TwitterFacebook

Den Beste on Fallujah

• Views: 973

Steven Den Beste makes some good points (and one with which I will take issue below) in this essay on what happened in Fallujah and what our response should be.

Now, in Falluja, we have seen another operation consistent with the doctrine of terrorism, only this time the US was the target. Four American civilians driving through that city were killed, and their bodies were desecrated by an exultant crowd. Foreign cameramen captured it all.

The Baathist insurgency thought that ongoing attacks would cause American demoralization and retreat. That didn’t work, because they monumentally misjudged the American character. But the goal of this attack is to inspire American fury. What they hope is that the Americans will be blinded by hatred and will do something extremely stupid: to punish the Sunnis collectively for the actions of the terrorist group.

Remember, that’s the basic theory behind terrorism; that’s the core of the doctrine of terrorism as a form of violent warfare. It is not the terrorist act itself which helps advance the political goals of the terrorist group; it is rather the reprisal. Terrorism is a form of jiu-jitsu, a way of using an enemy’s strength against himself. (In jiu-jitsu, you don’t throw an opponent. You aid him in throwing himself.)

If there are broad reprisals against the uncommitted friendly population because of the acts of the terrorists, that population will become motivated and polarized in favor of the position held by the terrorists. If the American response is viewed by the Sunnis as being directed broadly at all Sunnis, rather than being targeted specifically at those responsible for this outrage, then there’s every likelihood that the Sunnis will begin to wonder whether the US is actually genuine in its attempts to include the Sunnis as equal partners in the new government of Iraq. That would be a major victory for al Qaeda.

This terrorist attack was an application of violence intended to derail the American effort to set up a liberal democracy in Iraq, by attempting to provoke an American reprisal which would lead to Sunni suspicion and reduce Sunni participation in that democracy.

However, I think he’s incorrect when he says the attack was planned to inspire American fury. I think this horrible incident began as many others have; the mujahideen saw a chance to attack an easy, unprotected target, and they took it. They may or may not have been tipped off about the security people’s travel plans.

But what happened afterward was something different. In the video of the event, you can see quite clearly that this was a psychotically enraged mob. No one planned for those poor people to be torn apart like that. It was an expression of inhuman savagery, that broke loose not by design but by sheer opportunity; a perfect example of the tribal honor-shame dynamic at work, where any act, no matter how evil or debased, is allowed if it serves to restore honor.

So while I do accept Steven’s point that the response must be measured (and lethal), I can’t agree that the purpose of the attack and desecration was some sort of special provocation.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our New Year subscription special, and save 25% off the normal subscription price! For a limited time, one-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2014-12-15 2:06 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Thanos
Pros and Cons of Ethanol in Motor Vehicle Gas Explored
There's no "silver bullet" for addressing the nation's energy needs, and early rave hopes about ethanol in gas are getting a questioning second look.

1 hour, 50 minutes ago
Views: 84 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Rightwingconspirator
Open Carry Rifles & Cop Watching-Most Dangerous Convergence This Week
Watkins, a bartender by day, is the coordinator for Open Carry Tarrant County, a hybrid of the cop-watching and open carry movements. The small band of gun-toting Texans warns motorists of DUI checkpoints and speed traps. They also show ...

2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 513 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Ace-o-aces
Charles C. Johnson Is Still Looking for Investors.
3 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 625 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 8
FemNaziBitch
PEDESTAL ELITES: Why Women Supporting Rapist Friendly Judges Are the Scariest of All Americans
Why Republican women supporting rapist friendly judges are the scariest of all Americans Posted on May 20, 2014 by bonnie russell I always vote, and don't engage with those who don't. Also, my vote leans to issues, not a ...

5 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 671 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Rocky-in-Connecticut
Sports Hero Gang Sign Shame
you know those professional athlete thugs- always flashing gang signs along with his baby mama. Fine example these two are. I expect Fox News and right wing blogs to have this as their cover story pronto. instagram.com Or maybe not. ...

5 days, 17 hours ago
Views: 475 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Skip Intro
Republican Net Neutrality Bill Would Gut FCC’s Authority Over Broadband
The party of pure evil strikes again. Net neutrality legislation unveiled by Republicans today would gut the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the broadband industry. As expected, the bill forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a ...

6 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 436 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 5
The Vicious Babushka
Wingnuts Spend MLK Day Spewing Racism & Lies
The usual [wingnut]HURR HURR MLK WAS A REPUBLICAN & ALL TEH DEMOCRATS IS TEH RACIST LIKE THERE HERO ROBERT BYRD!!!! LBJ SAID TEH N WORD!!! HURR HURR[/wingnut] #tcot MLK Day

6 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 882 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 73 • Rating: 4
Michael McBacon
Praise - Marvin Gaye
I've been on a Marvin Gaye kick lately and thought I'd post this song. Enjoy.

1 week ago
Views: 473 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
John Vreeland
John McAfee: ‘I know who hacked Sony Pictures - and it wasn’t North Korea’
"I can guarantee they are wrong. It has to do with a group of hackers - I will not name them - who are civil libertarians and who hate the confinement the restrictions the music industry and the movie ...

1 week ago
Views: 798 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Lumberhead
Shopping While Black: The Role of Race in Retail
The researchers asked the subjects a series of questions about certain behaviors they had encountered while shopping or advertisements they had noticed, and broke out the results by race. They found that across the board, non-white Americans--and especially black ...

1 week ago
Views: 685 • Comments: 8
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 4
 Frank says:

Seriousity is something to be laughed at. -- FZ responding to Dutch television after being told that Europeans take Frank's music very seriously.