Re: TERRORISM: and justice (was : Re: TERRORISM: Seriousness and potential strategies)

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 09:26:13 MDT

Samantha Atkins a écrit (29.9.2001/00:57) :
> I see no really good reason for a continuing large force in
> Saudi Arabia. It doesn't provide significant enough detterrent
> relative to our ability to quickly move in forces when necessary
> for the level of action present imho. And it costs an arm and a
> leg financially as well as in good will of the people in the
> region.

That may be.

But what seems clear to me (and makes the previous point not very
important in the frame of this discussion) is that some of what you do
will keep provoking the rage of some islamists, even if you don't want
it, and don't understand why. For them to be "ruled" by you, in
whatever conceivable sense and indirect way, is just totally
unacceptable ; justice is that it be the other way around. The
infidels should be ruled by the faithfull, not the other way around.

See for example Lewis' "The Roots of Muslim Rage", already mentionned

> I don't see why it is the business of the US to practice world
> domination nor do I see us really doing that. If it is our
> business then we should do it honestly imho and establish a true
> one-world government and mono-culture.

I'm not speaking of an actual domination, something that is concretely
present everywhere all the time, but a potential domination, that is,
checking at any given point in time that you can regain control, even
if at a cost.

Why would you do that ? Well, simply because (and this answers
Damien's message, too) you don't trust other people to do it : that
would cause a threat on yourself and on the way of living that you
want to preserve. I think you are right in this, and that relativizing
your interests (or your sense of justice) is not something that makes

Relativizing makes knowledge better ; but not value judgements. These
are relative to oneself, and SHOULD BE.

> I don't dismiss it easily but I don't believe the fault is in
> Islam
> itself.

Read sourate 9 (sorry I didn't find the English for sourate, that's a
"chapter") of the Coran and tell me about it.

I know of course that many muslims don't follow this blindly. But if
you take it as it is (not by some strange fanatic reading ; just as it
is), then you should fight against and kill all non-muslim, whithout
even thinking of your own life.

I'm not an expert ; I read this yesterday for the first time. But I'm
not sure how "kill all of them wherever they are" (9:5, but repeated
throughout the chapter) can take a totally new meaning when one
becomes an expert.

> If you want terrorists and mad crusades look at
> Christianity
> about 500 years ago and some of the continuing extremism to this
> day. Yet there is no real support for such methods in the New
> Testament.

I think this is not a good argument. Atheists made slaughters, too, we
know that. It doesn't entail that some religious content cannot
sometimes provoke violent action. Sometimes the cause is not there ;
sometimes it may be. In this instance, the terrorists actions are
consistant with sourate 9. And if you listen to one of these people
(violent islamists), you discover that they are not vile nor mad, but
loyal and consistant with their beliefs.

> > For example, in Christianism, force is not well regarded. It is in
> > islam. In Christianism, you should love even your ennemy. Not in
> > islam.
> Not quite true. Even your enemy should be treated with honor
> and using respectable means.

OK, you should kill him with honour.

> > > Sure but this is not the point. France should not support US
> > > policies and actions on this blindly any more than Americans should.
> > > Freedom includes the right to freely question and to disagree. It
> > > doesn't make you or your country complicit in terrorism if you do
> > > disagree.
> >
> > I think this is not a yes/no problem. Imagine that your friend is
> > badly hurt, and asks help from you to counter. Depending on the kind
> > of help she asks, what really happened, what might happen next, who is
> > the attacker, etc., you will have a tension between various desires
> > and fears. It's a matter of nuance and quantity, and to make the right
> > choice you need to limitate the amount of blindness and cowardness that
> > you put in the resolution of the problem.
> >
> Where did cowardice entere into this? How does any blindness at
> all help?

I was talking about France. What I meant is that refusing support to
the US is a decision in which cowardice (sorry for awkward English and
thanks for your patience) and blindness can play a role, not only the
legitimate auto-determination and own vision of things. Cowardice, to
avoid fighting of course, but more to avoid possible later retaliation
from terrorists ; blindness, to consider that this is a USA problem,
and we are not concerned by it.

But I don't want to insist on this last point : first it is "our
business" ; second, I agree with what you said initially : that
proposing the alternative "you support us blindly or you support the
terrorists" would not be nice.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:59 MDT