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Equally self-destructive responses

Reader comment on item: [Nepal and France:] Two Opposite Responses to Terrorism

Submitted by Josh (United States), Sep 14, 2004 at 11:08

Pipes, you have it wrong this time.

While the French response was pathetic and dangerous in its own right, the Nepali response was equally destructive -- self-destructive. What you failed to account for in your narrative of "the Nepali response" was the the domestic Nepali context in which the rioting took place.

Under the pressure of the current Maoist insurgency and years of economic discontent that forces Nepalis to go abroad to places like Iraq seeking higher yet still menial wages, Nepali society finally turned on itself. While anger was vented at local Muslims, the most damage was done to the premises of Kathmandu's overseas employment brokers that were all but destroyed by arson and vandalism. Furthermore, state security personnel did little to stop the attacks on either the Muslim institutions or the employment agencies.

You wrote "If history is a guide, the Nepalese thereby made a repetition of atrocities against themselves less likely."

Wrong, sir. The Nepali response was nothing more than the venting of explosive anger against the most convenient target. The local Nepali Muslim population had nothing whatsoever to do with the atrocities committed against their fellow countrymen in Iraq. These attacks are only one more crack in a society that is increasingly fractured and for the first time highlighted for all the country and world to see that Nepal is in danger of collapsing into chaos unless governance issues are soon solved.
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