THE two pictures, published on separate pages of this paper yesterday, one of Kashmiris and the other of Palestinians, both thrown behind bars by equally ruthless governments, bring home to the viewer a heart-rendering tale of anguish, frustration and helplessness in such a telling manner that the spoken or written word would fail to do. The children, holding bars in their hands, with a look of pain and confusion about what lies in store for them, are a standing rebuke to the powerful global players, who go about lecturing and promising justice and fair play every time they step out of their homes. And in these two particular cases, the shaming finger must be pointed at the principal supporter, the United States of America, of the iniquitous Israel and India, and must bear direct responsibility for whatever happens to the poor, wretched people whom they have enslaved. The intellectual hypocrisy of the modern-day world order can be judged from the fact that those who command influence are perpetually seen trying to remove the immediate causes of friction, and that too in favour of the mightier, but meticulously shying away from the challenge of facing the root cause of the problem or simply refusing to acknowledge the truth. Since there - in removing the root causes - lies the secret of peace and harmony, real success evades them. Thus, as we have seen in the decades-old suffering of Kashmiris and Palestinians, no accord or patch-up lives up to its promise of solution. If we were to set aside Al-Qaedas terrorist role for a while, and have a dispassionate look at the list of demands made by one of its spokesmen, Adnan Gadahn, in a video broadcast in the US on Sunday, we might find a lot of rationlality in them. After all, if he demands the end of all support, both moral and material, to Israel, right-thinking people anywhere would agree with him. There would be no two opinions that the analogy would have an equal application to India. The same conclusion would hold true about his call to the US to pull out its soldiers, spies, security advisorsand all other American personnel, ships and aircraft out of every Muslim land His words certainly do not imply the end of all peaceful contact but are an expression of centuries-old pent-up feelings of Muslims exploited by the Western imperialist powers that are now led by the US. Similarly, the inhuman treatment meted out to Muslims picked up on suspicion of terrorist links, without any proof, is neither a secret nor the demand of their release questionable. The powers pursuing the so-called war on terror have to drastically review their policies and put an end to their reign of cruelty and subjugation of foreign lands, if they want to see the last of militancy in the world. Not only would this be a better way to counter Al Qaed, but it would be a memorable service to humanity.