Re: TERRORISM: the grim prospects

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Oct 21 2001 - 08:51:01 MDT

Commenting on the Lionel Tiger article, Samantha wrote:

> This is rather biased and I believe, quite inaccurate. The real
> situation is not at all similar to this. When I was in the area
> I did not notice nor hear of young men being unable to find wives.

We should be specific here to avoid generalizations. Precisely
where was "the area" you were in? My read of the article seems
to suggest that in some Arabian countries the men has started to
resort to "importing" foreign brides and the government takes
steps to discourage this. When a government acts on something
it has usually risen to the level of being something they view
as a problem. Similarly the Saudis are in the middle of returning
all immigrant workers to their original countries to provide
job opportunities for their younger generation. According to
the NY Times article I read, this will probably not solve
the problem. I don't think young women are going to marry
young men who are unable to provide for the family.

Samantha -- if you go back through my posts you will find I am
*no* fan of the U.S. covert actions overseas. You are correct
that we created bin Laden and have significantly contributed
to the situations in Afganistan, the Mid East and Africa to
name a few places. The question is how to best extricate
ourselves given things we have done that in the past we thought
were the correct thing to do.

> The article is useless as purported explanation.

I don't find that to be the case. I find the combination of
a the fine points of a religion allowing the "wealthy" to
create an artificial shortage of potential mates combined
with the unemployment of the poor quite suggestive that
the problem is not going to go away anytime soon (no matter
*what* we do in Afghanistan).

Commenting on the Zuckerman article:
> It is also important to point out that the adaptation of means is
> certainly not over and that we are vulnerable and cannot remove all
> the means we are without destroying much that we value highly.

I would tend to agree.

> Reducing dependence on nuclear energy makes no sense at all.
> Without it we will not replace dependence on mid east oil. And
> nuclear plants are much more centralized and easier to defend.

I would not want to see us looking at nuclear as a sole solution.
We *can* totally replace mid east oil with solar (I've done
the numbers on this). We have to be concerned about all of the
unprotected power line towers. That suggests an adaptation
that would make our power system more reliant on smaller
distributed power sources is a good idea.

Regarding your explanation of a "fatwa", then we may be dealing
with a problem of education. You may be correct in the real
meaning of the term. The question is -- do the less well educated
(or indoctrinated) male population of countries like Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Pakistan understand that a "fatwa"
is not a justification for becoming a terrorist? If they don't
then our debating the fine points of what can and cannot be
used to justify an action in their minds isn't going to make
much of a difference.


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