Al Qaeda

April 9, 2006 at 10:56 pm 2 comments

Kathy Acker once said, and I can't find the quote, that terrorism is the only effective means of politics. When you think about it Al Queda has gotten what they want. We are rethinking middle eastern politics. From the Isreali lobby (and why 1/5th of our foreign aid goes to a country with an income equal to or better than South Korea) to films ranging from Control Room to Munich. And as a nation we're finally waking up to the fact that Americans voting needs to take in consideration that we're a military super power with both positive (stopping genocides in Africa and the first Iraq war) and negative (less than 27% of nation building attempts succeed) effects. While stupid things like blocking the Dubai port deal out of the rather ignorant assumption that it would somehow threaten "security" still happen, the U.S. has woken up to the possibities that maybe we're not doing the right thing in the middle east i.e. Syriana and on a more grandeous scale, we're coming to terms with the end of the post-holocaust mind set (sorry had to throw one intellectualism in there). I'm rambling a bit on a minor point: terrorism has suceeded in making people realize just how alien a mindset people in other countries might have, and why they have it. What's to be learned from this isn't entirely a lesson in security, it's a lesson in listening. If we can not consider others views on the same level as our own we'll always have zealots. People wonder how do terrorists emerge, but they exist in any culture and society wether it's christian lobbyists, crazed environmental zealots, activists of all sorts, people are inherintly drawn to the specter of power in mass protest and destruction, trying to police it's more destructive acts will always be a problem, trying to abate it through better foreign policy and a more constructive approach to cultural difference would create a cushion that softens the blow. Granted that few of the terrorist organizations represent a majority of muslims (or so the arabaic blogosphere seems to beckon) and the pressue the U.S. and Israel have put on Hamas has effectively forced it's hand in finding quaified legitimate professionals to create their cabniet these methodologies have been in force for years, and their net effect has yet to be paved over by a "freedom tower".

On another note on the post-hollocaust mind set, I do hope that recent films like Munich and other media do start to show that victims are far from innocent in their actions. While I think the jews were due a country and that their security checks are needed (hamas smuggles bombs in ambulances) to make exceptions for their actions and their taking of life in the middle east is to say becuase you were persecuted it's ok for you to act immorally. It is arguably worse for the oppressed to become the oppressor, but I'm no expert in middle eastern politics and American culture is still to heavily indebited to the idea of the victim to really begin to deal with the problems of the world maturely.

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p.s. and yes I misspelled Al Qaeda in the title and then fixed it. yeah I'm good at these things sure. 

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Rangdebasanti links for 2006-04-10

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fred lapides  |  April 11, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Sir–while it is true that Israel is not exactly a noble nation in every aspect, I would ask you to name a country that is. That said, you wonder why US spends so much on helping Israel. Guess then which country is 2nd to the money the US sends for aid…can you?
    Now, Hamas wants Israel destroyed and the nice thing about this group is that they are very straightforward in what they say about what they want. Would you deal with such a country?

    As for “the occupied territories,” who controlled that land before Israel won it in a war meant to destroy Israel? If you name Egypt and Jordan you are correct. But then, why the Palestinians yelling about “their land”? It is not theirs. Never was in fact.

    Thre has always been a Jewish presence in the middle east (Palestine) and in fact there was a Jewish nation there before there was the Koran and Islam. The UN voted to allow the Jews in the area to create a state, the areas formerly under British control and previous to that, Undere Ottoman control . There was also to be a state for Arabs. But they turned it down and instead invaded the new state of Israel. That is why the mess remains in that area. And Israel remains the only democracy in the region.

  • 2. dignifieddevil  |  April 15, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    “Sir–while it is true that Israel is not exactly a noble nation in every aspect, I would ask you to name a country that is.”

    I think you might have taken my comments as spitefull when they were just intended to being pondering the issue. Anyway, I do take your point, and I in fact was not aware of much of the history of Israel. As for a perfect nation, there is none and Israel is arguablly a better place than Turkmenistan or Iran or even most of Europe in some regards and obviously the U.S. these days.



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