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Old 02-24-2005, 08:16 PM   #16
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
We say suicide bomber because it is the moderate term that opens the door to blame the victim...
That may be what the term suggests to you, but I doubt many Americans hear it that way. During WWII, American newsreels and WPCC propaganda often invoked the spectre of 'Swarms of Suicide Pilots!!!' descending on the mainland as a justification for all-out war on Japan. The implication was exactly what the word choice suggests--Japanese soldiers were insects doing Hirohito's bidding in a fanatic frenzy, like worker ants who live and die at their queen's bidding. American soldiers, by contrast, were noble individuals who risked death out of a love for freedom, not blind loyalty to some bloodthirsty tyrant.

Mass media was in its infancy then, so average Americans knew a lot less about Japan than they do today about the Middle East. But I think 'suicide bomber' to most Americans still suggests something much closer to this quasi-paranoid 1940s idea than the 'blame-the-victim' notion you're describing. What the Bush Administration dislikes about the phrase is more likely its connotation of blind loyalty to insurgent leaders like al-Sadr, whom they wish to portray as 'fringe' radicals with little popular support.

Blaming the victims reinforces a worldview where all violence in the world is motivated by root causes and that by adressing these root causes we will acheive peace in our time.
Yes, there is a recognition that those who recruit suicide bombers are tapping into widespread feelings of humiliation and rage--which can (and should) be taken as cause for concern about why those feelings are widespread and what can be done to address that situation. Ruthless opportunists like al-Sadr and bin Laden may not be CREATED by such situations, but they certainly have more fuel to work with in them.

The sad fact of humanity is that when people get what they want by killing for it the seem to make a habbit of it their desires or bloodlust become to big.
With reference to the bin Ladens and al-Sadrs of the world, sure. But the people who actually become suicide bombers certainly don't 'make a habit of it'--you can only blow yourself up once.

How we view the nature of evil may well be the greater ideological divide ~ I see it as a choice, others see it as circumstance (I am not saying that circumstance isn't part of it ~ I am saying that no matter what the circumstance there is a choice ~ blow up innocent people or not, seek vengence or not, slaughter children or not).

If a mans family is kidnapped and he is told to murder and he commits the crime he is not an evil man ~ he is a victim.

If a man goes to murder by his own volition then is he not responsible?
This seems self-contradictory. If a man murders someone to obtain his kidnapped family's release, surely he has committed that murder by his own volition?! He certainly had a choice NOT to commit the murder, and thus compound the wrong done to him by wronging another innocent. Your examples here suggest that you believe evil inheres in motives, not acts, but that seems to fly in the face of the rest of your argument.

Or were you citing the 'kidnap' scenario as a hypothetical example of the evil-is-a-circumstance arguments you oppose?

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Old 02-25-2005, 09:00 AM   #17
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Do they actually get away w/ fair and balanced anymore? Is there anyone left on this planet who believes that?

Yes. I see someone daily who thinks that every other media outlet on earth is "the liberal media".


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Old 02-26-2005, 12:46 AM   #18
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Of all the things that Fox could legitimately be criticized for, I don't think drawing attention to the fact that Palestenians who blow themselves up on busses and in cafes in Israel are committing murder is one of them.

That said, if they modify the AP report, they should say so, instead of just crediting the story to the AP.
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:14 AM   #19
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You know what I am going to take the third way and say that both AP and Fox are dead wrong. The bombers are spontaneously exploding religiously inspired indiscriminate mass murderers.
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Old 02-26-2005, 09:35 AM   #20
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
You know what I am going to take the third way and say that both AP and Fox are dead wrong. The bombers are spontaneously exploding religiously inspired indiscriminate mass murderers.
That covers it nicely and by the time the talking heada are done saying it, it will be a commercial break and we can get on with the rest of our lives.
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:01 PM   #21
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Complimentary, no. Sympathetic, yes

There is some good news here

at least, this family is not homeless

Tel Aviv bomber's family shunned

Conal Urquhart in Deir al Ghusun
Tuesday March 1, 2005
The Guardian

Scores of chairs lined the rooms and corridors, and jugs of coffee and water and trays of figs were ready to welcome men paying their respects.

But the family of Abdullah Badran, the 21-year-old who blew himself up at the entrance to a Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday, killing five Israelis, were left alone in their grief.

For seven days after a burial a Palestinian family receives mourners, normally a big social event involving colourful banners and patriotic music.

But yesterday seven members of the family occupied the otherwise empty chairs and when asked if Abdullah's death had achieved anything they all shook their heads, and one said no in English.

Abdullah's brother Ibrahim said they were mystified and angered by his death.

"I really do not know what was on his mind. Maybe he was thinking about the killing of Palestinians in recent weeks, the building of the wall, the lack of goodwill from the Israelis in the political process.

"He wanted to be a teacher, to get married and get a home. He seemed optimistic in spite of everything. It never occurred to any of us that he would blow himself up."

Deir al Ghusun is a hill town of 8,000 inhabitants. The flags of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the leftwing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine fly from many buildings, but there are none near the house of mourning.

Islamic Jihad, which has claimed responsibility for the bombing, was keeping a low profile.

Sami Qadan said the whole town was shocked and angered by the bombing and in protest no one was paying respects to the family.

"Things were getting better and then no sooner do we have money coming in again then it is stopped by this suicide bombing. This intifada has killed us and the wall has destroyed us. We cannot even leave our homes and we want it to stop," he said.

Six of his sons were working as builders in Israel but when they tried to cross the checkpoint on Sunday they were told: "No one from Deir al Ghusun is coming into Israel."

Abdullah, a student of Arabic literature at a branch of the al-Quds (Jerusalem) University in Tulkarem, was last seen at breakfast on Friday. " We didn't ask where he was going because it wasn't our normal practice. There was nothing in him to suggest that he had no plans to return," his brother said.

The family realised that something was wrong only when Israeli soldiers arrived at 5am on Saturday morning and told them that he had killed himself and four Israelis -a fifth died of injuries yesterday.

Abdullah's father, Said Badran, refused to believe them, insisting that his son was still in bed. The army arrested the two brothers in the house and later the local imam and five of Abdullah's friends.

The family had not suffered any particular grievance at the hands of the Israelis, Ibrahim said, although he was detained in 1989 and held for 18 months without trial.

The town has lost a large part of its livelihood because the separation barrier has cut it off from its 825 acres (334 hectares) of farmland.

In theory they can reach it through a gate, but it is rarely open, and the Israelis have begun chopping down some of the trees.

Ibrahim said that the family was extremely angry with the people who had chosen and prepared Abdullah for his suicide mission.

"I don't know who they are but we want them to stop this and reach out their hands for peace. That is the only way the situation will improve."
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:40 PM   #22
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I guess that just shows how much Arafat was able to keep the terror running. Without all that money and glorifying by the PA to the bombers families it seems like a lot less of a glorious death.

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