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Old 01-27-2005, 09:25 AM   #31
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That's another thing I want to bring up, that poverty not only breeds crime it breeds revolution. Hatred and resentment of the class system, and hopelessness of poverty led directly to the French and Russian Revolutions where the poor masses rose up to overthrow- and kill off- the rich ruling class. But again, this is not the same thing as terrorism. In crime, the criminals only want money for their own gain. In revolution, a group of people fight to change the system for (what they think at the time is but doesn't always work out to be) the good of the country. Terrorism is a completely different phenomenon, and I don't have to list the details, you all know how it works. All I'm saying is it's not the same thing as the violence in crime or revolution, both of which ARE direct results of poverty.
I really don't know what else to say here. Al Qaeda would argue it is a revolutionary group. The British, back during the American Revolution, could have argued that the Founding Fathers were leaders of a terrorist organization. The British could also have argued that the Zionists in Israel (prior to Israeli independence) were also terrorists.

For better or for worse, we are considered a facet of "the enemy." Bin Laden is said to have developed his hatred of the U.S. in response to Gulf War I and our military presence in the Arabian Peninsula to implicitly protect the House of Saud, which, I must remind people, is deeply hated by most Saudis.

I'm not here to justify their terrorist behavior, but to, instead, remind everyone that everyone has their motive and they all believe that they are doing "good." No one wakes up one day and decides to kill indiscriminately with no motive.

I cannot say that solving poverty will end the leadership. On the contrary, they are too ideologically motivated. However, there are two things that will likely disarm any potential follower:

1) Having their needs met, which basically means being an active member of a middle class. Most people don't need to be wealthy, but they do expect to have a decent house, job, and money to be happy.

2) Having a government that can be democratically elected. However, #2 here is only contingent on #1 happening. If a government cannot deliver #1, then extremists are likely going to argue that "democracy is a failure" and they will start making wild promises about how they can make their life better....if only they will follow their organization.

If the people have their needs met, then any "terrorist leadership" will be reduced to a fringe group that no one will listen to. Just imagine what the U.S. would be like with rampant unemployment and a citizenry discontented with a dictatorship? I bet that groups like the Michigan Militia would suddenly become very popular.

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Old 01-27-2005, 09:28 AM   #32
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No, we wouldn't. We might resort to crime to feed ourselves, or a revolution to oust the government, but we'd never become suicide bombers against some overseas nation we didn't like because we wanted them to die for not being like us. Not gonna happen. Never.
That's because we control our own destiny. If Canada became a controlling global superpower that supported financially and militarily what we perceive as a corrupt American dictatorship, I would bet you that many Americans would lash out at Canada.

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Old 01-27-2005, 09:33 AM   #33
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1) Having their needs met, which basically means being an active member of a middle class. Most people don't need to be wealthy, but they do expect to have a decent house, job, and money to be happy.



Melon
This is why it won't solve the Islamic fundamentalist based terrorism: what would be having their needs met, when some of them desire the deaths of all us infidels and the ouster of all non Muslim governments? We can't give them that, and that's what they want! They do NOT ask for money, houses, jobs, etc., that is not what they want, again it's arrogant westerners thinking that's the perfect life and that's what they want but it's not! They don't want to be like us! That's the last thing they want!

When I was a kid I remember watching a hijacking standoff on TV. It was a TWA flight I believe. Anyway, they asked the terrorists what they wanted, thinking it was something like the Cuban hijackers would ask for, like money or a trip somewhere. But no, they replied, 'we don't want your money, we just want to DIE and go to glory for Allah!' See, that's what I'm talking about. You can't buy them off with your western goodies, it's not what they're after. Their goal is worldwide Islamism, (not to be confused with Islam) Ask A_Wanderer to explain this, he did it very well one time but I don't know where his post is.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:34 AM   #34
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That's because we control our own destiny. If Canada became a controlling global superpower that supported financially and militarily what we perceive as a corrupt American dictatorship, I would bet you that many Americans would lash out at Canada.

Melon
Yeah, that would be very similar to what we're doing in Saudi Arabia right now. The House of Al-Saud is on shakey grounds due to unpopularity. The Saudis don't feel like they can control their destiny. If we couldn't control ours we'd feel the same way.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:54 AM   #35
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This is why it won't solve the Islamic fundamentalist based terrorism: what would be having their needs met, when some of them desire the deaths of all us infidels and the ouster of all non Muslim governments? We can't give them that, and that's what they want! They do NOT ask for money, houses, jobs, etc., that is not what they want, again it's arrogant westerners thinking that's the perfect life and that's what they want but it's not! They don't want to be like us! That's the last thing they want!
This is going to be last thing I'm going to say to this. We're going to have to agree to disagree beyond this, but I would say that the GOP has done a great job of dehumanizing the enemy into a bunch of indiscriminate "evil" animals.

I feel that you have brushed on many of the effects, while not acknowledging the causes. Why do they want the deaths of all infidels? This is not Islamic tradition; on the contrary, for centuries, Jews would often feel more comfortable living in the Islamic Ottoman Empire than they would be living in "Christian Europe," as "tolerance" is not a traditional Christian value.

Such Islamic intolerance is really a phenomenon of the last century; and we have to ask ourselves why a religion that prided itself on tolerance for centuries would suddenly want to destroy all the "infidels"?

No, they do not want to be exactly like the Western world. What they do want is to be in control of their own destiny. Turkey is an excellent example of this, as Ataturk molded a Turkey that was more secular than Islamic. But Ataturk did all this prior to the Cold War. Iran had an elected government, at one point, but they also wanted to control their own oil and the UK and the U.S. did not like that. So in came the Shah and after him came the ayatollahs. If the U.S. and the UK had not interfered in the 1950s, we may be dealing with a Turkey-like government in Iran today.

But I guess we can no longer live in the past, and we must deal with the problems today. In the short term, we must have a military response to terrorism, but we must prepare a long term to allow these Arab nations to control their own destiny. Thrusting democracy in Iraq and rebuilding the nation with American multinational corporations is likely not going to work the way we want it to, as much as I hate to say it, because it is not seen as being "theirs." American cultural imperialism is getting growing global resentment.

The most likely scenario is that, with a 60% Shi'ite majority, they will try and create a government that is similar to Iran, their Shi'ite majority neighbor. This has nothing to do with Iranian interference, and more to do with the cultural ties that Iranian and Iraqi Shi'ites have in common. But if this is what Iraq elects in, we are going to have to respect it, because American meddling is not going to make Iraq stable. On the contrary, a century of meddling and overthrowing governments has made these nations distrust our every move. Bush can tell them whatever he wants to say, but they have their reasons to distrust us, in their mind.

And, of course, they want a normal life! Again, we're not dealing with animals; they don't live in mud huts and caves and wake up every morning wondering how they can feast on the blood of Jews and Americans. They want to oust all the non-Muslim governments, because they believe that they don't meet their needs. And they blame the United States, and, by proxy, Israel, for propping them up.

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Old 01-27-2005, 10:06 AM   #36
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Indeed, one of the reasons for the success of the Ottomans in southeastern Europe was more tolerance for Jews. After Spain expelled all of its Jews in 1492, they were welcomed by the Ottoman Sultans. When the Turks conquered Bursa from the Byzantine Greeks, the Jews of the town welcomed them as liberators. As many of the Jews were people who knew how to manage an economy, but the big shots in places like Spain did not, this was a big gain for the Turks and a big loss to European powers, thus the decline of the Spanish Empire.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:08 PM   #37
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This is going to be last thing I'm going to say to this. We're going to have to agree to disagree beyond this, but I would say that the GOP has done a great job of dehumanizing the enemy into a bunch of indiscriminate "evil" animals.
It's not the gov'ts fault, it's a fact. I even saw a show on PBS a couple nights ago talking to some Arabs about it. BTW, the gov't never even mentions Islamism, not even the news does. The only places I've seen it are when A_Wanderer posted about it here, and the show on PBS.

Oh, I already deleted that part of your post, but I wanted to comment on the how come all of a sudden they hate us thing. It's NOT all of a sudden, it's just that for years they were supressed by empires and regimes that kept them 'down' and now that many of those have fallen, they are out in the open about it.


Quote:
And, of course, they want a normal life! Again, we're not dealing with animals; they don't live in mud huts and caves and wake up every morning wondering how they can feast on the blood of Jews and Americans. They want to oust all the non-Muslim governments, because they believe that they don't meet their needs. And they blame the United States, and, by proxy, Israel, for propping them up.

Melon
But the DON'T want a 'normal life' by OUR standards. True the world can't exist in the past but they (the extremists) want to! They want to keep women and gays down and discriminated against. They don't want western influences. It makes no difference what others think is best for them, they want it their way. Trying to update them or appease them with materialism will NOT WORK.

All this being said I think everyone should give a little credit to me and Melon here, 2 of the most hotheaded and bigmouthed people on FYM, for having this civil discussion!
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:10 PM   #38
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Well, like I said, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I have made my points, as have you. Now, we'll just have to let them speak for themselves.

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Old 01-27-2005, 07:25 PM   #39
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If the people have their needs met, then any "terrorist leadership" will be reduced to a fringe group that no one will listen to. Just imagine what the U.S. would be like with rampant unemployment and a citizenry discontented with a dictatorship? I bet that groups like the Michigan Militia would suddenly become very popular.
So, do you listen to Moxy Fruvous?
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:06 AM   #40
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Ahem...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ections_dc&e=5

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Hamas candidates won 75 of the 118 council seats compared to 39 for members of Abbas's Fatah movement and their allies, final figures from the electoral commission showed.

...

Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings, has won many hearts in Gaza not only for its role in the fighting but also for its charity work for the needy in the absence of welfare support from the crumbling Palestinian Authority.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:44 PM   #41
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Yes I think that that aptly demonstrates the will of the Palestinian people to liberate Palestine by driving the Jews into the sea.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:35 PM   #42
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---- Abstract -----

The paper investigates whether there is a causal link between poverty or low education and participation in politically motivated violence and terrorist activities. After presenting a discussion of theoretical issues, we review evidence on the determinants of hate crimes. This literature finds that the occurrence of hate crimes is largely independent of economic conditions. Next we analyze data on support for attacks against Israeli targets from public opinion polls conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These polls indicate that support for violent attacks does not decrease among those with higher education and higher living standards. The core contribution of the paper is a statistical analysis of the determinants of participation in Hezbollah militant activities in Lebanon. The evidence we have assembled suggests that having a living standard above the poverty line or a secondary school or higher education is positively associated with participation in Hezbollah. We also find that Israeli Jewish settlers who attacked Palestinians in the West Bank in the early 1980s were overwhelmingly from high-paying occupations. The conclusion speculates on why economic conditions and education are largely unrelated to participation in, and support for, terrorism.
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w9074

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Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology

By Lee Harris

Know your enemy” is a well-known maxim, but one that is difficult to observe in practice. Nor is the reason for this hard to fathom: If you are my enemy, it is unlikely that I will go very much out of my way to learn to see things from your point of view. And if this is true even in those cases where the conflict is between groups that share a common culture, how much more true will it be when there is a profound cultural and psychological chasm between the antagonists?

Yet, paradoxically, this failure to understand the enemy can arise not only from a lack of sympathy with his position, but also from a kind of misplaced sympathy: When confronted by a culturally exotic enemy, our first instinct is to understand such conduct in terms that are familiar to us — terms that make sense to us in light of our own fund of experience. We assume that if our enemy is doing x, it must be for reasons that are comprehensible in terms of our universe.
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"it is absurd for us to look for the so-called "root" causes of terrorism in poverty, lack of education, a lack of democracy, etc. Such factors play absolutely no role in the creation of a fantasy ideology."
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"Equally absurd, on this interpretation, is the notion that we must review our own policies toward the Arab world - or the state of Israel - in order to find ways to make our enemies hate us less. ... There is no political policy we could take that would change the attitude of our enemies - short, perhaps, of a massive nationwide conversion to fundamentalist Islam."
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"There is one decisive advantage to the "evildoer" metaphor, and it is this: Combat with evildoers is not Clausewitzian war. You do not make treaties with evildoers or try to adjust your conduct to make them like you. You do not try to see the world from the evildoers' point of view. You do not try to appease them, or persuade them, or reason with them. You try, on the contrary, to outwit them, to vanquish them, to kill them. You behave with them in the same manner that you would deal with a fatal epidemic - you try to wipe it out."
http://www.policyreview.org/AUG02/harris.html
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:32 PM   #43
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everyone is broke in Somoa but they're not terrozing eachother, right?

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