2 of 2
2
Suicide bombing political strategy, not religious fanaticism
Posted: 25 June 2007 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05

if suicide bombings were acts born solely from political disputes such as land grabbing then wouldnt we see looks of desperation, anguish, anxiety, fear and anger on the faces of the suicide bombers?

We see the exact opposite- young men and women who are as calm as hindu cows, some of them even smiling, before they head off to meet what is a very gruesome end.

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 June 2007 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]Malapert writes:

Malapert continues:

“Other conditions have to be present.  It’s not a pure expression of religious belief; it’s a military tactic made palatable in some cases by religious belief.  That seems to be self-evident, in fact.

“But the former is what Sam argued in the Truthdig debate. We can ignore every single other circumstance, and merely look to the Koran.”

What “other conditions” are you referring to?  Economic?  Education?

No; military occupation.  As explained by Pape.

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]I believe Sam argues that the actual factors within the Muslim religion that contribute to suicidal attacks, are so compelling to those who believe in it (e.g., jihad, the belief in martyrdom, you’ll get everything you want after death, you get your family into heaven, etc.), that these factors can independently account for SB’ings.

So where are the Sudanese suicide bombers?  There are infidels in Sudan.

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]—Not that other factors aren’t present, and not that “we can ignore every single other circumstance,” …which Sam never stated.

Hmmm.  I don’t seem to recall him listing any others in the Truthdig debate, or in the books either.

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]It appears that you are attempting to square your personal ideology (that SB’ings are “not a pure expression of religious belief”) with the reality that education and economics are not mitigating factors.  Sam states that “everything we find out about the kinds of people who hijack planes and fly them into buildings or blow themselves up on the tube in the U.K.,—suicide bombers—is that they are disproportionately well off, and they are disproportionately well educated.  Your likelihood of dying through suicide bombing goes up if you’re better educated.  And support for suicide bombing goes up in proportionately with literacy.  This is not a movement of the poorest of the poor and the least educated.” (Truthdig Debate, 5/22/07)  He draws this conclusion from factual evidence.  You can argue this point all you want, but that will not make it any less true.

Good thing I’m not arguing it then.  Pape notes that education may not make a person more likely to try to execute a suicide bombing, but it certainly makes the effort more likely to succeed.

Malapert states:

“The fact that other cultures/religions don’t support suicide bombing in the face of military occupation is irrelevant.”

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]Actually, it is very relevant.  If the suicide terrorists’ actions are fostered and supported by their religion (i.e., Islamic faith/culture), then there is an unambiguous correlation between their faith and their actions.

It is irrelevant, because “suicide bombing” appears to have become a uniquely scary bogeyman, and worse, one that leads to helpless handwringing (as I said in another post) or the even more inane “Let’s just nuke ‘em all.”  The IRA and Algerian homicidal bombers were no less terrorists, and no less effective, because they weren’t interested in immolating themselves along with their victims.

Making this form of terrorism an expression of irrational faith means we cannot deal with it.  All we can do is wait for Muslims to come to their senses.  And that’s just too risky.

But again, we may be quibbling over distinctions without a difference at this point.

P.S.  You’re doing something with your responses that makes it hard to reply to them without a lot of editing.  I think it’s manually inserting and bolding my name before quoting me and adding things like “states”, etc.  The software does that automatically if you don’t make any cuts.  If you do, you can restore the attribution by using the automatic quote feature, then inserting the OP’s name: from (quote) to (quote=“M is for Malapert”).  Substitute lower case brackets for parentheses.  Or if you aren’t quoting anyone else throughout the post, you don’t even have to keep putting in “M is for Malapert”; readers will make that assumption.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 June 2007 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  262
Joined  2007-05-22

Malapert wrote:
“Other conditions have to be present. It’s not a pure expression of religious belief; it’s a military tactic made palatable in some cases by religious belief. That seems to be self-evident, in fact.
“But the former is what Sam argued in the Truthdig debate. We can ignore every single other circumstance, and merely look to the Koran.”

JETurnbull wrote:
What “other conditions” are you referring to? Economic? Education?

Malapert wrote:
No; military occupation. As explained by Pape.

I dealt with Pape in my first post. But hell, let’s see what Sam has to say about him…

“R.A. Pape, has argued that suicidal terrorism is best understood as a strategic means to achieve certain well-defined nationalist goals and should not be considered a consequence of religious ideology.  In support of this thesis, he recounts the manner in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad have systematically used suicide bombings to extract concessions from the Israeli government.  Pape argues that had these organizations been merely “irrational” or “fanatic,” we would not expect to see such a calculated use of violence.  Their motivation must be, therefore, primarily nationalistic.  Like most commentators on this infernal wastage of human life, Pape seems unable to imagine what it would be like to actually believe what millions of Muslims profess to believe.

“The fact that terrorist groups have demonstrable, short-term goals does not in the least suggest that they are not primarily motivated by their religious dogmas.  Pape claims that ‘the most important goal that a community can have is the independence of its homeland (population, property, and way of life) from foreign influence or control.’  But he overlooks the fact that these communities define themselves in religious terms.  Pap’s analysis is particularly inapposite with respect to Al Qaeda.  To attribute “territorial” and “nationalistic” motives to Osama bin Laden seems almost willfully obscurantist, since Osama’s only apparent concerns are the spread of Islam and the sanctity of Muslim holy sites.  Suicide bombing, in the Muslim world at least, is an explicitly religious phenomenon that is inextricable from notions of martyrdom and jihad, predictable on their basis, and sanctified by their logic.  It is no more secular an activity than prayer is.” (S.H., End of Faith, pp. 260-261) [emphasis Sam’s]

JET writes:
I believe Sam argues that the actual factors within the Muslim religion that contribute to suicidal attacks, are so compelling to those who believe in it (e.g., jihad, the belief in martyrdom, you’ll get everything you want after death, you get your family into heaven, etc.), that these factors can independently account for suicidal bombings.

Malapert writes:
So where are the Sudanese suicide bombers? There are infidels in Sudan.

What infidels?  Unlike in the Second Sudanese Civil War that ended in 2005, and was fought between the primarily Muslim north and Christian and Animist south, almost all of the combatants and victims in the current Darfur conflict are Muslim. 

In either case, your point – whatever it is – is negated.  In the former, the victimized Christian (read: non-Muslim) south did not engage in any known suicidal bombing.  The latter, current conflict has pitted the largely nomadic Arab-identifying Muslim Sudanese and the Janjaweed militia, supported by the Sudanese government, against the sedentary non-Arab Muslim Sudanese population of the region in a battle over resource and land allocation.  If both groups are Muslim, where are the infidel “occupiers?”

JET writes:
—Not that other factors aren’t present, and not that “we can ignore every single other circumstance,” …which Sam never stated.

Malapert writes:
Hmmm. I don’t seem to recall him listing any others in the Truthdig debate, or in the books either.

Hmmm, Well then, allow me to refresh your memory on what Sam did say…

“I take it to be more or less self-evident that whenever large numbers of people begin turning themselves into bombs, or volunteer their children for use in the clearing of minefields, the rationale behind their actions has ceased to be merely political.  This is not to say that the aspiring martyr does not relish what he imagines will be the thunderous political significance of his final act, but unless a person believes some rather incredible things about this universe—in particular, about what happens after death—he is very unlikely to engage in behavior of this sort.  Nothing explains the actions of Muslim extremists, and the widespread tolerance of their behavior in the Muslim world, better than the tenets of Islam.” (S.H., End of Faith, p. 137) [emphasis mine]

and…

“It is true, of course, that the Iraqi people have been traumatized by decades of war and repression.  But war and repression do not account for suicidal violence directed against the Red Cross, the United Nations, foreign workers, and Iraqi innocents.  War and repression would not have attracted an influx of foreign fighters willing to sacrifice their lives merely to sow chaos. The Iraqi insurgents have not been motivated principally by political or economic grievances.  They have such grievances, of course, but politics and economics do not get a man to intentionally blow himself up in a crowd of children, or get his mother to sing his praises for it. Miracles of this order generally require religious faith.” (S.H., End of Faith, pp. 233-234) [emphasis mine]

Malapert writes:
“The fact that other cultures/religions don’t support suicide bombing in the face of military occupation is irrelevant.”

JET writes:
Actually, it is very relevant. If the suicide terrorists’ actions are fostered and supported by their religion (i.e., Islamic faith/culture), then there is an unambiguous correlation between their faith and their actions.

Malapert writes:
It is irrelevant, because “suicide bombing” appears to have become a uniquely scary bogeyman, and worse, one that leads to helpless handwringing (as I said in another post) or the even more inane “Let’s just nuke ‘em all.” The IRA and Algerian homicidal bombers were no less terrorists, and no less effective, because they weren’t interested in immolating themselves along with their victims.

Whatever a “uniquely scary bogeyman” is, it does not make the fact that because other cultures/religions do not support SB’ings they are irrelevant.  Hand-wringing or not, the very fact that other religions or cultures do not support SB’ings in the face of concomitant events, validates our point that it is a Muslim-endorsed and supported (read: religious) phenomena. 

M writes:
Making this form of terrorism an expression of irrational faith means we cannot deal with it. All we can do is wait for Muslims to come to their senses. And that’s just too risky.

I disagree.  It means we can deal with it because we are seeing this religion for what it is – and what world-wide agony it is causing – and not trying to hide the realities of its harm because it might offend somebody’s sensitivities.  If Sam has one over-riding thesis in his writings, it is that we need to unequivocally face this problem and start an honest conversation that exposes it (an other religions) for what it is.  Clearly the alternative – 21st Century weapons in the hands of 14th Century barbarism – is “too risky.” 

JET writes:
He draws this conclusion from factual evidence. You can argue this point all you want, but that will not make it any less true.

M writes:
Good thing I’m not arguing it then.
…But again, we may be quibbling over distinctions without a difference at this point.

No problem M—QUIBBLING—it is.

 Signature 


Something’s Moving.

      ~Albert Einstein

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 June 2007 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

[quote author=“JETurnbull”]

Malapert writes:
It is irrelevant, because “suicide bombing” appears to have become a uniquely scary bogeyman, and worse, one that leads to helpless handwringing (as I said in another post) or the even more inane “Let’s just nuke ‘em all.” The IRA and Algerian homicidal bombers were no less terrorists, and no less effective, because they weren’t interested in immolating themselves along with their victims.

Whatever a “uniquely scary bogeyman” is, it does not make the fact that because other cultures/religions do not support SB’ings they are irrelevant.  Hand-wringing or not, the very fact that other religions or cultures do not support SB’ings in the face of concomitant events, validates our point that it is a Muslim-endorsed and supported (read: religious) phenomena.

The reason it matters is because it makes us unable to deal with the phenomenon.  The British and the French solved the problem of IRA and Algerian terrorism.  (Negotiate and leave.)  They couldn’t have done that if they had prejudged the terrorists as following an irrational belief system rather than carrying out a military/political strategy.  Incidentally, let’s not forget that it’s not the leaders of a terrorist group who are the ones who come up with and plan the terrorist acts.  So there are really two sets of terrorists.  The actual SBs are, by and large, certainly believers in the Big Lie (religious).  But read my other post: that’s not why they are recruited to become SBs in the first place.  Al Qaeda and the rest don’t look for people who are first and foremost religiously devout. 

You may have a problem negotiating with terrorists or acknowledging that the US and other western countries have made and go on making enormous blunders in the Middle East, just as we did in Southeast Asia.  Note the results of our having gotten out of Vietnam.  Also note what happened when we decided that China’s ideology could be ignored.  The picture isn’t a pretty one, but at least we are not killing each other.  (Don’t count me among those who think there is no problem with China any more.  I just don’t want to have a war about it.)

M writes:
Making this form of terrorism an expression of irrational faith means we cannot deal with it. All we can do is wait for Muslims to come to their senses. And that’s just too risky.

I disagree.  It means we can deal with it because we are seeing this religion for what it is – and what world-wide agony it is causing – and not trying to hide the realities of its harm because it might offend somebody’s sensitivities.  If Sam has one over-riding thesis in his writings, it is that we need to unequivocally face this problem and start an honest conversation that exposes it (an other religions) for what it is.  Clearly the alternative – 21st Century weapons in the hands of 14th Century barbarism – is “too risky.”

“Seeing this religion for what it is.”  And what, exactly, is that?

What is your solution?  “Exposing it for what it is” will hardly make a difference; it will likely just enrage believers even more.  Remember the Danish cartoons?

Christianity, in the 14th century, was barbaric too.  Fortunately, Christians in those days did not have access to weapons of mass destruction, or they would have used them with enthusiasm.  Exposing Christianity to the purging effects of enlightenment took centuries, which luxury we do not have.

I think our only hope is to take the terrorists—the bureaucrats that is—at their word.  By all means, let’s try to find Muslims who will providing conflicting authority and examples of rebellion, two things Stanley Milgram found effective in breaking the trance.  Having outsiders do this will be completely unhelpful, however.

I’ll say it again: Sam Harris is not an authority on terrorism, politics, or even psychology.  Other people are far more qualified to analyze these phenomena than he is.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 June 2007 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

SeanK wrote

A lot of mean things!

I’m hurt.  You must be a very bad person.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 June 2007 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  262
Joined  2007-05-22

Malapert writes:
“The reason it matters is because it makes us unable to deal with the phenomenon.”
and…
“What is your solution?  “Exposing it for what it is” will hardly make a difference;…”

Identifying the problem (e.g., suicidal bombing results from the belief in an archaic, primitive, dogmatic belief system), and deciding what to do about it (or what will make a difference), are two different conversations.  You convolute and avoid the real “quibble” by surreptitiously segueing from one to the other.  The primary focus in this thread has been to discuss the nascent causes of Islamic suicidal bombings.  You may try to switch the topic in mid-discussion, but do so with the knowledge that it is obvious to me and others that you are doing so to avoid the impact of information that conflicts with your position. 

It has been my (and I believe Sam’s position) – that for some mystifying reason – there are those like yourself who want to disguise or avoid confronting the genuine origin of problems like suicidal bombers.  Clearly, that origin’s responsibility lies directly with the religious dogma within the Muslim faith.  Whether this makes “us unable to deal with the phenomenon” or not, does not change this reality. 

JETurnbull writes:
“It means we can deal with it because we are seeing this religion for what it is – and what world-wide agony it is causing – and not trying to hide the realities of its harm because it might offend somebody’s sensitivities.”

Malapert writes:
“Seeing this religion for what it is.”  And what, exactly, is that?

By even asking this question, you are either (1) exposing your naïveté or (2) playing games.  You are far too fluent to be naive, so I’m going with: game playing.  I actually thought of quoting some of the daunting amount of information out there but you can do that for yourself.  Why don’t you start by (re?)reading: The End of Faith, chapter 4, The Problem with Islam. 
Then there’s…
The Looming Tower, Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright, (2006), Knopf Publishing, New York
While Europe Slept, How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, Bruce Bawer, (2006), Doubleday Publishing, NY
The Truth about Muhammad, founder of the World’s most Intolerant Religion, Robert Spencer, (2006), Regnery Publishing, Inc.
The Force of Reason, Oriana Fallaci, (2006), Rizzoli Publishing
Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, (2007), Free Press Publishing
Londonistan, Melanie Phillips, (2006), Encounter Books
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, Robert Spencer, (2005), Regnery Publishing

Malapert writes:
I’ll say it again: Sam Harris is not an authority on terrorism, politics, or even psychology.  Other people are far more qualified to analyze these phenomena than he is.

You can say it again, and again, but this does not make your saying it credible in the least.  In The End of Faith, Sam backs up his writings with 93 pages (nearly a third of the book) with references, citations, and notes.  As with any accountable text, in areas where he is not an authority, Sam researches those sources that are authoritative, and references those scholars who do have an expertise.  His meticulous epistemological efforts would pass any professional, peer-reviewed, juried panel.  Unsophisticated statements like yours above only solidifies what is already observable from your written positions: that you have a personal agenda that dims your ability to see the obvious.

 Signature 


Something’s Moving.

      ~Albert Einstein

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 August 2012 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2012-08-15

This is probably the only point where I strongly disagree with Sam Harris.  He just needs to debate Robert Pape openly.  I can hardly believe anyone can read “Bombing to Win” and still think Sam’s arguments about suicide bombing are correct.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 September 2012 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2012-09-12

I like this site very much..All post are very nice..

montreal office supplies

ottawa office supplies

[ Edited: 16 September 2012 11:07 AM by Lucas Abregu]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 September 2012 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  28
Joined  2012-09-19

Explain why there have never been any suicide bombers in India during British imperial rule and only after the encounter with Hezbollah did the Tamils of Sri Lanka begin using suicide bombing tactics.


In fact, why were there never any Jewish suicide bombers under Nazi Germany? How about any of the countries Germany occupied? How about the vast majority of nation-states that the Soviet Union used as satellite states?


Clearly, it’s the damn religion, the same one that teaches people to kill those who leave the faith, that is the root cause of suicide bombings. It’s no different then Catholics who become pedophiles. Religion is poison that does it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2012 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  52
Joined  2012-09-20

But the suicide bombing community is exclusively religious.

 Signature 

“Does history record any case in which the majority was right?”
Robert A. Heinlein

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed