Theories of terrorism

Reprisal theory: They kill us because we killed them. Proof: look, we killed them. Doesn't take a genius to figure this out.

Aggression theory: They would kill us whether or not we killed them. Proof: look at all their targets - not just big bad US. Notice all the hot spots (Sudan, Indonesia, etc.). Threats against non-Muslim artists and writers. See Religion theory. See Shark theory. See Theater theory.

Synthesis theory: They would kill us whether or not we killed them, but they kill us more because we killed them. Proof: see Reprisal theory and Aggression theory.

Shark theory: They smell blood in the water. It is our weakness that attracts them. Proof: Their rhetoric, our obvious lack of resolve. It would not be the first time someone was attacked because he was weak.

Religion theory: Their interpretation of jihad instructs them to attack us because we are nonbelievers. Proof: Their rhetoric. Their many religious explanations of what they are doing and why. Their violent attacks on apostates, disrespectful nonbelievers, Christian schoolgirls, Buddhists, Muslims of the wrong sect, Jews, etc.

Theater theory: They attack us primarily to impress other Muslims and gain power, adherents, and influence within and outside the Middle East. Proof: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse” (Osama bin Laden). This is often the effect (see attack on Israel from Lebanon); it is not unreasonable to suppose it was part of the motivation.

[updates] Clausewitz theory: Governments encourage, protect, and fund terrorism to achieve cold political purposes. Politics by other means. To attack and distract and weaken enemies with deniability, to deflect attention of restive subjects.

Die Hard theory: It's really for money. Terrorists receive ransom in various forms. So do governments.

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Another Synthesis Theory

Theater is why they attack. Religion is how they justify the attack. Shark theory is who they attack.

serious

1. you have a SERIOUS "they" problem as most right-wingers discussing this issue seem to have. Equating the janjaweed militia's violence against the Dinka with an Al Qaeda bombing of a US embassy is not just unhelpful, it really comes pretty close bigotry. I mean, pretty much the only thing these guys have in common is a religion/ethnicity. How are they a "they" in the sense you mean?

2. There are experts on the subject who generally agree on the cause, if you're interested. The only people interested in hooey like "shark theory" and "religion theory" are guys like Bill O'Reilly and Sam Harris.

Matt
aaaathatsfiveas.blogspot.com

strange comment

Does this objection make any sense? Bigotry? al Qaeda targets innocents to intimidate a population, as do the janjaweed militias, hence the pronoun.

The janjaweed would appear to be acting under his Clausewitz theory of terrorism.

strange indeed

So your argument is that this list isn't about Islamic terrorism but simply terrorism in general? Sentences like these: "Proof: look at all their targets - not just big bad US. Notice all the hot spots (Sudan, Indonesia, etc.). Threats against non-Muslim artists and writers" and several others aren't intended to lump all of the different breeds and ideologies of Muslim terrorism under one pronoun?

I mean, nice job with the def of terrorism (correct more or less) "targets innocents to intimidate a population" but if that was the "they" then you'd expect perhaps the "England is oppressing our island" theory of terrorism to be included, or the "domino theory" of terrorism, etc.

aaaathatsfiveas.blogspot.com

Emergent Systems

When one sees hundreds of birds flying in a complex sequence, one categorizes the collective as a flock. The Soviets were convinced a complex command-and-control system secretly kept the Westerm market running. Bee hives have no leader. And this global jihad thing looks like a traditional top-down organization when it runs. Heck, last weak there was a lot of drama over the Ron Paul Internet Swarm, and many were convinced there was a secret organization running it. But in all these cases, there's actually just individuals moving on their own, picking up signals and acting on them.

They are they in that they dance together to the same music, one could say.

on a roll

 

But only a fool would see a group of birds in Indonesia and another group of birds in Egypt and call both groups a single flock simply because they happen to be flying north at this very moment.

aaaathatsfiveas.blogspot.com

Still a common phenomenon

They may not belong to the same flock, but they may nevertheless belong to the same phenomenon - e.g., "seasonal migration of birds". And if they belong to the same or similar species, the phenomenon may be even more specific. Moreover, when it comes to humans, especially in the age of telecommunications, geographic separation means a lot less than it does for animals. Even if they are not formally part of the same organization, they can be causally connected by setting an example and imitating the example.

When there were protests in various places against the Danish cartoon depictions of Mohammed, the events were dispersed but related.

danish cartoon

But here's where the analogy starts to break down- we need to look at motives and ideologies and causes. They are quite disparate and if we aim to rid ourselves of this plague of terror we will at least understand the causes.

 

That Danish cartoon thing was way overblown- what do you think would happen if there was an anti-semetic advertisement from Texaco in Times Square? Do you think that the brave souls like Hitchens would come out of the woodwork to praise Texaco for their bravery in expressing free speech? That's not even a fair analogy- you'd have to go back a few decades for it to work.

 

aaaathatsfiveas.blogspot.com

Danish cartoons

That Danish cartoon thing was way overblown

Yes, by some Muslims.

what do you think would happen if there was an anti-semetic advertisement from Texaco in Times Square?

According to Wikipedia:

Several death threats and reward offers for killing those responsible for the cartoons have been made, resulting in the cartoonists going into hiding. [...] In India, Haji Yaqoob Qureishi, a minister in Uttar Pradesh state government announced in February 2006 a cash reward of Rs 51 crore (roughly about US$11 million) for anyone who beheads the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammad.

Recall the threats against the life of Salman Rushdie. Recall the murder of Theo van Gogh. The reaction to the Danish cartoonists is similar. Death threats or actual murder are used to silence certain kinds of speech found unacceptable to Muslims.

Contrast the Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoonists with the Christian reaction to Andres Serrano's Piss Christ. From Wikipedia:

Most famous of these is "Piss Christ" (1987), a photograph of a plastic crucifix in a glass of urine. This caused great controversy when first exhibited. Serrano, alongside other artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, became a figure whom some attacked for producing offensive art while others defended him in the name of artistic freedom (see the American "culture wars" of the 1990s).

"Great controversy." "Some attacked." What about murder? Death threats? Not mentioned.

Do you think that the brave souls like Hitchens would come out of the woodwork to praise Texaco for their bravery in expressing free speech? That's not even a fair analogy

You're right, it's not a fair analogy, because the entire point of the Danish cartoons is to face down the very real threat to free speech that is posed by Islam by way of death threats and murder. In contrast, Jews aren't about to threaten the lives of anyone who makes a nasty cartoon about them or their religion, so the point simply would not be there. Nevertheless, there are those who absurdly believe artists are being brave by insulting folks who pose no threat - hence the many congratulations to Serrano for his Piss Christ, which ironically proves by its aftermath just how little bravery it takes to insult Christianity.

If it were not the case that people self-censored out of a very real and very justified fear of violent reprisal from Muslims, then there would have been no point to the Danish cartoons and their publication would arguably have been disgraceful, just as the Piss Christ is disgraceful. Since it is the case, then the Danish cartoonists are extremely brave and the publication of the cartoons is commendable and noble.

"hence the many

"hence the many congratulations to Serrano for his Piss Christ, which ironically proves by its aftermath just how little bravery it takes to insult Christianity."

Indeed. He was interviewed on NPR a month ago and said that his Piss Christ was acceptable because he is a Christian but the Danish cartoons were problematic because the cartoonists targeted a religion not their own. Not only a non-courageous position, but a self-serving one as well.

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theories

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For terrorism

It is really terrible. It ignores people's life and happiness

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