Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What Terrorists Want

One man from Manchester says that in 2006 he was beaten, whipped, deprived of sleep and had three fingernails slowly extracted by ISI agents at the Rawalpindi centre before being interrogated by two MI5 officers. A number of his alleged associates were questioned in Manchester at the same time and two were subsequently charged. This man's lawyers say his fingernails were missing when they were eventually allowed to see him, more than a year after he was first detained. They say they have pathology reports that prove the nails were forcibly removed.

Guardian today

How can you win against people who are motivated by ideology and idealism? For these people who attack us are not mad, however monstrous and wicked their plans to attack innocent civilians; they honestly believe that they are acting in the name of God to help and revenge their suffering brothers and sisters?

You can only claim to have the moral high ground and to act in the name of freedom and democracy and justice if your deeds bear out your words.

That there are appalling regimes in this world, that there are men who do not scruple to cause innocent blood to flow is not in doubt. But this is not a war that can be fought with armies. It is not even really a war. It is a battle of idealogies, of liberal democracy versus fundamentalism. Tactics and strategy and intelligence to isolate those who wish to cause harm whilst bringing all together in pursuit of our common humanity are our best assets; this conflict plays out in hearts and minds. And in the media headlines. And by stooping so low, by all the acts of wickedness and injustice that we commit, which are then reported around the world and used as propaganda against us by our enemies, we make things worse for ourselves. Much worse.

Revenge, renown, reaction; the unholy trinity that terrorists want.
To commit acts of terrorism, you need a disaffected individual, a legitimising ideology and a supportive group. ( See What Terrorists Want: Louise Richardson)

If you want to fan the flames of hate and rage, today's story gives you more fuel for the bomb makers, if not their bombs.

Sometimes I despair of what we are doing in the name of a 'war on terror'.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Cookiemouse said...

Those that the west torture and call terrorists will become martyrs to the cause. Early Christians were tortured by the Romans. England seems to have learned nothing from its experience with Ireland. The same mistakes are being repeated again, perhaps for the cynical reason that the war on terror is really a security industry, with lots of money to be made.

April 29, 2008 1:03 pm  
Blogger DAVE BONES said...

We've got to be tough on the terrorists and tough on the causes of terrorism-

as some Politician once didn't say.

April 29, 2008 7:49 pm  
Blogger Matthew Best said...

I agree with everything you've said, but you might want to correct the spelling of "ideology" in your first and third paragraph.

May 01, 2008 1:25 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

thanks - changed!

May 01, 2008 9:50 am  
Blogger Stephen said...

I agree with everything you've said too (and right now, I'm wondering how you had spelt 'ideology' first time round.
Great blog. Great book. Thanks

May 02, 2008 11:38 pm  
Blogger Philip said...

@stephem, mystery solved.

"It is a battle of idealogies, of liberal democracy versus fundamentalism."

@rachel, change it back to "idealogy". It's your signature.

That sentence is pure Blair.

May 03, 2008 3:04 am  

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