[ExI] LA Times: Rehabbing militants in Saudi Arabia (Meta)

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at yahoo.it
Sun Dec 30 23:26:30 UTC 2007

Keith Henson ha scritto:

> Pure political discussion is (or should be) below this list.  It's 
> like arguing about the number of angles you can pack on a pin.

> Using current political examples to illustrate more general points 
> about why humans have politics and what drives them is (or should be)
>  a major focus.

> In this respect, the original topic of convincing violent Islamic 
> militants to change their ways is smack on target.  I don't
> understand how easy it is, but it is of vast importance to
> understand. Understanding it will require EP.

An example, maybe different from the common Islamic terrorist is this:

> McVeigh showed little or no remorse:

> “His attorneys noted in one document he expressed no remorse. His
> attorneys wrote: “He stated that his conscious mind knew that the
> people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing had families, that the
> children killed had mothers, and he fully realizes the consequences
> of his actions, but he was able to ‘turn it off’ in order to perform
> his mission. “He stated that the normal emotions and feelings were
> there inside him, but he was able to cover them up in order to carry
> out the bombing.”

> He is quoted in another defense document, though, as saying, “I know
> it’s terrible to lose a child, especially (for) a mother. … I
> empathize with pain. It’s not that I’m callous. Everyone has
> feelings.”

The big problem with them is that they doesn't think themselves evil
(like Will Smith said about Hitler and was misinterpreted) and think
they are doing the right things for the right reasons.

If we believe him, McVeigh was able to "turn it off" and probably
trained himself to this better and at will. His past a soldier probably
helped. IIRC, he was out to avenge the Waco's victims of the government.
IMHO, he targeted a government office and considered the victims as
"collateral damages" he could not prevent.

IMHO, the Islamic terrorists are trained to "turn it off" in a different
way. They are indoctrinated to believe their enemies / victims are:
1) Not human (AKA "son of pigs and monkeys")
2) Evil (AKA "of the party of Satan")
3) Impure (AKA "kafir")
4) If the victim is a good Muslim he/her will go to in Paradise (AKA
"kill them all and Allah will sort them after").

This is not so difficult for people from a tribalistic, chauvinistic and
sexist culture. Our vision of people as inherently good and well
intentioned is not widely spread in the world and never was.
Our is a vision that work in an already pacific society and in a fast
growing economy (we need to remember that in the past centuries the
rates of growth were at best a tenth or less than the current rates).

Being open minded is not always an advantage, as the soldier of the
Korea War could attest; the North Koreans found that intelligent and
learned American soldiers were easier to brain-wash than stupid and
ignorant Turkish soldiers.

[Intangible capital is] the preponderant form of wealth.
When we look at the shares of intangible capital across income classes,
you see it goes from about 60 percent in low-income countries to 80
percent in high-income countries.
That accords very much with the notion that what really makes countries
wealthy is not the bits and pieces, it's the brainpower, and the
institutions that harness that brainpower.
It's the skills more than the rocks and minerals.
—Kirk Hamilton

Chiacchiera con i tuoi amici in tempo reale! 

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