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" width="8" height="8"/> A must read on terrorism and motivations for it.
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Russian
post Dec 19 2004, 01:51 PM
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Absolute must.

If the mods could sticky this, it would be much appreciated.

foreign policy research institute



I have not read it all its quite bulky, but will soon. Some highlights,


QUOTE
Most people think that terrorism comes from poverty, broken families, ignorance, immaturity, lack of family or occupational responsibilities, weak minds susceptible to brainwashing - the sociopath, the criminals, the religious fanatic, or, in this country, some believe they’re just plain evil.

Taking these perceived root causes in turn, three quarters of my sample came from the upper or middle class. The vast majority—90 percent—came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that’s usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways.

Al Qaeda’s members are not the Palestinian fourteen-year- olds we see on the news, but join the jihad at the average age of 26. Three-quarters were professionals or semi- professionals. They are engineers, architects, and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion. The natural sciences predominate. Bin Laden himself is a civil engineer, Zawahiri is a physician, Mohammed Atta was, of course, an architect; and a few members are military, such as Mohammed Ibrahim Makawi, who is supposedly the head of the military committee.

Far from having no family or job responsibilities, 73 percent were married and the vast majority had children. Those who were not married were usually too young to be married. Only 13 percent were madrassa-trained and most of them come from what I call the Southeast Asian sample, the Jemaah Islamiyya (JI). They had gone to schools headed by Sungkar and Bashir. Sungkar was the head of JI; he died in 1999. His successor, Bashir, is the cleric who is being tried for the Jakarta Marriott bombing of August 2003; he is also suspected of planning the October 2002 Bali bombing.

As a psychiatrist, originally I was looking for any characteristic common to these men. But only four of the 400 men had any hint of a disorder. This is below the worldwide base rate for thought disorders. So they are as healthy as the general population. I didn’t find many personality disorders, which makes sense in that people who are antisocial usually don’t cooperate well enough with others to join groups. This is a well-organized type of terrorism: these men are not like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, loners off planning in the woods. Loners are weeded out early on. Of the nineteen 9-11 terrorists, none had a criminal record. You could almost say that those least likely to cause harm individually are most likely to do so collectively.
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Gengari
post Dec 19 2004, 05:12 PM
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That quote is interesting... educated men with families and children, and mostly mentally and physically healthy...
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Arilou
post Dec 20 2004, 03:46 AM
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Not that strange I think.

They have the resources and the ability. You don't have time to go and blow yourself up when you're too busy making a living.

No, the dangerous are those who are wealthy enough to have time to see how much wealthier others are, but are not wealthy enough to feel secure. Those who are knowledgeable enough to know there are other views and another world out there but ignorant enough to fear it.

These are the kinds of people that forms the basis of revolutions, good or bad.
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Christian
post Jan 12 2005, 11:39 AM
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Educated people are the ones who usually organizes resistence against oppressors.

Uneducated people are more likley to be ignorant of oppression, becuse thay think it´s like it allways have been
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gnuneo
post Jan 12 2005, 03:33 PM
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could this indicate (heresy i know), that these individuals actually became 'terrorists' due to well thought out principles and objectives?

this would tend towrds a notion that they had an actual cause for so behaving, instead of the oft-repeated notion that they are just "insane".

i wonder if the bush admin actually likes this report?


nice find russian.
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Bar-Aram
post Jan 13 2005, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE(gnuneo @ Jan 12 2005, 05:33 PM)
could this indicate (heresy i know), that these individuals actually became 'terrorists' due to well thought out principles and objectives?

this would tend towrds a notion that they had an actual cause for so behaving, instead of the oft-repeated notion that they are just "insane".
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Sort of like Hitler, Lenin, Mao...

This post has been edited by Bar-Aram: Jan 14 2005, 10:57 PM
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gnuneo
post Jan 18 2005, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE
Sort of like Hitler, Lenin, Mao...


Bush...Thatcher...Churchill...Pitt...Genghis...Chaka...Clinton...Czar Vladimir...


insanity is not just restricted to those you goals you dislike.
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Lord Bitememan
post Jan 20 2005, 02:25 AM
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QUOTE(gnuneo @ Jan 12 2005, 03:33 PM)
could this indicate (heresy i know), that these individuals actually became 'terrorists' due to well thought out principles and objectives?

this would tend towrds a notion that they had an actual cause for so behaving, instead of the oft-repeated notion that they are just "insane".

*



Are they "rational?" In the game theoretic sense of the term yes they are, in the sense that they have goals and they take actions they believe will lead to those goals. Are these goals thereby, by necessity, reasonable or even realistic? That is not a necessary componant of rationality. Bar was right in the respect that Hitler was rational: he had a goal, the removal of jews from the German state, and he pursued action with the notion of implementing that goal, final solution. In fact, the methods you use to achieve your goals do not impact the game theoretic definition of rationality on a real efficacy basis, only a perceived one. So, your methods of achieving your goals don't even need to have a realistic chance of achieving them, you just have to think they do, and according to game theoretic definitions you are still being rational.

So, the question comes up, with rational being so loosely defined, are rational and insane mutually exclusive terms? The best counter-argument to the notion that they are is John Hinkley. John Hinkley was rationally calculating. He had a goal, getting Jodie Foster to like him, and he pursued actions he believed would achieve those goals, shooting President Reagan. His behavior conforms, therefore, to the definitions of rationality, yet he was deemed, and rightly so, insane. So, simply because you reflect a thought pattern doesn't mean you aren't a wack-job for coming to the conclusion that your enemy is the devil and the only way to make him go away is to fly planes into buildings.
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gnuneo
post Jan 21 2005, 05:18 PM
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oh, i agree entirely - however i was referring to the oft-exhumed notion that those one dislikes are generally represented in ones media as being "irrational and insane" - thereby preventing any examination of their motives, causes and reasons.

although i focussed upon the bush admin (and i would say the american establisment in general), i am very much aware that the very same principle is also applied by other groups, notably moslem extremists, and israel towards palestinian aspirations.

a brief perusal of WW1 & 2 propagandic films produced by all sides quite clearly demonstrates this isnt a new phenonema either.
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Lord Bitememan
post Jan 21 2005, 10:24 PM
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I have no problem with the use of "irrational" as a proxy for "unreasonable." Rational, taken at its core meaning, is an empty word that tells us nothing. "Insane," I'll grant you, may not be accurate.

What I object to with the classification of terrorists as "rational" is the use of the term as a proxy for "reasonable." Examining the goals and motivations of terrorists is one thing, justifying them is something else. The problem is that frequently those who try and examine are those who are trying to justify these. Disagreement should not preclude understanding, but understanding should not necessitate agreement or even acceptance.
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gnuneo
post Jan 25 2005, 11:46 AM
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then i guess you will think there are just too many christians around.


"To understand all, is to forgive all". :rolleyes:
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Lord Bitememan
post Jan 25 2005, 11:52 PM
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It's one of the more extemporaneous provisions of Christianity, one that has not been availed by the test of time.
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MindsWideOpen
post Jan 27 2005, 05:02 PM
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If you liked this read then I recommend Bruce Hoffman - Inside terrorism. It was written in 1998 (iirc) though, so there isn't anything on al-Qaeda.
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Teiresias
post Mar 19 2005, 07:52 PM
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Why is any of this surprising ? They fit the model for revolutionary cadres going back centuries - Russian Anarchists, French Revolutionaries, etc

These men are articulate, intelligent and relatively worldly. They have aspirations and experience profound resentment when these aspirations are frustrated. When their expectations cannot be met, they perceive it as an injustice. If there are no effective ways to resolve the problems within the bounds of state-sanctioned political or social activism then alternatives are sought.

How many of these men had family involved in anti-colonial struggles, and how many suffered unexpectantly under the post-colonial regime?

These people are drawn from the same social group who were involved in the earliest Islamic movements of the colonial period and arguably, quite rightly, their sense of injustice is profound.

How could anyone honestly think otherwise.
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Russian
post Mar 19 2005, 11:59 PM
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with the last post i shall start from the bottom up.


QUOTE
How could anyone honestly think otherwise.


they are probably more intelligent then you.


QUOTE
These men are articulate, intelligent and relatively worldly. They have aspirations and experience profound resentment when these aspirations are frustrated. When their expectations cannot be met, they perceive it as an injustice. If there are no effective ways to resolve the problems within the bounds of state-sanctioned political or social activism then alternatives are sought.



total and utter unrealistic crap. Its pathetic to see the left romantasize russian anarchists but trully depressing to see them do the same thing to the taliban.

By youre logic they cant create an islamic state in the middle east so they seek alternatives vis a vi attacks on the west? Clearly thats idiotic.

QUOTE


How many of these men had family involved in anti-colonial struggles, and how many suffered unexpectantly under the post-colonial regime?


you are assuming there where anti colonial struggles. Thats not unexpected from someone with youre limited view on the world but lets focus on the middle east. Whas there an anti colonial struggle in saudi arabia? Jordan? Or lets focus on post colonial regimes, these people apparently suffered enough to recieve the best education their countries could offer. I am sure Bin ladins familly suffered like none else.


QUOTE

These people are drawn from the same social group who were involved in the earliest Islamic movements


yes, they are muslims. Like the previous members of the islamist movements. But again you are wrong. These men in the majority are from the middle class, something that has never existed previously.

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Teiresias
post Mar 20 2005, 11:11 PM
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QUOTE
total and utter unrealistic crap. Its pathetic to see the left romantasize russian anarchists but trully depressing to see them do the same thing to the taliban.


I didn't romanticise russian anarchists I said "They fit the model for revolutionary cadres going back centuries - Russian Anarchists, French Revolutionaries, etc" As for the Taliban I made no mention of them - most of the leadership were educated in Pakistan where they fled as refugee's. To draw any parallel between them and say the likes of say, al-Zawahiri, would be absurd. While you're probably wondering who al-Zawahari is (Ayman rather than Mohammed), here's another name you probably need to know Qutb, (Syed, and possibly also Mohammed).

QUOTE
Or lets focus on post colonial regimes, these people apparently suffered enough to recieve the best education their countries could offer. I am sure Bin ladins familly suffered like none else.


Wealth is not always the chosen god for those that have it. While it was hoped that Osama bin Laden would enter the family business, Osama preferred the Islamic studies component of his course. Osama already a devout young man, was exposed to the radical fringe of contemporary Islam. Jeddah itself, Abdul Aziz University (where Osama studied) in particular, was a centre for Islamic dissidents from all over the Muslim World. Lecturing at Jeddah were Abdallah Azzam, the Palestinian academic who was to go on to be the primary ideologue of the Afghan Arabs, and Mohammed Qutb, the brother of Syed Qutb, the Egyptian Islamist executed in Egypt in 1966, who has since become one of the most influential writers and thinkers of modern radical Islam. Both these men were among the hundreds of radical Islamic activists given sanctuary by the Saudi Arabians as part of their campaign to counter the aetheistic socialism that was the dominant ideology in the middle east at the time. Among these activists every strand within contemporary Islamic thought was represented. There were rigorous Wahhabis and Salafis. There were men whose hope for reform was based on ideas formulated by the moderate reformist thinkers of the late 19th C. Many including Azzam and Mohammed Qutb, were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a social and religious reforming movement founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928. This was the best education the bin Laden family could afford.

I think it is a mistake to look at al-Qaeda and just see Osama. If you really want to understand al-Qaeda then pay attention to al-Zawahiri who came from a more humble background, albeit still educated. Imagine more, the motivation of those without the security of wealth and influence, but with the equal burden of knowledge - too many people become fixated on bin Laden at the expense of appreciating what it is that drew people to the idea's behind groups such as al Qaeda.

I hope you will comprehend that none of the above is romanticism or support, but merely fact.

You quote me as saying
QUOTE
These people are drawn from the same social group who were involved in the earliest Islamic movements
You then go on to say...

QUOTE
yes, they are muslims. Like the previous members of the islamist movements. But again you are wrong. These men in the majority are from the middle class, something that has never existed previously.


These people are from a social group that is called the educated, you will find if you investigate even half-heartedly, that the middle-east has an extremely rich tradition in terms of education, and therefore people who are educated. To suggest that the middle class has grown significantly in modern times, would have been a fair point, but to state so categorically that it never existed previously is ridiculous.






















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Bar-Aram
post Apr 28 2005, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE(Teiresias @ Mar 21 2005, 01:11 AM)
These people are from a social group that is called the educated, you will find if you investigate even half-heartedly, that the middle-east has an extremely rich tradition in terms of education, and therefore people who are educated. To suggest that the middle class has grown significantly in modern times, would have been a fair point, but to state so categorically that it never existed previously is ridiculous.
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YOU would find, if you investigate even half-heartedly, that Middle Eastern countries have high rates of illiteracy.
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