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Terrorism (and the psychology of resistance)
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phallus dei
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Edited Jun 08, 2017, 01:06
Re: Terrorism (and the psychology of resistance)
Jun 08, 2017, 01:03
Thanks for the well-thought out response, and for sharing your experiences growing up in Ireland. I admit to not being overly familiar with the tactics or history of the IRA, so there may well be parallels between them and modern-day terrorists in terms of actions. And in terms of how both groups affected the lives of ordinary people, they are probably quite similar.

However, I still disagree with the premise of the original article, which was "Terrorism is becoming normal, and that will be its undoing." Yes, it is becoming normal, but that won't be its undoing.

The crucial difference between the IRA and ISIS, in my view, is that one defined itself chiefly as a political organization. It set out to achieve measurable goals for the broader society. In reality, much of the claimed "political" goals were drowned out by retributive killings, random attacks, robberies, and the like. But the stated goal was the reunification of Ireland. When enough members finally realized that their actions were not going to bring about their goal, they ended their terrorist activities.

ISIS may claim that it is going to "destroy the West", but that goal isn't in any way achievable. Certainly not by lone wolf attacks against random people in a Western country. Comparatively speaking, there was a much higher chance that the IRA, through its actions in Northern Ireland, could cause the Brits to leave and the Catholics to rally to their side.

There was thus some semblance of "rationality" to the IRA. I don't see any rationality to contemporary attacks by Muslim radicals. It is this lack of rationality which leads me to believe that the ones who carry out attacks in the West aren't trying to change the broader society, but simply earn the rewards of carrying out jihad.

The "normalization" of terrorism will eventually lead to the defeat of a political terrorist organization such as the IRA. It will take something else to defeat a religious terrorist group such as ISIS.

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