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Re: [Nettime-nl] Islamic Jihad, what is next ?
Case Roole on Fri, 14 Sep 2001 15:10:49 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: [Nettime-nl] Islamic Jihad, what is next ?

On Thursday 13 September 2001 10:14, Felipe Rodriguez wrote:
> A solution is unlikely to come up anytime soon. The allies of the US and
> Israel will most likely respond with violence, instead of analyzing the
> causes of this movement. The Western focus seems to be to eradicate these
> terrorist movements through violence and prosecution, by implementing
> stronger intelligence systems and implementing additional internal security
> systems. President Bush has already stated that he will attack any nation
> that harbors and protects terrorists. Thereby laying the groundwork for
> acts of war that are likely to be highly inaccurate, causing many civilian
> casualties. If the history of the Middle East gives any indication, we can
> speculate that violence will be answered by more violence and aggression.
> Retaliation is at best the wrong answer, at worst it could be a
> catastrophic mistake.

This morning I saw Tony Blair's speech in the House of Commons. Blair 
commended the US for *not* striking first and thinking afterwards. At CNN it 
is considered news that the Taliban has stated that violence in the absence 
of hard evidence against Afghanistan or Bin Laden would constitute an act of 
terrorism. A redundant remark as we all agree with the Taliban on this, don't 

Two words stand out in the recent statements of the US government: "war" and 
"prayer". Now those are words the average islamic terrorist can identify with.

Tuesday night, the government's explanation for Bush not going to New York 
was that the White House and Air Force One were credible targets. Wednesday 
he went to see the breach in the wall of the Pentagon, but again he didn't go 
to New York. And he didn't go on Thursday. Apparently, the excuses given 
Tuesday didn't really explain why Bush didn't get his ass over to the place 
where the great masses of victims and near-victims are and where many 
thousands of rescue workers were - and still are - working around the clock. 

I can't feel anything but compassion for the people in the streets of New 

However, hurt doesn't justify violence. US leaders have embraced the 
atrocious acts as an opportunity to whip up a frenzy of nationalism and 
militarism. International laws is all that militarily weak countries and 
citizens of weak countries can appeal to when confronted with military 
violence. The US government has made very clear during the last three/four 
days that it is in no such position of weakness. It has military power and 
therefore it doesn't need to bother with laws. So far nothing out of bounds 
has happened, but the policy statements given by the US government indicate 
that the US considers itself to be above the law on this matter. Such a 
policy undermines the very system of laws.

Felipe wrote :
> We must recognize our total lack of
> respect and appreciation for anything different than the modern western
> system of democracy and capitalism. Only then will we arrive at some
> answers that could lead us to an end of this Jihad.

Most certainly, *as a culture* "we" have no respect for other cultures, so we 
offer no starting point for *mutual* respect. What makes matters worse, is 
that "we" have no respect for our own system, as a system. One indication of 
this is that western powers have installed and supported many dictatorships 
during the last couple of centuries, a policy continued right upto the 
present. (Don't expect Kissinger ever to stand trial at the International 
Tribunal in The Hague.)
Although international laws are really part of "our" system, all policy 
statements of the US now ignore them in favor of discussion of what 
possibilities for revenge are militarily open to them. Rather than motivating 
"others" to adopt "our" system, we find that the US are close to adopting the 
terrorist mindset as their own.

Given such a self-defeating policy, I think that indeed:
> the situation will likely get worse before it gets better.


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