Letter of September 1st 2000
from Jacques Gaillot

The anxiety of terrorist attacks

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The anxiety of terrorist attacks

In down town Moscow eight people were killed in a terrorist attack and one hundred were wounded. In Spain, twelve terrorist attacks have been committed since December. A feeling of fear and insecurity is created by this insane violence.
In Russia one thinks evidently about an attack from Chechnya. President Poutin said:" pursue till the end what we are doing in Chechnya" because " there is no other way to fight terrorists, we are going to kill them in their lairs" Poutin said the same thing a year ago and repression has solved nothing, terrorists are still there. Unfortunately we have to expect more terrorist attacks.
In Spain, Azmer, is standing firm against terrorists: " We have to fight them more than ever"
However these strong messages did not stop the attacks and everybody is scared about the ones to come.
I evidently condemn these barbaric acts, they will recoil on those who commit them. One cannot prepare the future with such actions. However against such blind violence, condemnation is not enough neither is indignation. And repression does not end violence, it does the opposite!
What to do to get out of this infernal cycle? Experience teaches us that it is a political negotiation that helps.
In Spain there has been a truce from ETA and the start of negotiation. This opportunity has been used. It was a failure and terrorist attacks re-started. The uncompromising attitude of Madrid, and the ETA failing can only restart the fighting.
I appreciate that in Corsica we managed to speak together to prepare the future after so many years of violence. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are still going on, whatever the difficulties. Finally the last Irish political prisoners got out of jail in Northern Ireland. One of the painful chapters of history is over!
Negotiation cannot be avoided. It is better than to be forced to negotiate after wasting time. It will prevent immense damages, because one single life has no price.