Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Abu Sayyaf Says "Sweet!" 

Sometimes, countries in similar situations can have very different attitudes towards things like terrorism.

Take the continued British resilience in Iraq and in other theatres in the War on Terrorism. One commonly recited line is that the United States saved Europe and built an enduring peace since 1945. This is mostly true, but then one reads something like this:
At this point the Paras felt their lives were under such threat that they considered opening fire at point-blank range with their rifles.

This was not Basra, Kabul or Kosovo; it was Belfast where British troops are still deployed in greater numbers than Iraq because, as shown by a riot that raged into the early hours of yesterday, Northern Ireland's peace will always be one step from violence while the politicians dither on finding a lasting agreement.
The British attitude towards the War on Terrorism is undoubtedly influenced by their experiences with the IRA and Northern Ireland. Just ask Baroness Thatcher.

Then again, there's the Philippines, who are making good on their promise to high-tail out of Iraq after a Filipino was kidnapped there. This is, by the way, the first time since 9/11 that a national government has submitted to terrorists so thoroughly and completely (even the Spanish post-3/11 elections can arguably be interpreted as something other than capitulation, although that's certainly how the Islamists took it).

Such a policy is absolutely baffling considering that the Philippines face their own Islamist terrorist network within their own country, with a history of nasty hostage beheadings that predate 9/11. If any government should know how this sort of ostrich-style delusion will backfire, it should be Manila.

Let's hope the head-choppers in Minandao don't hear about Manila's response to their ideological cousins in Iraq any time soon.
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the thing is, what is going on in Iraq shouldn`t be considered «terrorism» -- it`s an insurgency, carried out by mostly pissed-off iraqis. The insurgents in Iraq are not ideological cousins of the islamist terrorists, and any such interpretation is a misreading of the situation. Labeling the war in iraq as part of the war on terrorism is confusing the issue. Iraq is instead a war which has taken the focus away from terrorism and onto paternal schemes of world gentrification, world commerce and oil oil oil. these statements aren`t «anti-american» or whatever but patently obvious.


(apologies on the accidental multiple posting)
Okay, if we perceive the Iraq conflict as a national liberation movement against foreign occupation, the IRA and Abu Sayyaf analogies still hold. And the difference in attitude would still be something to think about.

My main point here is that of all countries, the Philipines have seen the most of this sort of subhuman shock violence as an intimidation technique, and they have the most to lose by submitting to it.
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