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#36826 - 24 Nov 06 02:34 Jihadists and Whores
riccardo Offline

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
HMMMMMM, Maybe the WEST is winning the "War on Terror/iSlam" after all....

I heard an interesting story on online NPR radio recently, the premise of which that there is a correlation between nations that lose wars and the rise of prostitution in those nations. Assuming the premise is correct, Iran has lost its "war" against the West because of the increasing number of Iranian prostitutes popping up in places like Dubai and Europe. The author cited other instances of where this has occurred before, including various times in history when the Jewish people have been on the losing end of a conflict and there has been a rise in number of Jewish prostitutes; then he went on to cite the Japanese and German examples after the Second World War. More recently he noted the rise of Eastern European prostitutes in Dubai and in the West, notably from the Ukraine and Russia after the former Soviet Union "lost" the Cold War.

He states that now, the Iranian "Fatima" is becoming more common than the Slavic "Natasha" as an example of how the Iranians are losing the cultural war against the West.

The NPR Story was following up on this article in the Asia Times:

Nov 21, 2006
Jihadis and whores
By Spengler

Wars are won by destroying the enemy's will to fight. A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women.

The French sold their women to the German occupiers in 1940, and the Germans and Japanese sold their women to the Americans after World War II. The women of the former Soviet Union are still selling themselves in huge numbers. Hundreds of thousands of female Ukrainian "tourists" entered Germany after the then-foreign minister Joschka Fischer loosened visa standards

in 1999. That helps explain why Ukraine has the world's fastest rate of population decline. On a smaller scale, trafficking in Iranian women explains Iran's predicament.

full ATimes story here:
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

#36834 - 24 Nov 06 03:00 Re: Jihadists and Whores [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
What are the Roots of Terrorism???

March 9, 2005

Comment #539

Thread 1: Fourth Generation Warfare I (Intro)
Thread 2: Fourth Generation Warfare II (Articles)


There appear to be at least three schools of thought about the sources of terrorism in the Islamic world. The first, and most primitive, posits that terrorism is simply a product of the Islamic religion and culture. To its credit, the Bush Administration has not adopted this line, although many of its most fervent supporters have, particularly those who believe in the coming Apocalypse and the consequent purification of culture and morals. The second posits that terrorism is a consequence of authoritarianism, stagnation, and repression, and therefore democratic reform of these authoritarian societies is the key to ending systemic terror. This is the line of argument now used rhetorically by the Bush Administration to justify its policies in the Middle East, its invasion of Iraq, and the conduct of its war on terror. The third school posits that terrorism is the historical result of foreign occupation and meddling, such as the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, Gaza, and the West Bank; the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; and now, the US occupation of Iraq. This view is held by most Arabs, particularly the Arab elites in journalism and academia, as well as many scholars in the west. Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, is one of the most accomplished and erudite members of the third school. The attached essay lays out his arguments for this point of view:

March 8, 2005

Don't Stop With Syria's Occupation

by Juan Cole []

Fareed Zakaria argues that Bush got one thing right. Zakaria writes:

"Bush never accepted the view that Islamic terrorism had its roots in religion or culture or the Arab-Israeli conflict. Instead, he veered toward the analysis that the region was breeding terror because it had developed deep dysfunctions caused by decades of repression and an almost total lack of political, economic, and social modernization. The Arab world, in this analysis, was almost unique in that over the past three decades it had become increasingly unfree, even as the rest of the world was opening up. His solution, therefore, was to push for reform in these lands."

I don't use the phrase "Islamic terrorism" because "Islamic" refers to the essentials of the religion, and it forbids terrorism (hirabah). But if Bush rejected the idea that radical Muslim terrorism came out of religion or culture, he was right.

I disagree with the rest of the paragraph, though. Let's think about terrorism in the past few decades in a concrete and historical way, and it is obvious that it comes out of a reaction to being occupied militarily by foreigners. The Muslim Brotherhood developed its Secret Apparatus and began committing acts of terror in the 1940s in Egypt, which the British had virtually reoccupied in order to deny it to the Italians and then the Germans. The Brotherhood assassinated pro-British judges and pro-British politicians (the British installed the Wafd Party in power). The Brotherhood had grown to some half a million members by 1948. Some Brothers also volunteered to fight in Palestine against the rise of Israel, which they saw as a colonial settler state.

After the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Prime Minister Nuqrashi in 1948, it was banned and dissolved. It was briefly rehabilitated by Abdul Nasser in 1952-1954, but in 1954 it tried to assassinate him, and he banned it again. There was no major radical Muslim terrorism in Egypt in the period after 1954 until Sadat again legitimized the Brotherhood in 1971, despite Egypt being a dictatorship in that period.

The intimate connection between foreign military occupation and terrorism can be seen in Palestine in the 1940s, where the Zionist movement threw up a number of terrorist organizations that engaged in bombings and assassinations on a fair scale. That is, frustrated Zionists not getting their way behaved in ways difficult to distinguish from frustrated Muslim nationalists who didn't get their way.

There was what the French would have called radical Muslim terrorism in Algeria 1954-1962, though the Salafis were junior partners of the largely secular FLN. French colonialists were targeted for heartless bombings and assassinations. This campaign of terror aimed at expelling the French, who had colonized Algeria in 1830 and had kept it ever since, declaring it French soil. The French had usurped the best land and crowded the Algerians into dowdy old medinas or haciendas in the countryside. The nationalists succeeded in gaining Algerian independence in 1962.

Once Sadat let the Muslim Brotherhood out of jail and allowed it to operate freely in the 1970s, to offset the power of the Egyptian Left, it threw up fundamentalist splinter groups like Ayman al-Zawahiri's al-Jihad al-Islami and Sheikh Omar's al-Gamaa al-Islamiyah. They were radicalized when Sadat made a separate peace with Israel in 1978-79 that permitted the Israelis to do as they pleased to the Palestinians. In response, the radical Muslims assassinated Sadat and continued to campaign against his successor, Hosni Mubarak. They saw the Egyptian regime as pharaonic and evil because it had allied with the United States and Israel, thus legitimating the occupation of Muslim land (from their point of view).

The south Lebanon Shi'ite groups, Amal and Hezbollah, turned to radical Muslim terrorism mainly after the 1982 Israeli invasion and subsequent occupation of South Lebanon, which is largely Shi'ite.

The radical Muslim terrorism of Khomeini's Revolutionary Guards grew in part out of American hegemony over Iran, which was expressed most forcefully by the 1953 CIA coup that overthrew the last freely elected parliament of that country.

Likewise, Hamas (the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood) turned to terrorism in large part out of desperation at the squalid circumstances and economic and political hopelessness of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza.

The Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s was among the biggest generators of radical Muslim terrorism in modern history. The U.S. abetted this phenomenon, giving billions to the radical Muslim ideologues at the top of Pakistani military intelligence (Inter-Services Intelligence), which in turn doled the money out to men like Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, a member of the Afghanistan Muslim Brotherhood (Jami'at-i Islami) who used to throw vials of acid at the faces of unveiled girls in the Kabul of the 1970s. The U.S. also twisted the arm of the Saudi government to match its contributions to the mujahedin. Saudi Intelligence Minister Turki al-Faisal was in charge of recruiting Arab volunteers to fight alongside the mujahedin, and he brought in young Osama bin Laden as a fundraiser. The CIA training camps that imparted specialized tradecraft to the mujahedin inevitably also ended up training, at least at second hand, the Arab volunteers, who learned about forming covert cells, practicing how to blow things up, etc. The "Afghan Arabs" fanned back to their homelands, to Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, carrying with them the ethos that Ronald Reagan had inspired them with, which held that they should take up arms against atheist Westerners who attempted to occupy Muslim lands.

To this litany of occupations that produce radical Muslim terrorism, Chechnya and Kashmir can be added.

In contrast, authoritarian governments like that of Iraq and Syria, while they might use terror for their own purposes from time to time, did not produce large-scale independent terrorist organizations that struck international targets. Authoritarian governments also proved adept at effectively crushing terrorist groups, as can be seen in Algeria and Egypt. It was only in failed states such as Afghanistan that they could flourish, not in authoritarian ones.

So it is the combination of Western occupation and weak states that produced the conditions for radical Muslim terrorism.

Democratic countries have often produced terrorist movements. This was true of Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States in the late 1960s and through the 1970s. There is no guarantee that a more democratic Iraq, Egypt, or Lebanon will produce less terrorism. Certainly, the transition from Ba'athist dictatorship has introduced terrorism on a large scale into Iraqi society, and it may well spill over from there into neighboring states.

Morocco has been liberalizing for some years, and held fairly aboveboard parliamentary elections in 2002. Yet liberalizing Morocco produced the al-Salafiyyah al-Jihadiyyah group in Tangiers that committed the 2003 Casablanca bombings and the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

Moreover, if democracy means majority rule and the expression of the general will, then it won't always work to the advantage of the U.S. Bush administration spokesmen keep talking about Syrian withdrawal being the demand of the "Lebanese people." But 40 percent of the Lebanese are Shi'ites, and 15 percent are probably Sunnis, and it may well be that a majority of Lebanese want to keep at least some Syrian troops around. Hezbollah has sided with Syria and Sheikh Nasrallah has called for a big pro-Syrian demonstration by Shi'ites on Tuesday.

For true democracy to flourish in Lebanon, the artificial division of seats in parliament so that half go to the Christian minority would have to be ended. Religious Shi'ites would have, as in Iraq, a much bigger voice in national affairs. Will a Lebanon left to its own devices to negotiate a social compact between right-wing Christians and the Shi'ite Hezbollah really be an island of stability?

I'm all for democratization in the Middle East, as a good in its own right. But I don't believe that authoritarian governance produced most episodes of terrorism in the last 60 years in the region. Terrorism was a weapon of the weak wielded against what these radical Muslims saw as a menacing foreign occupation. To erase that fact is to commit a basic error in historical understanding. It is why the U.S. military occupation of Iraq is actually a negative for any "war on terror." Nor do I believe that democratization, even if it is possible, is going to end terrorism in and of itself.

You want to end terrorism? End unjust military occupations. By all means have Syria conduct an orderly withdrawal from Lebanon if that is what the Lebanese public wants. But Israel needs to withdraw from the Golan Heights, which belong to Syria, as well. The Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank must be ended. The Russian scorched-earth policy in Chechnya needs to stop. Some just disposition of the Kashmir issue must be attained, and Indian enormities against Kashmiri Muslims must stop. The U.S. needs to conduct an orderly and complete withdrawal from Iraq. And when all these military occupations end, there will be some hope for a vast decrease in terrorism. People need a sense of autonomy and dignity, and occupation produces helplessness and humiliation. Humiliation is what causes terrorism.

Juan Cole's informative blog -- Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion -- can be found at

#36836 - 24 Nov 06 03:10 Re: Jihadists and Whores [Re: Polar Bear]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Discussion Threads - Fourth Generation Warfare


Suicide bombers are now a central feature in the so-called war on terror. But the question of what motivates people to kill themselves in the interests of a larger cause has been ignored by our leaders. Yet this question is central to formulating a successful strategy. It is a frightening question, because it raises profound psychological issues for the attacked as well as the attackers. Those who see themselves as fighting to live against people who are fighting to die are particularly spooked by the idea of confronting suicide bombers. Our leaders have tried repeatedly to hide their own perplexity and confusion behind simplistic labeling strategies, at different times calling suicide bombers lunatics who hate our freedom, for example, or religious fanatics seeking paradise, or even simple murderers, such as Israel's bizarre effort to label suicide bombers as homicide bombers. But such labels tell us more about the mental state of the attacked than the motives shaping the behavior of the attacker. One thing is clear—suicide bombers are aiming at spooking the mind of their adversaries ... and like the Kamikazes of Japan, they are now making a lasting impression.

Maybe it is time to try to understand what is happening and why it is happening. The attached essay is a first cut into the intellectual haze surrounding the question of what motivates suicide bombers. It was written by my good friend Dr. Harold Gould and just appeared in Counterpunch. Gould described his effort as a kind of experiment in blending sociology and journalism. I hope you will find it interesting and worthy of consideration.

Suicide as a Weapon of Mass Destruction:
Emile Durkheim Revisited

By Harold A. Gould
November 25, 2003

[Reprinted with permission of author and editors]

It wasn't an illiterate street urchin, whose brain was filled with fundamentalist Islamic hyperbole and promises of an Arabian Nights paradise in the hereafter, who detonated the bomb that murdered twenty people and maimed three times that many in a popular Haifa restaurant on October 4th. The suicide bomber was Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, a highly educated twenty-nine year old Palestinian woman who had recently received her law degree in Jordan.

On the surface, this seems to fly in the face of everything we have been led to believe and expect concerning the identity and social characteristics of the "fanatics" who blow themselves to smithereens in the name of the Islamic revolution. All, it turns out after all, are not the wretched of the earth. Certainly this was true of the terrorists who commandeered the airliners that destroyed the Twin Towers and inflicted grave wounds on the Pentagon. Their leader, Muhammad Atta, was, in fact, a gifted architect who seemed to have everything to live for. So while many of the grass-roots bombers in Palestine have indeed come from the ranks of jobless, dead-end teenagers, the spectrum of recruits actually cuts widely across class lines. Clearly, there is more going on here than meets the eye.

How then does one account for the fact that not only anyone would be willing to commit suicide in such a grisly fashion for whatever cause they espouse, but that some of those who do shouldn't have a care in the material world.

On a personal level, Hanadi Jaradat had understandable personal reasons for her deed. She had grown despondent after witnessing her brother, fiancée and cousin shot dead by Israeli soldiers during a raid on her family compound. She had "become increasingly religious, reading from the Koran twice a day and fasting regularly..." (Wash Post story, Oct. 5th.) Hanadi yearned for retribution and accomplished it by transforming herself in the name of radical Islam into a human WMD.

While personal tragedies like this may account for the odd individual who in desperation resorts to the ultimate self-sacrifice, it does not explain how broad spectra of persons within a social community can be inspired to engage in self-destruction on a systematic basis in the manner that has been taking place in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Islamic world. Clearly, such behavior cannot be dismissed as idiosyncratic when it occurs with patterned regularity. To find answers, let us turn to Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist who wrote in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Durkheim contended that the reasons why people kill themselves by their own hand or invite it at the hands of others is far from being a random or idiosyncratic matter. For each social group, he contended, "there is a specific tendency to suicide [that depends] upon social causes..." In certain types of societies, "excessive individuation leads to suicide." In others, "insufficient individuation has the same effects." Durkheim based his conclusions on statistical comparisons between suicide rates in Catholic, Protestant and Jewish populations in Europe toward the end of the 19th century. Under the impact of the doctrinal systems, social structures and cultural norms associated with each of these "confessions", both the tendency to commit suicide and the reasons for doing so varied markedly from one to the other. Generally speaking, he found that the tendency to commit suicide was greatest among Protestants, less among Catholics and least among Jews. This had to do with the amount of spiritual independence, or individuation, that each enjoins. Protestants are left much more on their own in working out their religious destinies than are Catholics and are therefore more vulnerable to doubt and uncertainty concerning their ultimate supernatural fate. At the extreme end of this continuum, moral confusion and weak social support can result in self-destruction. Thus: "Protestantism with respect to suicide results from its being a less strongly integrated church than the Catholic church." Jews, however, are the least "individuated" not because they are a more loosely integrated community than Protestants but because, on the contrary, they are even more tightly integrated than Catholics. Their high level of social cohesion arises instead from a combination of doctrinal and ritual complexity (the Talmudic Tradition) and "the [racist] hostility surrounding them." Mutual self-protection and strong communal empathy keeps social solidarity at a high level and the suicide rate low.

Suicide patterns vary not only by frequency but by type, declared Durkheim. He identified three forms of socially induced suicide which he labeled altruistic, anomic and egoistic. This, as we shall see, is where the Hanadi Jaradats and Muhammad Attas come in. Whatever the rate at which the members of given societies commit suicide, the reasons why they do it is strongly influenced by the specific interplay of cultural norms with material circumstances.

In Protestant societies where religious doctrines stress individual conscience as the pathway to salvation, the typical suicide occurs because the victim has failed to resolve the fundamental moral dilemmas which coping with them on his own recognizance minus priestly crutches poses. Durkheim called this egoistic suicide.

In all societies, regardless of their dominant religious motif, disruptive disturbances in the "collective order" or the "social equilibrium," cause suicide rates to escalate. He found it didn't matter whether such changes were for good or ill, only whether "readjustments in the social order" were "serious." People, in other words, become unhinged by radical change and resultantly increased numbers become so dysfunctional that they end their lives. Recall the stories of bankrupt financiers leaping from windows after the American Stock Market crash of 1929. This socially induced emotional state is known as "anomie," from which Durkheim derived the term anomic suicide.

It is the third category, altruistic suicide, that most interests us here. It refers to the kind of self-destruction that Durkheim associated with societies in which the socio-religious system stresses "insufficient individuation." That is, a premium is placed on rigid doctrinal conformity and the propensity to dissolve one's individual identity in larger wholes. Transcendence of the individual Self and its dissolution into an all-encompassing Cosmic Being is the ultimate form of salvation in such "confessions." This tendency is at the heart of the mystical traditions propagated by both of the great Asian religions - Hinduism and Buddhism. The fiery self-immolation of Buddhist monks during the Vietnam war is a political exemplification of the inspirational power of this belief system.

A variant of the concept of total immersion of individual self in manifestations of Ultimate Being is a key doctrinal aspect of Islam as well. It enjoins complete submission to the will of Almighty God, Allah. This type of "insufficient individuation" has always found its maximal expression in the political domain through the doctrine of Jihad - the obligation to wage holy war against unbelievers without regard to personal comfort or even survival. Today's Muslim radicals, Osama bin Laden in particular, have harnessed this concept of total self-sacrifice, of altruistic suicide, of absolute subordination of self to the greater cause, as perhaps never before in all of Islamic history. They have created a pool of manpower, and womanpower, who willingly, nay eagerly, in the name of Allah and Muhammad, serve as Jihadi guided missiles aimed at Western infidels and indeed practitioners of middle-class life-styles wherever they exist. (Note the recent events in Turkey!) They fit Durkheim's definition of altruistic suicide to a "T." They are persons who, in Durkheim's words, "Are almost completely absorbed in the group..."; who "completely [discard] their [individual] personalities for the idea of which they [have] become the servants."

It is this realization that compels the US and the other secular states who are currently combating terrorism in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere to stop dismissing jihadis as mindless killers who take perverse joy in killing and maiming innocents. They are in fact "true believers" in every sense of the word, the products of a socio-religious system which, as Durkheim astutely observed a century ago, successfully motivates persons who are culturally enmeshed in it to altruistically commit suicide for the greater glory of the doctrines that it espouses.

Coping with a social system that has produced Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, Muhammad Atta and so many more "insufficiently individuated" devotees like them will require more than smart bombs and denunciatory rhetoric emanating from the White House. It will require recognition of the fact that weaning the Islamic faithful away from the appeal of altruistic suicide cannot happen unless linked to substantial social, economic and doctrinal reforms that come more from inside the Islamic world than from anything outsiders can do.

#36859 - 24 Nov 06 04:19 Re: Jihadists and Whores [Re: Polar Bear]
Patung Offline

Registered: 11 Mar 06
Posts: 234
Loc: Indonesia
Ah, Spengler, my hero.


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