Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Comments on the Nature of Terrorism

I have never reprinted a post, although I have frequently written about the same things (probably until I've driven my few readers half insane.)   I am going to make a first today, and quote extensively from something I wrote last March, and which was itself a restatement of something I had said before.  I am doing this, not because I'm too lazy to write something new, but because the subject of this post is important to me, and I want to make it clear that it was not in any way motivated by the shooting that occurred today.  Well, enough...here it is:

"The history of "terrorism" at least back to 19th century Russian nihilism is very consistent. Inciters of the violence almost invariably manage to disconnect themselves from the actual perpetrators. Those responsible for causing the violence normally restrict themselves to doing whatever they can to manipulate people into committing violent acts, knowing very well that eventually someone, usually mentally unstable, will follow their guidance, without any direct contact to implicate them or endanger their personal security.

This strategy reached its height in the concept of "leaderless revolution," developed by the Irish Republican Army and perfected by the PLO. Small groups of individual actors were systematically isolated from the leaders, so their violent acts could never be traced back to the guys at the top, who managed for decades to evade any responsibility for the crimes they incited. In fact, Yasir Arafat and Gerry Adams never paid a price for their behavior; Arafat died worth an estimated three to five billion dollars, and Gerry Adams continues to parade around to this day as a respectable politician.

Perhaps the classic example of this behavior can be found in the person of one Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 precipitated World War I. Princip continues to be regarded by most people as a member of a small group of violent agitators, although it has long been established that he was incited and equipped by disident right wing elements in Serbia's army, who had previously been responsible for the murder of the king of Serbia. Those army officers, of course, evaded any consequence of their behavior, although, of course, it resulted in a disaster for their country.

Right wing leaders know perfectly well that if they continue their incitement of violence and hatred, someone, somewhere will take the hint and do something abominable; at which point, these leaders will disavow any responsibility for the consequences...This phenomenon is not unexpected. It is the logical result of Republican incitement, as it has been the result of similar incitement around the world for at least two centuries.

I have often spoken about a defining characteristic of the right: their pathological inability to take a shred of responsibility for the consequences of their behavior. Of course this will continue to be true with incidents like these. But make no mistake: the deliberate incitement of hatred and contempt for the legally elected government has always led to the same result, and it will continue to do so here and now."

I stand by that statement.

5 comments:

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Good assessment. Sadly I think it all rings true. Words have consequences damn it.

mastercynic said...

It has already begun as Putrid Palin has decried and denounced the attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords despite the gunsight her own web site had placed on her office and the useless coward McCain follows suit.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this original post is here now, because I missed it the first time around. It's a great piece.

JohninOregon said...

A thought-provoking essay. Thank you for reposting it.

Green Eagle said...

Thanks for the compliments, but it would be just one more internet rant if it isn't given repeated relevance by the likes of Jared Lee Loughner, and also Palin, Limbaugh and all the rest of the right wing hatemongers.

Please take a look at the piece I just published detailing what I have been able to piece together about this guy.