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Suicide bombing political strategy, not religious fanaticism
Posted: 22 June 2007 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Here's a story that contradicts Sam's claim that suicide bombing is a result of religious belief:

The Real Roots of Suicide Bombing

When Sam says that no Jains, regardless of their circumstances, will ever be suicide bombers, this is probably true.  However, it's also a logical fallacy of the most naive kind.

Money quote:

Still, seeing terrorist groups as rational actors is the first step to combatting a pernicious right-wing meme: the idea that terrorism is ultimately incoherent, grounded in pure religious zealotry or some supposed Arab irrationality or whatever. If you buy that meme, you're likely to think there's no point in even talking about serious territorial concessions in Palestine, or reconsidering American military deployment in Iraq or the Middle East broadly.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’ve been interested in this is what makes the distinction between a suicide bomber who will definitely die for their cause and the soldier who may lose his life and will almost certainly lose their mind.
It seems that there is a fine line between the group of soldiers going into a battle from which they are certain that some number of their comrades will not return, and a single suicide bomber who will definitely not return.

More to your question, Sam points out that during the Iran Iraq war, the Iranians used their kids as minesweepers, all justified by their religion.

It seems that the only difference between the muslims and christians that allows for suicide bombing as a tactic is the religion.

After all, while all muslims are certainly NOT suicide bombers, virtually all, (modern day) suicide bombers are muslims. Is that correct?

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Posted: 22 June 2007 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I see a big difference between going into battle and being a suicide bomber… but it’s a practical difference. 

The weapon of choice (human bombers or soldiers) is not really an important question… unless you can convince me otherwise.

It’s the fighting as a favor to God that presents problems.

Stoning your kid because she’s not a virgin,  flying a plane into a building full of people that aren’t even aware that you have an issue with them, blowing yourself up when you can see full well that there are only children and old folks shopping at a market… it’s the details of this sort of thing that are so disturbing. 

It’s hard to imagine a scenario like those above without at least a powerfully dogmatic world view… something like religion.

As to the notion that we think that the Islamist extremists are irrational… well, it’s not that they are crazy.  They have been convinced that the world works in a particular kind of (magic) way, and they are acting in a manner consistent with that world view.

As far as I can tell, the fighters in Islam are animated by their religious world view.  I doubt any of them actually feel that the U.S. is currently threatening their safety without their religion.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]
It seems that the only difference between the muslims and christians that allows for suicide bombing as a tactic is the religion.

After all, while all muslims are certainly NOT suicide bombers, virtually all, (modern day) suicide bombers are muslims. Is that correct?

There were Palestinian suicide bombers who were Christians in the 1980s.  In fact, if you type “Christian suicide bombers” into Google, it appears that the majority of Palestinian suicide bombers at that time were not Muslim - they were either solely politically committed (socialist or Communist) or Christian.

Annnnyway… that a religion can be found to offer a reward for suicide bombing doesn’t mean that religion is the cause of suicide bombing.  Christianity offered[offers] a reason for anti-Semitism but there were[are] other factors at work also. 

In other words, all religions contain elements that allow irrational insanity to flourish under the right conditions.  If you are a devout Jain it won’t be suicidal/homicidal insanity, but unfortunately for the world that religion isn’t one of the biggies. 

Can we imagine a world in which Muslims are not any more inclined to suicide bombing than Christians are to killing Jews because they believe that the Jews killed Christ and use the blood of Christians in their rituals?  Of course.  It’s our world.

The Bible explicitly condones and even requires witch burning and Jew killing and slavery, but in the West we no longer permit such atrocities.  Sam has pointed out that a large number of Christians would happily continue to engage in such activities right into the present day, but Christianity was bitch-slapped into semi-decent behavior during the Enlightenment and thereafter.  It is an embarrassment for the US that Christians have as much influence as they do here, but no matter how pleasurably the Christian dominionists dream of a country in which homosexuals can be executed it’s just not going to happen.

The Koran may not offer much support for Enlightenment, but our only hope is that Muslims will come to their senses.  That can be encouraged.  MEANWHILE - we also have to examine our own policies and change them so as not to provide conditions under which suicide bombing will be triggered.

Sources for Christian suicide bombers:

An article in The Globalist on women suicide bombers:

And consider the 19-year old Loula Abboud, a dark curl kissing her forehead and a golden cross around her neck. A Lebanese Christian, she was one of the first women to earn the title of istishhadiyah when she blew herself up in 1985 as Israeli troops moved in to capture her guerilla group near the town of Aoun in southern Lebanon.

http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=4223

An interview in The American Conservative with Robert Pape himself, who has the world’s largest database on suicide terrorism, putting Judy Miller’s two interviews to shame and definitely worth reading on the same topic, that suicide bombing is an anti-occupation strategy and not a religious act:

The Logic of Suicide Bombing

In it, he says

TAC: There have been many kinds of non-Islamic suicide terrorists, but have there been Christian suicide terrorists?

RP: Not from Christian groups per se, but in Lebanon in the 1980s, of those suicide attackers, only eight were Islamic fundamentalists. Twenty-seven were Communists and Socialists. Three were Christians.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“behaviorkelton”]
As far as I can tell, the fighters in Islam are animated by their religious world view.  I doubt any of them actually feel that the U.S. is currently threatening their safety without their religion.

In that case, why are there no Sudanese suicide bombers?  And why are there suicide bombers who are neither Muslim nor religious at all? 

The Palestinians were the first Middle Eastern Muslim/Christian/nonreligious terrorists (aka freedom fighters; one man’s terrorist etc.) to use suicide bombing, and they got the idea from the secular (Marxist)** Tamil Tigers who originated the tactic of strapping a vestful of explosives to a person willing to detonate it.

**But they get their suicide volunteers from local Hindu families.

Why do suicide bombers come primarily if not entirely from countries that are (a) occupied and (b) especially, occupied by a group with a different religion.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]I’ve been interested in this is what makes the distinction between a suicide bomber who will definitely die for their cause and the soldier who may lose his life and will almost certainly lose their mind.

It seems that there is a fine line between the group of soldiers going into a battle from which they are certain that some number of their comrades will not return, and a single suicide bomber who will definitely not return.

I forgot to respond to this, and I think that it may be a distinction without a (moral) difference.  It’s like Sam’s argument about the morality of torture vs. that of “collateral damage”. 

I guess you could say that the difference is altruism.  The Western soldier is willing to sacrifice himself for his country and his buddies.  The suicide bomber is willing to kill innocents… wait a sec, though.  Never mind.

Could one argue that Timothy McVeigh was about as near to a suicide bomber as one can get?  I suppose he may have thought he would get away with it.  But remembering some of his writings, it seems he was pretty certain he’d pay the price.  A delayed, state-assisted suicide perhaps.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]
It seems that the only difference between the muslims and christians that allows for suicide bombing as a tactic is the religion.

After all, while all muslims are certainly NOT suicide bombers, virtually all, (modern day) suicide bombers are muslims. Is that correct?

There were Palestinian suicide bombers who were Christians in the 1980s.  In fact, if you type “Christian suicide bombers” into Google, it appears that the majority of Palestinian suicide bombers at that time were not Muslim - they were either solely politically committed (socialist or Communist) or Christian.

Annnnyway… that a religion can be found to offer a reward for suicide bombing doesn’t mean that religion is the cause of suicide bombing.  Christianity offered[offers] a reason for anti-Semitism but there were[are] other factors at work also. 

In other words, all religions contain elements that allow irrational insanity to flourish under the right conditions.  If you are a devout Jain it won’t be suicidal/homicidal insanity, but unfortunately for the world that religion isn’t one of the biggies. 

Can we imagine a world in which Muslims are not any more inclined to suicide bombing than Christians are to killing Jews because they believe that the Jews killed Christ and use the blood of Christians in their rituals?  Of course.  It’s our world.

The Bible explicitly condones and even requires witch burning and Jew killing and slavery, but in the West we no longer permit such atrocities.  Sam has pointed out that a large number of Christians would happily continue to engage in such activities right into the present day, but Christianity was bitch-slapped into semi-decent behavior during the Enlightenment and thereafter.  It is an embarrassment for the US that Christians have as much influence as they do here, but no matter how pleasurably the Christian dominionists dream of a country in which homosexuals can be executed it’s just not going to happen.

The Koran may not offer much support for Enlightenment, but our only hope is that Muslims will come to their senses.  That can be encouraged.  MEANWHILE - we also have to examine our own policies and change them so as not to provide conditions under which suicide bombing will be triggered.

Sources for Christian suicide bombers:

An article in The Globalist on women suicide bombers:

And consider the 19-year old Loula Abboud, a dark curl kissing her forehead and a golden cross around her neck. A Lebanese Christian, she was one of the first women to earn the title of istishhadiyah when she blew herself up in 1985 as Israeli troops moved in to capture her guerilla group near the town of Aoun in southern Lebanon.

http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=4223

An interview in The American Conservative with Robert Pape himself, who has the world’s largest database on suicide terrorism, putting Judy Miller’s two interviews to shame and definitely worth reading on the same topic, that suicide bombing is an anti-occupation strategy and not a religious act:

The Logic of Suicide Bombing

In it, he says

TAC: There have been many kinds of non-Islamic suicide terrorists, but have there been Christian suicide terrorists?

RP: Not from Christian groups per se, but in Lebanon in the 1980s, of those suicide attackers, only eight were Islamic fundamentalists. Twenty-seven were Communists and Socialists. Three were Christians.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I just spoke to a Palestinian who mentioned the suicide killings committed at Virginia Tech as an example of a non-muslim situation.

Sheesh… if we have to resort to googling to find examples of such suicide killings, then clearly it’s not statistically significant.

Suicide bombers often walk directly into civilian situations…. making eye contact with children, women, old men, and no soldiers….and then, boom!  This is quite different than attempting to shoot extremists fighters who stand in populated areas full of civilians.  I would say that Americans go to extreme (and very expensive) pains to avoid civilian casualties… but unfortunately the enemy knows this.

These religious fools are blowing up fellow muslims because of a difference in heritage or religious interpretations (different sects).

Religion is the single *key* to pushing these guys.  As Sam often says, the bombers (and executioners) are telling us why they commit this kind of slaughter.  It’s rare to find them referring to anything but their own religious motivations!

This isn’t confusing.  Unlike many complex issues, the motivations are utterly clear.

They aren’t crazy.  In fact, I’d say they are doing a good job of acting upon the writings in the Koran.  This isn’t insane or mentally ill.  Further,they were raised in a culture the produces this kind of thing.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“behaviorkelton”]
Sheesh… if we have to resort to googling to find examples of such suicide killings, then clearly it’s not statistically significant.

I Google almost everything.  I come from the mindset of “document or retract”.  So it has nothing to do with statistical significance.

I would say that Americans go to extreme (and very expensive) pains to avoid civilian casualties… but unfortunately the enemy knows this.

If we go to such pains how come we are so bad at it?  The president of Afghanistan complained today about civilian deaths.  It turns out that more civilians have lost their lives from military action than from insurgent killings.

According to the book Fiasco, by a reporter with deep ties to the military, sadly Americans have never regarded the Iraqi (nor the Afghani) people as the prize.  By and large, we have failed to employ the most basic counterinsurgency tactics.  That’s one reason why we are losing.

These religious fools are blowing up fellow muslims because of a difference in heritage or religious interpretations (different sects).

That’s true. Why weren’t they doing it before we got there?

Religion is the single *key* to pushing these guys.  As Sam often says, the bombers (and executioners) are telling us why they commit this kind of slaughter.  It’s rare to find them referring to anything but their own religious motivations!


Now you’re just quoting Sam.  Please, do some more reading.  I’m writing this in a hurry, but I could find you some links.  Try juancole.com for a start.

I noticed that Sam, in the debate with Chris Hedges (the Truthdig one), makes that statement and uses the analogy of asking Christians, for instance, what they believe while they are doing whatever they do in church, and taking their word for it.  But that’s just silly.  Catholics may well tell you that they believe they are eating the actual body and blood of Christ when they take communion.  Take my word for it, as a former Catholic, they do not really believe any such thing.  They aren’t psychotic.

This isn’t confusing.  Unlike many complex issues, the motivations are utterly clear.


Hmmmm.  Your personal opinion, buttressed by the stylings of Sam the Sham, vs. the world’s foremost authority on suicide bombing.  Behaviorkelton/Sam Harris… or Robert Pape.  Whom do I take more seriously?

Tough choice, my man.  Tough choice.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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You’re right, my “google” comment was silly… moving on.

You (or whatever “expert” you wish to refer me to) pretend that you can speak for extremists… that you have some sort of special intuition that will assist us westerners in interpreting the “real” meaning of the religious explanations given my the extremists.  That’s no good.

I actually believe that these extremists truly *do* mean what they say…and they believe VERY strongly in their magic book… and that, without their religious views, we would see suicide bombings that are about as rare as those other examples that you have found.

So when the head of a journalist is removed as the Islamic fundamentalist chants religious stuff, what is the “real” reason for the the beheading Mr. Malapert?

And, to address your other point, how would YOU avoid civilian casualties if this same fundamentalist maintained his position within civilian areas?  Would Westerners do this as standard practice?

Are American soldiers *seeking* innocent civilians?...is that what you are suggesting?  That the American military has a policy of injuring kids and women?

And then, why would a bomber walk into a market, explode the thing…seeing full well that there are no military threats present?  Do you think that this bomber is doing so without instructions from his leaders?

Remove religious fundamentalism, and I suspect that we will all have to resort to googling to find examples of suicide bombs.

Why didn’t they do this when Saddam was in power?  If you even whispered doubts about Saddam’s right to lead, you were squashed before you could take your second breath…. a common practice in that region.  You’d have a hard time even discussing your overthrow strategy under those sorts of regimes.  That’s easy.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Malapert writes:

“There were Palestinian suicide bombers who were Christians in the 1980s.  In fact, if you type “Christian suicide bombers” into Google, it appears that the majority of Palestinian suicide bombers at that time were not Muslim - they were either solely politically committed (socialist or Communist) or Christian.”

In fact, on your suggestion, I did Google “Christian Suicide Bombers” and in browsing, the first few pages of hits were mostly about: “Why there are no Christian Suicide Bombers.”  There was a Dennis Prager article discussing Palestinian SB’s (where the Christian population numbers 25%), however, there were no known Christian SB’s.  Another article could find no example where “the majority of Palestinian SB’s were not Muslim.” 

There was a Palestinian Archbishop, Atta Allah Hana, who was encouraging Christians to take part in Suicide attacks against Israel, and to “join the struggle against the [Israeli] occupation.”  The pernicious archbishop, more than anything, seem disappointed that there were not more Christian SB’s. 

One Googled site (and I can’t vouch for its credibility), turned up this: “internal Pentagon briefings show intelligence analysts have reached a wholly different conclusion after studying Islamic scripture and the backgrounds of suicide terrorists.  They’ve found that most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands.”

22 years ago, a 19-year old Lebanese woman, Loula Abboud, was a suicide bomber and a Christian.  It is widely acknowledged that she was not “part of any group” but acting out of her own convictions (i.e., not acting on behalf of her religious beliefs). 

I also took the time to look at the link Malapert provided above, written by Robert Wright for the Huffington Post.  In the article, Wright discusses Judith Miller, who spent time in an Israeli jail interviewing two would-be female Palestinian suicide bombers, and political scientist, Robert Pape, who rejects the view that suicide bombing is an expression of Islamic fundamentalism. 

Miller’s information was purely anecdotal, and I’m not so sure we would want to base any important conclusions on just the information she provides, given the lack of juried research provided. 

Pape is another story.  His recently published a book, “Dying to Win” basically states that suicidal bombers do not act out of religious fundamentalism but to compel occupying military forces to withdraw from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland. 

The problem with this kind of argument is it involves inductive rather than deductive reasoning.  We need only recall that great example of the misuse of inductive logic from the 1960‘s, when those wishing to scare marijuana users by stating the fact that 80 percent of all hard-core heroin addicts started out using marijuana.  However, at the time the total number of known U.S. heroin users was estimated to be in the tens of thousands, yet the estimates of known marijuana users was in the several millions.  Thus, using deductive reasoning, these tens of millions of marijuana users never went on to became heroin addicts—conclusively negating the scare tactic. 

What Pape does, in limiting himself to inductive reasoning, is invoke all known suicide bombers (his database), and draw motivational conclusions from those data.  What he fails to do is to look at all “occupied” countries to see how they react and what their responses are to being occupied.  One of the best examples of this, Sam himself uses: the “occupied” country of Tibet.  The people of Tibet have simply not reacted to their occupation in the same way Islamic countries have. 

Pape erroneously uses Saudi Arabia as an example of an “occupied” country, where the U.S. has a token force of 5000 troops.  This token force is reason enough he feels to warrant how 18 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11 were Saudi nationals, however, how can this token military presence can be seen as an “occupying force.”  Osama bin Laden may feel this way, but his obsession can only be attributed to his repulsion that infidels were on “holy grounds,” …a completely religious rationale.  Even the leader of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammed Atta, was from Egypt – an unoccupied country. 
Moreover, The Basques’ fight against Spain, the Irish Republican Army’s battle with Britain and, most notably, the Afghans’ (politically aggravated) revolt against their Soviet occupiers never spawned suicide terrorists. 

Pape, even contradicts his own theory by being inclusive of religion in the following statement: “Suicide terrorism is not so much committed by religious fanatics looking for a quick trip to paradise as it is by a variety of secular and religious individuals who fear that their societies will be unalterably transformed by a religiously motivated occupier.” [emphasis mine] (Caryle Murphy, Washington Post, Sunday, July 10, 2005)  And by his own admission suggests that the largest portion in his data base, 52 percent, is the religiously modivated group.  Again, negating his own thesis. 


Malapert writes:

“that a religion can be found to offer a reward for suicide bombing doesn’t mean that religion is the cause of suicide bombing.”

Am I wrong, or does this statement sound oxymoronic?  I’ll leave this to our resident behaviorist: BFSkinner.  After all, stimulus and reward?  Positive reinforcement?  What greater motivator in the eyes of the religious faithful then the “reward” of eternal salvation?  One seeks the reward be-cause of the promise of religion.  You may want to rethink your entire premise Malapert – on several levels. 

[ Edited: 26 June 2007 03:55 PM by ]
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Posted: 24 June 2007 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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It’s difficult to ignore the prospect of “the reward.

I’m not sure what the reward package includes, but I think I have heard that not only does the SB earn a spectacular reward for him/herself, but that his immediate family will gain special privilege in heaven as well.

All of this requires a person to be completely convinced that his religious views are literally true.

Behavior is affected by rules:  “Blow yourself up for the cause, and these are the (fantastic) consequences.”

For that to affect a person, there has to be a belief in magic.  period.  Given that there is no actual evidence of a heavenly life in paradise, the individual must depend on faith.

Of course, there are aversives associated with the behavior as well.  The act of being a SB (or even a fighter) involves lots of nasty stuff associated with the behavior.  That’s one heck of a hump to get over… it’s certainly an ugly visual if nothing else.  This probably explains the outrageously wonderful reward package.

Remove the faith in religious benefits, and I’d bet that suicide bombing (and other attacks) drop like a rock.

So all of the above is really just stating the obvious.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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if islam is not a catalyst for suicide bombing, then what is the islamic suidicide bombers motivation?

If a political greivance such as occupation and oppression is enough then why dont we see Australian Aboriginals blowing themselves up in downtown Sydney? Why have we not seen Maouri suicide bombers? Where are the native american suicide bombers? Why have we not seen hoardes of suicide bombers from latin america detonating themselves in US shopping malls?

I think its safe to assume that if the west had never meddled in the affairs of the middle east, helped prop up police state and given unqualified support to israel that we would have seen 9/11 take place, but if the middle east had been hindu or buddhist would retalitation consist of planes flying into buildings or peaceful protest consisting of mass civil disobedience?

It is naive to think Islam has no role to play in suicide bombing. A victim mentality coupled with the koran is a volatile mix. Islam does not revolve around non violence and forgiveness its all about retribution and de-humanising of people who think and act differently.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I just watched a History channel documentary regarding the U.S supported “Shah of Iran”.

Apparently, with all of the U.S. support and manipulation of this dictator….. the thing that finally gave the Islamic extremists the “fuel” to provoke an uprising was the Shah’s attempt at increasing the freedoms of women.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“JETurnbull”]
What greater motivator in the eyes of the religious faithful then the “reward” of eternal salvation?  One seeks the reward be-cause of the promise of religion.  You may want to rethink your entire premise Malapert – on several levels. 

If the only motivator of suicide bombing is a quick trip to paradise after the removal of a few infidels, then we’d see it occur in other circumstances than it does.  I’m not arguing that being a Muslim isn’t a factor in becoming a suicide bomber.  It just isn’t the only one.  (And please note that there were no suicide bombers, or their equivalent, anywhere until the Tamil Tigers came up with the idea.  Explosives have been around for centuries, as have other possibilities for homicidal martyrdom.)  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.

The fact that other cultures/religions don’t support suicide bombing in the face of military occupation is irrelevant.  If your deeply held beliefs—either religious or otherwise—include total compassion for others, you are a pacifist.  So?

That being said, I found Hedges’ and Scheer’s insistence that the ONLY causes of suicide bombing we need to look for being poverty, marginalization, and US bungling to be insufficient as well, and far more annoying than Sam’s claim. 

Think about this: witch burning.  A dutiful expression of religious belief, or was something else involved?  I’ve read quite a bit on the history of the outbreak in Salem, in particular, and it seems that while religious belief was a critical factor, a few others had to fall in place as well.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Malapert writes:

“And please note that there were no suicide bombers, or their equivalent, anywhere until the Tamil Tigers came up with the idea.  Explosives have been around for centuries, as have other possibilities for homicidal martyrdom.”

And this is relevant because?
In other words, what significance, if any, is there in the possibility that the Tamil Tigers were first?  The Chinese were the first with gunpowder.  Does that fact have any bearing on the reality that the Muslim suicide bombers might use gunpowder in there explosives?

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

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. 

Malapert states:

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

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.

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