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Friday, July 08, 2005

And this is why they did it

Amir Taheri explains in why they did it:

Moments after yesterday’s attacks my telephone was buzzing with requests for interviews with one recurring question: but what do they want? That reminded me of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker, who was shot by an Islamist assassin on his way to work in Amsterdam last November. According to witnesses, Van Gogh begged for mercy and tried to reason with his assailant. “Surely we can discuss this,” he kept saying as the shots kept coming. “Let us talk it over.” Van Gogh, who had angered Islamists with his documentary about the mistreatment of women in Islam, was reacting like BBC reporters did yesterday, assuming that the man who was killing him may have some reasonable demands which could be discussed in a calm, democratic atmosphere. But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.
Read the rest as well. One of the great challenges in dealing with terror, or any political action for that matter, is discerning between reasons and excuses. I am of the opinion that the vast majority of Al-Qaida terrorists do not have any sort of rational plan for victory but are instead motivated by a fantasy ideology in which the rest of us are just props. Unfortunately, this makes them more, not less dangerous.


Anonymous tsykoduk said...

Why these fools did it - yes. But the 'root causes' of terror run deeper. Why use terror?

Terrorism is common, and will persist, because it is a tool of the weak versus the strong, a cheap military weapon to achieve expensive political goals. As long as there are people willing to kill to advance their ends, there will be terrorists. - from The Roost


7/08/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

My point is that I am not sure they have 'ends' in the traditional sense. The act itself is the end they have in mind.

That is not true of all terrorist groups, but seems to be the case for Al Qaida.

7/08/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris Rasmussen said...

Dave, I think you're on to something. This is more of a primal scream than a strategy.

Remember, there still hasn't been a verified confirmation of did this attack, nor are there the usual unrealistic demands for the release of prisoners, etc...

This is nothing more of a death cult. AQ's going to lose, of course. They don't have anything tangible to their adherents and the world except bluster and death. Negotiation is clearly not the answer, nor is the false "if we do this, the terrorists would have won" argument.

We do what we think is wise and it is silly to figure out what can persuade AQ from acting -- what is critical is to figure out how we can prevent other, rational people, from acting in AQ's interests either consciously or subconsciously.

7/09/2005 11:23:00 AM  

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