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European terrorism

wickedken

TRIBE Member
It just keeps on coming.

A 27-year-old Syrian man denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria, the fourth violent attack in Germany in less than a week, a senior Bavarian state official said.

I can definitely see some raised ires amongst the normally staid intelligentsia in Germany now.

And get this you "liberals" the attacker was a Syrian refugee!

Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded | Reuters
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
BBC and The Guardian are reporting the Bavarian interior minister has said Salafist content was found on the alleged attacker's phone. The Guardian is also reporting that a "revenge" video was found, made by the alleged attacker. His asylum claim in Germany was rejected as he was granted asylum in Bulgaria. So the spin that it was a mentally ill man committing suicide because he was rejected for asylum in Germany has a little less weight now.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I think it's possible to be mentally ill and a terrorist, one doesn't preclude the other, in fact, they are likely correlating factors.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Was with you until "in fact, they are likely correlating factors"..
Go on, explain your disagreement. Is it your contention that we would not find above baseline numbers of mental illness/trauma amongst terrorists?
 
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Lojack

TRIBE Member
Go on, explain your disagreement. Is it your contention that we would not find above baseline numbers of mental illness/trauma amongst terrorists?
Now you're expanding your argument by adding trauma.

I'm not aware of any vetted studies which suggest an abnormally higher percentage of terrorists have mental illness compared to the population from which they came. I was pointing out that your statement that terrorism and mental illness were likely correlating factors was leaping to a generalized conclusion without supporting facts.

Are some terrorists mentally ill by Western society's definitions? Sure. Will there be a statistical difference? I don't know. Or is it a way of explaining behavior within a construct that makes it appear solvable when other solutions are absent or repellent?

Here's a different look.. what type of educated folks seem to make up a higher percentage of terrorists?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/17/this-is-the-group-thats-surprisingly-prone-to-violent-extremism/

https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/11/theres-a-good-reason-why-so-many-terrorists-are-engineers/
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I'm aware of the education stuff, this doesn't answer the question of mental illness.

Here I was operating from the following ideas/sources:

- I assume most homicidal violence springs from some form of mental illness, and terrorists are subset of homicidal violence
- studies of Palestinian suicide bombers which connected the bombers to traumas incurred as a child in previous intifadas and a desire for spectacular revenge
- more highly stressed and conflict ridden areas of the world create more terrorists and this likely also stems from a trauma/revenge cycle
- western "self radicalized" terrorists seem a lot like non-"terrorism" mass rampage murderers from recent decades in having messy personal histories of mental illness and isolation/alienation from the societies in which they live

I'm wondering why it's hard for you to accept the hypothesis that there would be a correlation of terrorism with mental illness
 
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Lojack

TRIBE Member
I'm wondering why it's hard for you to accept the hypothesis that there would be a correlation of terrorism with mental illness
I am not, I'm saying I'm not convinced there is a statistical significant correlation once normalized. Attackers in France, Belgium and Germany are not comparable to Palestinian's and Israeli's for a number of reasons, Not the least the residents of the Gaza Strip, southern Lebanon, the West Bank and Israel have experienced multiple large scale conflicts that have devastated huge areas where they live, and who face the daily threat of attacks of any number of groups.

I am also less than impressed that it has become a defacto excuse used by government and families of attackers to use the claim of mental illness as a reason the event was (a) not terrorism or (b) an excuse for their behavior.

Ugh, need to cut this short, dealing with drama.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ya i think our terms aren't defined, and you're letting people who annoy you on the topic guide your interpretation of what i'm saying.

Pretty much if you're going out and killing people - something ain't right. Im talking in very broad strokes here, and I don't see how looking at the mental illness angle "excuses" terrorism anymore than looking at religion or ideology or the impact of deprivations and conflict on a population in relation to terrorism is "excusing" it. I dont think too may people - anywhere - really ever DO "excuse" it (though people LOVE to allege so rhetorically).

All of the above factors are in the mix and more besides - the issue is people like to promote one of the above (or exclude one of the above), and there innumerable threads of arguments have been made online when really, there's a whole complex range of phenomenae behind a complex event like a person donning a suicide vest and walking into a mall, or aquiring small arms and shooting up a theatre.

One thing I think is our definitions of terrorism and mental illness are overly narrow - people don't consider an event like Columbine "terrorism" when it very well was, just of a different flavour than say, San Bernandino or the Shoe Bomber. "mental illness" is a huge spectrum that covers complete debilitation to people who simply lack impulse control, or become buried under depression or manic focus on a single thing or paranoid delusion.

People react because they think talking about mentall illness in relation to terror is to call them "crazy" and thus absolve them of any responsibility, when that often isn't what is leading inquiry into these questions.
 
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wickedken

TRIBE Member
Seriously are these people looking to start a religious war? Aren't the Crusades still at a tiebreaker? WTF is their intention? Real ISIS or lone wolf? If Europe then here?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
People are *totally* going for a religious war/clash of civilizations, and we are totally helping them do that.

Treating them like warriors instead of criminals and enhancing their prestige, fighting them as warriors and using our own apocalyptic language was exactly what OBL wanted.

If he were still alive I'm sure he'd be happy with the state of affairs.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
I don't think any people would refrain from reaction in something that could be construed as an attack - warranted or not, being goaded by criminals or not. The fact is there will be people, especially in France, who will view this in a certain light.

Wasn't the Islamic expansion in the middle ages halted in France, in Tours I think...
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
The British did, "keep calm and carry on" took down the IRA.

Took a long time to get there, and a lot of blood - but after feeding into IRA power for decades the Brits played a different game and won.

Keep Calm and Carry On is powerful stuff.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Well I think "took down" is overstating it given that a former chief of staff is the deputy first minister of n. Ireland. /tangent
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Took down the violent arms and goals of the org, actually its a good point that "eradication" wasn't what did it, bringing them in as key stakeholders with something to lose was part of it too.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
And the greatest thing about being ISIS?

Even if you lose, you win.

It may not be OBL's Al Qaeda, or Zarqawi's Al Qaeda-in-Iraq at the forefront anymore - ISIS has taken their mantle. Our inputs have contributed to an escalating virulence, aptitude, capacity and prestige of anti-western terrorist groups. Western occupation and regional power struggles and civil wars create an ocean of available weaponry and a place to harden skills against tough opponents - kind of like how Hezbollah became the world's premiere terrorist org under the boots of the IDF and the US military in the 70s and 80s.

So even if we launch a ground war, air strikes and take them out - what will the next escalation/iteration of Islamist "resistance" bring us, and won't ISIS be happy as long as *someone* is filling that role after they're "defeated"?
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Kill All the Terrorists?
The violence we employ to defend civilization feeds the very forces that imperil it.

By ANDREW J. BACEVICH • July 25, 2016 • Link

The murderous attack earlier this month in Nice, France, prompted Jay Nordlinger, senior editor at the ostensibly conservative National Review, to propose a new approach to dealing with terrorism. His strategy is simplicity itself: “you have to kill these jihadists, and kill them, and kill them, until they simply tire of being killed and leave civilization alone.”

If by “civilization” Nordlinger is referring to Europe and the United States, then his proposal comes a couple of centuries too late. In their relations with the non-West—the peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East—Western powers have rarely demonstrated a desire to be left alone. They have instead sought to subjugate and exploit populations classified as inferior. In pursuit of their objectives, they have relied not on suasion but on violence and intimidation.

To be sure, present-day Europeans and Americans bear no responsibility for the sins that their forbears committed in civilization’s name. Neither, however, should they indulge in the pretense that hostility toward the West today springs out of nowhere. History resists whitewashing. Although the tide of Western imperialism may have receded, it left behind a stain that time has yet to eradicate.

This describes the essence of the strategic dilemma that Europeans and Americans confront today. Having belatedly discovered the virtues of peaceful coexistence, Western nations confront adversaries who have long memories and a hunger for payback. Yesterday’s instigators have become today’s targets and cry foul. Now that we have all that we want, they say, please go away.

Yet as attacks inflicted upon the West pile up—Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino—it becomes apparent that violent jihadists won’t be going away anytime soon. As a consequence, support for a keep-killing-until-they-quit approach is gaining momentum. Nordlinger is not alone in calling for escalation. Donald Trump has demanded a declaration of war against ISIS. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, proposes to “defeat this enemy of civilization at its source.” Bloodlust is on the rise.

Such sentiments feed off the populist mood increasingly evident not only in Europe but also in the United States. An abiding characteristic of populism is a belief in simple solutions to complex problems. To purify the temple, throw out the moneylenders. To restore social harmony, expel all those who are different. To ensure peace, eliminate with prejudice all those suspected of posing a threat.

The problems with this line of thought are legion. For starters, it assumes an ability to distinguish between guilty and innocent—between violent jihadists at home and abroad and the rest of the planet’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

Implicit in Nordlinger’s formulation is the suggestion that present circumstances may have rendered such distinctions unnecessary, with anyone deemed at odds with “civilization” eligible for extermination. Note that in the case of Nice, few Western observers waited for investigators to identify the motive behind the attack, the perpetrator’s Tunisian origins’ being sufficient to incorporate the incident into the narrative of radical-Islamist violence directed against the West as a whole. It’s the equivalent of assuming that any shooting of a black male by any police officer is necessarily the direct result of racism.

Even more fundamentally, Nordlinger’s proposal collides with this further problem: Why hasn’t the Western killing perpetrated thus far yielded signs of progress? Although the fact garners only passing attention among Europeans and Americans, the number of Westerners killed by terrorists pales in comparison to the body count racked up in recent years by the United States and its allies in the Islamic world. While estimates of the overall death toll range widely, one reputable 2015 study calculated that a staggering 1.3 million Muslims have died due to violence since 9/11—jihadists and suspected jihadists along with mere bystanders categorized as collateral casualties. Yet no evidence exists to show that this vast bloodletting has diminished the threat.

By implication, our work has just begun, with the counter-jihad now underway destined to last for years, if not decades. In the meantime, the agents of Western civilization, armed to the teeth with high-tech weaponry and justified by self-serving arguments, will presumably have to kill millions more.

When the day of victory finally arrives, we may wonder what will then remain of the values we are ostensibly defending.

The West today finds itself caught in a paradox of its own making: Violence employed by prior generations claiming to represent civilization has elicited a violent response; the violence we employ today to defend that civilization actually feeds the very forces that imperil it.

Andrew J. Bacevich, professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University, is author, most recently, of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.
 
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