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Thread: k-punk on terror

  1. #1
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    Default k-punk on terror

    Was really feeling this:

    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005847.html

    If "feeling" is the right word. Absolutely spot on. And the section about Blair/Bush clumsily, idiotically, calling for a war on terror was superb. Its just right isnt it? We have been turned, aburdly, into "warriors" they have succeeded in legitimasing Terrorism! Nuts.

    Mark also managed, almost eeriily, to predict that the bombers were British.

    But this:

    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005874.html

    especially this:

    "He tells us that we are in a war. But to many Muslims - not 'mad mullahs', but , amongst others, young men from 'ordinary' backgrounds - it is as obvious as it is to Blair what the right, the only side, to be on is. It is the side of the poor and the oppressed, not the side of the the hyper-privileged and the massively well-armed. The rage, the righteous sense of injustice that led those four to give their lives and take the lives of others - and please, do not describe what they did as 'cowardly' ; 'brutal' by all means, but not 'cowardly', and certainly nowhere near as cowardly as the Powell doctrine of bombing from a great height - that anger needs to be channeled by other forces, forces which don't counter oppression with repression, which don't transform rage into outrage."

    I had problems with. I know what he's saying but it almost feels like k-punk is trying to brush aside the issue that there still is some distinction between War and Peace. The US military, although they needlessly kill umpteen hundreds (thousands?) of civilians are actually aiming for military targets. OK, obviously this could spiral into a discussion as to what entails a military target, but I do believe (perhaps naively?) that there is a distinction.

    The UK suicide bombers may not have been "cowardly" but they did go out of their way to specifically target ordinary civilians.

    In the same light as the UK bombs I found this particularly chilling:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/4678207.stm

  2. #2
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    one supposes that any sensible government would realise that one day they will have to SIT DOWN AND TALK with these "terrorists" but i assume that we'll make the same mistake as we did with the IRA and there will be another 30 years of bombing before we come to our collective senses and start understanding why this is happening, from their perspective as well as from ours.

    alternatively we could start treating muslims in britain with proper respect instead of marginalising and harassing them (look at the sickening way in which the media have used the same memes with the london bombings as they did with the marchioness - all these YOUNG, WHITE people with CAREERS [which if you look at the demographics of the victims is wrong on all three counts]), then younger muslims wouldn't become disillusioned and disaffected and need to troop off to afghanistan/wherever to be hoodwinked/indocrinated by Bin Laden types who are of course essentially Kapitalists with an Agenda, just wearing a different uniform.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    I had problems with. I know what he's saying but it almost feels like k-punk is trying to brush aside the issue that there still is some distinction between War and Peace. The US military, although they needlessly kill umpteen hundreds (thousands?) of civilians are actually aiming for military targets. OK, obviously this could spiral into a discussion as to what entails a military target, but I do believe (perhaps naively?) that there is a distinction.

    The UK suicide bombers may not have been "cowardly" but they did go out of their way to specifically target ordinary civilians.
    yeah, sure, the us military never targets civilians as can be seen from hiroshima to fallujah and many other places. let's not be silly. one of the reasons why radical muslims are able to recruit young muslims is that westerners stubbornly refuse to admit their own barbarism. there is not much difference between "accidently" bombing a wedding and what happened in london last week (especially if you are at the receiving end yourself). i don't see american soldiers and generals being brough to justice for their "errors".

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    check also the staggering hypocrisy of the VE Day "celebrations" last Sunday - marketed as "a show of defiance" but actually a show of "our balls" (i.e. our weapons), i.e. one of the factors which contributed to 7/7 in the first place.

    An awful lot of this is down to the serious problems which Britain as a nation seems to have about getting past/letting go of WWII.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    The US military, although they needlessly kill umpteen hundreds (thousands?) of civilians are actually aiming for military targets. OK, obviously this could spiral into a discussion as to what entails a military target, but I do believe (perhaps naively?) that there is a distinction.
    currently minimum of 22,838 (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/)

    & the way they collate results:

    Iraq Body Count does not include casualty estimates or projections in its database. It only includes individual or cumulative deaths as directly reported by the media or tallied by official bodies (for instance, by hospitals, morgues and, in a few cases so far, NGOs), and subsequently reported in the media. In other words, each entry in the Iraq Body Count data base represents deaths which have actually been recorded by appropriate witnesses - not "possible" or even "probable" deaths.

    this was in response to the Lancet's estimate of 100,000 civilian deaths & that was last November

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    iraq may have provided subjective motivation for the suicide bombers ('righteous anger' nuts -- everyone feels righteous anger about the war; these people felt something else entirely), but comparing casualties is mindless. sure the US militaryhas targeted civilians; how has that anything to do with the bombing of british civilians by other britons in britain? the 'militants' in iraq also target civilians. lots of posts here including k-punk's assume an identity of interests and beliefs among muslims that doesn't square with reality.

    Mark also managed, almost eeriily, to predict that the bombers were British.
    to be fair to the uk press, the existence of potential terrorists in britain has been fairly well-publicized!

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    yeah sure but there was a lot of 'THIS is why we should close our borders' stuff in the aftermath of the attacks...which obv makes no difference with suicide bombers from yorkshire

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrymiller
    iraq may have provided subjective motivation for the suicide bombers ('righteous anger' nuts -- everyone feels righteous anger about the war; these people felt something else entirely), but comparing casualties is mindless. sure the US militaryhas targeted civilians; how has that anything to do with the bombing of british civilians by other britons in britain? the 'militants' in iraq also target civilians. lots of posts here including k-punk's assume an identity of interests and beliefs among muslims that doesn't square with reality.
    i'm not sure if i understood you right, but every serious expert on the middle east understands that the war on terror has helped recruiting new terrorists and even that the majority of them did not feel attracted to radical islamism before the war started. this is reality

    there are different groups fighting for different reasons, that's true. the groups targeting civilians in iraq seem to be mostly sunni radicals who attack shiites, for example (the majority of attacks in iraq are directed against foreign troops and collaborators, though). but terrorist attacks on western targets are inspired by the injustice caused by western imperialism in the region and not much else.

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    of course the war on terror and the war on iraq have been big recruiting agents, i would never say otherwise. however, ithe attribution of every success of radical islam to western 'imperialism' is simplistic at best. if it certainly is unjust, so is the rule of the taliban, and of saddam, which were no more legitimate than any US puppet dictator; indeed saddam *was* in some ways a puppet.

    it also doesn't much help in terms of the practicalities of what was to be done after 9/11. i'm trying to think of some utopian state that would do *nothing* about 9/11, but i'm having trouble here. of course the WOT has been a fuck-up, but it's almost certainly moonshine to think that if the US had done nothing the problem would have just gone away of its own accord.

    "the majority of attacks in iraq are directed against foreign troops and collaborators, though"

    my, what an interesting turn of phrase. what do you make of the position of the kurds?

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    The US and UK don't target civilians? - that's just something we say to make ourselves feel better about killing them. When Bush and Blair decided to invade first Afghanistan then Iraq they knew civilians would be killed and therefore are responsible for their deaths and injuries just as the London bombers are responsible for the deaths and injuries of July 7th. People seem to think there's a difference in killing when you are an elected representative of a country and can claim to be acting in defense of your country but killing is killing.

    On Blair's stupid declaration that the terrorists represent 'Evil'... he needs to contemplate this equation: Legitimate Grievance + Oppression = Terrorism. I actually think that Blair is rather more evil than the bombers. As has been written elsewhere, the bombers were undoubtedly enraged by their perception of the injustices meted out on Muslims by the UK and its allies. They were likely identified as youthfully emotional and seeking certainty by their recruiters, ripe for guiding in the dark arts of terrorism. There's no doubt that what they did was wrong and inexcusable but that they did it has to be understandable, if we can look at it all coldly and rationally. Blair is another fish all together and is covering his sorry arse with his protestations that the invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with the bombings. For him to do otherwise would mean taking some responsibility for his actions, and like Bush, he has shown himself unwilling to do so. He was warned left, right and centre that attacking Iraq would lead to increased support for anti-West terrorists and would turn Iraq into a training ground for terrorists.

    All this 'War on Terrorism' crap... what happened to 'tough on crime and on the causes of crime'? As has already been pointed out in this thread, of course our actions in the world are intimately connected to the reactions to it. As Ray Charles sang, it takes two to tango'. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Political and economic expediency as ever stops the meaningful tackling of terrorism. Get out of Iraq and let the Iraqis run their country. Pay for the damage we've done to that country. Stop dealing with the Saudis for their cheap oil. Stop supporting Pakistan's military dictatorship. Stop selling arms. Stop supporting tyrants like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Endure a fall in our standard of living in order to put ourselves where our mouths are. Cancel African 'debt'. Open our markets to products from the developing world. And.... mutter mutter
    It's never been explained

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    What I find annoying is that everybody seems to want to blame someone.

    "Terrorists - they're evil. Blame them!"
    "No - they're oppressed, Tony Blair is evil. Blame him!"

    There is a quest for that nice, warm glow of moral superiority that comes from knowing you are in the right. And someone, somewhere is wrong. And preferably EVIL!!!

    So what are you actually going to do about all this?

    N.B. To my knowledge, none of the London bombers were Iraqis. None of the people they killed were directly involved in the decision to invade Afghanistan or Iraq. Have their actions made life better for a single Iraqi? I doubt it.

    Re: US/UK killing of civilians in Iraq & Afghanistan. Horrible, unpleasant and (in the long run) possibly futile. Are the US and its allies guilty of war crimes? Not as far as I can see.

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    is the establishment "guantanamo bay" known to you?

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    You might be right - maybe no one is evil and what we are witnessing is man being stupid.

    What I am doing about it is saying what I think.

    By the same coin, none of the Iraqis who have been killed had anything to do with the decision to invade their country. Has that invasion benefitted 25,000 dead Iraqis and the many thousands who have lost family and friends? Or however many Afghanis by the invasion of Afghanistan?

    The main war crimes were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Wars of agression, both. So yes, you might try looking further.
    It's never been explained

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    Has that invasion benefitted 25,000 dead Iraqis and the many thousands who have lost family and friends? Or however many Afghanis by the invasion of Afghanistan?

    That remains to be seen. I am not in Iraq or Afghanistan (but then I doubt you are either) so I don't know if life is better or worse for most people. I am quite glad that the Taliban and Saddam Hussein are no longer in power - but whether life is better for the majority of people, I dunno.

    The main war crimes were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Wars of aggression, both. So yes, you might try looking further.

    Different cases. The invasion of Afghanistan was an immediate response to an apparent threat. War of aggression? Yip. War crime? Not necessarily.

    Iraq is a much harder war to justify. Basically it boiled down to:
    1. Possession of WMDs
    2. Saddam is a very nasty man.

    And now 1. has been proved to be false and while 2. is true, it's also true of a lot of other countries.

    So what does the US do? Leave?

    is the establishment "guantanamo bay" known to you?

    Never heard of it. Yip, the suspension of rights and the sanction of torture of suspects is against the Geneva Convention. Probably a reasonable case for war crimes there. But not at the level I suspect Komaba is gunning for...

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    I actually think that Blair is rather more evil than the bombers. As has been written elsewhere, the bombers were undoubtedly enraged by their perception of the injustices meted out on Muslims by the UK and its allies.
    i'm missing bits of the argument. would the leeds bombers have been justified in targetting random muslims (as they in fact did) because muslims are killing muslims in iraq, or because muslims (were) oppressing muslims in afghanstian? i was against the war, but i don't think it was entirely unjust (like i'm in a court, outside the historical process...).

    Legitimate Grievance + Oppression = Terrorism.
    how much were these guys from leeds oppressed, exactly?and what was their legitimate grievance. as a citizen who was lied into war by blair, i too have a legitimate grievance against the government, but that doesn't provide anything like grounds for bombing people. 'coldly and rationally', why would muslims in leeds necessarily have common cause with muslims in iraq (who, in any case, were oppressed by saddam ffs!)? on the basis that they are muslims? then why murder muslims in london?

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