I disagree. I think organisations would be harmless if not for the popular support. Anti Israeli/Americanism has been fuiled by the treatment of Palestinians, starving of Iraqi’s for 12 years and American presence in the Holy Land of SA. I’m not going to defend what I just said because how I feel about them makes no difference. This is the way said topics are portrayed by ME media and that is what matters. Even fundamentalist organisations are getting popular support by non fundamentalist Muslims who feel for their fellow muslims and fell offended by American presence. If AQ had to count on Fundamentalists only they would never had made the impact they have.
Appeasement is dangerous for sure… covering your eyes and ears and thinking violence only will solve it is more dangerous… by rising to the challenge I think they meant people who oppose the extreme ways of solving it.
Violence isn’t always the answer, but it has a better record than appeasement. Real peace through negotiations is better than both, but if the Palestinians won’t negotiate in good faith Israel has no choice but to do the second best thing: fight.
**Agreed that open societies are part of the solution. Also part of the solution is having a populus educated in secular subjects and having something constructive for citizens to do with that education. The end game question is how to get there.
I think much of that question is open to debate, but one thing that absolutely must happen is to get rid of the dictators, starting with the worst ones.
The West is fearful of rapid democratization because of the risk of replacing a freindly despot with an unfreindly but popularly elected theocrat.
I haven’t really heard much of that talk. As long as the system constitutionally protects the rights of women and minorities, and calls for periodic elections, it’s not a big deal if the first election produces a theocrat. Theocrats are notoriously awful at governing, and any theocrat that actually had to stand for reelection would be soundly defeated. Which is why once in power they try to avoid the inconvenience of any more elections and try to force women and minorities into submission.
The percieved imposition of our Western secular values is also the very thing that religious extremists react against
Outstanding observation that a lot of leftist Westerners refuse to acknowledge. Unless it is Religious Right conservatives here, of course. Those are truly bad people in their view.
**Kill all the hordes of terrorists and their supporters? And you’d tell them from everyone else by the nice sign they wear? Or is every Arab a supporter to you? And you do realize that excessively heavy-handed tactics make the terrorist structure into a hydra sprouting two new heads for every one you cut off?
You’ve made it much to simplistic. First, a terrorist isn’t a terrorist until he’s shooting at you or has a bomb strapped to him. So yes, they wear a sign.
And while our tactics will occasionally create a terrorist, the Al Qaeda response to our actions is hurting themselves as well. Most of their attacks recently have killed Muslims, not Westerners. The Muslim Brotherhood was practically destroyed because of boneheaded tactics like that. In war, the side that makes the fewest blunders usually wins. By only taking into account our blunders, you make a fundamental error. Al Qaeda is making their share as well. Al Qaeda also has a very serious strategic problem: the fact that they consider everyone who doesn’t agree with them a mortal enemy. Much is made of our diplomacy problems, but they have a serious ally shortage.
So do not appease but still address the cause.
Sure, but the causes of terrorism are not necessarily the cause the terrorists are fighting for. When you address THEIR cause instead of the real root causes, you only give aid and comfort to them while doing nothing to solve terrorism. You actually encourage it because other groups see terrorism as a way to get grievances solved.
**Fighting terror with weapons and fences and intelligence is a needed bandage to stem the bleeding, but we are foolish if we believe that such is the real battleground. We haven’t won until the Arab world finds a way to integrate devotion to faith with secular governmental structures and secular studies for their people with home grown science and technology industries for that educated populus.
Very true, and I would contend that we are doing just that.
**With all due respect adaher, there were only minor opposition in the West Bank and Gaza prior to the mid 70ties, at which time Israel began to treat the occupied population poorly, as well as moving significant amounts of settlers into the area. In the first years of the occupation Israel treated the Palestinians decently and there where little resistance. Furthermore, I would hardly call the first intifada (10-12 year olds throwing stones at tanks) for “terrorists”. Islamic Jihad wasn’t founded until the mid 1980ies, and if I’m not completely mistaken Hamas was founded in 1988 or so. Suicide bombings didn’t occur until mid 1990ies. There were things happening in that area before 1999 you know.
The Palestinian population didn’t resist much, partly because the PLO wasn’t operating among them. Arafat has said that Oslo was a Trojan Horse that allowed the PLO to get within Israel. Well, it worked. Terrorism rarely emanated from the West Bank prior to the 90s, but it did come from Lebanon, from the Golan, and prior to 1970, from Jordan and Egypt. Suicide bombing is a relatively new tactic for the Palestinians, but the killings of Israelis has been going on for a long time, and it predates 1967. The PLO itself got started a few years before then and launched dozens of attacks against Israel.
**Why don’t you try to live in an area where an occupying force removes your water supply, your crops, denies you the opportunity of visiting your family in the neighbouring village, or to go to work, has civilians armed with sniper rifles shooting at you when your out on your farm, - then tear down your house when you to try to object or just to build a settlers-only road. That was what was happening before people began to blow themselves up. And still is going on. It doesn’t justify blowing people up, of course.
It would suck, and I would probably fight the occupiers(I don’t know for sure, never had my courage tested like that). I certainly would not go AROUND the soldiers, walk several miles, find a pizza place, and blow myself up there. This is not a common tactic among guerilla groups. Most real, honest to goodness liberation groups primarily fight military and law enforcement. the Palestinians want civilians. Major problem here. If you want to end an occupation you kill the occupiers, not innocents in the home country. All they’ve succeeded in doing is forcing Israel to tighten its hold in order to protect their citizens.
As to the war on terror, it will probably never end in our lifetime because the principle of fundamentalists is to never give in, as we all know they regard their own life of lesser value than their cause. The big difference between Baader-Meinhof and their likes and al Qaeda symphatizers, is that the former were driven by a political idology, the latter are driven by strong personal religious beliefs
I think there is little substantive difference between a political ideology and a religion, especially since Islamism is also political. The main difference is that the sponsors of the Marxist groups went away, and they withered on the vine. Eliminate the state sponsors of Islamic terrorism one way or another, and the same will happen to them.
Heck, if you want a lasting solution to Israel/Palestine, set up schools, including trade schools, for Palestinian girls and women. When they begin to see through the line of bullshit they’ve been fed for centuries, they’ll have fewer children, they’ll set up small industries that they’ll be eager to protect (i.e. by discouraging war) and they’ll generally show decreased tolerance for macho crap.
Increasing education for women has always struck me as the easiest way to “civilize” a population, and I use the term only in the sense of dampening extremist elements.
In the short term it increases them. As we are seeing in Afghanistan, where there are a lot of threats and violence against women becuase they are starting to exercise their natural rights.
Sure, as the terrorisits and terrorist-wannabes see their grip slipping away. Long-term, though, getting rid of patriarchy only strikes me as a good thing, and I ain’t one of them Walter Mondale/Alan Alda touchy-feely feminist wimps, neither. It just occurs to me that a lot of the violence is done by men, and a lot of the idiots that can let themselves be talked into committing violence in the name of religion/politics/whatever happen to be men.
Actually, the concept I really dislike is the idea of “honour” that requires you to hurt a lot of people in order to prove it. What happened to the sense of honour that comes adhering to a sense of integrity despite the actions of others?
Oh, I completely agree. Women are the key.
I would also point out that as long as women and minorities are persecuted in Arab nations, they will never be able to even come close to the rest of the world economically. There is simply no way you can compete when you fail to utilize 50-70% of your talent pool.
Thinking women by themselves are some secret weapon against violence is naive… women have been strapping on suicide belts in Israel and Chechyna just like the men lately… when women are that desperate its a sure sign of things getting out of hand.
As for professions… its no good giving palestinians training and education and then closing the border where the jobs are… you will have instead of angry youth… educated, frustrated, trained and angry youth.
Well, it’ll always be easy to find the one percent of one percent of the population that are willing to die for a cause. My take on female suicide bombers is that it’s a cynical attempt to get past existing security checkpoints, which get tighter with each bombing, by picking bombers that don’t match the profiles of previous bombers. Heck, if security got sufficiently tight that all people from 16-30 (the typical age range of a suicide bomber) were subject to searches and thus couldn’t get into a position where they could kill lots of civilians, the terrorist cell leaders would seek out disenchanted forty year-olds (difficult, since by that age you’ve outgrown a lot of the stupider impulses) or easily manipulatable 12 year olds (at first, some people would call such recruiting reprehensible, but that would die down soon enough). The pool of “talent” will be smaller, though.
By educating women, you make it far less likely that the society overall will passively support such tactics, and more likely that they will act aggressively to discourage such terrorism. Hopefully, they’ll start questioning the leadership which has proven unable or unwilling to crack down on terrorists, and throw the bums out.
Right, so you aim educational opportunities at women, who, frankly, are less likely to commit violent crime under any conditions. And as for jobs, with sufficient education and training, why can’t the Palestinians develop their own industries and create their own jobs? There is or at one time was, an underlying assumption among many of the Palestinian exiles that any attempt to establish industry or infrastructure meant they had submitted to their fate and given up hope of returning to land that had been absorbed by Israel. I’m hoping the education of women will open their eyes to the facts that:
[ul][li]This “right of return” stuff is bullshit, meant to distract them from the incompetence and corruption of their own leadership, and[/li]The best thing they can do for themselves is to start building up permanent homes and industries so their lives can be improved now, rather than waiting for promises of a future paradise.[/ul]
Bryan Ekers, a lot of the blame for the economic impoverishment of Palestinians falls squarely on the shoulders of Israel. Which uses economic strangulation as a way of controlling the population.
You seem to be fixating on the Israeli/PA situation when the problem of terrorism is more endemic in the region.
Under Israeli ocupation Arabs have had very good (relative to the region) educational opportunities, but little chance to use the skills. Status expected but not materialized makes for discontent and frustration looking for an outlet. Israel has no ethical responsibilty to provide jobs or an economic driver for Arabs in the PA however. Still, in a real peace Israel would be sure to use that pool of resources I am sure.
But across the region there are few opportunities for a young educated male. So they leave or they remain discontented and ripe for harvest by fundamentalist groups that offer “family” and “ideals”. A climate of intellectual opportunities; a native science and technology infrastructure (not one provided or imported by that which is percieved as “The West”); and women’s rights and education are all vital for the real endgame.
And a lot of good it’s done, too. Since this tack clearly doesn’t work in the long term, I’m suggesting the Israelis start doing the hearts and minds thing. They don’t even have to do any serious propagandizing, they just have to provide a counter for all the propagandizing the Palestinians already receive from their own political and religious leaders. Women, I feel, would be the best place to start.
I don’t really think of it as fixating (assuming you were talking to me). Rather, I just chose a relatively small portion of the overall problem. I think improved education for women across MENA generally would be an excellent use of resources.
**As for professions… its no good giving palestinians training and education and then closing the border where the jobs are… you will have instead of angry youth… educated, frustrated, trained and angry youth.
They have to make their own jobs. Once Palestine gets a state, Israel is under no obligation to employ its citizens. If Palestinians intend to rely on Israel for their livelihood, it begs the question of why they are fighting Israel in the first place.
**Bryan Ekers, a lot of the blame for the economic impoverishment of Palestinians falls squarely on the shoulders of Israel. Which uses economic strangulation as a way of controlling the population.
This didn’t happen before the PA started using the West Bank as a base to attack Israel from. Back when the West Bank was fairly peaceful and the PLO was forced to operate from Lebanon and Syria, there were far fewer restrictions and employment levels were very high.
**I don’t really think of it as fixating (assuming you were talking to me). Rather, I just chose a relatively small portion of the overall problem. I think improved education for women across MENA generally would be an excellent use of resources.
Israel really isn’t in a position to do that. To much bad blood. The only thing Israel can do is try to seperate itself from Palestine. Over time, if Palestine is a truly free state, it will moderate on its own without Israeli help. The US and Europe however, do have some prestige left in the region and can help, at least in societies that are open to change, like some of the more moderate Arab regimes. And of course the two Islamic nations we occupy.