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Old 09-08-2003, 04:44 AM   #1
SkinWalker
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Post Terrorism is the Symptom, not the Disease

President Bush finally confronted the obvious last night in his speech. I say obvious, because it was clear to this point that a problem is in existance in Iraq: the Iraqi people are desparate and we can't fullfill their needs (clean water, power, security, employment, medicine, etc.).

Bush reiterrated the administration's stand on terrorism as well. I still don't get the correlation between terrorism and Iraq, but it seems to come up whenever Bush speaks about Iraq.

Terrorism is a problem. It's bad. Wherever it occurs.

But terrorism is a symptom of the dispair that people are feeling in most cases. You find terrorism where people experience various forms of injustice such as military occupation, economic inequality, social injustice, and political repression.

That doesn't make their actions correct, but it is necessary to consider this factor in trying to stop the violence.

So it irks me to see a President use his power to create spurious correlations to terrorism with a nation like Iraq. A secular state that was governed by a tyranny, but not one that showed any evidence of consistent or even occasional sponsorship of terrorism.

The Bush administration has also made a correlation with terrorism and Islam. The current mode of thinking is that Muslim individuals are to be profiled and carefully watched, and has its root in the fact that all major terrorist acts in the U.S., aside from the OKC Bombing, were caused by Muslims.

But correlation does not imply causation. Targeting Muslims only intensifies the animosity that exists between Islam and the West.

Bush also reitterated his position that terrorists are "enemies of freedom." That was the statement that gave me cause to think a bit. Terrorists are the enemy. I'll agree to that. But are they the enemy of freedom? What is it that they want? Imprisonment? Occupation?

Governments around the world, from China to India and from Russia to Israel, labeled national liberation movements fighting for independence as terrorist organizations, in order to legitimize their suppression. The Fourth Geneva Convention provides an occupied people with the legality to fight their occupier. Yet, Israel is consistently portrayed as the "good guy" in the struggle between they and Palestine.

I don't condone the use of terror tactics on busloads of civilians, so for those that were about to hit the Quote button, forget about it. But few people stop to consider that the Palestinian people have been under occupation for several generations now. What affect does that have on the psyche?

So my point for discussion is this: Is the so-called "War on Terrorism" going to end in failure the same way the "War on Drugs" has? Is the U.S. Government going about the whole thing rightly or wrongly? Is there another solution(s) to solving the terrorism problem?


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Old 09-08-2003, 05:08 AM   #2
Eldritch
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Re: Terrorism is the Symptom, not the Disease

Quote:
Originally posted by SkinWalker
Bush reiterrated the administration's stand on terrorism as well. I still don't get the correlation between terrorism and Iraq, but it seems to come up whenever Bush speaks about Iraq.
Two words: Campaign Platform.
I can see it now - reelect the man that put the terrorists in Iraq away! *sigh*
Quote:
But terrorism is a symptom of the dispair that people are feeling in most cases. You find terrorism where people experience various forms of injustice such as military occupation, economic inequality, social injustice, and political repression.

That doesn't make their actions correct, but it is necessary to consider this factor in trying to stop the violence.
I agree. It's happened throughout history, but a few of them get called "Revolutions."
American Revolution was a prime example - one could make a strong case for it being waged in a similar way, at least in the beginning. Guerilla tactics, Bostom Tea Party, sneak attacks from across icy rivers... I'd consider that similar to terrorism, given the time period.
Quote:
The Bush administration has also made a correlation with terrorism and Islam. The current mode of thinking is that Muslim individuals are to be profiled and carefully watched, and has its root in the fact that all major terrorist acts in the U.S., aside from the OKC Bombing, were caused by Muslims.
Bush's platform had a strong base of Christian supporters. And many right wing Christian conservatives would like nothing more that to see terrorism and Islam wiped out, or at least fought against. And let's not forget - next year is an election year.
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But correlation does not imply causation. Targeting Muslims only intensifies the animosity that exists between Islam and the West.
Agreed. You cannot promote understanding between two peoples while you're wrongfully implicating all of them in a situation that many have nothing to do with.
Quote:
Bush also reitterated his position that terrorists are "enemies of freedom." That was the statement that gave me cause to think a bit. Terrorists are the enemy. I'll agree to that. But are they the enemy of freedom? What is it that they want? Imprisonment? Occupation?
If their motivation is Jihad, they are after nothing less than the total eradication of the infidel.
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But few people stop to consider that the Palestinian people have been under occupation for several generations now. What affect does that have on the psyche?
I'm sure they're a depressed lot after so long. I think it's unfair for the US to play favorites between Israel and Palestine, but that might just be because many US citizens seem to think of the situation in terms of Israel (Christian / Jewish = "right") and Palestine (Islamic = "wrong") and politicians don't want to risk losing favor in the polls. But I may be overgeneralizing.
Quote:
So my point for discussion is this: Is the so-called "War on Terrorism" going to end in failure the same way the "War on Drugs" has? Is the U.S. Government going about the whole thing rightly or wrongly? Is there another solution(s) to solving the terrorism problem?
I think that just like the "War on Drugs," it's a war that can't be won, only fought. We can remain vigilant, and even exercise more caution than before - but if Bush really thinks this is a war he can win, he's fooling himself (though given his apparent intelligence, I don't think that would be very difficult).

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Old 09-08-2003, 05:19 PM   #3
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Re: Re: Terrorism is the Symptom, not the Disease

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Originally posted by Eldritch
If their motivation is Jihad, they are after nothing less than the total eradication of the infidel.
But would this not provide a certain freedom, albeit probably only an imagined one, from the infidel?

It seems that this is the area that Western society should examine in order to solve the problem of violence. Is there no way to find a diplomatic solution for a perceived violation of Islamic ethics that the "infidel" manifests?

Wouldn't cultural relativist examination and learned understanding of Islamic culture provide an insight that might allow for such diplomacy? I doubt seriously that Islamic law provides for literal Jihad against non-Islamic society on the grounds of ethnic or religious cleansing.

Because it is an oft misunderstood term:
Cultural Relativism - The belief that all cultural practices must be evaluated within the context of the practicing culture.


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Old 09-09-2003, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Re: Re: Terrorism is the Symptom, not the Disease

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Originally posted by SkinWalker
But would this not provide a certain freedom, albeit probably only an imagined one, from the infidel?
Of course. But that's not their motivation. In their minds, they feel they're doing the work of Allah.
Sadly, it's a bad interpretation of a few of the passages in the Qu'ran (a book that does no more to encourage violence than the Bible... though that may not be the best example).
Quote:
It seems that this is the area that Western society should examine in order to solve the problem of violence. Is there no way to find a diplomatic solution for a perceived violation of Islamic ethics that the "infidel" manifests?
So long as there are belief systems, there will always be those that misinterpret those beliefs (or adhere too strictly to them). So I think that there will always be fundamentalists. No matter how diplomatic you are, it's difficult to shake that level of religious fervor.
I don't think it can be stopped, but it can be prevented.
Quote:
Wouldn't cultural relativist examination and learned understanding of Islamic culture provide an insight that might allow for such diplomacy? I doubt seriously that Islamic law provides for literal Jihad against non-Islamic society on the grounds of ethnic or religious cleansing.
I doubt it. As I said, the Jihad comes from a misintepretation of the Qu'ran. The actual passage says, "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Indeed Allah does not love transgressors (Qu'ran 2:192-193)."
The word Jihad in Arabic means "struggle," not "Holy War" as many members of the media have stated.
There are, of course, other passages in the Qu'ran that appear to encourage war; however, the way to do so is written out quite clearly (there are very specific conditions that must be met to start a war, how long you will wage it, and when to end it). These are the passages the fundamentalists obey, rejecting the much larger part of the book that forbids violence. So the problem is mostly due to selective interpretation (or misinterpretation).

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Old 09-12-2003, 07:29 PM   #5
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Indeed, terrorism is the act of desperate men.

Whether we view them as "terorrists" or "freedom fighters" there is a problem that underlies their actions.

I don't think that killing innocent people is ever moral, but obviously to them, they feel they have no other choice.

Terrorism itself (at least by most accepted definitions) is politically motivated. Committed by people who can't afford to fight a war but want to harm their enemies and scare them, or to get the world's attention so they will be taken seriously.

The whole "eye for an eye" thing just makes the whole world blind though. Just look at India and Pakistan, or Northern Ireland, or Israel/Palestine.

It all makes me sick...

In the end, preventing terrorism is a losing battle. If as a nation (I'm talking the US here) we help one group, their enemies will resent us (and vice versa). If we go out and crush everyone who threatens us, some will fear us yes, but others will feel all the more reason to lash out in this way.

: (


About Jihad, there is a tendency in Islamic circles to declare a war a "jihad" because to many such Muslims, war itself is immoral, so in order for a war to be waged, one has to make it a "holy struggle." That is, they have to be sure their cause is just.

But of course, leave it to corrupt leaders to find a way (any way) to make it a just war.

There is a similar concept of Just War in Christian theology (limited aims, etc... just do a search on Thomas Aquinas and you'll find some information on it). Of course few Christians (that I know of) have declared the war with Iraq or Afgahnistan "Just Wars" although there were some leaders who wished to (they were smacked down... well, maybe not, but I was hoping!).

In my interpretation there are precious few (if ANY) wars in American history that could be considered "just." As soon as you start committing atrocities against civilians, you're pretty much off the track.

I will finally say that there are at least some liberal Muslims who don't advocate war at all, but insist that to them jihad is rather an inner struggle, to control one's passions, doubts, and immoral desires. That "Jihad" in the sense of battle could only ever be justified in self defense.


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Old 09-13-2003, 10:29 PM   #6
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Its disgusting that "minority groups"(in north america atleast) like Muslims are being persecuted. If some muslims are extremists, why must all the others be discrimated against as well? The underlining reason is racism. And this has been going on forever. When the japanese bombed pearl harbor, all of the asians in Vancouver,B.C. were put in camps like concentration camps, just because some other people from asia attacked their enemies. If we want terrorism to stop, we must stop our racism.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:07 AM   #7
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May I interject please?

The term "Jihad" is used as a moral justification for their horrific acts. To say that the Islamic/Muslim religion is evil is an injustice to those practicing that are peaceful loving people. I'm not saying that anyone here said that FYI, I had to add that though.

Lest we forget what happened 2 years 4 days ago. This was caused by "fundamentalist" - I hate that word though, it implies that anytime you take anything literally its wrong- yet I digress.

I whole-heartedly disagree with Bush's foreign policy as a whole. But concerning Israel/Palestine, does a country not have a right to defend itself, and that's any country. The problem lies with them is that its a vicious circle. Who knows who started it? Although if you ask Israel, palestinians did and vice versa. How do you get either side to end the violence in order to offer a reprieve for the other side?

The Afghanistan aspect of the war on terrorism was justified as a means to capture the aggressor, bin Laden. Eventhough we have failed to capture him at this point, if he's still alive, which I believe he is. Iraq is a whole 'nother story.

Just my 2 cents.


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