Terrorism, wealth and ideology

I see some people are slightly annoyed that Arafats former terrorist and guerilla activities have been "forgotten" in many eulogies over him in the Norwegian media.

On the other hand nobody speaks loudly about Irgun or Stern, Jewish terrorist organisations who forced the British to give up the control of Israel to the Zionists.

Terrorism has always been the weapon of the weak against the strong, simply because it works, and is cheap. Some terrorists are glorified (Partisans in WW2), others are demonized (Osama et co.), and this should tell us that it is in reality not their acts that are being objected against, but rather their aims.

The US war on Iraq has for example now killed between 100-200.000 civilians Iraqis. Why is this much less condemned in western media, than the 3000 who were killed on September 11? Are dropping bombs on civilians from great heights to save ones own soldiers lives more humane than flying planes into buildings? To the people killed I suspect the difference is rather small.

It is therefore not the means that are mainly objected to, it is the ends. The means are being demonized merely as an excuse so one doesn't have to get into a more "ideological" debate. Therefore the poor mans fighting methods will always be looked on as evil by the wealthy, as it will be looked on as heroic by the poor.

Why not simply be open, and argue against the goals of those who are labelled terrorists, there should be much to criticise in that department. Is it perhaps because the west doesn't want its own goals to be dissected and analyzed? Do we fear that someone would look at "peace, freedom and liberty" and find "imperialism" and "unfair distribution of wealth"?

I'm just asking...

About moral relativism:

You do not need to be a moral relativist to believe that killing thousands of civillians by bombing from high altitudes simply to keep your own military casualties at a minimal level is morally discusting, or to phrase it in the american right-wings own words: "Chicken shit".

This does not diminish the moral outrage over terrorist activities like 11/9 2001 (or 1973 for that matter).

The fact that you think that people at both sides in a conflict are behaving in a morally despicable way, does not make you a moral relativist, in fact, I find this to be the rule rather than the exeption in most historical armed conflicts.

I do however think some acts of violence are more justified than others. I will for example again mention the partisan activity during world war 2. Although methods sometimes were used in which civilians were killed, I believe that these often were justifiable (I will not say this on a general basis, as there will undoubtedly be exeptions also here).

Had the goals of the American war on terror really been peace, freedom and democracy, I would have applauded it, as, I believe, would most muslims, however, neither the current situation, or the history of american foreign policy supports such a theory.

If these are the goals of the US in the region, then why do they support Saudi-Arabia and Kuwait, two muslim countries who are about as undemocratic as you get? One rouled by a royal family, the other by a native elite, while the majority of the population are "guest workers" under slave contracts with no rights whatsoever.

The fact is that these regimes are very unstable, and the US fears that if these regimes are toppeled, their strategic control of the area and its resources will vanish. Therefore it is neccesarry for the US to get another client country (preferably more) in the region, and the first step in this project is Iraq (which seems to fail, as the current violence is only increasing the antagonisms both within Iraq, and between Iraquis and the occupying forces).

Since the US has supported people like Suharto, Pinochet, Somoza, the Shah, Saddam and so on, and generally has supported just as many dictators as they have toppeled, it is not hard to draw the conclusion that the reasons behind american foreign policy is not ideal ones, but simply to protect american interests abroad. This can of course lead to both positive and negative changes for the people inhabiting the countries, but it is hardly a democratic world society...

Comment 2:
Another couple of words about Arafat. My entire point was that the current treatment of Arafat is not at all different from the treatment of the state of Israel, as the violent Irgun/Stern terrorism past of its founders is now forgotten. Then one can naturally discuss possible alternatives for Middel-East history until one gets blue in the face, that is something completely different.

Then to the lefts so-called anti-Americanism. It is my firm belief that the foreign policy of any country (not just the USA) is mainly formed in such a way that it serves the self-interests of the forces in power in that particular country.

Thus I believe that f.ex. the French and Russian opposition to the Iraq war was also founded in their regional interests, as they had many of the oil-contracts in Iraq before the invation.

The only reason that the US is getting an earful from 90% of the world population, is that at the current time in history the US is the single most dominant global force. If we go back a couple of decades, the Soviet Union was just as bad in its part of the world as the US was in f.ex. Latin-America. If we go further back, the British, French and German were spreading death over much of Africa, not to forget the Belgian king Leopold in the Congo, and one could generally make the list as long as one would like.

So it is not a criticism of the US in particular, but a criticism of egotistical use of force in general to protect ones own strategic and economic interests.

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