RE: The terrorism meme

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Fri 15 Nov 2002 - 12:57:13 GMT

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    Welcome back, Jeremy,

    The US gov't definition of 'terrorism' excludes acts by States, which means, if one accepts the definition, that States can engage in terrorist activities (as many have, e.g. the death gangs in central and south America) without being called such.

    I think what is happening worldwide is a memetic divide over the issues of good/evil and the emergent complexity and interrelatedness of the world. I'm working on an essay on this and may post it here. Is essence; some people want/need to see the world as simple and in which the distinctions of good and evil are easy and controlling. In this world, distinguishing and isolating the bad guys becomes paramount. Others want/need to see the world as complex and interrelated, in which everyone has a jumble of shifting allies and opponents, imperatives and goals. In this world, recruiting friends and strengthening the bonds that connect becomes paramount.

    Our discussions on this list regarding terrorism, Israel, and more recently, Iraq, show this divide in stark terms. As such these discussions have provided us with a rich set of materials for memetic analysis.

    We see these patterns emerging in the US, parts of the Muslim world, Israel, Russia, and, based on Jeremy's account, perhaps Australia.

    Best regards, Lawry

    -----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Jeremy Bradley Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 2:21 AM To: Subject: Re: The terrorism meme

    At 11:59 AM 9/11/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >On Saturday, November 9, 2002, at 10:48 , Grant Callaghan wrote:
    >> They are using God as an excuse

    Hi all There is an interesting problem emerging over the definitions of
    'terrorist' and 'freedom fighter'. The ANC (with a bit of pressure from OS), for instance, overthrew the apartheid SA government by the means of what could now only be defined as terrorism. These days Mandela is a world Statesman. In East Timor Fretalin (sp?) fought the might of the Indonesian Army - where they terrorists who were recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? I ask this because a memetic conundrum is looming. We, in Australia, have called for the listing of several Islamist organisations due to their perceived anti-social behaviour. This has started a hunt for all Australian supporters of these organisations. Even if these supporters thought that they were funding hospitals or schools for underprivileged youth they may be found guilty under our new anti-terrorism laws (backdated to before the Bali bombing). We have also asked for the right to try terrorists and their supporters in this country. This is well-and-good for us and may be seen as proper in the post-S11 world. BUT what happens when the boot is on the other foot? My devoutly Christian sister has been funding the Free Arche (sp?) movement and the separatists in West Papua. Might she have her door kicked in at 5.00 AM like the supporters of Islamic organisations have here recently? I also ask that, if laws can be backdated, will Britain want to charge USanian IRA supporters? Or even further, will the financial supporters of the Zionist terror-groups who terrorised the British out of Palestine at great cost in life and property be as culpable as geriatric Nazis, and if not why not? We must remember that virtually the whole of the first Israeli Cabinet was wanted for terrorism by the British and wonder what the statute of limitations on Bin Ladin's cohorts will be, and why it may be diferent to old Zionists Time changes our perceptions and today's terrorist is tomorrow's hero - yea, even Saint. The original demands of this current troublesome group was that the US withdraw its forces from Saudi-Arabia and to stop assisting Israel to steal Palestinian land. Were these requests harder to comply with than the waging of a potentially perpetual war for resource domination? I don't think so. Jeremy

    P.S. My rough definition of 'terrorist': Any person, organisation or State who would seek to coerce or dominate the free-will of other persons, organisations or States by the use of terror. My definition of 'terror': Synonymous with extreme fear.

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