Yes it's off topic but who cares right now.

OK, let me try this again...

Arman,
  Money is only one leg of a multi legged stool that they sit on.
You need to cut off the leadership (and since power vacumes get filled
quickly, you need to fill the void with another power that is more
friendly to the rest of the world). You need to change the ingrained
hate that the followers have towards the rest of the world. That's just
the tip of the iceberg...

/herb

Arman Khalili wrote:

OK, let me try this again...

Arman,
  Money is only one leg of a multi legged stool that they sit on.
You need to cut off the leadership (and since power vacumes get filled
quickly, you need to fill the void with another power that is more
friendly to the rest of the world). You need to change the ingrained
hate that the followers have towards the rest of the world. That's just
the tip of the iceberg...

Indeed you are correct. One of the other legs on which international terror sits is media adulation. For example, Newsweek recently had an article called "The Making of a Martyr" (Aug 27). The Christian term martyr refers to someone who was killed at the hand of their enemy due to their religious beliefs. A suicide bomber takes his own life and those of his enemies. For those with a Christian background, don't you consider it an insult to your religion to have a suicide bomber called a martyr after Saint Stephen?
Rather than discuss victims, the article sort of analyzed and sort of glorified suicide bombers.

CNN is just as much to blame by "popularizing" terrorism. Over the past year we have seen articles about how brave are the shahidim. How their mothers weep upon hearing about their deaths. How proud their fathers are. What colorful funerals they have. The numerous victims, those dead as well as injured never feature followup articles by CNN, BBC, etc.

Terrorism is a multi-legged stool and money is just one of them.

-Hank

Unfortunately, unlike the hacker/cracker linguistic debate, the English
language does not have another word for "martyr".

Hmm.. if the Vatican were granted an algorithm patent on the concept of
becoming a martyr, and then sued for damages every time it happend,
it would put a crimp in the terrorist's finances. After all, prior art
or obviousness doesn't seem to be a problem for other software patents.
If it hadn't slipped into mainstream usage, they could also have gone
the trademark route, and stamped 'Martyr(TM)' on some saints, and sued
for infringement....

Naah. I think that word went the way of linoleum, but a millenia before...

On the other hand, does anybody know the equivalent Arabic term? Perhaps
using that might make for an alternative - it seems that most of the
candidates that make the news are Muslim or Judeo-Christian. But then,
I'm sure that CNN just isn't reporting on that sort of thing when
it involves the other half of the world population....

/Valdis

It was in the original email "...how brave are the shahidim." Singular: shahid.

-Hank

For those with a Christian background, don't you consider it an insult to
your religion to have a suicide bomber called a martyr after Saint
Stephen?

no, i consider it a consequence of the self-righteousness that religion
often nurtures, i am better than you because my god is better than yours.
add fanaticism, and there will always be fanatics of every stripe, and you
get the escalating cycle of violence and hate.

resist the cycle of violence and hate.

randy

You missed the point. I am not arguing with what you say, but rather the equation of misusing the word martyr for:

a) a person killed by their enemy for their religious beliefs - either by crucification, fire, beheading, etc. - is the definition of a martyr - meaning someone *being* killed by someone else

b) a person *killing* people in a suicide mission.

There is a huge difference between *being killed* and *killing* people. One is the victim and one is the attacker. Nothing to do with religion. Someone being killed for their religious beliefs is a marytr. Someone killing people for their religious beliefs via his act of suicide is perhaps a shahid but is definitely *not* a martyr.

-Hank

Randy - you may not like it, but this is not a conflict of nations; this
is a conflict of ideologies ("religions", if you wish). On the one side
is secular Western societies which are considered perverse, unclean and
sinful not just by mujaheedin ("fanatics", "crazies", etc) but by majority
of believers in the Middle-East. On the other side is Western society
which considers religious states oppressive and their disregard for human
lives absolutely abominable.

Framing the conflicts in national (US vs Afganistan, etc) or racial
(whites vs arabs) categories is very unhelpful. Anyone who tracked what's
going on in, say, Chechnya, knows that Islamic militants have no problems
using foreign mercenaries, particularly from Eastern Europe. They pay
well. (BTW, the suicide bombers are not "doing that for pure idea" --
their families are usually very well paid, and for most families from the
poorest regions this is the only way to wealth).

In other words, we _are_ in a religious war, of sorts. And, i'm afraid,
this is us or them situation, because by the very nature of their belief
they cannot stop. (Again, Western media seems to be very shy about showing
what mujaheedin tell about their beliefs themselves. I personally heard
from a Chechen that they will not stop until they kill all filthy Russians
and then go and kill all filty Americans and Israelis -- it was said
chillingly matter-of-factly. In a daylight, on a Moscow street.)

Since the all-out no-holds-barred war aimed at wiping the idea out
together with carriers of that idea (i.e. "civilian" population) is very
out of fashion nowadays (somehow nobody cared about German civilians in
WWII, to put it into perspective) - the most likely scenario will be
protracted suppression of Islamic states. This may have two outcomes:
either their beliefs mutate to become more benign (like Christianity did,
crusaders were no better than today's Islamic fanatics; and Islam, like
Christianity _does_ teach peacefulness - read Koran to see for yourselves;
principles of any religion may be interpreted as applying to "true
believers" only); or that they manage to produce a particularly virulent
strain resistant to Western defenses.

Pushing epidemological analogy further, the ways to deal with the
situation are: exterminate infected population (or isolate, and let it die
off on its own), go after transmission vectors (TV, radio stations,
newsprint, religious leaders, etc pushing the militant ideas), drain
parasite's nutrient supplies by direct means (i.e. strangling financial
inflows into the region by developing alternative oil sources; in this
respect Western policy in regard to dealing with oil fields in Russia
seems particularly boneheaded), or by introducing competition for the
resources from the benign entities (i.e. promote and support Western way
of life in the regions). Note that i'm not passing moral judgments here.

The worst thing which could be done is to keep infection going for a long
time while doing sporadic bouts of suppression ("antibiotic", i.e.
military). This nearly guarantees evolution of resistant strains. The
suppression must be permanent until the very idea dies off (when infection
rate is below rate of reproduction), alternatively, carriers of the idea
must be kept in check by physical elimination (local wars,
"anti-terrorist" actions, epidemia or famines) - indefinitely (a chronic
form of illness).

The third option is, of course, for us to forget the liberal ideas and
learn to say "alla akbar" without noticeable accent. Population dynamics
is definitely on _their_ side. That option definitely has an advantage of
keeping our liberal consciences happy.

Chose whatever course is there to deal with the situation, but, please,
get your head out of sand. This is not an isolated group of fanatics; and
you don't win wars by hating enemies - but by being pragmatic and
clear-headed. And any human society so far was built on violence - real
or threatened (police is there to do violence, to those who don't behave;
_any_ law has behind it a threat of violence to offenders), so I wouldn't
declare it absolute evil. In fact, without intra-species agression (aka
violence) there couldn't be any frienship or love (see the book by the
famous etologist, Konrad Lorenz, "On Agression" for a painstakingly
detailed explanation).

--vadim

so, if we did not learn enough following the french into indochina, we can
learn more by following the russians into afghanastan? this does not seem
like a sucess path to me.

the successful part of our culture is about tolerance and learning to live
with folk different than we (for many values of 'we' and 'different').

resist the cycle of violence and hate.

randy

Randy-

  I find it increasingly difficult to maintain any tolerance of
total intolerance. I _want_ to learn to live with 'others' unless they
simply want me dead. I cannot and will not tolerate intolerant and
fanatical 'true believers.' In that direction lies death.

          David Leonard
          ShaysNet

In the immortal words of Randy Bush (randy@psg.com):

so, if we did not learn enough following the french into indochina, we can
learn more by following the russians into afghanastan? this does not seem
like a sucess path to me.

"Of course it's different! We're Americans!"

Feh. I don't know if it's worth wasting your breath. The shock
period is over, and the idiots are beginning to gibber. While we're
burying our dead here in NYC, every armchair marine in the country is
advocating creating more innocent bodies.

If they want to help America, let them come here and dig. Otherwise,
they can go to hell.

-Nathan J. Mehl
Brooklyn

------------------------------------------------------<memory@blank.org>
Now we've got to think here. Now let's see. What would Brian Boitano do?
<http://blank.org/memory/>----------------------------------------------

the successful part of our culture is about tolerance and learning to live
with folk different than we (for many values of 'we' and 'different').

The reality is that American culture is mostly completely ignorant about
folks different from Americans. Most immigrants came here precisely
because they _share_ the American ideals, and you never encounter those
who think differently.

Even with that - immigrant communities do not really mix. They merely
co-exist. The "successful part" is nothing to be proud of, really. The
American culture's broad appeal is mostly in its being the lowest common
denominator.

If you want the truth - take a look at correlation of school grades and
percentage of non-hispanic immigrant children in American public schools.
The "success" is based on making people so dumb that they can no longer
tell their cultures apart.

resist the cycle of violence and hate.

Resist the cycle of ignorance and isolationism. Instead of reading CNN on
the Internet, go and read European, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Israeli
news. You'll find that you're being brainwashed. An average all-American
newspaper is no better than Pravda. TV is even worse. A docile population
fed on the politically-correct diet of endless repetition of fuzzy warm
feelings and little carefully selected facts is much easier to lead into
accepting ineptness and stupidity of those in power.

Airline security, my ass. Is there anyone seriously thinking the
terrorists are stupid enough to do the same trick twice? Missile strikes
on the empty bin Laden's bases, yeah, sure, that will help a lot.

As for "violence and hate" - those can be quite constructive. Non-violence
wasn't invented by hippies or Ghandi, you know. Lev Tolstoy before
revolution became quite en vogue in Russia with his absolutist
non-violence gospel. The last Russian tzar, Nikolay II, was a decidedly
peaceful man. So he sent Lenin in exile. If he did some violence by
actually killing him & his elk (and he had all the reasons for that -- his
companions were actual terrorists: fire-bombing restaurants, robbing
banks, etc), twenty year later there wouldn't be the wave of the red
terror which ultimately killed 40-60 _million_ Russians and Ukrainians.

If you care for more history lessons - the current situation with US vs
"third world" eerily reminds the later years of the Roman republic.

--vadim