Lennaart van Oldenborgh on Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:26:15 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Re: nettime What Causes Terrorism?

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
>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


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