Saturday, July 30, 2005
Terrorism for Dummies
The bombers arrested in London barely live in the present. They wander around in a medieval, Crusader-like fog thinking God is guiding and protecting them as they murder, or try to murder, their innocent fellow men and women. The look on the faces of two of them when arrested seemed to say, "How can God allow this?"
All four live in the West, because they have fled the violence in their own countries. But in their fog, it is their sanctuary that must be punished.
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I think the idea of the terrorists as mediaeval holdovers doesn't get us very far. Instead, I'd compare them to the Baader-Meinhof group and other 1970s terror groups (including the neo-fascists who blew up the Bologna train station): secret nihilists invoking grand ideologies to justify their rage that has some other basis.
It's true that certain tenets of Marxism and Islam can be invoked to support this kind of violence; but that's not why they do it.
Posted by: Chris Burd at Jul 31, 2005 12:51:39 PM
The fundamentalist terrorists are not nihilists. The BMs don't explain the fundamentalists well at all.
The BMs made many rational explanations of what they were doing. The fundamentalists can't. They operate in a fervent fog that precludes rationalism.
Posted by: john massengale at Aug 1, 2005 12:18:56 AM
But John, Salafi Islam includes very clear, "rational" explanations for what they are doing. (rational in the sense of religiously justified) Propaganda to the contrary, Islam (like most religions, especially the Abrahamic religions) is a religion of war, spread through conquest, and their beleifs have a thousand years of rationalizations behind them. Is the "revolution" of the "working class" any less a piece of deluded religious fundamentalism than the Salafiist and Wahabi believers?
Posted by: Brian Miller at Aug 2, 2005 11:25:18 AM
So you have a rational explanation of bombing the London underground? Who's benefiting from that?
Posted by: john massengale at Aug 2, 2005 12:11:03 PM