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Andy Strain
72 posts

Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 14:27
Cherie Blair, in suggesting that young people have no choice but to blow themselves up, sounds truly insane.

Of course this is not their only course of action. Even if violence was their prefered way, mingling with schoolchildren and doing yourself in is a pathetic depraved way do die. Especially if you've been brainwashed into believing that virgins will be waiting for you on the other side and you can bring your family too.

Fight the Jewish settlers if you wish, but don't say killing yourself is the only way out.
CraigR
CraigR
479 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 14:38
She didn't say that! Read it again.
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 14:39
Cherie Blair didn't say Palestinians had no other way out.

She said 'As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up you are never going to make progress'.

This was certainly insensitively timed, but it is even more certainly not saying those people are correct in their belief.


In the same way, many people who abuse children were themselves abused as children. Understanding this is the first step towards healing the situation. It is not the same as condoning child abuse.

There is a difference between understanding what causes an event and condoning it. Confusing the two is one of the great tricks of crooked debating.
stray
stray
2057 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 14:41
I don't think that was the point being made. What Cherie was trying to say (and most ppl here on HH) is more of a 'if the level of desperation is so bad that you feel your only recourse is to..' then etc, etc. Obviously there are better ways of fighting for your rights to land, peace and liberty other than blowing yourself up. Blowing yourself up seems a mite counter productive to me.
stray
stray
2057 posts

Re: Excuse me? bloody 'ell
Jun 19, 2002, 14:43
3 slaps in three minutes. Sorry 'bout that Andy ;). Still, I hope I wasn't as confrontational as Merrick and his 'crooked debating' angle.
FourWinds
FourWinds
10943 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 15:14
Well, maybe several things are coming into play here.

It's always been said that you can not beat fanatics .. if they achieve martyrdom then they've won anyway, so what can you do?

I can not percieve a cause that I KNOW that I would blow myself up for.

As for defeating the object - does it not show that they are doing it for selfless reasons rather than personal gain? (if you rule out martyrdom that is)

If these people believe that they have no other option then that is the fault of the outside world for not giving them the opportunity to take those roads.

Yes, it's wrong to do it and no one here (I think) condones it, but we can see WHY it's happening. If somebody actually listened in the first place then it wouldn't be going on.

How do you stop it now?
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: Excuse me? bloody 'ell
Jun 19, 2002, 15:46
didn't mean it to sound overly accusatory - crooked debating tricks are used by all of us, usually unintentionally. This particular one is one that's a real bugbear for me, I can't believe so many people get away with it unchallenged - Anne Widdecombe was on Channel 4 News last night saying the same thing as Andy and Jon Snow didn't pick her up on it.

Now, I don't know whether Widdecombe's using it deliberately or not, but surely Jon snow's seen enough of this sort of crooked thinking to spot it.

didn't mean to insult you Andy, and I certainly don't mean to compare you - intellectually, physically or sexually - to Anne Widdecombe.
stray
stray
2057 posts

Re: Excuse me? bloody 'ell
Jun 19, 2002, 15:58
heh, sorry Merrick I knew how you meant it. I just enjoy prodding you sometimes (as u know), I will whip myself for it later and send you the pictures ;)
stray
stray
2057 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 19, 2002, 16:03
Totally agree 4W. I just wonder how much of this sort of 'protest' is a cultural thing (not just an Islamic Martyr polemic, but as a-way-of-getting-things-done). And that will probably be harder to overcome, that it's not just fuelled by desperation, but by an acceptance that it's the normal thing to do.

I'm reminded of the time I was in India during the Miss World competition and the women protesting there by self-immolation. A horrifying way to protest, which I don't believe was fuelled by an it's the only way, but more becuase it's seen as the way to get things done. could be totally wrong of course. I just don't understand how/why ppl could do that under any circumstances and I'm struggling to get a handle on their mindsets.
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: Excuse me?
Jun 20, 2002, 16:27
We in the west have a big problem understanding the mindset of anyone who'd self-immolate or be a suicide bomber.

We can much easier understand the actions of someone who fires rockets into a residential area than someone who does the same killing by walking into the town laden with explosives, and so we start talking like the latter is somehow more abhorrent.

My big clue for how to understand this came from a book called Nine Parts Of Desire by Geraldine Brooks. She was a journalist who'd travelled extensively in the middle east, and her book covers treatment of women in assorted middle eastern muslim cultures. It includes things like teenage girls who get pregnant outside marriage being burned alive by their families.

The key to understanding it all is to realise that western culture has the *individual* as the basic unit, whereas many other cultures have the *family*.

Thus, one life (your own or your teenage daughter's) is not the be-all and end-all.

In the west, we are loking out for ourselves above all, and so we are astonished and extra-repulsed by actions that we as individualists could never do.

Brooks' book, incidentally, features some big plus sides to this attitude; the absence of Western culture's rootless longing that makes us try to buy belonging, and also a story of an American woman who married an Iranian man, but after divorce went back to the USA. When she got a serious illness she found her American family and friends were 'too busy' to take care of her, so she returned to her Iranian in-laws who believe that work feeds the family and not the other way round.
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