Re: TERRORISM: looking for solutions

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 09:20:26 MDT

On Wed, 12 Sep 2001, Greg Burch wrote:

> And herein lies the ultimate, gut-wrenching irony and threat: Our
> political and cultural leaders cannot condemn this root cause of the
> problem. On the one hand, it would likely be ineffective.

Well, the political and cultural leaders won't, but the man on the street
sure will. And the basis will ultimatively decide the policy, by voting
the right people into office.

Can any U.S. residents provide data points on the current memetic climate?

> Condemnation of Islamism would be interpreted by Moslems all over the
> world as the simple rhetoric of inter-religious bigotry and
> competition. In other words, condemning Islam for what it is would be
> heard by Moslems as the same kind of rhetoric that has fueled
> inter-religious wars throughout history, no different than the kind of
> pronouncements made by leaders on both sides of the European religious
> wars of the Reformation.

Maybe the age of religious tolerance is over. At this day and age I
frankly fail to see the utility of a religion, especially an exclusive
religion still in the rabid fanatic phase. If a religion engenders
excessive fanatism, the separation of church/state is no longer

> On the other hand, the modern dogma of cultural relativism makes any
> kind of public judgment of one culture by another impossible. Any
> condemnation of Islam for the fertilizer of fanaticism that it is
> would be interpreted by the shapers of our own culture as chauvinism.
> Thus, our public discourse is condemned to a fundamental impotence: We
> cannot as a civilization even TALK about the root cause of the
> problem.

I've made the observation that Chechen strategy of carrying terror acts
into the capital made that particular ethnic group rather unpopular with
the guy on the street (an understatement), which promptly yielded
political card blanche for essentially total war, only holding back at
WOMD use (with the use of fuel-air explosives the boundaries blurring).
Maybe U.S. will not retaliate on quite the same scale, but this will
certainly have direct impact on immigration policy, religion politics and
racial hatred.

The pattern is not new, nor pretty. Similiar to you, I don't see any
solutions rather than excessive moderation on both sides. Fat chance.
Judging from past behaviour pattern, U.S. will retaliate, and the
magnitude of the attack will result in a further spiral of mutual
polarization, down the slippery slope.

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