[EDITORIALS]Terror in Bali

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[EDITORIALS]Terror in Bali

The nightmarish terror of Sept. 11 is yet to fade from our memories, and now another terrorist attack has taken more than 180 innocent lives on the resort island of Bali in Indonesia. Whether the attack was carried out by forces sympathetic to Al Qaeda or another group with different objectives remains unclear.

There always has been terrorism in the world, but the recent attacks are different. Formerly, such attacks were staged by groups with specific political objectives against governments and military installations. But the new series of attacks are random and aimed at civilians. This is why the international community is enraged, calling the attacks an "invisible war" and "a shameful, dirty war." The blast in Indonesia has invigorated nations' resolve to form a world-wide anti-terror coalition to counter the attacks.

The terror attack on Bali clearly shows that the world did not enter a peaceful era after overcoming the "state terrorism" of the Cold War. Rather, the world is facing an unprecedented war that is both "invisible" and "dirty." As President George W. Bush said, the Bali incident reconfirms that a war against terrorism is inevitable and cannot be delayed.

But the incident does not itself justify the American plan to invade Iraq and does not automatically open up a new war frontier.

The international community has been rock-solid in carrying out the war against terrorism. Many countries, though, have vociferously expressed their opposition to plans to invade Iraq, and the international anti-terror coalition has shown signs of disintegration. Eradicating terrorist forces like Al Qaeda and an invasion of Iraq are two different matters; the former does not provide justification for the latter.

After the Bali incident, the international coalition against terrorism needs to be strengthened and its resolve to fight terrorism must be renewed.

Rather than trying to find justification for invading Iraq in this latest incident, the United States should conduct an international investigation aimed at finding out the truth and locating the forces behind the incident.

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