Thursday, July 28, 2005

Appeasement and legitimate grievances

More clear thinking on fighting the 'war on terror', this time by Abhinav Aima:

"From press reports it seems that many people agree with the slaying of Menezes – better one dead 'terror suspect' than dozens of innocent commuters. And so it is that the logic of colonialism, for this tactic of shooting 'terror suspects' dead comes most recently from Israel, has visited upon British soil. The great colonizer is now treating its own people and its foreign residents exactly as it treated 'terror suspects' in its colonies a mere fifty some years ago.

And the Western press, especially in the United States, has completely accepted this sense of justified colonial preemptive slaughter of civilians. For example, the Western press is quick to recognize every violation of a cease fire by Hamas, but a prior shooting of Palestinians by Israeli forces is not seen as a violation. Why? Because the Israelis are shooting 'terror suspects,' even if they are teenagers out for an evening walk."

and, on the good example facing the British people of a success - at least partial - in dealing with terrorism:

"Northern Ireland is a prime example of how a policy of shooting to kill suspects does not work, but a policy of compromise does. That was another colony that the British tried to keep wrapped up under anti-terror laws and anti-terrorist police action, but it only pushed the targeted population further into radicalism. Up to the point where the quartermasters of the IRA rebelled against the 1997 peace deals and formed the Real IRA, or RIRA, and stooped to the never before seen bloodshed of Omagh. With the promise of genuine peace and freedom in the offing, the IRA distanced itself from the RIRA radicals, whose cause found little support.

History is chock full of examples where brutal and prejudicial anti-terror policies have done more to propel the cause of terrorism than to quell it. The only real way of defeating terrorism is to take away the political agenda of the terrorists – to deny them any reasonable grievance whatsoever.

The reason why the West was largely successful in defeating terrorists such as the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof group or the Symbionese Liberation Army is precisely because their grievances failed to find a sympathetic ear among any sizeable section of their community. But it is exactly these successes that have blinded some thinkers in the West to the inherent flaws in their approach to anti-colonial terrorists, who actually do have a political platform of genuine grievances."

and, on why Israel is such a bad example:

"The West is also quick to follow Israel's lead in its 'successes' against terrorism but, again, they fail to realize that Israel is fighting a war of occupation, aimed at converting large expanses of Arab territories into sovereign Israeli land. Any number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli war can be justified as a necessary part of the politicide of the Arab masses, which coincides with the Israeli need for security.

The West is ill advised to commit such politicide on the aspirations of the entire Muslim masses, unless of course it aims to own all Arab and Muslim lands, as Colin Powell correctly predicted in the case of the American ownership of a broken Iraq."

and, on the only solution when the terrorists have legitimate grievances:

"If the West genuinely wants to defeat terrorism then the need of the hour is to provide for the economic, cultural and political freedom, the sovereignty, which will empower and allow Muslim population states to exercise their will – even if it means the free election of Islamist leaders. As long as the West, and specifically the United States, continue to rule their economic colonies through dictators, kings and rigged elections, they continue to empower the political platform of terrorists."

It is funny how the neocons like to use the example of Hitler and Chamberlain to argue that 'appeasement' with evil never works ('appeasement' is a politically-loaded term that we only use when we don't want to negotiate). It is funny because the analogy is quite good, but they have it backasswards. It is the Occupied Territories and Iraq that are the new Sudetenland. Bush and Sharon are the new Hitler. It's the United States and Israel who are attempting to steal lands from other people, just as Hitler planned to do. If anyone should be worried about the morality of negotiating with pure evil, it should be Osama! The neocons have absolutely no moral right to talk about appeasement until their hands are clean, and their hands won't be clean until they do right by the people they have harmed.