3
   

Middle Eastern Terrorism:Thoughts on Cause,Source,Deterrence

 
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 12:23 pm
timberlandko wrote:
I dunno that CdK is alltogether just playing "Devil's Advocate" here; I think he really does disagree in principle.


Indeed I disagree in principle. Not so much with the principle that rewarding terrorism is counterproductive so much as with absolutism in principle. I am wary of anything proposed as the sole logical option to a diverse problem. Before I cause all sorts of misunderstanding let me clarify that I am not speaking of absolutism on the part of participants here (though timber's "no other logical way" was a coincidental reminder) but rather in the way I have seen advocacy of the "no negotiation" policy by absolute standards or principles become itself problematic.

I am seeing lots of "anecdotal solutions" (I made that up, lemme know if it needs clarification) and will address them when I get a break. I will say that I think some of the arguments here are in urgent need of caveats.
0 Replies
 
steissd
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 01:47 pm
Fishin' wrote:
the primary desire of the Palestinian terrorists is to get the Israeli government to recognize them as the legitimate represenatives of the Palestinian people

The Oslo agreements granted them such a status, but this did not prevent terror. Their real objective is extermination of state of Israel. It is an irrational objective (just like this of Hitler and Nazis), therefore it is very difficult to negotiate with them. A compromise may be achieved by means of partial fulfilment of the counterpart's requests. But it is impossible to extinguish Istrael partially...
0 Replies
 
Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 06:17 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
timberlandko wrote:
I dunno that CdK is alltogether just playing "Devil's Advocate" here; I think he really does disagree in principle.


Indeed I disagree in principle. Not so much with the principle that rewarding terrorism is counterproductive so much as with absolutism in principle. I am wary of anything proposed as the sole logical option to a diverse problem. Before I cause all sorts of misunderstanding let me clarify that I am not speaking of absolutism on the part of participants here (though timber's "no other logical way" was a coincidental reminder) but rather in the way I have seen advocacy of the "no negotiation" policy by absolute standards or principles become itself problematic.

I am seeing lots of "anecdotal solutions" (I made that up, lemme know if it needs clarification) and will address them when I get a break. I will say that I think some of the arguments here are in urgent need of caveats.

I disagree with your very assertion that only one solution is being persued, just because negotiation is not one of them. (I don't need to explain why I think negotiation would be a bad move.)
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 11:30 pm
Actually you do need to explain it. When you bring up the slippery slope make sure to illustrate that it exists because unproven slippery slopes have the potential to be logical fallacies.

In any case I maintain that the "no negotiation" rule (which I happen to advocate in many situations) is applied erroneously more often than not and is often a pretext for one's own lack of reason in a conflict.

I have a few days off so if I wake up I'll address these arguments.
0 Replies
 
Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2003 11:59 pm
Craven - No. I wrote that I don't need to 'splain it, not because I don't care to, but because I already expressed my thoughts on that specific issue earlier in this specific discussion. Please see my earlier comments if you missed them. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2003 06:48 pm
In dealing with terrorists and terrorism in general I would eliminate the word entirely. The words imply a rightful cause and thereby validate the actions of these criminals. I would leave the debate of which side is right and wrong to historians and their valuable abilities of hindsight. We should take, but also, define the moral high ground by including all individuals as valid citizens of the world who not only enjoy the protection of but also are bound by simple laws. Every country has codified, in some form, "God's Laws"; specifically "Thou shall not kill". If someone walks into a disco with malice aforethought and commits murder, he/she and those who planned the murder should face the full force of murder in the first degree and conspiracy charges and the required penalties. The only terms used to label them should be "murderers". Similarly, those robbing banks for sustenance of "The Cause" are merely "thieves" and nothing more.

If we so proceed, negotiation is now no longer a problem. Did we negotiate with mass murderer Jeffery Dahmer or Washington Sniper Lee B. Malvo? Perceived "Negotiations" with murders and bank robbers is more related to lessening collateral civilian casualties and prison terms and not to an exchange of "Goods" leading to bettering their positions in life. In addition, those nations not wishing to participate in the prosecution of such criminals should receive strong incentives to do so.

I suspect that one can make a comparison between IRA and Al Qaeda, but global importance heavily weights the current conflict with the latter specifically and the Middle East in general. The ME contains two economic entities that cannot be ignored because of their real life importance to the world in general: The Suez Canal and the region's Oil. However, the political force of Islam adds immensely to the almost insolvability of the area's animosity towards the West. To resolve this conflict we must, as citizens of Western civilization, come to a hard decision.

How are we in the "West" to deal with an Islamic Society that has proclaimed not only a disdain for our way of life but foresworn to initiate all efforts to eliminate our very existence?

For, until we force ourselves to a resolution of this conflict, we will be vexed and harassed by followers of an ideology* that dreams of our destruction. To ignore this is to try to deny the presence of the elephant in the room. Many blame those in the West using terms as Imperialism, Colonialism, or Expansionism. Others blame Islam. What is abundantly clear is that if we want to maintain a presence in the ME, and we must for the economic safety of the world, Islam must be marginalized in the ME.In my examination of Islam itself I have come to this glaring conclusion: Islam is uncompromising in its pronouncements, it must be Islam and nothing else. According to Islamic teachings any society based on any other ideology is an abomination of Islam by its very existence and must be eradicated.

So is it a "black and white" or "us against them" duel to the death struggle we are locked into? Well...Yes, as long as we aspire to influence in the region. Can we compromise with Islam maybe just a little? Given how ME Islamists view compromise as a demonstration of a weak position, the answer is No. (Saddam's recent prewar behavior in relation to the UN and its members is an excellent lesson on this if any body wishes to pay attention to it.)

As I have alluded to in my footnote and elsewhere, perhaps the key to dealing with Islam's Iron grip is to engage it as the west did Communism. But, instead of supplying arms to the subject nations of Islam we use the carrots of education, humanitarian efforts, and economic assistance. Those identifying chronically with Islam should be respected but relegated to the political wilderness. We could start with Iraq and push the formation of a libertarian constitution thereby allowing Iraq's people freedom to pursue personal liberty, property, and the means to retain both. Iraq's Oil should be put in trust for the people. Its main use should be to support basic infrastructure, health care, and free education for all its people and reward academic excellence with stipends and scholarships to Western Universities. Overall, none of the oil revenues should be dispersed as ordinary income directly to individual Iraqis (ala Native Americans receiving their share of Alaskan Oil revenues). The rise of a liberal economic middle class of merchants and professionals should be sought and supported. Freedom of the media encouraged and, if we provide anything absolutely free to each and every Iraqi, it should be satellite TV.

Paramount in marginalizing Islam is the separation of Islam from government, indeed inclusion of Sharia (Islamic Law) should be especially proscribed in the constitutional make-up of ME states. A couple of questions must be put forth: Can we do this? Well, western democracy did out last Communism so the final question must be: Are we willing to do this? If we are not, then we might disengage from those nations in the ME and brace ourselves for a lifestyle imposed upon us from perhaps a Confucian/ME (Sino/ME) alliance. However, half measures will not suffice in defense of our way of life, ...they never have.

* Islam is more Ideology than religion. Just as Bolshevism in Russia pervaded all aspects of the people's lives so does Islam. The presence of a "God" makes little difference since "the gospel" or its interpretation ultimately depends upon a select few humans.

Respectfully,

JM
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2003 01:53 pm
Talking "roots of terrorism" ...

I know I've gone on & on about the dangers of American "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"-style policy-making. I've also bored people about Uzbekistan before. But this time I got a link ;-) (another one from TNR again).

Quote:
Once, American conservatives allied themselves with Islamic extremists in Central Asia to fight Leonid Brezhnev's Soviet Union. Now, they are eagerly developing a friendship with a ruler little different than Brezhnev to fight Islamic extremists. [..]

But, far from helping in the fight against terrorism, this support is likely to spawn new extremists. Alan Kreuger, a Princeton economics professor, and Jitka Maleckova, a Middle East expert at Charles University in Prague, have found that, while it is difficult to demonstrate links between terrorism and poverty or education, there is a close correlation between countries producing terrorists and having a poor record of political rights and civil liberties. Freedom House ranked Uzbekistan just a little above Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This year, the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal put it one hundred forty-ninth on their joint rankings of economic freedom in 156 countries--worse than Burma. Indeed, Uzbekistan's mix of political and economic repression; underground Islamic movements; and a youthful, disillusioned, and unemployed population could prove fertile ground for terrorist recruiters.


or to put it this way:

Quote:
Uzbekistan under Karimov is becoming an increasingly repressive and impoverished place, with a horrible human rights record. Economic power has been grabbed by a tiny corrupt elite who have enriched themselves on the back of an exploitative cotton industry. At least 6,000 people are in prison for their religious beliefs. Men who venture outside their homes wearing skullcaps and beards are arrested for being "wahhabis," the local term for anyone who spends too much time at the mosque. The police extract confessions through torture, and compliant judges sentence dissidents to lengthy terms in Jaslyk, a notorious prison camp where last year two religious detainees were boiled to death. An accident with a kettle, the government says. An example of systematic abuse of prisoners, says the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture. [..]

In 2002, the State Department issued a limp statement criticizing a fraudulent referendum Karimov held to extend his term in office. Two days after the statement was released, a senior American official announced a tripling of aid for Uzbekistan. [..]

And so a population that aspires to all things that the United States offers is starting to become sullen and resentful at the unquestioning support Washington gives their dictator. Moderate Muslims who want to worship in peace are finding all forms of religious expression and political opposition closed off to them except the underground mosques. Middle-class families are being squeezed out of their businesses by a rapaciously corrupt elite. Young men with no prospects are turning bitter and disillusioned. We know how this story ends.


Tashkent Dispatch: Steppe Back
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2003 02:30 pm
To save Uzbekistan - and so many other states like it - from becoming the pressure cooker of tomorrow's enemies and terrorists, only one approach, however awkward a road it may seem, offers a long-term solution (if its not too late).

Support and reward democratic reform, respect for human rights and transparent government, and those devoted to it, whether in government or opposition - even if they don't happen to agree with you. And give those who represent the opposite the cold shoulder - even if it seems to be at the cost of short-term strategic interests.

Short-term strategic interests have led the US to support the Mujahedeen and Osama against the Soviets, the Red Khmer against the Vietnamese, Colombian paramilitaries against the FARC, Mobutu and many like him against real and imaginary Red threats. But totalitarian states foster a dangerous cocktail of violence and resentment, and warlord-guerrillas reshape their countries and societies in their own image. Which is bad news to them, but no less to ourselves, in the long run.
0 Replies
 
JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 06:42 pm
nimh,

Thanks on the update and link. I am going to visit the link because this shows some similarities with the failing U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. This U.S. administration is failing to follow through in a number of international situations and is throwing away good opportunities after investing American Blood/Treasure. I just learned from one NYT columnist that the U.S. appointed Iraqi Leadership Council charged with temporary government duties and the development of a Iraqi constitution is made up mostly of those picked by the U.S. (specifically the Pentagon). This is exactly what most Iraqis said they would not accept. Isn't this what the soviets did in Kabul ...or is it just me?

JM
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 05:02 pm
nimh wrote:
To save Uzbekistan - and so many other states like it - from becoming the pressure cooker of tomorrow's enemies and terrorists, only one approach, however awkward a road it may seem, offers a long-term solution (if its not too late).

Support and reward democratic reform, respect for human rights and transparent government, and those devoted to it, whether in government or opposition - even if they don't happen to agree with you. And give those who represent the opposite the cold shoulder - even if it seems to be at the cost of short-term strategic interests.

Short-term strategic interests have led the US to support the Mujahedeen and Osama against the Soviets, the Red Khmer against the Vietnamese, Colombian paramilitaries against the FARC, Mobutu and many like him against real and imaginary Red threats. But totalitarian states foster a dangerous cocktail of violence and resentment, and warlord-guerrillas reshape their countries and societies in their own image. Which is bad news to them, but no less to ourselves, in the long run.


"To save Uzbekistan - and so many other states like it - from becoming the pressure cooker of tomorrow's enemies and terrorists" ...

... too late, it seems <sighs>

Terror or insurgency in Uzbekistan, US Ally?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 07:04 pm
Mike Huckabee on Islamic fundamentalism:

Quote:

(source)

Works for me.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 01:45 am
nimh wrote:
Mike Huckabee on Islamic fundamentalism:

Quote:
Islamic fundamentalism is like an explosion — the terrorist leadership is the spark, the oppressed lower class is the fuel, and the middle class is the firewall.

(source)

Works for me.



That link led me to a US campaign blog?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 05:25 am
dlowan wrote:
nimh wrote:
Mike Huckabee on Islamic fundamentalism:

Quote:
Islamic fundamentalism is like an explosion - the terrorist leadership is the spark, the oppressed lower class is the fuel, and the middle class is the firewall.

(source)

Works for me.

That link led me to a US campaign blog?

Yep - Huckabee is one of the Republican presidential candidates; the candidate of rank-and-file evangelical Christians, one could say. He makes a surprising amount of sense when he doesnt talk about creationism, abortion etc.

The quote is from the blog's item on him called "FOLK THE WAR ON TERROR!".

(The link should point directly to the right item - the # bit of the URL is a bookmark that should point to the right place on the page. If it doesnt work just scroll down till you see that headline, its close to the top, or use Find.)
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Oct, 2015 08:17 pm
@JamesMorrison,
JM offered the following definition:

" Terrorism: Those acts engaging in or supporting political action by violent means of which the defining entity disapproves."

This would include the American Revolutionary War and many acts leading up to it, since it was violence supporting political ends and the British government disapproved. A definition of terrorism ought to distinguish between guerrilla activity targeting military forces in military (if irregular) engagements, and actions targeting ordinary civilians. Making political goals a necessary part of the definition is problematic to the extent that some violent acts (e.g. bombing a church simply because it is used by members of another religion) may have weak or nonexistent political underpinnings.

Causes of Middle Eastern terrorism, even taking appearances at face value, also have varying character. Most victims of terrorism in the Middle East and Asia are not American or European governments or persons, but members of rival religious sects (e.g. Sunni and Shia) or different religions (Muslims and Buddhists or Christians) or different ethnic groups, tribes, or national allegiances (Pakistan and India).

In the case of the Sunni and Shia conflicts that underpin most Middle Eastern terrorism, albeit sometimes camouflaged by nationalist and secessionist coloring and exacerbated by historical violence between groups, its difficult to see how the primary grievance can be addressed, unless it is converting to the religious sect which defines you as apostate and considers death an appropriate penalty for apostasy.

We see this essentially religious (not political) death struggle in Syria (Alawite Shia vs. Sunni), in Iraq (Sunni vs. Shia), in Yemen (Shia vs. Sunni) and elsewhere; and we see it in the regional allies that support these groups (Shia Iran vs. Wahabi Sunni Saudi Arabia, , both bankrolling and otherwise supporting guerrillas and militants of their own sect in these countries and others (e.g. Lebanon)).

While its true that the rift between rival sects in places like Iraq has political dimensions, the religious rivalry precedes the political rivalry. Sunni tribesmen find empowerment under ISIS preferable to disempowerment under the majority Shia controlled government, hence their passive and active support for an essentially secessionist movement there. Sectarian Saddam Hussein used this preexisting religious rivalry to keep the Shia majority under control using a Sunni dominated government. In 1920 the British colonial government used Sunni antipathy toward Shias to put down a Shia anti-colonial revolt, with the result that Sunnis from the center and north of the country became the political and officer corps elite for the next 38 years.

When ISIS or Al Qaeda in Iraq (during the Iraq War) committed horrible atrocities against Shia civilians via car bombs at mosques and marketplaces, it wss trying to provoke the Shia militias supporting the government of Iraq to commit similarly horrible atrocities against Sunnis (which they did then and do now every time they retake a village); this radicalized ordinary Sunnis or at least made them more supportive to a strong group of Sunni militants as the only practical alternative to Shia abuses.

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Report: CIA foiled al-Qaida plot - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Happy New Year from Pakistan - Discussion by djjd62
ISIS or Daesh - Question by usmankhalid665
Nothing about Brussels? - Discussion by McGentrix
Flavors of terrorists - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/17/2019 at 07:02:14