Monday, January 24, 2005

A New View

We're all used to talking about the "War on Terror". There seem to be two views about al Qaida's attack on September 11th. One is that they started a war with us and we should finish it, the same way we finished the Civil War once the South fired on Ft. Sumter. The other view is that we deserved to be attacked because of our policies toward the rest of the world. The exact policy that is at fault seems to differ from author to author, the only constant is American and Western guilt. Examples which prove our supposed culpability include: support of Israel, not signing the Kyoto treaty, the Crusades, colonialism, supporting Saudi Arabia, etc.

It is astonishing to realize that these competing narratives actually share a common assumption, namely, that al Qaida is operating in a rational way, that there is reason behind their actions. What if this is not so? What if their action has nothing whatsoever to do with reason? That's the view advocated in this amazing article.

It's a must read.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The third and most likely possibility is that al-q is animated at its inner-most level by naked political ambition acting completely rationally within its context.

To deny rationality is to deny that the enemy can be understood and that is foolish.


4:54 PM  

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