[ExI] LA Times: Rehabbing militants in Saudi Arabia

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sat Dec 29 10:19:34 UTC 2007

On Fri, Dec 28, 2007 at 07:16:13PM -0500, Gary Miller wrote:

> All the terrorists know about America is what they've been told growing up
> in Islamic schools or on the street.

All the Americans know about terrorists is what they've heard from mass media.

I would normally disregard this as the usual naive provincialism, but 
unfortunately such beliefs result in policies which kill millions, and
cause suffering for a whole lot more. 

Ignorance kills. Don't make yourself an accomplice.
> I would think that after the subject has gone through his initial denial and
> anger phases of incarceration and some amount of sensory deprivation which
> goes along with solitary confinement that they would be open to talking with
> and establishing some sort of dialogue with his captors just to ease the
> sensory deprivation.

>From which basis do you derive this thinking? Why not broken apathy?
Why not plotting revenge? We've got a good case exhibit in South America, 
perhaps we should study those to see what happens to those who're
locked up and tortured for a long time.

(For that matter, good luck with resocializing the veterans. It's
rather futile, but will cost you dearly, and not just in shiny thalers).
> The US has probably gone to good lengths to produce documentaries
> chronicling the history of the terrorism, the United States and the middle
> east.

Unfortunately, this is completely wishful thinking. There's very little 
understanding in the intelligence community, and what little is understood
is being completely ignored from above. When you've made up your mind,
knowledge is only confusing, and a distraction.
> Simply by honestly portraying our successes and failures at trying to
> intervene and make things better.  The terrorist would gain an appreciation
> over time that even though we may be motivated by our need for oil, that we
> have always pumped much money into that part of the world to reduce human
> suffering and have tried to unsuccessfully broker peace many times.

Can it be that you also have no clue about the U.S foreign policy?
> Such movies would be supplemented with success stories of how much freedom
> and prosperity Muslims enjoy in the United States and in other Muslim
> countries such as the Emirates which do not spend all of their oil wealth on

You do know where the indoctrination, the money, weapons and fighters
come from?

> weapons and fighting the west. They may allow them visits by trusted Muslim
> clerics who preach peaceful coexistence with the other religions of the
> world.

All cults are bad, but some are worse than the others.
> And even though the terrorist may feel at first that this is all propaganda
> and lies.  Eventually as his captors begin treating him better as his
> attitude improves a certain amount of Stockholm Syndrome will set in and
> eventually his captors may not seem like such bad guys.

Assuming, any of the parties is acting rationally. But wait...
> Of course if this person was viewed as a key player and brutally
> interrogated, it would take a lot of convincing and time to make up for
> those acts of cruelty but if given time the captive may even come to
> appreciate why the information he held or his captors thought he held was so
> important that we would resort to barbarism to obtain it.

Cloud cuckoo land called. They want their escaped lunatic back.
> Terrorism is not pedophilia or homosexuality which are tied to deep seated
> biological drives.  The terrorist may be a terrorist for money, for

Suicide terrorists, especially. 

> religious ideals, or for hatred of Americans who he has been taught to blame
> all of the evils of the world on.  Education I believe is our most effective
> weapon against terrorism.  Unfortunately the time to start educating is when
> they are children and haven't already killed many people with improvised

That's not education. That's indoctrination. Hey, but since they're doing it,
it must be ok if we do it, too.

> IEDs.  Or convinced women and children to become suicide bombers and blow
> themselves and innocent civilians up along with them.
> Many terrorists after they've passed the course and are released may revert
> back to their old hatred.  But as long as we tell them the truth, they won't
> find out we were lying to them. Once released I doubt many of them will be
> trusted enough by their uncaptured brethren to reenter the terrorist
> organization anyway.  And once they've been there for a few years any
> information that they managed to withhold would be so stale as to be
> worthless anyway. 

How about we outsource all politics threads to a dedicated list,
where we can put all the heat (but very little light) to drive a
nice Carnot engine?

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

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