You can't appease Terrorism...

Barclay (Dark Angel)

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Or so the lock down, get tough, blow the bastards to hell, section of the community would have us believe. They go on. Anything other than their view is unpatriotic (the word "scoundrels" springs ot mind). You can't reason with terrorists. Appeasement would only lead to greater demands, and further attrocities.

But hang on a second here. Who's talked about appeasement? Certainly not the troops out movement. It's a label, a convenient sound bite uttered with the aim of discrediting an argument, and those who support it. Worst of all, it willfully ignores the thinking behind troops out. I have to say I'm not surprised because there's a lot of merit in the liberal camp's thinking, which it would be very difficult to counter, so why try when you can resort to name calling.

What defeats terrorism? The gun? Repressionist policies? Curtailment of civil liberties? Scrapping the rule of law? Nope - all those policies do is act as the most effective recruiting sergeant I can think of. Just look at the mess in Iraq, and the favour it's done international terrorism.

The gung ho element go further. They suggest that more liberal policies would leave the country defenceless - as though anything other than their very illogical and ineffective ideas would be an open invitation to the terrorists to plant more bombs. The implication is clear. Any other thoughts are dangerous, and "irresponsible".

But here's what's irresponsible. Ignoring all lessons from history. Repress people enough, and one day they will rebel, with violent consequences. Place power and wealth in the hands of the few, and the result will be the same.

Of course you can't appease hard line terrorists. The fact is that terrorism is here to stay, no matter what, but you can minimise the damage, whilst still keeping your guard up.

Terrorists are defeated by the community within which they operate. I defy anyone to illustrate any case where that has not been the case. In short, behave fairly to the vast majority, and the terrorists have no hiding place, whether ideologically, or "on the ground". That's the most crucial point the hard liners refuse to even discuss - prefering instead to win the argument by appealing to peoples fears.

It's a mean, nasty, short sighted, and knee jerk response at best. At worst, it's a disaster....

Hugs,

Barclay
 

Ben3rdEye

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It's a shame the way the world is going ever backward yet leaping forward in some places.
Over here now there's a perpetual clash between christians and muslims on radio-both displaying far too much hatred and clouded visions. Also a resurge of "creationism" etc.
 

crikey

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"Repress people enough, and one day they will rebel, with violent consequences."

All 4 London bombers were born and lived in Leeds. All average working class families. One boy worked in his Dad's chip shop which was described as doing very well. In what way were these people repressed?
 

crikey

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I'm sorry if my post was not clear. I wished to ask Barclay if he thought that the London bombers (who presumably can be referred to as terrorists) have experienced repression, as he had asserted that it is repression that turns people into terrorists.
 

AEON

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i think the wider point is that fighting an 'ism' is futile and impossible. you can't defeat an ideologically incoherent, geographically incohesive movement - it's like the War on Drugs, or Communism... unwinnable because you can't just bomb Drugs into submission; similarly you can't just eradicate the behemoth that is modern terrorism, in all its forms... people forget that terrorism is not exclusively the preserve of radical Islamists, many of whom view 'ordinary' muslims with as much contempt as they do westerners.

what will patently not solve any problems is the kind of knee-jerk reactionism that some papers / sections of the public have indulged in. mind you, with the 'Gotcha!' headline looming large in my memory, i'm not surprised... :Sad:
 

crikey

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" ..that fighting an 'ism' is futile and impossible"

Was it futile to fight Fascism, which presumably was what we were doing 1939 - 1945? Was it futile and impossible? Similarly the 'War on Communism.' If this was such an unwinnable war it is suprising to see a distinct lack of Communist states left in the world. What did 1989 mean to the millions of people who were freed from foreign or domestic impossed tyranny?

"what will patently not solve any problems is the kind of knee-jerk reactionism that some papers..."

I agree that this will not provide us with a solution to our current predicament. A lot of people are angry and scared and are reacting in a typically human emotional manner. This being Britain I am sure that cooler heads will carry the day. However, what do you think will solve some problems?
 

Technognome

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Barclay (Dark Angel) said:
I defy anyone to illustrate any case where that has not been the case. In short, behave fairly to the vast majority, and the terrorists have no hiding place, whether ideologically, or "on the ground". That's the most crucial point the hard liners refuse to even discuss - prefering instead to win the argument by appealing to peoples fears.

Hugs,

Barclay
Err! before anyone else takes up the challange - I will.

It is possible to defeat terrorism via hard line policies. Examples from history would be the American Indians & the Boars. In both cases the solution was Genocide and Concentration camps. If you wipe out the host population terrorism usually stops. :no:

I would hope all people would agree that these can never ever be used as solutions ever again whatever the provocation.

PHLUR :sun:
 

AEON

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Was it futile to fight Fascism, which presumably was what we were doing 1939 - 1945? Was it futile and impossible?
no!

but again, the distinction lies between attempts to combat an ideological construct - 'terrorism' - vs. the fight against Fascist states, entities with histories, armies, governments and borders. we (the wider world) were relatively happy to allow Fascist movements to continue in some European countries - Spain, Romania, Hungary - and the separation lies in fact the construction of an Axis against which we could formally engage in warfare against. an Axis of terrorism - of Evil, if you're Dubya - has little to do with sovereign states, expansionism, etc. etc. and is all to do with an incoherent network of ideas, ideas that permeate borders and governments and minds around the world.

i would hold - and i'm going out on something of a limb here - that we didn't really fight Fascism (technically, capital F Fascism refers only to the Italian Fascist movement) but rather fought Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The Japanese government weren't really Fascists. And we didn't necessarily mind Fascism as an ideology - war started with the German invasion of Poland... Fascism as a doctrine (tricky to define, confused, reliant on national characteristics and lacking a singular origin a la Marxism) wasn't as out-of-bounds as it would eventually be; be it in records of Parliament or newspapers or articles for thinktanks, you can find many, many examples of people defending, excusing or supportig Fascist ideology. Our problem was with the specific actions of a specific regime - in other words, closer to the intellectual justification for Iraq than, say, Vietnam.



Similarly the 'War on Communism.' If this was such an unwinnable war it is suprising to see a distinct lack of Communist states left in the world. What did 1989 mean to the millions of people who were freed from foreign or domestic impossed tyranny?


people were undoubtedly freed from life under various horrific regimes, just as they were in germany and italy and wherever - and thank fuck for that :Smile3:. but really the war on communism wasn't a true war at all: how do you kill an idea? this is at the heart of what i'm clumsily trying to get across. technically some Communist states survived - China, Vietnam, Cuba, CAR; and in fact, if you look at actual conflicts 'fought' in the war against Communism you can see they, mostly, bear only a tangential relationship to the destruction of an ideology. it was called the Cold War for a reason, and it went on a long time... as someone said when asked about the French Revolution, 'it's too early to tell'. if the destruction of Communism as an ideology started in the 50s and ended by 1990, with the implosion of an already gutted Soviet regime, then how successful was this war?

again, i keep returning to the distinction between the war against Communism as an idea and the various tussles with Communist states. try as we might to find one, there is no 'Terrorist State', no Terrorland with an infrastructure we can identify. this is why the war on drugs serves as a more appropriate example: you can't bomb cocaine, and similarly you can't shoot radical Islamism.

I agree that this will not provide us with a solution to our current predicament. A lot of people are angry and scared and are reacting in a typically human emotional manner. This being Britain I am sure that cooler heads will carry the day. However, what do you think will solve some problems ?
i agree - i also believe cooler heads will prevail, despite charles clarke's greatest efforts to introduce all sorts of authoritarian legislation which you just know they've been saving for a bloody day... and of course a lot of the reactions we are seeing are explicable, normal and general.



some of them are not, however. there's no rhyme or reason in skinheads in nottingham beating up mosque-goers - i'll bet you a tenner the vast bulk of these people didn't lose anyone in the attacks. what's happening is that a genuine tragedy is being hijacked by various groups (c.f. BNP) to make political points and further inflame the tensions they (the intolerants) largely created. just look at the outpouring of emotion (understandable) which has followed these attacks, then think about iraq. the london bombings represent about an average week in Iraq - and we wonder why people feel so strongly about the occupation...



what can we do? i can see a couple of things:



1) inclusiveness and tolerance need to be preached, and acted upon. we need to make it clear that racial or ethnic exclusivism is not practiced, in Fleet Street as much as Burnley.



2) we need to strengthen the role of moderate muslim bodies such as the MCB.



3) we need to work on including the potentially vulnerable - young Muslim males in poorer areas - to cut off the kind of social grievances which often spark someone's journey into violence.



4) we need to practise what we preach: STOP arming repressive regimes, STOP sending civilians to be tortured in awful middle eastern regimes, STOP endorsing terrorism as long as it benefits us, and STOP propping up disgusting authoritarian regimes (Uzbekistan, Eritrea), no matter how much Donny 'Lucifer Speaking' Rumsfeld wants more airbases...

5) we need to level the international playing field so that countries don't harbour angst at a national level. we, the western world, have let 3 million people - 3 million, that's 3,000,000 - die in the Congo since 2000. and we have done precisely fuck all - except sell weapons and protect our business interests. this kind of wilful ignorance, allowing problems to fester so we can have cheap clothes from Asda, is what creates the conditions whereby radicalism of any sort can prosper.
 

crikey

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Thanks for the excellent reply Aeon.

Although I agree with much of what you state regarding WWII and the fight against Italy, Germany and Japan, I would also argue that by the end of the war we were fighting against the ideology of Fascism/Nazism as much as against the Germans/Japanese/Italians. After witnessing the unspeakable horrors committed in the name of these isms the world has seen fit to continue fighting them ever since (witness Anti-Nazi Leage, Searchlights etc). Either way, I disagree with the original poster's assertion that one cannot fight an ism, rather than equating the war on terror with WWII.

The 5 five points you outlined are usefull and it is refreshing to see someone stating what they are in favour as opposed to what they are against. One question I would like to ask you is how far do you think the recent bombings were linked to the war in Iraq? The perpetrators were British born and of Pakistani decent, no links to Iraq whatsoever. The intellectual motivation behind these bombings surely comes from Bin Laden, a man only cynically interested in the Iraq war whilst his real beef is with the house of Saud. Would we be safe from bombing if we had avoided the war in Iraq?

Lastly I would like to raise the question of the Muslim community in Britain. We heard on the news this morning the chief of police state that an estimated 3,000 Brits have travelled through a Bin Laden terrorist training camp. I personally have no time for religion whatsoever, believing it to be a dangerously manipulative tool, but is there something fundamentally more dangerous about Islam? Islam is a religion that demands very strict adherence to very clear rules. Is it compatible with the liberal ideology of the British state? Is it important for us all to identify ourselves as British rather than qualifying it with a higher identity? (e.g. British Muslim)

 

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Barclay (Dark Angel)

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crikey said:
Thanks for the excellent reply Aeon.

Although I agree with much of what you state regarding WWII and the fight against Italy, Germany and Japan, I would also argue that by the end of the war we were fighting against the ideology of Fascism/Nazism as much as against the Germans/Japanese/Italians.]


I'll reply to other points in another post, but I just want to address this one 1st.

The big difference between fighting the axis powers and fighting terrorists is that we were fighting countries rather than an idea. It's eminently possible to defeat a country in war. It's absoltely not possible to defeat terrorism the same way.

I'll go further, the defeat of Germany didn't defeat fascism. It merely defeated a state's ability to propogate it. In addition people were able to see the horror that it inflicted on themselves and others, and as a consequence were less inclined to support it. Removing the reason why people supported fascism meant that fascists had very little support from the communities in which they lived and operated - and therefore they couldn't operate effectively.

For all that, WW2 didn't defeat fascism. The war simply moved it to other less powerful nations, Worse than that, in recent years it's made a massive come back in Germany, France and the UK.

As for communism. Since when was the USSR a communist state? Totalitarian yes, communist no. The USSR wasn't defeated, it imploded 'cos the basis on which it was run simply didn't work. Despite even that fact, it's now run by a former head fo the KGB, and the "communists" still have a massive say in running the country.

Comparing state sponsored terrorism with the ideology is like comparing chalk with cheese. They're two very different things.

Hugs,

Barclay
 
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Ott^

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I have to say I think you're all putting the cart before the horse a bit.

The way I'm reading it, and correct me if I'm wrong, you all appear to be concerned with how to stop the "terrorists" doing their bad work as if that is the greatest problem facing the world today. Hardly surprising, as that is what we are constantly being told is the greatest problem facing the world today.


i think this is an utter red herring.


If the ultimate problem is that innocent people keep getting killed, then we must make sure we keep an eye on who is doing all the killing. At the moment, the US/UK forces are beating the mythical "Al Quaeda" by about 20:1


If the problem is that small groups of zealots are trying to force their view of heaven and earth upon the rest of us, then look no further than the US leadership and their connections to the Project For A New American Century. [PNAC - Google it if you've never heard of it.]


I'm becoming really concerned at the way otherwise free-thinking and rational people are being led to accept the current orthodoxy that "A handful of Islamic extremists are holding the world to ransom..." and are parroting it verbatim on every discussion board I encounter. I find it chillingly Orwellian the way seemingly intelligent people are lapping up the "doublespeak" and joining in with the "daily hate".


I don't know who set those bombs off in London and neither do you. All we know is what we are told. Consequently, we "know" absolutely nothing. How many of you still believe that John F kennedy was asassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald - a lone nutcase shooting from a book depository window?


When I was a kid I used to fight with my sister, but because she was a few years older than me she was a bit cleverer.

What she would do was wait until my mum was walking down the hallway toward the room where we were, and pinch me on the arm really hard. I would go nuts and yank her hair or pinch her back and she'd yelp and start crying - timed perfectly so that all my mum saw was me attacking my sister for apparently no reason as she walked into the room.

I'd get a slap on the legs and then my mum would talk to my dad about how to stop me being such a spiteful little git.

Sorry for the crap analogy but thats what I think is happening here.
 

AEON

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so many interesting and good points being made,

i can't reply now because i'm at work damnit but i will come back to this thread.

briefly,

SkiZz - ta, that will be useful ammo in the continual war against internet assholes :Wink3:

Ott - i agree with the general gist of your post. that's partly why i mentioned the Congo: something i often tell americans is that the DRC has suffered a 9/11 every single day for two whole years and most of us don't even know where it is... terrorism is not the single greatest issue facing humanity, not by a long way - it's just that the experiences of the sole hyperpower have pushed us into believing it is.

and thanks to YOU crikey :Smile3: hopefully when i get home will have some time to reflect properly on your + barclay's posts.
 

crikey

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"I don't know who set those bombs off in London and neither do you"

The police have identified all 4 of the bombers. You hanging on to paranoid conspiracy theories does not change this fact.

"All we know is what we are told. Consequently, we "know" absolutely nothing."

Rubbish. I know what I learn. According to the doctrine above we can never attain any knowledge because 'the man' is constantly looking to deceive us. I do not believe everything I hear, nor do I disbelieve everything I hear. And I couldn't care less who shot JFK!
 
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Ott^

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crikey said:
"I don't know who set those bombs off in London and neither do you"

The police have identified all 4 of the bombers. You hanging on to paranoid conspiracy theories does not change this fact.


"All we know is what we are told. Consequently, we "know" absolutely nothing."

Rubbish. I know what I learn. According to the doctrine above we can never attain any knowledge because 'the man' is constantly looking to deceive us. I do not believe everything I hear, nor do I disbelieve everything I hear. And I couldn't care less who shot JFK!

You prove my point far better than I ever could.

Thanks.
 

crikey

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"When I was a kid I used to fight with my sister, but because she was a few years older than me she was a bit cleverer.

What she would do was wait until my mum was walking down the hallway toward the room where we were, and pinch me on the arm really hard. I would go nuts and yank her hair or pinch her back and she'd yelp and start crying - timed perfectly so that all my mum saw was me attacking my sister for apparently no reason as she walked into the room.

I'd get a slap on the legs and then my mum would talk to my dad about how to stop me being such a spiteful little git."

Sorry, I must have missed this erudite explanation upon reading your post for the first time.
 

Barclay (Dark Angel)

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crikey said:
"Repress people enough, and one day they will rebel, with violent consequences."

All 4 London bombers were born and lived in Leeds. All average working class families. One boy worked in his Dad's chip shop which was described as doing very well. In what way were these people repressed?
Mmmm, we were told the Guildford 4 were guilty too - but let's leave that aside for the moment.

Assuming they were the perpetrators, do you think they did it alone? To quote you - working class, worked in his Dad's chip shop... Do you think they had the intelligence, the contacts, the nous, the money, the knowledge, and the ability to obtain military grade explosive, timers, and detonators - all on their own? I don't think so. Neither is it possible to speculate on their motivation. Do you think it's "normal" to bomb hundreds of people without some compelling motivation - like some sort of standard criminal psychopath such as Peter Sutcliffe? And if you think it is, what are the chances of 4 psychopaths talking to each other, and planning mass murder?

No, there's far more to this than meets the eye. We don't know the background. What extremes lead to someone commiting suicide willingly? They undoubtedly had help, and that help may well have come from th Middle East where the US and UK in particular are busy recruiting yet more terrorists, due to the policies of violence, repression and corruption.

If you say to me that none of that is enough to make British born people into terrorists, I'd probably agree. But then I'd go on to ask, "so what did?", because if you don't understand the cause you have absolutely no hope of "defeating" further terrorist attacks. They'll happen again, and again, and again, even in the most repressionist regimes - like Iraq - and we all know what's happening there...

This wasn't "mindless" violence. Some people thought very long and hard about it - and they all thought they had an absolute reason to do so.

Hugs,

Barclay
 
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