Re: terror linked to freedom instead of poverty?

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 10 Nov 2004 - 23:14:17 GMT

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    --- Chris Taylor <> wrote:

    > Fox Infotainment would be a better name. Or at the
    > very least Fox 'News'
    > with one of those 'resemblance to any person living
    > or dead is purely
    > coincidental' qualifiers. Good sport though to get
    > some CV exercise :)
    > I thought terrorism was primarily a response to
    > (perceived) oppression?
    > If we need to live under martial law in, say,
    > wartime then deprivation
    > and suppression of the individual are accepted; if
    > we are even a little
    > bit oppressed without reason though, we try to kick
    > off...
    > Ref N. Ireland -- free elections, reasonable
    > standard of living (in
    > absolute terms). Ref the recent 'terrorism' (small
    > scale) by 'oppressed'
    > fathers in the UK, and then there's pro- and
    > anti-hunters,
    > environmentalists and animal rightsers. All lower
    > key, but all terrorism
    > (some including bombs).
    Yeah, I remember about animal rights extremists from some of my reading long ago. Not sure poverty or invividual freedom would have much to do with being an animal rights extremist that would break into labs or threaten people. They have views about the perceived oppression of animals though, I suppose, so maybe they feel that their acts are for the cause of helping these animals.
    > Ref mujahidin war fans at a loose end after guerilla
    > warfare against the
    > Russians, looking for causes to champion so they
    > don't have to
    > resocialise and get dull jobs (proxy terrorism, like
    > the animal rights
    > people, that's really scary).
    And there we run into the problem of the shifting definition, where yesterdays freedom fighter becomes today's terrorist or what Russia perceived as terrorists when they were CIA proxies are now looked at as terrorists in US eyes.

    I had just read a book about Pinochet's Condor operation against what he and his cronies perceived as leftist terrorism (a la Che Guevara's brand of Latin American revolutionary) and the brutal way that Pinochet et al (via DINA and intelligence agencies in Argentina and other Southern Cone countries) dealt with this threat while the US watched via the CIA. Pinochet was neither oppressed, unfree politically himself, or impoverished, yet he unleashed a beast in South America. Those responsible for the counterrevolution in the Southern Cone were right wingers and probably rather affluent and yet some would call them terrorists.
    > Ref a bunch of Neoconservatives who fear and feel
    > oppressed by the
    > variety and complexity of the world and seek to
    > squash any threat
    > whether real, perceived or even
    > manufactured/encouraged (to help keep
    > the knives sharp till the 'real' bad guys
    > materialise, or perhaps just
    > to ram through a load of social policy changes and
    > keep the economy
    > ticking). Terrorism (foreign and domestic
    > simultaneously) when you
    > really have the toys to play with -- now that's
    > something else.
    My recent hobby horse has been the history of the relationship between the US and Cuba. In the case of Cuban exile extremism and the acts that could be construed as terrorism against Castro and other perceived enemies, I don't think that relative political freedom is a factor since the exile extremists live in the US and are as free as anyone else in the US. They are also fairly affluent as a group, which would rule out the factor of poverty and looming privation. I'm not sure how oppression plays a role in the generation of the rabid anti-Castro mindset. Maybe some exiles are the product of past oppression in Cuba if they were imprisoned and/or exiled by Castro or fled after the revolution was hijacked by Castro. Some of them, if part of the Batista regime, may have been oppressors themselves when the shoe was on the other foot. They might also look at Castro as an oppressor responsible for holding Cuba down for his own gains and feel an indirect sense of oppression since they still have family members and lost estates in Cuba.

    In the US govt POV some of the exile extremists past and present may have been looked at as CIA assets, some of whom got a little carried away on their own pet projects, but are still freedom fighters nonetheless, since the enemy of your enemy is your friend with lots of political clout in Washington and South Florida. Yet these same freedom fighters and fellow travelers would be percived by the Bearded Old Man in Cuba as terrorists plain and simple. That's a different POV.

    The Cuban exile "old guard" may tend to harbor the deepest resentments towards Castro, and beyond the very limited number who could be classified as terrorists, there are those who are still intransigent when it comes to holding the line on anti-Castro policies. The younger generations, though influenced by the views of the old guard, may eventually moderate and hold less extreme views.


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