E. Miller on Mon, 16 Aug 2004 23:27:10 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> What Causes Terrorism?

I largely agree with your conclusions, yet at the same time I think there's
another half of the picture.

If we're going to use the argument that 'advancement starts with
enlightenment at home', let's not leave out the Arab world.  But don't
believe me, believe the Arabs.  Check out the annual Arab Human Development
Report, written by Arabs and published by the UN.

When distressed societies look for simple answers to complex societal
problems,  the result can be neoconservatism, Wahhabi Islam, nationalism,
fascism...pick your favorite flavor of dysfunctionality.   When the ideology
du jour tells you that you're on the side of God, virtue, and righteousness
(and that the other ideologies, which also bestow virtue and righteousness
to their adherents, must be eliminated) why on earth should we be surprised
by conflict?  

And let's not forget that understanding a culture isn't the same as
accepting a culture.  Wahhabism largely springs from an explicit rejection
of Western culture and values.  They aren't playing by our live-and-let-live
progressive rules when they analyze our culture and subsequently declare war
on the West rather than join hands and sing 'Kumbaya' with us.

A madrassa is a madrassa is a madrassa, whether it's built of cinderblock in
Pakistan or dressed in tasteful wood paneling on K Street.  Unless we
recognize and challenge intolerant extremism everywhere we're just pushing
the pendulum harder and further.


On 8/13/04 5:33 AM, "Randall Packer" <rpacker@zakros.com> wrote:

> In the Washington Post, today, Dick Cheney made
> the following comment: "Terrorist attacks are not
> caused by the use of strength; they are invited
> by the perception of weakness." It is precisely
> this reasoning that has led to the rise in
> terrorism in the first place. Dick Cheney is dead
> wrong.

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