Tigers at bay
The Washington Times - Editorial: April 26, 2009
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, one of
the world's most violent terrorist outfits, are surrounded in northern
Sri Lanka and about to be destroyed - but Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton and European self-styled peacemakers are getting in the
way of victory. The meddlers should let Colombo finish off this menace.
In desperation, the Tamil Tigers are using tens of thousands of
locals as human shields. The Sri Lankan government declared a cease-fire
and called on the Tigers to release their hostages, but
unmanned-aerial-vehicle video footage shows the terrorists holding
masses of innocents at gunpoint, refusing them freedom. Last week, Mrs.
Clinton played into the hands of the terrorists by blaming the Sri
Lankan government for the crisis. "The entire
world is very disappointed" that they were "causing such untold
suffering," she said.
Foreign governments and aid organizations are calling on Colombo to
cease operations, fearing that further action will lead to a
humanitarian calamity. Norwegian Environment Minister Eric Solheim has
been the point man in trying to negotiate a new truce, but he has been
denounced by both sides.
In response to his unwelcome efforts, the Nation, a Sri Lankan
newspaper, editorialized that "the caravan of military operations has to
move on. The time has come to tell the salmon-eating international
busybodies to mind their own business."
The Sri Lankan government is justifiably confused and angry at the
international response to their progress. Sri Lanka has been fighting
the Tamil Tigers for over 30 years.
The Tigers pioneered the modern use of suicide bombing and have
killed thousands of civilians. A U.S. government expert on the group
tells us that the Tigers are "one of the most odious insurgent groups
around, and for a long stretch of time had more suicide attacks than the
rest of the world combined. It has made a cult of martyrdom
and violated every single previous cease-fire." During the most
recent truce, the Tigers took the opportunity to assassinate about 200
moderate Tamil politicians and the Sri Lankan foreign minister.
Last year, Colombo decided enough was enough and withdrew from the
cease-fire agreement. Using innovative counterinsurgency tactics, the
Sri Lankan defense forces dismantled the guerrilla network on land and
at sea. They drove the Tigers from their safe havens and bottled them up
in a four-square-mile patch of beachfront swampland.
Tiger leaders are hunkered down in underground bunkers trying
desperately to stave off their looming demise.
We can only imagine American satisfaction if we had al Qaeda in this
position. It is unconscionable for the United States to castigate its
Sri Lankan ally for prevailing in its war against terrorism.
The Tamil Tigers have purposefully created the conditions for a
humanitarian crisis and deserve neither amnesty nor mercy.
There are ways to help resolve this standoff that will not allow the
Tigers to snatch victory from the jaws of
defeat, such as providing military and intelligence support for
pinpoint strikes against the terrorist leadership. Failing that, the
Obama administration should mind its own business. The Sri Lankans are
winning; we should let them finish the job.