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Monday, June 5, 2017

Common sense about terrorism

A friend sent the following excerpt from an article by a Britisher, Sean Gabb:

Jeremy Corbyn, I grant, has been slightly better. He sees Islamic terrorism as a response to our endless wars of aggression in the Islamic World. He says:

"[M]any experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed out the connections between wars that we have been involved in, or supported, or fought, in other countries and terrorism here at home."

There is some truth in this. I will not quote the relevant news releases from the Islamic State. But their consistent line is that, so long as we drop bombs on their women and children, they will blow themselves up among ours. Bearing in mind the scale of the chaos and bloodshed they have unleashed since 2001 in the Islamic world, our leaders are in a weak position to complain.

Even so, if they have been at least unwise, these wars cannot be regarded as the whole cause of what is being done to us. There have been major terrorist attacks in Spain and Germany and Sweden, countries that have not been to war in the Islamic World. There have been attacks in Thailand and India and the Philippines, and in many other countries that stayed neutral. I believe that we should withdraw all our forces from Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan. We should leave the Syrians to sort out their civil war. We should, so far as possible, vacate those parts of the world. I believe we should do this for our sake and for theirs. But I do not believe this would stop the terrorists from blowing our people up or from running them down. Remove one excuse – another would be found. There is a weak correlation between Islamic terrorism and whether a country targeted has been to war in the Islamic World. There is a very strong correlation between Islamic terrorism and the presence of a large Moslem population. Thailand had no part in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It has Moslems. It has had terrorism. Slovakia was in the “Coalition of the Willing.” It has almost no Moslems, It has had no terrorism.

Let us suppose Tony Blair had found the common sense to tell the Americans to invade Iraq on their own. There might have been less Islamic terrorism in this country. But do not suppose there would have been none. The wars we fought in Iraq and elsewhere were wrong in themselves. They failed in their stated ends. But the true cause of the mess we are in is unlimited immigration of people who mostly cannot be assimilated, and who have been allowed to establish a demographic and cultural hegemony in large parts of the country. When our ancestors turned up in North America, they formed exclusive enclaves, and felt no obligation to conform to the ways of the aborigines. They thought they were better, and they would have been scandalised by any advice to paint their faces and join in the tomahawk dance. Once their initial colonies were secure, and once their population had sufficiently grown, they took over. Why should it be very different when we are the colonised? Terrorist violence is connected with what we have done to their countries. Much more, it is part of marking new territory and pre-empting opposition.

The point is rarely made, but it's true that while we always hear all the details about the latest terrorist attacks on the West, we almost never hear about the women and children killed by Western bombs in Muslim countries.  

Anyway, I thought the article exuded common sense, and the parallel between white and Muslim settlers was apt.  

8 comments:

Mark Caplan said...

The war of reconquest led by Ferdinand and Isabella in the 1400s is as fresh in the minds of Muslims as the 22,000-pound bomb we dropped on one of their cave networks two months ago. The driving purpose of Islam is to force unbelievers into submission, either through liquidation, enslavement, or conversion.

Anonymous said...

Is the problem Islam or Muslims?
If their holy book said nothing of violence or discrimination yet they have been just as violent and discriminative as they are now, I would still hold them accountable even more for choosing to do so with even more deliberateness.

Likewise, any holy book could say to burn dolphins alive 10 time a day yet if those who belong to a religion based on that book do not do that, and even say "It's an old book, we don't have to take it literally or follow it" I would not mind or even feel the need to attack them for hypocrisy like an internet atheist would.

The ancient Jews did terrible things, but modern Jews do not and if asked would say "Why should we? It's an old book." Even if they are hypocritical about it and try to use some context argument, as long as they aren't committing evil I am fine. Who isn't a hypocrite at some point in their life?

I don't care what the Quran says or what kind of person Mohammed was. If they argue you cannot find fault since Mohammed was a bad person and they are only following their creed, does it matter? They don't have to treat the Quran as literal. If they argue Mohammed was a good person or at least what he did at the time was the norm and modern muslims have distorted their teachings, then denounce the extremists.

For politicians it radical islamic is fair, it implies there is such a thing as islam that is not radical, but the bleeding hearts do not take this option. Even Donald Trump has this speech I think for the muslim world:
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/05/what-trumps-ramadan-message-was-really-about/528309/
Yet it is being criticized.

-Ga

Anonymous said...

I have a question, in the past it was communism and the domino effect.
How would you have handled the Vietnam war or intervention? South American regimes? And more without getting the US involved in the entire world's problems instead of focusing on our own?

-Ga

Anonymous said...

Also the issue of globalization or a one world government.
I wonder what to do if the day ever comes aliens are discovered.
Hypothetically, If we discover aliens and maybe even have to deal with interplanetary politics, how should Earth be represented? If there is a unified earth, how should we go about?
If we start colonizing planets, who will claim them? A unified earth or do we keep the current status of independant countries with whichever nation reaching it owning it? Or should every single planet be treated as new territory and divided and disputed like in the age of colonization, only for independence to be a possibility?
A federal model with the world divided into states seems like a good idea, each with their own local government, but a council for representation.
I don't know. Maybe there is no answer right now, I don't expect you to have a manifesto either, but do you have a clue?

And right now,
How does the USA deal with foreign relations and maintain its own priorities without becoming too isolationist? We shouldn't intervene or become too globalist, but we need trade, technology, and resources other countries have for humans to advance, and while we can prevent radical islam from entering our borders, if too much of the rest of the world is taken over by them, and they refuse to trade or place sanctions on us, we will slowly starve. But invading or intervening only leads to problems too.

Losing the middle east to islam, and letting them all kill eachother off sounds like a good idea, but look at North Korea, it's a wasteland but is still standing and so much potential is lost. The resources, scientific findings, products parts of the world could have would be lost and only damage growth and trade. The middle east has an advantage, it is in a vital location where east and west meet, the costs saved if that area was not standing in the way.

That's a reason why the USA intervened in central america during the communist crisis there, if the panama canal were lost, the sheer cost to the entire world. But installing dictators there only caused problems.

Oh how I hate how so much sucks now. Yeah I sound like a modernist, if only it were so simple, no Radical Islam or Communism or war. The world just growing more wealthy with each country minding it's own business. It's a fantasy.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
What did the ancient Jews do that was so terrible?

I've never read the Koran, to be honest, so have no idea what's in it.

John Craig said...

Ga --
It's easy for me to say with the luxury of hindsight, but if it had been up to me, I would have just stayed uninvolved in all those countries. "Isolationist" is a little bit of a dirty word now but that's pretty much what I am.

John Craig said...

Ga --
I hadn't read your last comment before responding to the previous one, so my use of the word "isolationist" is purely coincidence.

As far as aliens, my attitude is, we'll deal with that problem when we come to it. (And if they're sophisticated enough and so scientifically advanced that they can come here, chances are that we won't be able to do much about them anyway.) I'm certainly not in favor of a world government, that would have the potential to be a dictatorship like no other.

Back when communism was the big threat, it seemed like a cancer that would take over the world, but eventually, it just collapsed under its own weight. So, in retrospect, we needn't have been so panicky about it. But at the time it seemed that once a country turned into a communist dictatorship, it couldn't vote itself out of communism, since there were no longer any real small-d democratic elections, and that was something worth guarding against.

Will Islam somehow eventually suffer a similar fate, collapsing under its own weight as its adherents grow tired of its harsh strictures? I don't know. It doesn't seem to be so far, and it's been around a lot longer than communism has. On the other hand, this modern strain of ISIS-inspired extremism is quite new, but I have no idea how long that will take to burn out. Religion does fill a big hole in people's lives. If they have no sense of community, no sense of purpose, no sense of a mission in life, no sense of something bigger than themselves, religion gives them one.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the historical atrocities from the old testement and comparing them to the ones in the Quran. Like the massacre of many ethnic groups by the wandering Jewish tribe. My wording sucked.

If aliens do come and they are by small chance not a bunch of brain eating blood harvesting freaks, but want to introduce us to an organization called the "United Systems" made up of other aliens, what do we do? Where do we put their embassies?

I'd choose somewhere in Greenland, after all, nobody cares about that country since it's a frozen wasteland and there is nothing so special about it's history, so hardly anybody will argue about unfairness.

Maybe we can have something like what the British royalty is, a representative figurehead over several independent countries. Elizabeth is the Queen of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand but is not their president. (But she does have actual power though, look at the 1975 crisis in Australia for an example.)

Every country on earth will remain independent but there is an elected earth President whose roles are purely diplomatic, being head of state for Earth, but not being the head of government for anywhere. Unlike the Queen, he or she will not have powers over any country relating to Non-interplanetary issues, he can only exercise recommendations concerning alien affairs with the united nations having a branch added exclusively for such purposes like whether we trade or place sanctions on one species, deciding how to divide territory on a colonized planet among settlers from different countries and more.

But on Islam, the places where it exists are vital locations on this planet for worldwide commerce. So long as those areas are cut off or left to rot for god knows how long, how will anyone be able to access what's there? If say radical extremism grows too much in Indonesia, where the hell will we get coconut oil? Do we invent synthetic coconut oil? We can't grow enough in the USA. It's a key component of many products sold by American companies. When the German coca cola branch was cut off during ww2 from outside, they invented Fanta because they had no way of making coke. It was a shitty product made from whey and apple trimming and more in the beginning, not the orangey soda we know today.

I may sound like a modernist or futurist, and I may be one. But I feel it is important for society to keep advancing and progressing technologically and economically, and we need as much access to minds and resources. I am the absolute opposite of a primitivist, I want more technology, science, and resources. And if a destructive force gets a hold of an area and wrecks it and takes hold, it's the end.

Have you seen before and after pictures of middle eastern countries? What they looked like during the 70s compared to now?:
http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5112c4a969beddd072000000-940-/afghanistanimage.jpg
Think of all the wealth and room for advancement lost. Now the USA won't be able to mutually reap anything with countries that have fallen into shit because of extremist ideologies. I am actually angry at communism and radical muslims (I'm not gonna say "Islam" here, I don't care what the damn book says, you don't have to follow every single thing it says) for setting many parts of the world back to the almost dark ages. There is no trade to be had with them. The guy in one of these places who could have invented the cure for cancer may have never been born because of the shit done. Imagine the damage to the US wealth if the communists did take control of Panama and cut off the canal from our access.

-Ga