[thechat] (no subject)was protesters

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Sun Oct 14 16:26:39 CDT 2001

Jeff C wrote on 13/10/01 1:34 am

>>"This is the reality we face: Recruitment happens on a sustained
>>basis. It will not stop with the use of military force, in fact, open
>>warfare will create the soils in which it is fed and grows. Military action 
>>to destroy terror, particularly as it affects significant and
>>already vulnerable civilian populations will be like hitting a fully
>>mature dandelion with a golf club. We will participate in making sure
>>the myth of why we are evil is sustained and we will assure yet
>>another generation of recruits."
>Recruitment will happen, no matter what actions we take or don't take.

I'm sorry, but that's astonishingly naive and without basis in
any kind of history.

If you've studied any conflict described as terrorism (usually
the other side views it differently), you'll know that
recruitment doesn't just happen.

Let me give you an example:

In Northern Ireland in the late 60s, the IRA were a joke, a spent
force - fundamentalist crackpots who weren't really doing
a lot to alleviate the endemic discrimination against catholics.

There were 2 groups who *were* doing so:
1) The (peaceful) civil rights movement. Yes, the IRA were
    supportive of it, because it chimed with their aims, but
    they were a tiny minority with it.
2) The British Army, who had been invited in to defend the
    Catholic minority against Loyalist violence. In the early
    days, Catholic grannies made British soldiers cups of tea,
    and viewed them as their defenders.

Now the regard in which the Catholic population held the Army
was slowly decreasing, as it became clear that they weren't
much good as neutral peacekeepers and defenders of the
minory, if anything, they were showing sympathy for the

This all came to a head in the events of Sunday 30 January 1972.

Here's what happened:
There was a march in Londonderry by the Civil Rights movement.

During the march, members of the Parachute Regiment opened
fire into the crowd, killing 13 people, none of whom had terrorist

More detail:

The reasons for this are still disputed. And actually they don't matter,
because the result was an instant recruitment wave from formerly
peaceful Catholics to the IRA and other paramilitary groups as
the Catholic population felt itself under direct attack by the
British Army.

Sample testimony:

This wave of recruitment is precisely what fueled nearly thirty
years of violence.

The same situation happened in South Africa post-Sharpeville.

The same situation happened in the West Bank following the
Israeli crushing of the Shabra and Shatilla refugee camps.

The same happened in Afghanistan following the Russian

It really doesn't take a genius to work it out. Think of the
anger felt in the US following the WTC attacks. Now modify
that slightly by imagining that it's not a small group
who have done this, but a nation immeasurably larger and
more powerful than yours - it's bullying on an unbelievable
scale. Now remove the fact that you have a professional military
whose job it is to respond to military threats.

Are you still angry?
Do you feel impotent?
Is there a handy group saying "We'll help get those cowardly
bullies, but we need your help?"
Do you join up?

Of course you do. Or if you personally don't, your friends
and neigbours will.

Oh, but of course, that's not terrorism, because you're
doing it.

Military attacks on civilians are the best recruitment vehicle
there is for terrorists.

>The idea isn't to destroy terrorism with military action.  The idea is to 
>deprieve terrorist of a home base from which they can operate.  

The Russians tried that, didn't work.
They don't have 'a home base'.

>Hence, we 
>tell the Taliban do these things to help end terrorism or we will attack 
>your base of power.

Hmmm - "People are trying to kill us, so help us kill them or else"

Not particularly logical.


email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID: 0xA835CCCB
       martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
  tel: +44 (0)774 063 9985                      Edinburgh,
  url: http://www.easyweb.co.uk                 Scotland

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