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<nettime> What causes Terrorism [2x]
nettime's terrorism think tank on Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:02:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> What causes Terrorism [2x]

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   Re: <nettime> Re: nettime What Causes Terrorism?                                
     John <3v1l.hax0r {AT} gmail.com>                                                     

   Re: <nettime> Re: nettime What Causes Terrorism?                                
     Michael H Goldhaber <mgoldh {AT} well.com>                                           


Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 10:40:58 -0700
From: John <3v1l.hax0r {AT} gmail.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Re: nettime What Causes Terrorism?

I think it is clear there are two questions:

1. Why is the tactic of terrorism used?
2. Why are some Muslim groups resorting to Terrorism?

I was writing specifically about #1 and generally about #2.  I would
very much like to be illuminated about #2.  I touched on it to support
my assertions about #1.

I only mention Mossad in the context of #1.  Israel has been extremely
effective at terrorizing the terrorists, and I think this environment
necessitated the distributed nature of The Base.  That was my only
point, I am not some Zionist kook.

Any care to comment on the observation that Wahhabism seems to have
overtaken Marxism as  the major ideology behind today's
resistance/anti-empire movements?  Is the massive production and
distribution of Western culture via modern media a factor in this?

(I am aware that there are still Marxist movements)


Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 19:54:48 -0700
From: Michael H Goldhaber <mgoldh {AT} well.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Re: nettime What Causes Terrorism?

I agree with much that Lennaart says, except that international 
terrorism is in many respects historically quite new, simply because it 
can't exist without powerful, nearly global media emphasizing each act 
that would otherwise be quite invisible and hardly terrorizing. And I  
increasingly suspect the reverse as well: because of western dominance  
over attention, images,etc., those who feel out of the loop and 
ignored, seek a means of getting attention, which comes best by 
striking as fixed and unmovable alternative stand as possible, for 
which religious scriptures and traditions provide a handy, supposedly 
unshakable justification.
(btw I've written  on terrorism in telepolis: 
http://www.heise.de/tp/english/kolumnen/gol/default.html , and I've 
just put a review of a best-selling book on the political role of 
fundamentalism in the US (What's the Matter with Kansas by Thomas 
Frank) on my website: http://www.well.com/user/mgoldh/kansas.pdf   .


On Aug 25, 2004, at 8:53 AM, Lennaart van Oldenborgh wrote:

> lets be a bit more historically specific:
>>> As the US pushes in on different groups to establish a
>>> world economy of Western design, those who are disparate to resist
>>> will use the means at hand.   Al Quida was created by Mossad's
>>> ruthless waging of an invisible war on the Palestinian resistance
>>> groups.
>> Try not to confuse your Middle Eastern histories in such a self 
>> serving
>> fashion.  I wish we could blame the Israeli intelligence service for 
>> the
>> creation of The Base, but its just not that easy of a fix.
> the Mossad actually did finance the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, who
> later morphed into Hamas, in the early 80s in an effort to undermine
> the PLO (Benny Morris, 1999). It is a case of 'blowback' similar to
> the US funding of the Mojahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets,
> albeit on a smaller scale. btw Hamas has had little or no direct
> links with Al Qaeda.
>> What causes terrorism?  American power did.
> 1. terrorism is a noun, describing a tactic that is as old as warfare 
> itself
> 2. this kind of reduction is typical of the Chomsky-esque tendency to
> see, to put it crudely, everything that is wrong in the Middle East
> as a direct result of US foreign policy. it reveals an
> 'americo-centric' worldview that doesn't see Middle Eastern societies
> capable of screwing themselves up independently, and is in that sense
> the mirror image of the neoconservative arrogance that believes
> Middle Eastern societies aren't capable of fixing themselves and that
> US military intervention CAN and SHOULD do it for them. the situation
> in Iraq is now giving the lie to that particular arrogance.
> not that US foreign policy has been particularly helpful, but other
> factors play a huge role: enormous population growth (all Middle
> Eastern populations are among the fastest growing in the world),
> rapid urbanisation and the post-imperial legacy of a rather arbitrary
> delineation of nation states that left some populations, most notably
> the Kurds and the Palestinians, short-circuited.
> Ironically, it has suited many authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes
> to deflect criticism of domestic problems by blaming Israel or the
> USA (depending on affiliations) for most problems, reinforcing the
> 'americo-centric' worldview. Interesting case in point: in Iran,
> arguably beyond direct american influence, the young urbanized
> generation are now turning against the Islamist regime: whoever is in
> charge will feel the demographic pressure.
> ps thanks to Ben Geer for pointing out the diversity in Muslim and/or
> Arab opinion
> lennaart


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