The Charms of the Terrorists


jimmoyer
#1
washingtonpost.com
The Discreet Charm of the Terrorist Cause

By Anne Applebaum
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; A19



Since the bombing attacks in London last month, a welter of columnists, writers, talking heads and ordinary people have puzzled over the mystery of British Muslims, one in four of whom recently told pollsters that they sympathize with the July 7 suicide bombers.

The idea that British Muslims, whose parents received asylum, found jobs, and made lives in Britain, could be so deeply affected by the "oppression" of Muslims in countries they have never visited seems incomprehensible. The notion that events in distant deserts should lead the middle-class inhabitants of London or Leeds to admire terrorists seems inexplicable. But why should this phenomenon be so incomprehensible or inexplicable, at least to Americans? We did, after all, once tolerate a similar phenomenon ourselves.



I am talking about the sympathy for the Irish Republican Army that persisted for decades in some Irish American communities and is only now fading away. Like British Muslim support for Muslim extremist terrorism, Irish American support for Irish terrorism came in many forms. There were Irish Americans who waved the Irish flag once a year on St. Patrick's Day and admired the IRA's cause but felt queasy about the methods. There were Irish Americans who collected money for Catholic charities in Northern Ireland without condoning the IRA at all. There were also Irish Americans who, while claiming to be "aiding the families of political prisoners," were in fact helping to arm IRA terrorists. Throughout the 1970s, until Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asked President Ronald Reagan to stop them, they were the IRA's primary source of funding. And even after that they were widely tolerated.

I concede there is one major difference: The Irish terrorists were setting off their bombs across the ocean and not in New York or Boston, which somehow made the whole thing seem less real. But in Britain the explosions were real enough. In 1982 -- the year an IRA bomb killed eight people in Hyde Park -- four IRA men were arrested in New York after trying to buy surface-to-air missiles from an FBI agent. In 1984 -- the year the IRA tried to kill the whole British cabinet in Brighton -- an IRA plot to smuggle seven tons of explosives was foiled, an action that led to the arrests of several Americans. As recently as 1999, long after the IRA had declared its cease-fire, members of an IRA group connected to an American organization, the Irish Northern Aid Committee (Noraid), were arrested for gun-running in Florida.

The range of Americans who were unbothered by this sort of thing was surprisingly wide. Some were members of Congress, such as Republican Rep. Peter King of Long Island, who stayed with IRA supporters on visits to Northern Ireland and drank at a Belfast club called the Felons, whose members were all IRA ex-cons. Some were born in Ireland, such as Michael Flannery, Noraid's founder, who once said that "the more British soldiers sent home from Ulster in coffins, the better," and whose flattering obituary in 1995 described him as a man who "treated everyone he met with gentle respect." Some were Americans of Irish descent, such as Tom McBride, a businessman who is still the chairman of the Hartford chapter of Noraid, and who still refuses to condemn IRA terrorism. "I think they are protecting a segment of the population that needs to be protected," he told me over the phone.

Nor were these opinions irrelevant. The Irish journalist Conor O'Clery, who has followed Irish-American relations for more than a decade, says the IRA has "always looked to the diaspora for moral backing" as well as money. That meant that when, in the 1990s, prominent Irish Americans began to advocate "constitutional nationalism" (meaning the political process) instead of "armed struggle" (meaning terrorism), the views of many in Northern Ireland shifted, too. The IRA's announcement last week that it would finally abandon armed struggle was at least partly the result of a decade of Irish American pressure. Which means, of course, that if Irish American pressure had been applied much earlier, the whole thing might have been over long ago.

My point here isn't really about Northern Irish politics, however, but about the extraordinarily powerful appeal of foreign, "revolutionary," "idealistic" violence to the inhabitants of otherwise peaceful societies. You don't have to be Muslim, or poor, or an extremist, to feel the romantic pull of terrorism. You can be a middle-class American and a lapsed Catholic whose grandmother happened to come from Donegal.

But the appeal of foreign violence can also be destroyed, or at least reduced, if community leaders agree that they want that to happen. If British Muslims deploy every one of their religious, civic and business institutions, they may, over time, be able to eliminate the climate of tolerance that made the London bombings possible, just as Irish Americans -- as well as Rep. King, who has now called on the IRA to disband -- eventually helped eliminate the climate of tolerance around the IRA. And if they don't -- there will always be recruits willing to die for a glamorous foreign cause.

applebaumanne@yahoo.com
 
peapod
#2
pfffft...send that message to your over the top neocon fundies
 
jimmoyer
#3
Agreed. It should go to every neo-con (but they're just about gutted and gone) and to every liberal with a romance for the suicide-bomber.

Both groups need to consider this.
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
#4
"to every liberal with a romance for the suicide-bomber. "

got proof that libs love suicide bombers?
 
moghrabi
#5
They are charming, aren't they Jim? Especially when they make the rope tighter on bush's neck. Everyday that passes, more US soldiers led to war by lies are dying. The rope is tightening on his neck.
 
Reverend Blair
#6
The suicide bombers are extremist religious conservatives, Jimmy...more akin to the man you voted for than liberal. You might want to keep that in mind when you are attempting to cast aspersions by using phrases like, "...and to every liberal with a romance for the suicide-bomber. "
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
+1
#7  Top Rated Post
It is typical for radical right wingers to insinuate and to attack those whose rational arguments are so vastly superior to theirs. That is why he insults liberals by saying they love suicide bombers.
 
peapod
#8
Well thats just jimmy's kindergarden trick, see he does not care about the truth, only want to muddy the waters with his nonsense.
 
jimmoyer
#9
The idea that British Muslims, whose parents received asylum, found jobs, and made lives in Britain, could be so deeply affected by the "oppression" of Muslims in countries they have never visited seems incomprehensible. The notion that events in distant deserts should lead the middle-class inhabitants of London or Leeds to admire terrorists seems inexplicable. But why should this phenomenon be so incomprehensible or inexplicable, at least to Americans? We did, after all, once tolerate a similar phenomenon ourselves.



I am talking about the sympathy for the Irish Republican Army that persisted for decades in some Irish American communities and is only now fading away.
 
mabudon
#10
Kinda like the sympathy extended to Israel by the west, really
 
Logic 7
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyer View Post

washingtonpost.com
The Discreet Charm of the Terrorist Cause

By Anne Applebaum
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; A19



Since the bombing attacks in London last month, a welter of columnists, writers, talking heads and ordinary people have puzzled over the mystery of British Muslims, one in four of whom recently told pollsters that they sympathize with the July 7 suicide bombers.



Nothing has been proven that the attack in london last month was done by extremist muslim, just like every terrorist attacks.

The fact that the anthrax in 2001, was an inside job, and the fact that network news used alqueada letter to prove their point, shows the credibility of this war on terror from western allies, in fact it is the same war against witches in the dark age.




The New York Post and NBC News letters contained the following note:
09-11-01
THIS IS NEXT
TAKE PENACILIN [sic] NOW
DEATH TO AMERICA
DEATH TO ISRAEL
ALLAH IS GREAT


The second anthrax note
The second note that was addressed to Senators Daschle and Leahy read:
09-11-01
YOU CAN NOT STOP US.
WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX.
YOU DIE NOW.
ARE YOU AFRAID?
DEATH TO AMERICA.
DEATH TO ISRAEL.
ALLAH IS GREAT.



Quite a concidence that alqueada targeted peoples who were very critical of the Bush administration.........incredible there is still people who believe in this crap......
 
Tonington
#12
Haha, nice job stirring up the pot today Jim. I see there are lots of people no longer

here to carry on the fight, but there is always someone to pick up the rifle behind them.
 

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