At Least 92 Dead After Tamil Rebel Attack on Naval ConvoyYou can read the full story if you want, but even in this excerpt, two things should jump out at you. First of all, the report refers to the Tamil Tigers as "rebels," not terrorists. The only reference to terrorism at all is in a quote from the Sri Lankan military. On one hand, this isn't surprising because we have been conditioned to think that only Islamic radicals are capable of committing terrorist acts. On the other hand, if this had happened in Iraq, it would have been considered the work of terrorists. But since the suicide bombers weren't Muslim, they are merely rebels.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Tamil Tiger rebels rammed a truck loaded with explosives into a naval convoy in central Sri Lanka on Monday, killing at least 92 sailors and wounding more than 150, in what the military described as a cold-blooded massacre.
"All these people were without weapons and were going on leave," military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.
Samarasinghe said the attack happened near the town of Dambulla, about 90 miles northeast of the capital Colombo, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rammed a small truck loaded with explosives into a convoy of military buses. The blast killed 92 sailors, while more than 150 were wounded and evacuated to nearby hospitals.
He said the buses were carrying sailors from the port town of Trincomalee.
President Mahinda Rajapakse's office said in a statement that the attack "was further proof of the LTTE's unmitigated commitment to violence to achieve its ends and was in total disregard of international demands for it to abandon violence and seek peaceful means to achieve its goals."
The military called the attack, one of the deadliest since a Norwegian-brokered 2002 cease-fire, a "cold-blooded massacre."
"This inhuman act is a clear revenge by the terrorists on the navy who inflicted successive defeats for LTTE against their attempts of smuggling arms and explosives," a military statement said. ...
... Fighting has left about 2,000 people dead this year, according to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, set up to oversee the cease-fire.
The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority in the north and east, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. About 65,000 people were killed before the 2002 cease-fire.
The second thing you should have noticed was how long this conflict in Sri Lanka has been going on: 23 years. The Sri Lankan government hasn't been able to suppress the rebellion within its own country in almost a quarter of a century. What makes us think that we, as outsiders, can do any better in Iraq?