Re: TERRORISM: looking for solutions

From: Charles Hixson (
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 09:55:45 MDT

Greg Burch wrote:

> Some more or less random thoughts on the events of yesterday.
> On the technical/security side:
> ... The root problem is not US foreign policy, as some here
> have suggested. It' s that there is a widely distributed
> culture of fanaticism in the Islamic world. It focuses on
> the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it certainly has other
> objects, as well. Consider that the savagery of the
> Taliban has basically nothing to do with the on-going
> crisis in the Levant. Examples can be found from Algeria
> to Indonesia that have nothing to do with Palestinian
> nationalism. That culture of fanaticism has secured the
> "sacred high ground" throughout the Islamic world. As a
> result, there is no secure

This seems to me to have been true since the ??1400's?? when the
a conflict between fundamentalist factions destroyed what had
until then been the world's leading culture. They don't seem to
have recovered since, so I tend to consider whatever it is that
they are believing evil, without even looking at it closely.
The effects are just so obvious (from a distance) that the
details of the reasoning aren't important. (Unless you think
you can create a cure.)

> middle ground in politics or culture in the Islamic world.
> This is because Islamism is truly totalitarian, or
> "culturally hegemonistic," to borrow a phrase form Marxist
> rhetoric, i.e. it makes claim to relevance to and dominance
> over every aspect of life. Contrary to the claims of
> and others today, and in the days that follow, that the 9/11/01
> attacks don't represent "true Islam", in fact they do.
> They represent precisely the aspects of Islam that made it
> the most successfully viral meme in human history.

That's not a sufficient explantion. The theological governments
of the middle ages made the same claim, but fell because the
claim wasn't accepted with sufficient strength to maintain
against secular seeking for advantage. It still lingers in the
formal obesiances that the politicians all make to this or that
religion or religious organization. (Consider the stem cell
problem.) But in "christendom" it's relatively minor.

> 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. Condemnation of
> Islamism would be interpreted by Moslems all over the world
> as the simple rhetoric of

Ineffective is the key problem. If it were effective, I doubt
that there would be any hesitation over the niceties.

> inter-religious bigotry and ompetition. 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.

I'm not sure that wouldn't be the lesser of evils.
Unfortunately, I suspect that it would get considerably worse
than that.

> 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

That's not what cultural relativitism means. That may be the
"newspaper popularization" of what it means. But what's
actually going on is that people don't generally want to exert
themselves and put themselves into danger without good reason.
The government of late hasn't been giving many good reasons for
trusting it, much less supporting it in a large effort. In
fact, to some extent I suspect this whole event of being staged,
or at least of being the result of background agent
provacateurs. If it were, I'd have no way of knowing. If this
is the first act, and it was staged by background agents, then
what would the expected second act be? And what would be the
goal? FDR conned the Japanese into attacking us. I doubt that
the current Bush would be that subtle, but his father well
might. Right now a few hot-heads are talking about war, wiping
(insert enemy here) off the face of the earth, etc. A few more
moves, and who knows where it could lead...

We don't know. We can't know. We are systematically lied to.
Usually the system is designed to sell us things, or support
politicians. But there are other (allied) possibilities.

> 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 wish I could offer a solution . . .
> Greg Burch Vice-President, Extropy Institute
Johnson pushed us into Viet Nam. Regan pushed us into Panama
and Grenada. Was it Bush senior who tried to push us into
Nicaragua? Why should the Bush be exempt from suspicion.
And, of course, various groups have gone out of their way to
declare themselves our enemies. Most of the time it's been
posturing, but how would we, as opposed to our government, know
if it were real? And always some groups within the countries
have believed it was real. This didn't really need a large
support system. So it could be the action of a small group
without real support from anywhere else. It's possible that
nearly everyone else thought it was normal grandstanding.

Charles Hixson

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