    December 1, 2008 at 20:02

    Sorry to double up but this is too good not to read:


    “War with Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks would be a huge error. President Asaf Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani certainly did not have anything to do with those attacks. Indeed, the bombing of the Islamabad Marriott, which was intended to kill them, was done by exactly the same sort of people as attacked Mumbai. Nor was Chief of Staff Ashfaq Kiyani involved. Is it possible that a military cell under Gen. Pervez Musharraf trained Lashkar-e Tayiba terrorists for attacks in Kashmir, and then some of the LET went rogue and decided to hit Mumbai instead? Yes. But to interpret such a thing as a Pakistan government operation would be incorrect.”

  99. December 1, 2008 at 20:07

    I believe that governments should be held accountable for its citizens safety and also for its citizens actions when outside of its country. example… if a citizen of Pakistan goes to India and bombs public places that citizen is representing Pakistan and should be held accountable by Pakistan. Each country needs to be held to a set of international rules that govern its behavior with other nations and its citizens behavior with other nations. There should be no hiding places that a terriorist can run to knowing they will not be punished for their actions. This sounds like a job for the UN but frankly I don’t see any teeth in the United Nations for holding countries accountable for their actions.

  100. 100 Jens
    December 1, 2008 at 20:08

    how can you combat and protect yourself against an individual, who is prepared to die for his cause, actually who is promised a better life and untold amount of virgins.

    you simple cannot. 100% security is a western illusion.

  101. 101 Khan Ali
    December 1, 2008 at 20:09

    @ Steve

    I am just pointing out that injustices result in people getting killed. Do you think terrorist kill becasue its Jihad, they kill becuase they are usally opressed.

    Leme put this in prespective by asking you this:
    why is that Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Thailand, Philipines all these places the seperatist movements are called terrorist orgainsations? what religion those people have in the regions where the sepreatist movements are running?

    Answer THEY ARE ALL MUSLIMS. Now is it that so many people follow jihadi ideology or they are really opressed. We need to figure out why are they bent on killing? and adress the concerns.

    The rabbi was a holy man and taking a father from a two year old is barbaric but so is killing 100,000 people. Who knows May be kashmiris feel that the killings are supported by US, UK and Isreal.

  102. 102 Syed Hasan Turab
    December 1, 2008 at 20:10

    Yes each & every Govt can do some thing with Terrorisam, beside India & Isriel, because these evil’s are founder father of current Terrorisam.
    Foundation of terrorisam started from double standard & injustice been demostrated in the early & middle of 19th century by European White Supermacy concept, R.Hitler is one of the extreem Charactor of terrorisam, though Birtish contibuted a lot too.
    Emotionally disturbed victom’s of 19th century terrorism are the founder father & leader of modern days terrorism.
    No doubt Ghandhi & Migrant Isrieli Jewish are Victom’s of Europen White Supermacy & old timer founder father of terrorisam are supporting them directly & indirectly, for there own national & International benifits.
    Being a Democracy beliver we want to dominate over majority why?

  103. 103 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 20:17

    @PacificNW Dan

    I am certain that the U.N. can send a harshly worded letter. They seem to be littered with wordsmiths and people who can debate ad nauseum but little else of any substance.

  104. 104 Steve
    December 1, 2008 at 20:18

    @ Khan Ali

    What did the rabbi have to do with killing Kashmiris? That they think Israel supports it is enough reason to target jews whereever they are? And what again is there to “understand” about people so insane that they think this way?

  105. 105 Khan Ali
    December 1, 2008 at 20:21

    @ Syed Turab


    @ Steve

    Justice for all, is it too much to ask from UN.

  106. 106 Dan
    December 1, 2008 at 20:24


    When do the women of these medieval sexually repressed countries stand up and tell the men that they will not be available to sexually service the men after they have murdered innocents?
    It seems to me that the women need to become more assertive and stand up for their own rights.

  107. December 1, 2008 at 20:24

    @Archibald in Oregon,

    One of the Canadians who got out of the Indian Hotel alive said, “It makes no difference whether you are Nom Chomcy or Pat Bucannan, they would kill you if they could. Your attitude or your politics mean nothing. If you are Western or just there they will kill you. They are the purest form of evil”

    Understanding has nothing to do with them. Just because you have arrived at a no interest in killing anyone……..that has nothing to do with their quest. It would be somewhat like trying to reason with a reptile either strangling you by being wrapped around your neck or facing a black Mamba inside a small chamber.

    You can believe heart and soul that you are not interested in hurting them, but they don’t actually care what you are thinking or doing they simply will kill you, nothing personal. You just have to go.

    Killing them as they show up is the main hope. Going into their lier would be like going into the nest of the Black Mamba. They simply must be found, closed with, and destroyed.

    We can go into their areas, amass gobs of boots on the ground (millions of us)
    surround their pockets and dens of numbers lure them into the attack, then kill snag-um, bag-um, tag-um, mount-um as trophies to our understanding.

    That really is the sad, sad truth of what we did to the enemies of WWII, only we had the Russians to do most of the fighting and dying. Now we need to do it with our prisoners and illegal immigrents.

    all the best,


  108. 108 Jens
    December 1, 2008 at 20:26

    @ Dan,

    they could also form a comitee that will then form a sub-comitee, that then will delegate the discission process to a chair led investigation board that then will submit a draft letter to the sub-comitee……………………….and then but only then a mildly harsh letter will be writen, which adresses nothing, since it would be un-PC to do so.

  109. 109 Mansur Dawaki, Kano, Nigeria
    December 1, 2008 at 21:20

    “No, no government, however powerful can really face the so-called terrorists’ threat, basically because governments are combinations of individuals with divergent opinions, while so-called terrorists’ groups are determined individuals of like minds with a common cause, even if it is viewed by everyone else as wrong or corrupt”

  110. December 1, 2008 at 22:54

    Only God holds the shield of protection over mankind…

  111. 111 Bert
    December 1, 2008 at 22:56

    Yes, governments can do something to help prevent terrorist attacks. National defense is THE primary duty of a government.

    The problem, as I see it, is not that a government can’t achieve 100 percent success at this. Nothing can be 100 percent effective. The problem is instead that in cases in which dramatic failures have occurred, such as on 9/11/2001, a reconstruction of the events shows that there were inexcusable oversights by the security apparatus.

    Rather than invade and conquer other countries in the quest of security, wouldn’t it be far simpler and far less objectionable to striclty monitor immigration, whether for tourism or any other reason? And it’s not like the warning signs aren’t fairly obvious anymore, right? No, you don’t focus your efforts on the elderly Norwegian couple, at airport security check points, as did some brain-dead security types I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing.

    Ever heard the medical term “triage”? It applies here too. You focus your efforts first on the most likely subjects. And you let the lefties do their expected ritual compaining about this, as they predictably and habitually do on this BBC blog.

    Not saying this approach would work well in India. But it can work quite well in many western countries. Triage, or profiling, call it whatever offends your sensibilties least.

  112. 112 Alec Paterson
    December 2, 2008 at 00:02

    Currently, many governments are in a state of denial regarding the enemy. Who has declared war on us? Of course, it isn’t generic terrorists, or the IRA or the Tamil Tigers. Rather, it is Muslims who quote the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad to justify waging war against unbelievers. Unless we clearly and directly label the terrorists, their ideology and the nations that sponsor them correctly — in terms of their Islamic roots — how can we defeat them and their ideology?
    To dismiss the Islamic content of the jihadists’ appeal to their fellow Muslims sidesteps the questions of why their version of Islam has gained such traction within the Islamic world. It leaves us with no idea why the jihadist claim to represent “true” or “pure” Islam has so much resonance among Muslims, such that armed groups are committing violence in the name of Islam in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Kashmir, Nigeria, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere around the world.
    Political correctness is putting national security at risk, when pretending that this present conflict has nothing to do with Islam. Our leaders have their heads in the sand.

  113. December 2, 2008 at 00:57

    I am afraid a country cannot protect its citizens if it’s armed forces are spread all over the seven continents, in places they weren’t invited, performing duties they weren’t asked to do. It doesn’t matter whose backyard you drive your car into, unless you were invited, you’re not going to be welcome. Especially after you drove your car through the vegetable garden.

    The older I get, the more protectionist I become.

  114. 114 Jennifer
    December 2, 2008 at 01:17

    I think people tend to put the thought of some situations out of their minds until said situation happens then there is an uproar. With terrorist attacks, there is always that sense of surprise. The government should and could protect it’s citizens however, I don’t see that happening as some do not want to give up certain liberties for security.

  115. 115 Roberto
    December 2, 2008 at 01:29

    RE “” What, if anything can governments do to stop a determined group from causing such catastrophe? “”

    ———– Most governments in the world have abdicated the governance part.

    Now, if terrorists threaten an economic interest that the politicians have been exploiting like the Mumbai attacks did, then major actions will be taken like Condi cutting short her Euro vacation, or is it official biz, I forget. Well, anyway, she’s on a tear to condemn the terrorists from the high moral ground she, (cough, cough, excuse me), the high moral ground she and her boss occupy……wink, wink, cough, cough.

    Little people will die needlessly every day whether terrorists attack or governments respond. That’s the history of the world with few exceptions.

  116. 116 Bobby
    December 2, 2008 at 03:00

    With a very fluid world of devisive politics, economic confusion and lack of certain direction? then, protecting citizens from terror attacks would seem to be a very critical thing to do because credibility in the world these days is hard to come by any nation. If governments cant protect their people in light of the not so good times going on, then their own last strands of credibility are in question.

  117. 117 DENNIS
    December 2, 2008 at 03:37

    I think that the in reality, governments can not protect the society from terrorism….I wish they could do more….

  118. 118 Tony From Singapura
    December 2, 2008 at 04:48


    >>What does Palestine have to do with the attacks in >>Mumbai?

    The point is that in order to understand the problem we need to appreciate the mistakes that were made to cause problems in the first place. There are two examples provided (one of them is the Israel issue) of how the British screwed up in management of this region in the dying days of colonialism.

    So there is a common thread that goes back to common colonial “occupation” and management of these regions. Linked as such, the Palestine issue is a highly relevent point.

  119. 119 hawhawnazibbc
    December 2, 2008 at 08:19

    Dear Hawhawnazibbc, , I was listening to “World Have Your Say”, discussion “Can governments really protect us from terrorism?”.

    Indian guy on to the radio states what is needed is more involvement in government, that voting for a party that does what it wants for 4 years is not good enough, and people should be more involved in decsision making, host translated this to “so you feel there should be greater security” The man said “yes this aswell”. The whole thread and meaning of his statement was skewed to fit NWO thinking.

    Then a letter read out, “I would like to thank Bush for making us all safer since he came to power” Now that person must be in a serious minority.

    No seriously dessenting voices, no coherant deissenting voices. we live in a police state. Listening to that rubbish 1984 is here. Bush/blair are (under all legal definitions)war criminals, 911 was an inside job.BBC is now hawhawnazibbc.

  120. 120 Short and Sweet
    December 2, 2008 at 09:31

    Can governments really protect us from terrorism?

    Time is a precious commodity. Let it not be wasted in useless discussions.

    It is time to make the graves in advance and bury the perpetrators, their sympathizers (explicit and implicit) and the political leaders who directly or covertly support them as in Pakistan.

    It is a ratio of about a billion versus six billion. When the terror comes home the Beast will be put to rest.

  121. 121 rick
    December 2, 2008 at 10:39

    Governments of the world need to shut down media publicity of such events. A few scumbags can dominate the entire world press for days on end. They get their pictures and names published and become instant heros to others like them. That is what they are after and it should be denied them. No pictures, no names, no organizations’ names.

  122. 122 ateeq
    December 2, 2008 at 10:54

    it was all done to put an intresting blame on pakistan …making most of their terrorism issue and yes they are blaming without evidence!

  123. 123 Agree with above
    December 2, 2008 at 11:53

    The BBC sold out to the NWO years ago, your documentary on 911, was biased and partisan, your discussions are prescribed and skewed. There is an air of “happy clappy squiky cleany” concerning discussions and anyone with anything of value or controversial is seldom heard.

    I remember when a US soldier who became a conscientious objector was interviewed on WHYS he was constantly accused and portrayed as someone who refused to defend his country, rather than someone who correctly refused to take part in an ILLEGAL WAR.

    Then on a discussion in Texas on executions it took a very pro execution stance.

    The BBC lost all credibility a long time ago, looking at any world crisis, on a number of channels, the bias of the BBC is obvious.

    We who resist the NWO recognize you BBC for what you are, a propaganda machine for evil men.

  124. 124 Hannes
    December 2, 2008 at 12:11

    No, never.

    “Terrorism” is not a single entity. There may be large organised syndicates like Al Qaeda or the Taliban but they are like the Mafia: everyone knows they exist but cannot pinpoint their exact location or activities. If either of these were discovered the terrorist group would simply move their base of operations or if the members were caught individuals just as capable of leadership as the captives would take over.

    Also, terrorism is an evolving concept and too fast in its changes that the governments chasing after its many tails like dogs would ever be able to catch it. Terrorism has an infinite supply of soldiers and an infinite supply of reasons to continue to exist: if the Iraqis decided that they were prosecuted too harshly by the Americans for example because of the many civilian casualties this would make the Americans the enemy. America would then move from being the “saviour” to being the “murderer”. While the government would be adjusting its scope to focus on this new threat, the new movement would have evolved to such an extent that it would become an organisation.

    It is the static nature of the conservative and tunnel-visioned governments that makes it impossible for them to catch something as diverse and rapidly evolving as terrorism.

  125. 125 M. Carter
    December 2, 2008 at 19:27

    Let us not forget the Crusades and the Inquisition. There is plenty of blood on Christian hands through the ages.

  126. 126 M. Carter
    December 2, 2008 at 19:28

    P.S. Was Hitler a Christian?

  127. 127 M. Carter
    December 2, 2008 at 20:09

    The whole Middle East is up-side-down due to American/Israeli and European foreign policy. The West is greatly responsible for the increase in terrorism.
    The Israeli/Palestinian problem is still a 60 year old festering sore on the side of this planet. Iraq and Afghanistan are a mess. Lebanon has had its infrastructure fractured after a long and painful re-growth. Syria and Jordon are host to a couple of million refugees. The West is busy manufacturing and selling weaponry and has spent trillions on their militaries and you think Muslims are the only cause of terrorism?
    Get real! You will never solve the problem if you only blame others for your own mistakes.

  128. 128 John LaGrua/New York
    December 2, 2008 at 20:59

    As long as the West continues to treat the Muslim world with contempt it will spawn violent reactions. The US Mid east policy supporting Isreal rather than acting as a peace maker wiil condemn the world to these attacks. There are those who prefer to blame the victims of these policies such the on going attempt to cover brutal suppression of the Palestinians by Isreal ,note the recent refusal of humanitarian aid by Libya to imprisoned Gaza..Factions in various countries have their special grievences which if ignored by governments will bring explosive incidents.Regretably, the US politicains are more concerned with serving groups like the Isreal Lobby than protecting the American peoiple..Not even the 9/11 attack awoke Americans to their complicity in the fostering of terrorism.The recent appointment of Rahm Emmanuel as White house Chief of staff,an ardent Zionist, veteran of the Ireali army ,son of a terrorist ,member of the notorious Irtgun gang is ominous portend of disaster for the Obama foreign policy.Wiih Emmanuel on the inside the Isreali intelligence will not need another spy like Pollard or Franklin .We may pay dearly for our arrogance!

  129. 129 Alec Paterson
    December 3, 2008 at 00:42

    We get the usual anti- Israeli diatribes from the jihadist supporters and their fellow travellers on this WHYS.
    M Carter – You mention the Crusades. “Well, what about them?” Violence committed in the name of other religions is logically unconnected to the question of whether Islam is violent.
    While the West has for some time now lamented the Crusades as mistaken, there has never been any mention from any serious Islamic authority of regret for the centuries and centuries of jihad and dhimmitude perpetrated against other societies. But this is hardly surprising: while religious violence contradicts the fundamentals of Christianity, religious violence is written into Islam’s DNA.

  130. December 3, 2008 at 02:29

    First of all,
    we consider that
    what is basic reason creating terrrism of insurgency?
    and thereafter should comments on this issue.

    the fact is that,
    terroris,insurgency has become a globle issue,
    governments including superpower are afraid about this esclating plague,
    powerfull armies looks failed before them,
    elected governments looks helpless before.

    i am of the view that,
    the treatment of plague is justic,
    reall justice,
    we should take a firm decision in this regard,
    we shouldn’t unjustice,
    unjustice is the basic reason of this esclating plague if responsile high profile continously avoiding this fact,
    you will see horrible destruction ,
    which finished everything.

  131. 131 viola
    December 4, 2008 at 23:48

    I agree.

    It is reasonable to ask why there is terrorism, just as it is reasonable to ask why there is any kind of crime, or why an addict is addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs. It’s even reasonable that every country needs to address causative factors.

    But it is not reasonable to assert that nothing should be done about terrorism or crime or addictions until after the reasons (causes) are fixed. It’s not reasonable to justify the use of terrorism as a weapon to murder innocents in the name of a religion that has millions who despise those tactics.

    As a woman, I could claim that the oppression of womankind by every society in the world could justify the creation of murder squads to force the monolithic evil of male testosterone-driven evil to give way to the peace-loving, cooperative and loving kindness of a female-dominated society. Laugh your head off then ask yourself how such an agenda that would murder innocents in the name of such an exemplary society would be any different from the one currently on the world stage.

  132. 132 David Mensah
    January 8, 2009 at 20:29

    They can’t protect us from terrorism all the time because, the terrorist change their tactics with time and when the governments are asleep at the wheel, as were all countries that have been victims of terrorist attacks in the last decade, then civilians die. As much as nobody likes the idea of loosing your rights to government anti-terror programs. Some level of scrutiny is needed to prevent such acts. The problem with this approach is that it has often been done in a discriminatory way, and about dealing with the root cause? Some terrorist just want to see the world burn, others are responding to what they see as oppression by others unto them. A thorough moral foreign policy on the part of influential nations can probably change attitudes of people who seek this method as a means of expressing sympathy for others.

  133. January 27, 2009 at 13:49

    Death is certain one day so don’t bother for that and keep on attaking on terrorists and their breeders, I am sure they will perish one day.

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