RE: The terrorism meme

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri 15 Nov 2002 - 20:59:40 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "RE: The terrorism meme"


    On the next go-round let's take the word "terrorist" and beat that one to death. And what was the point of beating the word "mindless" to death? Was there some point you want to make with that? The fact that I don't think they really know what they are doing is an opinion. We all have them.
      I read in the paper that the guy they picked up for the Bali bombing said he had heard that a lot of Americans like to hang out in that nightclub. He was shocked and disappointed to find out there weren't any there that night and he apologized to the Australians who seemed to bear the brunt of the bombing. Does that sound to you like someone who knows what he is doing and why?


    >OK, so you call it mindless because you don't think 'they' can possibly
    >really believe that bombing a disco is going to drive America out of Saudi.
    >But then wouldn't driving the US out of Saudi Arabia (I assume you mean
    >driving US troops out - because as far as I have seen that is the demand
    >that Al-Qaida has made - not Americans generally) be a purpose, whether or
    >not the tactic accomplishes it?
    >Now, I would assume that the Bali bombing was designed for some other
    >purpose, but have seen any primary materials on it, e.g. that would address
    >the matter of the purpose of those who did that.
    >Keep in mind that Al-Qaida may (and we know does) have more than one
    >purpose, AND is a decentralized organization, allowing local cells lots of
    >room to pursue purposes tailored to the local situation. Thus not all
    >Al-Qaida-associated actions will have as their purpose the achievement of
    >very single purpose enunciated by Al-Qaida. Middle Eastern Arabs have one
    >set of purposes, while Indonesian terrorist have a different set. I think
    >there is one overarching purpose, and that is what they have termed defense
    >against an ever-encroaching west. Again, you and I don't have to agree that
    >that purpose is a worthy one, or tactics pursued to achieve it reasonable;
    >our discussion here is simply as to whether these terrorist are 'mindless'
    >in their purposes or not.
    >Turning to our domestic situation: would you say that McVeigh, or Kyzcinski
    >were 'mindless'?
    >The importance of this issue is real: if they are 'mindless' than there is
    >little that the US can do to stop it. If they are 'mindful,' there may be a
    >lot that we can do to end the terror.
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On Behalf Of
    >Grant Callaghan
    >Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 2:39 PM
    >Subject: RE: The terrorism meme
    >I call it mindless because I don't think they have any specific goal with
    >their terrorist acts other than to cause terror. I don't think they know
    >what purpose their acts are for. The only thing purposeful about them is
    >the diligence with which they carry out their missions. And the people I'm
    >talking about are the Al Quaeda and their associates. I can't believe that
    >they think bombing a disco is Bali is going to drive America out of Saudi
    >Arabia, for example -- or even out of Indonesia. If so, they are
    > >
    > >Purposes will depend on who you are talking about, as far as I can see.
    > >There are many terrorist sources around the world: they have their
    > >different
    > >purposes.
    > >
    > >Have you read any of bin Laden's transcripts (at least, as publicly
    > >available?). The latest one is available in today's NY Times. It will
    > >you a pretty good sense of his purpose.
    > >
    > >But I still pose the question: why do YOU call it 'mindless terrorism'?
    > >it because you can't conceive of a possible purpose that those who engage
    > >in
    > >it might have? Or is calling it 'mindless' simply a counter-meme?
    > >
    > >Best regards,
    > >Lawry
    > >
    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >From: []On Behalf
    > >Grant Callaghan
    > >Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 12:48 PM
    > >To:
    > >Subject: RE: The terrorism meme
    > >
    > > >
    > > >Grant, why do you call it 'mindless terror'? It seems quite purposeful
    > >to
    > > >me.
    > > >
    > >Lawry,
    > >
    > >OK. What is it's purpose?
    > >
    > >Grant
    > >
    > >Bin Laden's Lament
    > >
    > >America is
    > >Destroying
    > >Islam
    > >
    > >One frenchfry
    > >at a time.
    > >

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