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Roguish Lawyer
03-14-2004, 17:57
If we are successful in democratizing, and to some extent Westernizing, Iraq, do you believe the rest of the Middle East will follow?

longrange1947
03-14-2004, 19:38
I do believe that the devout belief in Islam will prevent it form happening. As long as all the power is given to the Religious Fatwa then democracy does not have a chance.

Roguish Lawyer
03-17-2004, 12:11
I'm going to try one bump to see if this one will catch. I believe that there is a difference of opinion on the issue among influential posters on the board, but we'll see.

:munchin

Team Sergeant
03-17-2004, 13:05
RL, If we were successful in democratizing Iraq it would mean an entire ideology had been changed in the ME.

Could it happen, well were all watching and waiting. Remember this, unlike western nations the ME is still ruled by “tribes” and religious tribal leaders. If we were to pull out tomorrow all these tribes would be fighting before the last US military plane took off.

Most Americans do not take this into account when forming opinions on the ME. As far as a “civilized nations” most nations of the ME (while sporting the latest technologies) are still one step ahead of the cavemen, kind of like the Beverly Hillbillies, a whole lot of instant money doesn’t make you ANY smarter. (Ever heard of the Saudi Space Program? While they’ve got the money for such ventures they do not possess the brain power requisite to begin such an endeavor.)

Would the rest of the ME follow suit? If and only if we were truly successful with Iraq could it even have a chance. When the people of the ME have had enough of being led by the nose by over zealous religious leaders will the will the winds of change blow.

Team Sergeant

(I know someone is going to jump on this post and take up for the six Saudi Harvard graduates that bought a degree and returned to their eleven wives and multimillion back accounts, and I would say to you, “bring it on”.)

CommoGeek
03-17-2004, 13:23
I don't see it happening. Too many tribes, too much money, and too much religion. If it did happen, it would be like the Balkans under the Soviets: simmering, waiting for the right moment to explode.

DunbarFC
03-17-2004, 13:27
I see it failing as well

Tribal and religous divisions run too deep

Jimbo
03-17-2004, 14:02
Originally posted by DunbarFC
I see it failing as well

Tribal and religous divisions run too deep

I say that theory is bunk.

Many who know more than myself say that Afghanistan is more of a challange than Iraq in terms of 'tribal' conflict management. I just finished reading 'Tribal Leadership of the Swat Pathans' and 'Friend by Day, Enemy by Night : Organized Vengeance in a Kohistani Community'

Many of their social structures are rooted in liberty and their form of governance is a social contract on steroids.

I don't want to write a thesis here, but bringing them around is certainly doable (if it is not I'd rather not give up before trying).

We just have to change the entire culture.

DunbarFC
03-17-2004, 14:06
I was speaking more to RL's reverse Domino Theory for the entire Mideast not just Iraq itself

As for changing their entire culture - both Iraq and then the Mid East beyond that - I'd love to hear ideas on how to do it.

CommoGeek
03-17-2004, 14:13
Originally posted by Jimbo
We just have to change the entire culture.

Jimbo, I respect the hell out of you, but do you really think that is possible, to change the entire culture? Or were you being facetious and I missed it?

Jimbo
03-17-2004, 14:19
Originally posted by CommoGeek
Jimbo, I respect the hell out of you, but do you really think that is possible, to change the entire culture? Or were you being facetious and I missed it?

Yeah. I mean it. I really don't know if its possible, but I know it has to happen.

For about a year and a half I was hoping someone in the Middle East would step up and start advocating some reforms, but that didn't happen so,...

Team Sergeant
03-17-2004, 14:20
Originally posted by DunbarFC
IAs for changing their entire culture - both Iraq and then the Mid East beyond that - I'd love to hear ideas on how to do it.

It’s being done right in front of you (and them), a true hearts and minds campaign.
You’re too focused on the fighting to see what’s really happening in Iraq. If we continue on current course we may see the beginning of an awaking within the ME people soon enough.

Team Sergeant

CommoGeek
03-17-2004, 14:43
Originally posted by Jimbo
Yeah. I mean it. I really don't know if its possible, but I know it has to happen.

For about a year and a half I was hoping someone in the Middle East would step up and start advocating some reforms, but that didn't happen so,...

I agree that it needs to happen, it has to happen, but I'm a cynic and don't see it happening, not soon at least.

Do we need to change everyone or the youth? Are the elders in that region too set in their ways to change and so we have to target the 40-under crowd and strive for change in 10 years when they have dominant roles in society?

The ME needs to see that it can be done, democracy that is, and then maybe other countries will follow.

Good thread, it is making me think.

longrange1947
03-17-2004, 15:53
Originally posted by Team Sergeant
It’s being done right in front of you (and them), a true hearts and minds campaign.
You’re too focused on the fighting to see what’s really happening in Iraq. If we continue on current course we may see the beginning of an awaking within the ME people soon enough.

Team Sergeant

The problem is that a Fatwa has already been issued to negate the constitution. While many want to see democracy succeed, there are enough religious zealots to screw it up. Look at Iran, as soon as it appeared that the mullahs were about to lose power they just declared the opposition to be ineligible.

I can see the Shiites forceing control and then it will be come a little Iran. It has already been stated that they are seeking a governement similar to Iran's. That in itself ends democracy.

No, I do not believe that will take in the ME. Fundamentalists willnot allow it. They will continue to stir up trouble until the win, the most likely scenerio, or the general population realizes that the Mullahs are not in favor of what is good for the people.

My best scenerio is to split Iraq into three sections, and seed democracy into those three sections. One will take root and that will be the model. If left one country then the Shiites will win.

Of course I'm an old fart and may not understand the modern world, then again the ME is an old fart part fo the world. :D

brownapple
03-17-2004, 17:19
If we are successful at democracizing Iraq, it will spread to the surrounding nations, probably Iran first. It will take years, and will be incremental, but is close to inevitable because of economic reasons, not cultural reasons. Cultures find ways to accept things, to adjust to things, when it directly affects the quality of life for their children. You can look at South East Asia for examples (where Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China have all adopted many western norms and local democracy despite the Communist infrastructure... because of market issues).

The question becomes whether we can successfully sheppard a representative form of government forward in Iraq, and I think we can IF the people involved are creative in how they arrange the balance of power and the checks and balances in order to allow the people to feel their culture has been respected and at the same time limit the religious power in the government.

Tribes have been brought together before in democratic federations, no reason that Iraq cannot be.

Guy
03-17-2004, 17:48
Take a look at Baharain and Qatar, they are definitely making gains on trying to come into the 21st century.

Iraq has that possibility also. It's just going to take some time on getting the different groups to agree on, "what's best for the future of Iraq".

Afghanistan! I wouldn't even involve them in the equation at this point. What can they export besides opium?:eek:

Jimbo
03-17-2004, 18:17
Dubai is another spot where we are making progress.

Guy
03-18-2004, 09:08
Roger that Jimbo. So is Kuwait and Jordan. Since the King of Jordan married an American she has had some influence over the direction Jordan is heading.

One thing I have noticed in these ME countries, is the stark difference between the classes. The rich keep it in the family. The poor are indoctrinated into a religion that keeps them poor and the middle class are one to two steps ahead of the poor, yet a hundred steps behind the rich.

Even though this article has nothing to do with the ME...this a classic example of what I have noticed that takes place in the ME.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/03/17/MNGP65MA0P1.DTL

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 10:09
Originally posted by Guy
Roger that Jimbo. So is Kuwait and Jordan. Since the King of Jordan married an American she has had some influence over the direction Jordan is heading. Queen Rania is a Jordanian of Palestinian origin. It was King Abdullah's father, the late King Hussein, whose wife was American. Queen Noor, née Lisa Halaby, is the daughter of the late Najeeb Halaby, who was a Navy test pilot, CEO of Pan Am and FAA Administrator under JFK and LBJ.

Hussein's generally pro-Western orientation was probably as much due to his UK connections and the balancing act the Arab monarchies have always had to play in the face of Arab socialists and Islamists, as it was to his wife's US connections. Also, a majority of Jordan's population is Palestinian, so keeping control over them has been the monarchy's main goal.

Also, the Gulf states' steps toward democracy are tentative at best. Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are all wealthy oil states with small populations. Most of the shit-work is done by South Asians and Filipinos, who enjoy no citizenship rights. As long as the actual Arab citizens are wealthy and content, and don't have to work that hard for a living, the emirs see no great problem in granting them certain additional rights.

In Saudi Arabia, though, we are seeing the consequences if that compromise breaks down. The Saudi population explosion of the last 20-30 years has resulted in a generation of young Saudis who grew up expecting the easy life their parents enjoyed, but now find themselves with few opportunities and little inclination to get their hands dirty doing jobs fit only for Filipinos, Bangladeshis and Yemenis. It is among these alienated young people that the Islamists have their best recruiting success (hence the 15 of 19 9-11 hijackers of Saudi origin).

On a tangent, that is one reason why I am tired of the "root cause" types who blame terrorism on poverty and ignorance/lack of education among the Arab masses. The core of al-Qa'ida terrorists are not poor or uneducated. They have more in common with the Columbine shooters and the Baader-Meinhof and SLA types and other alientated rich kids than they do with the people on the so-called "Arab street".

In that sense and several others, Iraq is a much better place to start and to look for the seeds of Arab democracy than the Gulf. Iraq has a functioning middle class and most Iraqis generally don't find certain jobs - from military service to pumping gas - to be "beneath" them. Iraqis also have a great deal of national pride - they see themselves as having been at the forefront of defending and advancing Arab civilization from the early Baghdad caliphates to the Iran-Iraq War - which may help overcome some of the tribal and sectarian problems.

The non-Arab Kurds are outside of this, however. This remains potentially the biggest regional problem. In a sense, Kurdish tribalism helps regional stability. Iraqi Kurds have been more interested in building their local communities than in caring what happens to Iranian, Turkish and Syrian Kurds. The Iraqi Kurds routinely cooperated with the Turks against the PKK, seeing that group as Marxist terrorists with more in common with the Ba'ath than with their fellow Kurds. But in the long run, the Kurdish problem remains. And, as was seen by recent developments in Syria, the Iraqi Kurds are beginning to care more about their ethnic brothers. How Turkey deals with this, and how we deal with Turkey over this, is one of the most important issues in seeing if this Iraq experiment succeeds and the dominoes fall elsewhere.

But in the larger sense, the future of democracy and Islam doesn't lie in the Arab world. Just as the influence of Germanic peoples changed Christianity in myriad ways, any future of Islam as compatible with democracy will likely result from the efforts of non-Arab Muslims bringing a different approach. The majority of Muslims, after all, are not Arabs. The demographic center of gravity of the Muslim world is in South and Southeast Asia, not the Middle East. In the long run, whether Islam finds some compatibility with democracy depends more on how the relationship between religion and politics is defined in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia than in Iraq, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Add a few other non-Arab Muslim states on the Middle Eastern periphery - Turkey, Iran, Albania, Nigeria - as well. The Saudi Wahhabis and Iranian mullahs certainly are aware of this, and have spent lots of time and money trying to radicalize the peoples of these countries to their approaches to the religion/state question. Westerners and moderate Muslims have been lax in responding to this (and by lumping all Muslim peoples in with the radical Islamists in places like Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, Westerners have to some extent made it a self-fulfilling prophecy; most Bosnian Muslims saw themselves as Europeans first, until too many Europeans made it clear that they didn't see it that way).

Things are in some cases better than they are portrayed in the Western media, but in other cases they are worse (the willful blindness to the threat of Islamist radicals among Muslim populations in the West and the periphery regions is the most important). In the long-run, I think the prospects are good, but some backsliding is likely (the advance of democracy in Latin America, one of the greatest legacies of the Reagan years, has suffered backsliding in the past couple years in several places, most dangerously Venezuela).

Roguish Lawyer
03-18-2004, 10:19
Dave, why aren't you teaching somewhere? Seriously.

NousDefionsDoc
03-18-2004, 10:46
Good post AL

Guy
03-18-2004, 11:38
Queen Rania is a Jordanian of Palestinian origin. It was King Abdullah's father, the late King Hussein, whose wife was American. Queen Noor, née Lisa Halaby, is the daughter of the late Najeeb Halaby, who was a Navy test pilot, CEO of Pan Am and FAA Administrator under JFK and LBJ.
You are correct. I had the two kings mixed up.

Hussein's generally pro-Western orientation was probably as much due to his UK connections and the balancing act the Arab monarchies have always had to play in the face of Arab socialists and Islamists, as it was to his wife's US connections. This has been a major hurdle on trying to install a “Coalition Government” within Iraq. Also, a majority of Jordan's population is Palestinian, so keeping control over them has been the monarchy's main goal.I’ve been in discussions with Jordanians about the amount of land they acquired from the Palestinians after the “Six Day war”! How better to maintain control over the Palestinians than focus there “cause” on Israel?

Also, the Gulf states' steps toward democracy are tentative at best. Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are all wealthy oil states with small populations.Most of the shit-work is done by South Asians and Filipinos, who enjoy no citizenship rights. As long as the actual Arab citizens are wealthy and content, and don't have to work that hard for a living, the emirs see no great problem in granting them certain additional rights.The small population as you stated above…is true. In comparison to Iraq and it’s future …is false!
In response to what have above in bold. Hell…I could make that same argument here within the USA. As long as the actual American citizens are wealthy and content, and don't have to work that hard for a living, the American people see no great problem in granting “certain immigrants” certain additional rights

The Reaper
03-18-2004, 11:43
Great information, presented effectively, AL.

Glad to have you posting your perspective here.

TR

Guy
03-18-2004, 13:19
In Saudi Arabia, though, we are seeing the consequences if that compromise breaks down. The Saudi population explosion of the last 20-30 years has resulted in a generation of young Saudis who grew up expecting the easy life their parents enjoyed, but now find themselves with few opportunities and little inclination to get their hands dirty doing jobs fit only for Filipinos, Bangladeshis and Yemenis. It is among these alienated young people that the Islamists have their best recruiting success (hence the 15 of 19 9-11 hijackers of Saudi origin). I agree! This is the norm from any society…my parents did well, why shouldn’t I have the privilege or opportunity?

1.On a tangent, that is one reason why I am tired of the "root cause" types who blame terrorism on poverty and ignorance/lack of education among the Arab masses. The core of al-Qa'ida terrorists are not poor or uneducated. 2.They have more in common with the Columbine shooters and the Baader-Meinhof and SLA types and other alientated rich kids than they do with the people on the so-called "Arab street".
1. Name one terrorist attack besides 9/11 that has been carried out by the EDUCATED? Those who were educated because “a dumb SOB can’t comprehend the complexity of flying an aircraft” carried out 9/11! Any attack that’s carried out by terrorist, that is complex in nature, it’s that the core element will be EDUCATED!
2. That statement is utter BS! The Columbine shooters felt like “alienated rich kids”. Who in the hell were they “indoctrinated” or educated by? Nintendo…XBOX…Rap music…etc? The comparison is unfair and bias. The religious structure played no part in the Columbine tragedy.

Oh I have more to say…

Guy
03-18-2004, 13:33
Do you see OBL...Arafat or any of these other "so called leaders" who have been linked to terrorism, running around with bombs strapped to there a$$?

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 14:42
Originally posted by Guy
1. Name one terrorist attack besides 9/11 that has been carried out by the EDUCATED? Those who were educated because “a dumb SOB can’t comprehend the complexity of flying an aircraft” carried out 9/11! Any attack that’s carried out by terrorist, that is complex in nature, it’s that the core element will be EDUCATED!
2. That statement is utter BS! The Columbine shooters felt like “alienated rich kids”. Who in the hell were they “indoctrinated” or educated by? Nintendo…XBOX…Rap music…etc? The comparison is unfair and bias. The religious structure played no part in the Columbine tragedy.

Oh I have more to say… I am not certain what is "utter BS". Too many people made excuses for the likes of Taliban Johnny, Patty Hearst and others, saying they were mixed up kids who fell in with the wrong crowd and were brainwashed. That frankly doesn't seem atypical for many terrorist recruits. If the Columbine kids had, like Lindh, found an ideology - religious, Marxist, anarchist, etc. - to latch onto, they probably would have. For Lindh, it was Islamism. For Hearst, it was whatever the SLA stood for. Baader-Meinhof were Marxists, but they had a streak of anarchist in them as well.

There is no strong correlation between terrorism and any other indicator except lack of political liberty, one other reason that Saudi Arabia comes high on the list of terrorist home addresses. Add into the mix the indoctrination by Wahhabi clerics and their terrorist leader acolytes, and you have the recipe for terrorist recruitment.

But numerous studies have found a correlation between education levels and terrorism. A study (http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v6n2p5Kim.html) by researchers Dr. Shaul Kimhi and Col. Shmuel Even of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies indicated that Palestinian suicide bombers had much higher education levels than Palestinians in general. A study by a Princeton graduate student, Claude Berrebi, also indicated higher education levels and lower poverty rates among Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas suicide bombers than among Palestinians in general. A study of Hezbollah fighters also showed higher education levels and lower poverty rates than among the Lebanese population base from which they were recruited. Members of the Gush Emunim Underground, a Jewish fundamentalist terrorist cell active in the 1980s, also followed this pattern (the group was militant splinter group of Gush Emunim, a Jewish fundamentalist group not previously associated with political violence).

Guy
03-18-2004, 16:48
AL:

Read that study again!...the Palestinian education system that preaches hatred of Israel. This comprehensive social environment may be referred to as the "culture of suicide terrorists" that has been created within Palestinian society.

If this is what you call "A HIGHER EDUCATION"! Then I must be crazy!

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 17:13
Originally posted by Guy
AL:

Read that study again!

If this is what you call "A HIGHER EDUCATION"! Then I must be crazy!

It's hardly limited to Middle Eastern universities. Banner hanging in the Douglas Campus Student Center, Rutgers(The State University of New Jersey):

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 17:15
The rallying cry of Palestinian militants, it's a fairly straightforward statement of just how much "land" the Israelis are expected to five up for "peace".

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 17:22
Communist regime defenders always touted free education and universal literacy in the workers' paradises.

Remember Sandinista math? Two grenades plus two grenades plus two grenades equals six grenades.

And Sandinista spelling. Use of the letter Q: "Sandino fought the yanquis. The yanquis will always be defeated in our fatherland.''

brownapple
03-18-2004, 17:53
Originally posted by Guy


1. Name one terrorist attack besides 9/11 that has been carried out by the EDUCATED?


Bali.

Guy
03-18-2004, 17:55
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
It's hardly limited to Middle Eastern universities. Banner hanging in the Douglas Campus Student Center, Rutgers(The State University of New Jersey):

I would have torn that banner down.:D Yankee ass higher education system makes me ill anyways.

That still doesn't answer the question...Where are these terrorist (suicide bombers) receiving their higher education?

BTW...South America was never my AO.

NousDefionsDoc
03-18-2004, 17:59
Where are these terrorist (suicide bombers) receiving their higher education?

Harvard

Roguish Lawyer
03-18-2004, 18:08
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Harvard

LMAO! I knew that was coming. :munchin

Guy
03-18-2004, 18:21
NDD...lol

AL:
If these suicide bombers are receiving a higher education...then they would or should have a better understanding on what is written in the Qur'an?

"In Islam, several things are clear:

Suicide is forbidden. "O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Qur'an 4:29-30).

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 18:27
Originally posted by Guy
That still doesn't answer the question...Where are these terrorist (suicide bombers) receiving their higher education? Harvard or Bir Zeit or Rutgers or the Riyadh campus of DeVry. It doesn't really matter. The point is, the terrorists tend to be closer to the top than the bottom of their particular community, and what turns them into murderers is something more than socioeconomic circumstance.

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 18:35
Originally posted by Guy
NDD...lol

AL:
If these suicide bombers are receiving a higher education...then they would or should have a better understanding on what is written in the Qur'an?

"In Islam, several things are clear:

Suicide is forbidden. "O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Qur'an 4:29-30).

Smart people are big on nuance. Ask Sen. Kerry. :rolleyes:

Airbornelawyer
03-18-2004, 18:56
Originally posted by Guy
...Suicide is forbidden...Depends on the meaning of "is".

Actually, for those trying to justify suicide bombers, it depends on the meaning of "suicide".

According to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, possibly the most influential Sunni religious authority today: "He who commits suicide kills himself for his own benefit, while he who commits martyrdom sacrifices himself for the sake of his religion and his nation. While someone who commits suicide has lost hope with himself and with the spirit of God, the Mujahid is full of hope with regard to God's spirit and mercy. He fights his enemy and the enemy of God with this new weapon, which destiny has put in the hands of the weak, so that they would fight against the evil of the strong and arrogant. The Mujahid becomes a 'human bomb' that blows up at a specific place and time, in the midst of the enemies of God and the homeland, leaving them helpless in the face of the brave martyr who... sold his soul to God, and sought the martyrdom for the sake of God."

The former head Sheikh of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, said in August 1998, "Any explosion that leads to the death of innocent women and children is a criminal act, carried out only by people who are base, cowards and traitors, because a rational man with just a bit of respect and manliness, refrains from such operations altogether." However, he was talking about the embassy bombings in Africa. When it comes to Israelis, "...suicide operations are of self-defense and a kind of martyrdom, as long as the intention behind them is to kill the enemy's soldiers, and not women or children." (April 2001) That makes him a relative moderate. Of course, back in May 1998, Tantawi had this to say: "It is every Muslim, Palestinian and Arab's right to blow himself up in the heart of Israel, an honorable death is better than a life of humiliation. All religious laws have demanded the use of force against the enemy and fighting against those who stand by Israel; there is no escape from fighting, from Jihad, and from defense, and whoever refrains from such things is not a believer." No distinction regarding targets there.

Guy
03-18-2004, 19:29
Depends on the meaning of "is".
Typical lawyer mumbo-jumbo. A phrase that became famous during the Clinton impeachment.

According to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, possibly the most influential Sunni religious authority today:.. He would say that...knowing the Kurds and Shiites are going to wipe there ass out, if we were to pull out of Iraq.

After 25 years under Saddam rule, who was a Sunni. The Sheikh realizes that the Sunnis' are between a rock and a hard place.

The former head Sheikh of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, said in August 1998,... Flip flops like a Democrat.

Guy
03-19-2004, 16:00
Maybe I should have warned you.

I use to work for the ATA Program.;)

What's wrong with the study you cited; is that it only covers terrorist acts commited by the Palestinians against the Israelis.

Solid
03-19-2004, 17:25
Shouldn't a deferentiation be made between the leaders and soldiers in these terrorist organisations?

Sorry, I'm not by any means an SME, but it seems logical that education will vary directly with 'rank', or at least job within the organization?

Solid

Airbornelawyer
03-19-2004, 19:04
Sheikh al-Qaradhawi is a Qatari. Qatari Muslims are overwhelmingly Wahhabi Sunnis. A minority in Iraq, Sunnis far outnumber Shi'ites in the rest of the Muslim World (Shi'ites are a majority in Iran and a plurality in Lebanon).

Sheikh Tantawi probably flip-flops because he holds Egyptian government-appointed positions. I would guess his true instincts are closer to the kill all infidels side, but this is occasionally embarassing to Mubarak, so Tantawi gets reined in from time to time.

BTW, I only linked to one, but I noted four studies: one of all Palestinian suicide bombers, one of PIJ and Hamas suicide bombers, one of Jewish terrorists and one of Lebanese Hizbullah fighters. Unfortunately, Palestinian terrorists are the best subject for studies like this because they present a rather large database.

I can't cite studies but my recollection is that a number of Western terrorist groups also fiot the profile of being more educated and wealthier than the population in general. The Weather Underground was almost entirely college kids and evolved out of a student group. Patty Hearst, noted earlier, was probably the only SLA member who wasn't a college-educated, white and middle class - she was a 19-year old white rich kid. Baader-Meinhof also fits the profile.

The only real point I had with all of this is that if you want to drain the swamp the terrorist recruiters swim in, political reform is probably more important than economic reform. In that sense, we are on the right track by pushing for democratic reform and greater openness. But nothing will ever eliminate all terrorism, so this is still about the best way to manage the problem. For me, the answer is pretty much threefold: (1) hunt down and kill every terrorist we can, (2) push for greater freedom in the Middle East to help cut off the recruiting network (a little DOL) and (3) demand greater Muslim accountability regarding the actions of those who claim to act in the name of Islam. In the long run, we need an Islamic Enlightenment, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that.

Jimbo
03-19-2004, 20:59
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
A minority in Iraq, Sunnis far outnumber Shi'ites in the rest of the Muslim World (Shi'ites are a majority in Iran and a plurality in Lebanon).
They also make up a large percentage (I heard 70, but am not sure I believe it) of Bahrainis.

Jimbo
03-19-2004, 21:05
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
The only real point I had with all of this is that if you want to drain the swamp the terrorist recruiters swim in, political reform is probably more important than economic reform. In that sense, we are on the right track by pushing for democratic reform and greater openness. But nothing will ever eliminate all terrorism, so this is still about the best way to manage the problem. For me, the answer is pretty much threefold: (1) hunt down and kill every terrorist we can, (2) push for greater freedom in the Middle East to help cut off the recruiting network (a little DOL) and (3) demand greater Muslim accountability regarding the actions of those who claim to act in the name of Islam. In the long run, we need an Islamic Enlightenment, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that.
There are some people with whom I'd like you to speak.

"Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

Airbornelawyer
03-19-2004, 21:12
Originally posted by Jimbo
They also make up a large percentage (I heard 70, but am not sure I believe it) of Bahrainis. Seventy to seventy-five percent of the total population; I'm not sure what the breakdown is for Bahraini citizens (a third of Bahrain's population is expatriate).

Jimbo
03-19-2004, 21:13
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
(3) demand greater Muslim accountability regarding the actions of those who claim to act in the name of Islam.

An interesting point you bring up. I found the following two articles of interest.

http://www.greeleynet.com/~cnotess/views2.htm
http://www.travelbrochuregraphics.com/extra/only_u_s_strength_can_defeat_islamism.htm

Jimbo
03-19-2004, 21:15
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
Seventy to seventy-five percent of the total population; I'm not sure what the breakdown is for Bahraini citizens (a third of Bahrain's population is expatriate).
I got the sense that the expat ratio was much higher than that.

Radar Rider
03-20-2004, 06:50
Thanks for the lesson. Assholes killing themselves in the name of Allah is STILL not an explanation that I accept. Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
Depends on the meaning of "is".

Actually, for those trying to justify suicide bombers, it depends on the meaning of "suicide".

According to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, possibly the most influential Sunni religious authority today: "He who commits suicide kills himself for his own benefit, while he who commits martyrdom sacrifices himself for the sake of his religion and his nation. While someone who commits suicide has lost hope with himself and with the spirit of God, the Mujahid is full of hope with regard to God's spirit and mercy. He fights his enemy and the enemy of God with this new weapon, which destiny has put in the hands of the weak, so that they would fight against the evil of the strong and arrogant. The Mujahid becomes a 'human bomb' that blows up at a specific place and time, in the midst of the enemies of God and the homeland, leaving them helpless in the face of the brave martyr who... sold his soul to God, and sought the martyrdom for the sake of God."

The former head Sheikh of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, said in August 1998, "Any explosion that leads to the death of innocent women and children is a criminal act, carried out only by people who are base, cowards and traitors, because a rational man with just a bit of respect and manliness, refrains from such operations altogether." However, he was talking about the embassy bombings in Africa. When it comes to Israelis, "...suicide operations are of self-defense and a kind of martyrdom, as long as the intention behind them is to kill the enemy's soldiers, and not women or children." (April 2001) That makes him a relative moderate. Of course, back in May 1998, Tantawi had this to say: "It is every Muslim, Palestinian and Arab's right to blow himself up in the heart of Israel, an honorable death is better than a life of humiliation. All religious laws have demanded the use of force against the enemy and fighting against those who stand by Israel; there is no escape from fighting, from Jihad, and from defense, and whoever refrains from such things is not a believer." No distinction regarding targets there.

Guy
03-21-2004, 08:15
Originally posted by Jimbo
An interesting point you bring up. I found the following two articles of interest.

http://www.greeleynet.com/~cnotess/views2.htm
http://www.travelbrochuregraphics.com/extra/only_u_s_strength_can_defeat_islamism.htm

"(2) Children raised in a tradition of honor and shame, on average, grow into adulthood with a somewhat fragile self-assurance, tending to blame others for their own failures. Constructing personal and group identities has become very difficult as a culture changes from Premodern to Postmodern in a matter of a few decades, skipping much of the intermediate stage of Modernity. Thus, the social and psychological aspects affecting a young person's construction of his or her identity is an important topic essential to an understanding of the social and psychological forces that influence some young Muslims to opt for violence against those whom they blame as the cause of their hardships.

(3) Many high school students, both in America and in the Middle East, Christians and Muslims, do not learn how to analyze a text, a speech and other sources of information by using critical methods of text analysis to ascertain the truth of the text. As a result they believe that what they see and hear is realistic and true, whether it be from news broadcasts on radio and television, by writers in the newspapers, by clerics, or by other community leaders."