Re: The terrorism meme

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun 17 Nov 2002 - 04:31:21 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: The terrorism meme"

    >Grant wrote
    > >........SNIP...... In every case where they have made
    > >attacks on embassies in foreign countries, they killed more civilians of
    > >that country than they did Americans. In other words, they don't care
    > >many collateral deaths they cause in a country if they can kill one
    > >American. They are only "freedom fighters" in their own minds, not in
    > >minds of the rest of the world. The fact that bin Laden praises such
    > >shows that it is a clash of cultures and what he is out to destroy is all
    > >non-Muslim governments and unbelievers. He feels anything done to the
    > >infidel is justified, and says as much in words and deeds.
    > >
    > >Grant
    >Please Grant, I am not discussing events, other than as examples, just
    >perceptions and what forms them within a culture. You say that you see
    >terrorists as mindless non-state thugs who have nothing but world
    >domination on their minds (oops I've made an oxymoron), whereas I maintain
    >that they have both minds and purpose. I am not saying that one side is
    >gooder or bader than the other - you are.
    >I also would suggest that from the perceptions of the 'terrorists' they are
    >fighting a just war - a declared war - and therefore are soldiers and not
    >terrorists at all.
    >I do, I admit, on occasions, play the devil's advocate, but not this time
    >Think about what would happen if all the world leaders were kids in the
    >same pre-school. Would you, as the responsible adult in charge, insist that
    >they share the resources fairly or would you back little George's right to
    >be the only fat kid with a big stick hidden in his locker?
    I see THESE (al Quaeda) terrorists as mindless thugs and I've explained my reasons. They are based on the deeds they did. If we're going to talk memes, we must include actions as memes -- not just words. IF I say, "Im against Americans and their allies," and I go out and kill hundreds or thousands of other nationalities and justify it by having killed one or two Americans in the process, most people would say my actions belie my words. That I don't care who I kill in the name of my religion, whatever it may be.
      Trying to separate people's memes from their actions is a non-starter in my book. That's the medium in which their memes are encoded. If you don't believe their actions, what would you believe?

    If I see kinds on the playground fighting, and I'm a teacher, I break up the fight first and tell them not to fight. I had a lot of experience with a similar situation as a bar tender. I broke up many a fight and most of them were senseless. But if a man swung at me first, I usually put him down before he could do it again. When a man came into the bar carrying a knife or some other weapon, I either told him to get out or give it up. I didn't let him stay and threaten my customers. IF he wouldn't do either, I called the cops (my equivalent of the army) and had them take it away from him. In addition, they usually locked the guy up if he didn't cooperate. I applauded their actions then and I still do.

    Now if all the world's leaders were bar owners, and they had to contend with one who went around beating up his customers and threatening to blow up the bars of owners who didn't like it, I think they'd get together and create their own police force to shut him down and get rid of the threat. It wouldn't make sense to continue to let him be a public nuisance and try to take over the businesses of others by threats of force. And if he picked out the owner of the biggest bar and accused him of bing the aggressor, but all the other bar owners were on his side, I'd doubt the accuser.

    But this is all theoretical and has nothing to do with the reality of what is going on in the world. Analogy based on fiction doesn't prove much of anything. I see the world based on my past experience and you have to see it based on yours. Neither of us is likely to be more right than the other in our opinions. Most of the things we form them about we are not in a position to prove the truth or falsity of. We can only interpret the reports we hear and see and make judgements based on them.



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