March 30, 2007:
While the users of suicide bombers
may not have noticed, the track record
of such tactics shows that it doesn't work. In fact, this particular weapon
actually backfires. Consider the facts.
The Tamil separatists of Sri Lanka (the LTTE)
pioneered the modern use of suicide bombers over twenty years ago. The LTTE was
particularly effective at attacking senior politicians and security officials.
But each attack just made their opponents angrier. The LTTE is now being
defeated, partly by an enraged Sri Lankan population, and partly dissention and
demoralization within their own ranks.
Hizbollah was the next to pick up on suicide
bombers. While Hizbollah claims to represent the Shia minority in Lebanon, it
has brought itself increasing resistance from the majority of Lebanese by
acting in support for foreign nations. Actually, Hizbollah has largely
abandoned suicide bombing, apparently noting the downside of the tactic.
Palestinian terrorists adopted the use of suicide
bombing against Israel in 2000. The Israelis eventually developed tactics that
defeated this weapon, The Palestinian attacks destroyed the substantial support
within Israel for a Palestinian peace deal, and increased support for stronger
measures against Palestinian terrorism. The Palestinian terrorists are still at
it, although many Palestinians admit that the tactic has failed, and been
Al Qaeda also adopted suicide bomber tactics,
particularly in Iraq. This turned out to be a major error. So many Moslems were
killed, particularly women and children, that Arab public opinion turned
against al Qaeda. Even Sunni Arabs in Iraq have been fighting al Qaeda, despite
the fact that al Qaeda is committing all this mayhem in the name of Sunni
Al Qaeda began using suicide bombers in Pakistan
four years ago, and were promptly taken apart by an enraged Pakistani
government, with much public support. This, despite many Islamic conservatives
in the government. Al Qaeda was largely driven out of most of Pakistan, and
confined to the tribal areas along the Afghan border. Here, the Taliban had a
lot of influence, and al Qaeda has convinced the Taliban to support a suicide
bomber campaign in Afghanistan. In the last six months there have been nearly
80 suicide bombing attacks in Afghanistan, over fifty percent more than in the
previous six months. This campaign has been even less successful than previous
ones. The Taliban do not have the experienced support personnel (bomb makers
and bomber handlers) to make most of the attacks successful by any measure.
Meanwhile, most of the victims are Afghan civilians. Naturally, Afghans see
these foreigners (Afghans are difficult to recruit as suicide bombers) as
murderers who do not have Afghan interests at heart.
Suicide bombing is described as a weapon of the
weak. What it cannot be described as is a weapon of the victorious. In the last
few decades, whoever used suicide bombers not only failed to gain anything, but
saw their cause harmed in the process. You can draw your own conclusions.