Terrorism and the West’s obsession with oil

I think most people are pleased the authorities captured the suspects for the Boston Marathon bombing – and got one of them alive. There are a lot of issues raised by the Boston events over the last week, and I think this video about the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre is of at least tangential relevance.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the Imam.

We won’t know for some time what the motives of these bombers were, what international links they had and if they received help. But, in other cases involving acts of terrorism in the West by young men from immigrant families, one scenario appears common:

  1. Genuine problems for immigrant communities offer a breeding ground for discontent.
  2. This can cause radicalisation of some young men in the community.
  3. In some Muslim communities there are militant and fundamentalist Imams in the mosques whose teachings help inflame discontent and feed the radicalisation of the youth.
  4. Many, if not a large majority of Muslim Mosques in western countries, have relied on financial support from Saudi Arabia – particularly for their establishment. This is certainly true for New Zealand.
  5. Sometime support is also provided by importing Imams and teachers from Saudi Arabia – often members of fundamentalist sects themselves.
  6. I suspect that more moderate members of the Mosque may tolerate fundamentalist Imams because they respect older conservative members of the community who see value in criticism of western values, etc.

So we can have a quite inflammatory situation. Genuine discontent, radicalisation of youth and militant religious leaders feeding the radicalisation. In some, yes just a few, cases this can lead to terrorist activity. With the ironic aspect that finance to feed this problem comes from the western obsession with oil which has made Saudi Arabia very rich. It has also made the country immune to criticism for the export of militant Islam.

I realise some commenters might accuse me of “Islamophobia” for the above. But isn’t that part of the problem – the denial of criticism? After all, I am not criticising all Muslims, even all disaffected Muslims. I am not criticising the religion (not in this post anyway – but the ability to do so is part of living in a democratic, pluralist society). I am only criticising a situation which has an effect in only a small number of cases – but a dramatic effect.

Yes, I am also aware we have other disaffected communities in our society. We have fundamentalist, radical, priests and ministers in other religions.  That combination can also sometimes lead to terrorist activity, such as the bombing of clinics or murder of doctors. In the past non-religious groups have also promoted terrorism. Let’s not limit our concern just to Islamic terrorism.

But also, let’s not limit our ability to confront such problems by a naive form of multiculturalism which prevents any criticism and sweeps real problems under the carpet.

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27 responses to “Terrorism and the West’s obsession with oil

  1. “We won’t know for some time what the motives of these bombers were, what international links they had and if they received help.”

    Quite frankly, if the bombers had help from other countries, then we can probably safely disband all of our anti-spy measures, because our enemies are ludicrously bad at attacking us.

    Let’s see… there were only a single-digit number of bombs, which were built with low-grade explosives, and the bombs appear to have been triggered by timers rather than by some sort of remote control so that they ended up only killing 3 people (so far) and about 130 injured. (By contrast, Iraq alone had a series of car bombs which caused, IIRC, double-digit deaths and something like 3 or 4 times as many injured.) Immediately after the bombing, the very first comments I saw were from people remarking how the explosives used were obviously not even the most powerful stuff available to consumers.

    If you had help from pretty nearly any government to build incendiaries, at the very least, they would send you more powerful explosives. They might very well send you a better triggering mechanism, or at least plans for one. (And, more than likely, they would insist on more bombs — I am skeptical that there are more bombs out there waiting precisely because the two brothers apparently stopped and watched the explosions.) If they really were powerful and wanted to be devious, they could smuggle in some nuclear material and ask for dirty bombs instead. Heck, the Matsumoto Incident — which was Aum Shinrikyo’s practice run for the sarin attack on the Tokyo Subway in 1994 — resulted in more deaths and injuries, and that only really required one perpetrator to carry out the attack (although there were almost certainly more people involved). For that matter, with assistance from a foreign government, they would probably have been able to get out of the country afterwards, or at least have enough money to get away and stay away, rather than ending up apparently being involved in a convenience store robbery, then having to hijack a car, and finally ending up with one of them dead and the other hiding in a boat.

    If this is the best foreign nations can do when given willing agents, then we’re probably pretty safe, overall. But I think the odds are pretty good that this was a pair of guys working on their own — they may have had inspiration from elsewhere, but everything points to them acting on their own.

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  2. Vicar, I agree that these guys were most likely home-grown, not receiving any outside material assistance. But that is the very scenario I was describing. And money and ideological training from Saudi Arabia is being used to manufacture home grown terrorists out of their disaffection.

    The is a real problem with Saudi Arabia, and the inability of western governments to take them to task.

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  3. I blame progressives, as does Pat Condell

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  4. Phil, could you clarify. What the hell is a “progressive?” What specifically do you blame them for? Are you denying the role of Saudi Arabia in financing mosques and providing fundamentalist teachers?

    I find it impossible to take any meaning from your brief statement.

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  5. What the hell is a “progressive?”

    I thought that was fairly well expressed in the video. Are you really unaware of what “progressive” and “progressive politics” are?

    There is no direct link between the Chechen bombers and Saudi.

    Perhaps you were “just asking a question”, aka “JAQing off”
    This is a well-known form of trolling.

    Cedric will fill you in with the details

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  6. Phil, I am aware of Condell’s arguments. However you are the one using that term – and it does mean different things to different people. You cannot make your argument (which I may even agree with – and perhaps I made in my article) without clarifying your terms.

    No-one I am aware of has claimed a “direct link” between Saudi Arabia and the bombers. Perhaps you should re-read my article where I think I made clear how Saudi financing and teachers indirectly promotes radicalisation of disaffected youth.

    You know very well my questions are serious – so stop that childish behaviour now. Let’s discuss this seriously. After all we should not try to turn terrorism into a pathetic joke.

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  7. Wait, wait, you’re blaming the continued influence of Saudi Arabia, the country which is cozened and protected by the Bush family and all their political allies, on “progressives”? Either you have such a radically different definition of “progressive” from pretty much everyone else that you can no longer effectively communicate, or else you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. I bet the latter.

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  8. I blame, partly anyway, progressives. People who are completely intolerant and blind to the fact that they are committing cultural suicide in their countries.

    In the video I posted, Condell remarks that in Sweden, a society with a progressive government and media, there is a one in four chance that a woman will be raped in her lifetime. This is thanks to so called multiculturalism, just look at the stats,

    Of course, you will call be a racist. That is because you are a progressive.

    Of course, you blame Bush for everything, even though nothing has changed under Obama. You blame the West for its obsession with oil, even though your life is totally dependent on oil.

    You are a hypocrite. You are a person who hates your own culture, your own country, and yourself. You hate every aspect of the people who live in your country that adhere to so called conservative values, and would rejoice if they were blown to pieces by a terrorist bomb.

    This is because you are a progressive.

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  9. Get a grip, Phil. You are calling me names – progressive (undefined), hypocrite, hater if my own culture, hater of myself, hater of every aspect of New Zealanders who are conservative, rejoicer of their bombing, etc., etc. Yet nothing to base that on.

    You are ranting, Phil.

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  10. I was addressing the larger progressive audience, rather than you Ken.
    The video explains it quite well.

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  11. Well, Phil, do it somewhere else and then you won’t offend people here.

    By the way, you have yet to define your use of progressive. I suspect Pat is referring to a pretty local use of the term – it’s not used like that here, as far as I know. Anyway, while he entertains with his rant and labelling it does not really address the situation properly. And that is a particular problem in discussing multiculturalism. One can very quickly end up appealing to the outright racists and fascists.

    That is why I was careful to criticise naive multiculturalism rather than multiculturalism in general. On the one hand multiculturalism is here to stay (the alternative would be racist) but this should not prevent balanced and proper criticism of problems. In the way I tried to do with my article.

    There are people who naively refuse to allow any criticism – easily dropping into accusation of Islamophbia. We have seen that recently with the silly accusations aimed as Dawkins and Harris. This labelling is basically being done by religious people – often Christians who feel a common cause with Islam as a fellow religion – interfaith and all that – who never miss a chance to misrepresent atheists like Dawkins and Harris.

    It might be these Christians, people you identify with yourself, who Pat is applying the progressive label to.

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  12. It might be these Christians, people you identify with yourself, who Pat is applying the progressive label to.

    Progressives are definitely not Christians. They are the intolerant left. The left who want to destroy every aspect of modern society, through “multi-culturalism” (i.e Islamification), through grinding everyone into poverty through carbon taxes, through to dumbing down our education system

    Funny how Condell was popular with “progressives”, and trendy left-wing Christian hating atheists, until he started his anti-Islam rant. Now he is a non-person

    Funny that, eh?

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  13. Phil, locally I find the sort of people who are sensitive to any criticism of Islam are the interfaith type Christian. Granted, not the conservative, evangelical Christians – they are usually hostile towards Muslims and Islam.

    But who the hell are the “intolerant left?” I am not saying they don’t exist (after all intolerance exists across the political spectrum – and you are displaying a fair bit now) but come on, Phil. Give us specific examples so we can be clear who you are talking about. And while you are at it what about something specific that these local “progressives” or “intolerant left” are promoting along the lines you claim.

    Or are your the Moncktonite, McCarthyist type who sees reds under every bed?

    Personally, the only place I have come across this promotion of naive multiculturalism locally is in the Interfaith Groups – and the last conference I attended included evangelical conservatives (who were pretty intolerant of me) as well as more liberal Christians.

    I suspect these Christians would also have views in climate change and education which you hate too.

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  14. Ah, Phil, thanks for the clarification. Now I can see where the problem is: you’re a tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoid right-winger whose grasp on reality is practically nonexistent, and it’s not only safe to ignore anything which comes out of your mouth (or out of your keyboard, in this case), but positively beneficial.

    I look forward to reading of your eventual incarceration, when your mania finally grows too great to bear and you either assault an immigrant convenience store clerk for “coming over and taking all the jobs away from us good white Christian folk” or possibly shoot some random stranger who happens to be walking behind you because they were “an agent of the huge left-wing conspiracy to destroy every aspect of modern society who was following me home to kill me and steal my stuff”. That paranoia is powerful stuff; remember to take your pills, because they will make the voices go away.

    Of course, demographically, it’s probable that you’re in your late 50s or beyond, in which case perhaps such strenuous activity is beyond you and I will be denied the hilarity which will ensue when you are finally put where you won’t be able to keep making the world a worse place. But, on the bright side, it will mean that I can look forward to your death instead, and the knowledge that the only harm you will do is by spewing your hate-filled screeds around the Internet (and the dining room table with your increasingly horrified relatives).

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  15. I just love reading the responses from left-wing faschist like Ken and The Vicar

    “I look forward to your eventual incarceration” writes the vicar.

    I expect that you look forward to my torture and beheading too, at the hands of some Jihadist youth

    Of course, demographically, it’s probable that you’re in your late 50s or beyond, in which case perhaps such strenuous activity is beyond you and I will be denied the hilarity which will ensue when you are finally put where you won’t be able to keep making the world a worse place.

    Wrong on all counts.

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  16. Ironic, isn’t it, that it is The Vicar accusing me of hate speech (so terribly “progressive”) when it is (s)he who is looking forward to my death and incarceration.

    Welcome to the upside down world of the progressives.

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  17. “the responses from left-wing faschist like Ken and The Vicar”

    In addition to being essentially insane, Phil can’t spell, can’t punctuate, knows no grammar and no history. Phil, you’re a real winner, aren’t you?

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  18. “essentially insane,”, is the usual trick of the “progressive”. If you don’t agree with them, you are insane.

    Phil can’t spell, can’t punctuate, knows no grammar and no history. Phil, you’re a real winner, aren’t you?

    Delightful. I love left-wing fascists (spelling) always insulting everyone.

    Not much argument from he Vicar; just insults. Delightful. Will Cedric come in to the conversation and start duplicating all my comments?.
    What a great blog this is; a showcase of NZ intolerance and bigotry.

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  19. Unfortunately, Phil you are trying to make this little comment “What a great blog this is; a showcase of NZ intolerance and bigotry” come true.

    Please stop now – if this deteriorates to another tilt-for-tat I will just remove the comments like last time.

    I am not going to tolerate this sort of sabotage – as I have warned I will arrange for your comments to go straight to spam. You should be aware that such a rating also can affect your comments on other blogs.

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  20. Oh, sorry Ken.

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  21. I’m with Mark Twain in regard to spelling:

    I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.
    – Mark Twain’s Autobiography

    Wun day I hoep to hav the courag to fulley taek tha plung into fonetic speling.

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  22. First we’ll have to eliminate all regional accents, because otherwise there’s no way that, for example, a Texan and a Yorkshireman could possibly understand each others’ writing.

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  23. And Apple’s spell check gets in the way.

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  24. First we’ll have to eliminate all regional accents, because otherwise there’s no way that, for example, a Texan and a Yorkshireman could possibly understand each others’ writing.

    Maybe that’s the way to go, yet currently the examples given can’t understand each others speech and we don’t lose any sleep over that.
    Perhaps I’ll plug for simplified or at the very least, standardised (yet I happily ignore Microsoft insisting that last word is spelled standardized ) instead of phonetic. English spelling is quite absurd c.f. some European languages that have national bodies to weed out confusing anachronisms.

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  25. A Texan could never understand a Yorkshireman’s hobby of putting ferrets down his trousers, so you have a lot more than language as a cultural barrier.

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  26. Here’s a good article from Mark Steyn on the topic of the Boston bombings

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346146/%E2%80%98co-exist%E2%80%99-bombers

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