[extropy-chat] Islamic morons win yet again

Chris Hibbert hibbert at mydruthers.com
Mon Oct 2 17:33:08 UTC 2006

Damien cites "A learned friend" thusly:
> <What utter crap. Violence motivated by the desire to expel foreign invaders
> or colonizers, to restore the historical dominance of one ethnic or
> religious group or to establish a new structure of dominance, or to impose a
> particular set of religious rules--goals which are held by the various
> indigenous factions who are killing people in Iraq--is hardly "fighting for
> nothing in particular." There isn't one manifesto that fits everybody
> toting a gun or a bomb--there are a number of contending factions--but the
> fact that it can't all be summed up easily in this guy's PowerPoint
> presentation doesn't make it "aimless." Different participants have
> different aims. This is far from unusual--consider the various factions
> involved in the South African resistance.>

Eliezer's response was "Fair enough.", but I don't agree.  In the South 
African resistance, even though there were various factions and many 
voices, one could easily hear over the general uproar a cry to stop the 
policies that made the blacks second class citizens in their own native 
country.  Some wanted socialist solutions while others looked for tribal 
solutions, some voices may have called for the death or expulsion of all 
whites while others looked for a pluralist outcome, but a common 
underlying theme was coherent.

In Iraq, when you can get official spokesmen or the results of credible 
polling, there aren't any coherent themes.  Sometimes you hear "all 
westerners out", and other times "the Americans must stay until we can 
stabilize our nation".  Some call for a strict imposition of Sharia law, 
others for a non-secular state.

But most important of all, the factions committing the violence, for the 
  most part, aren't talking at all.  We don't hear anyone taking 
responsibility for dropping 9 severed heads out of the back of a car, 
for killing police recruits en masse, for killing worshipers in mosques 
or people waiting in line to buy gas.  They are killed and no message is 
delivered.  No actors are identified.  No one takes responsibility and 
says "until *our* demands are met, we will continue to make Iraq 
unlivable".  We don't know what the demands are, or who wants to be 

The people who talk in public (various clerics and politicians) don't 
take responsibility for the violence.  (They often refuse to denounce 
it, but that doesn't tell us which factions are committing it.)  This is 
unlike South Africa.  I can't think of another conflict in which the 
aggrieved parties were so scattered, so violent, and so silent.

It is easy to turn an aquarium into fish soup, but not so
easy to turn fish soup back into an aquarium.
-- Lech Walesa on reverting to a market economy.

Chris Hibbert
hibbert at mydruthers.com
Blog:   http://pancrit.org
http://zocalo.sourceforge.net  Prediction Market Software

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