There is some guy saying that his people suffer from exploitation and racism, that they are consequently being discriminated against by outsiders of a certain kind, and that, in order for his people to survive and re-take their rightful place in history, it needs violence and resistance against the oppressors, namely the Jews and their cousin America, and with them the entire Western world.
Actually, there isn't just one guy of that kind. There are plenty, and there have been plenty of them in the past. On of them is named Adolf Hitler, who claimed to be fighting for the future of the German race, the other is Usama bin Laden, who claims to be fighting for the future of the Islamic world. Both recruited young men, brainwashed them, made them terrorize their own people until they would get the power they wanted. In the world of the first one, to unleash infinite havoc, it was necessary that he take over a state, namely Germany, to carry out his crimes. In the world of the second one, terrorism on a grand scale is sufficient, for there would be weak states his people could extort to help him, or middle-sized powers who would work for the same aims and use the same kind of ideology. Both would denigrate women and reduce them to their biological identity, both would be deeply necrophile and totalitarian, ultra-violent and depriving their people of any kind of education. The name for such a movement is fascism.
Funnily, or rather, outrageously, the second guy is somehow rated differently than the first guy. How come? Because he would be from the Third World that is constantly exploited by the colonialist-imperialist-capitalist-zionist-orientalist-crusaderist cultureless West? Because we should sympathise with the plight of the Palestinian people? Contrary to him, the West indeed sympathises with the Palestinians, as can be seen by constant attempts at negotiation. He though, he doesn't. Why should he. They are just rhetorical cannon fodder, victims of people of his kind, and the kind of Jasser Arafat.
Contrary to him, the West indeed has a guilty conscience, not entirely without reason, but also not entirely with much of it either. But that's a different and more complicated story.
For the topic of terrorism, the answer is simple. The path is equally important as the (alleged) aims. Those using violence light-heartedly, making it their ideology and raison d'Ítre, those have already corrupted their aims. Unlike America and Europe, terrorists are not interested in achieving peace; they're not interested in providing a better life for their peoples. Arafat clearly prioritizes war against Israel over the welfare of his people. Saddam prioritized his megalomaniacal attempts at regional dominance over the fate of his people, who were dying during so-called peace time not due to the sanctions regime but due to the reign of a dictator belonging to the fascist Ba'ath party who couldn't care less about his people. Bin Laden has worked to destabilize countries like Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia, violating not just the interests of their people but also the heart of Islam. Bin Laden is as much a Muslim as Hitler has been a Christian or the Soviets have been communist.
It is not the so-called West that constitutes an enemy of the Islamic countries. It is the fascist movement of the likes of Bin Laden, it is regional dictators, it is terrorists movements like Al Aqsa, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the likes. Why? Because they have equated political aims with violence and reduced the other to an enemy that can be killed whenever, wherever, however for no other reason than that they are different (which is the essence of both racism and fascism). Terrorism ridicules the political aims it may have sprung from, taking hostage the cause and negating its justification, be it in Palestine, Northern Ireland, the Basque country, Kurdistan or wherever.
Bin Laden and those he stands for have already succeeded in finding willful servants within the so-called West and the so-called Third World who are proliferating the all-time favorite weapons of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Americanism. Strangely, they find followers in so-called academic circles amongst those who don't seem to be able to think, and who are overwhelmed by an ideology that has succeeded in creating easy identifications of suppressor and suppressed, an ideology that doesn't any more believe in scientific accuracy and the historical method, an ideology that has equated facts with fiction, that believes that anything goes and that any fact can be perverted if it serves an allegedly higher, moral cause.
Guess what, terrorism is nothing but war against the innocent. Is that a moral cause worth supporting?
August 12th, 2003
For a bibliography, please check the Selected Bibliography page.