Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fight Fire with Fire

Here's an essay I wrote a couple of years ago in the Sars Era. It isn't half bad!

Terrorism is getting quite irksome now a days. Some innocent people face the wrath of the gun in some obscure place. And before you know it, some plane gets hijacked, with the Hijackers demanding the release of some hardened criminal or the other. IC 814 comes to mind immediately.

The Indian government, with some reservations (which many hold were merely cosmetic) released a criminal whose name is just not worth mentioning (and remembering). This act of setting the criminals free, secured the release of the passengers. So, at least the passengers are free. So, there’s very little that a democratically elected government can do with such cases of terrorism. Governments like ours’ (who have the popular opinion to worry about) have to set the miserable terrorists free. As one my friends in a turban would definitely not fail to remark: “The Indians are like sitting ducks”!

The fact that they (the terrorists) hold the people hostage actually means that they think the venture profitable. One way to stop this hostage menace is to ensure that the transaction is not profitable. Surely, when terrorists realize that they cannot secure the safe release of their people, they will stop causing inconvenience to the general public by taking them hostage whenever they are short of activists.

I will go as far as recommend a few methods to ensure that the process does not result in the safe release of terrorist prisoners.

AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is a disease that people think is threatening the world. People are, of course doing a lot to battle it. There is an entire school of thought (which includes myself) that reckons that more than AIDS, it’s the sex they are against (and consequently overpopulation). That’s a different story altogether.

The release of an imprisoned terrorist presents before the releasers an incredible opportunity of spreading AIDS to the entire terrorist network. The procedure is quite simple – it just involves the administration of a syringe of HIV positive blood into the bloodstream of one of the terrorists to be released while he or she (Lest the reader accuses me of male chauvinism) is not conscious.

If the government reckons that AIDS is too slow, there’s other ways out. The speculative reader would probably have taken the cue and realized that there are as many methods as there are fatal diseases. Diseases such as Small Pox, Ebola and Distemper among others present a vast array of opportunities to do away with the enemy. And with the Sars virus doing rounds today, one begins to wonder.

There are constraints, of course. Just like any real-life problem. Some of the important conditions are

  1. The disease should not ‘kick in’ during the process of release of the hostages
  2. The terrorist who is being released should not know about his (or her) impending fate.
  3. The only people who should know about this should be the people who are releasing the terrorist.

With the advent of nanotechnology and other such modern sciences, one can actually do better than kill just a mere terrorist. One can actually go ahead and wipe out an entire community of terrorists. Demands for the release of terrorist prisoners can actually be viewed as golden opportunities to rid the world of the plague that is terrorism. The following text shall attempt to elaborate the above claim.

It is just a matter of time before the geniuses that inhabit the labs in India start using their ingenuity and develop explosive devices capable of destroying a whole lot of people within small pills. ( They can always buy the technology from US if the geniuses fail). Everything has a price. The US will give it dirt cheap anyway, to ensure the Indian geniuses do not develop a comprehensive understanding of how the damn thing is made.

If ever, we acquire all of the following, we can, once in for all wipe out a large portion of the terrorist fraternity.

  1. A micro explosive that can be triggered by a remote control. This can be housed within a person. The remote control should have a few thousand kilometers as an operating radius.
  2. A method to house the device within the individual (the latter not having any knowledge of the plan) ( Food for thought for the geniuses at the Indian Medical Schools).
  3. A micro position sensor, as well as a video and audio transmitter. Four sensors in all – in different directions.

The method is quite obvious and does not need any further elaboration. But since I have time to spare, I shall elaborate, anyway. The device is exploded when subject is in a crowded area (with the tacit assumption that the crowd shall be that of fellow terrorists). Peace shall thus prevail.This does, as a matter of fact stress the urgent need to pursue research in vital fields such as nanotechnology.

There is of course, an ethical side to the story. Would it be ethical on our side to kill a cruel terrorist who almost caused the death of hundreds of people? Well, let’s put it this way- Would it be ethical on our side not to kill a cruel terrorist who almost caused the death of hundreds of people, when we could?

A distinction must be made with biological warfare. Biological warfare implies the usage of germs to get rid of innocent people. Here we are using our parasite collaborators to get rid of hardened criminals whom we would kill if we had the chance to. It’s time we kept one step ahead of the enemy.

However, one must bear the repercussions in mind. Just think how easy it is to acquire lethal poison and mix it in a city’s water reserve. The result shall be nothing short of a mass genocide. An aggravated terrorist could resort to such cowardly yet effective methods. Terrorists have no honor – if they do not stoop low, who shall?

If we were to anger our enemy to such an extent, then we would stand to lose. In my humble opinion, moderation is the only way out. I might as well have not written this essay.

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