“The terrorist constituency [are] the people we’ve got to reach out to..”

I found this slightly unsettling at first, but it gets more interesting as it goes on. Jason McCue’s performance at TED (which is what most TEDs have to be, tbh) is not the most sure and verges, at times, on the tricksy…

But there is some very interesting content, not least the claim that the threat of civil lawsuit wasa powerful asymmetrical weapon against dissent Republican groups who struggled less against the potential monetary loss than keeping the core sympathy of their own constituency.

The end is better than the beginning, when he posits a provocative propsition that actually in order to provoke necessary change in society we may sometimes actually call out otherwise indefensible terrorist acts in order to become better and more fit societies.

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  • BarneyT

    Mick – this was interesting. Ok there are clichés i.e. one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and he touched on this…and that is true. I support his advocacy of engagement and dancing with the devil rather than taking a high moral ground (without basis) and dismissing the grievance as terrorism (even if that may be sometimes justified). We need to ask, “what is there problem, have we done anything, what do they want!!”, and that can be applied to Al Quaeda too.

    I also like his point that we have to take the high moral ground rather that produce an opposing but similar brand that fuels terrorism.
    In the 80s there was little obvious engagement, however I believe the peace process can trace its roots to the unofficial mid 80s back-channel discussion.

    He is basically saying on some levels we have to embarrass the “terrorists” into inaction through the civil courts, on the basis that the perpetrators (mentioning Omagh) were beyond prosecution via the usual channels. He has a point and if the masses rise up change can occur. In mentioned Omagh he failed to point out that the investigation and lack of professionalism jeopardised the trial and made any possible convictions unsafe. Also the history of putting any face to the crime (rather than pursuing the guilty) to ease public and media pressure perhaps did not help either.

    He spoke of Somalia and how we need to turn the pirates into fishermen, an industry from which they came. He continued by saying that their fish were originally stolen and their waters were polluted, so I interpret this as “we created the conditions which led to their terrorist path and we need to reverse these to entice them away from the dark side. That in itself is a civil action. That sort of admission is missing in many conflicts i.e. something was done by the representatives of the present victims to create the conditions for the grievance.

    Going back to Omagh, and that atrocity which I hope is universally accepted as a terrorist event\attack, he may have a point suggesting that we need crisis to change.

    There is a theory that Omagh was a crime to end all such crimes….and that that was foreseen by the authorities. There are legs to the theory that if it gets bad enough, things have to change.

    Perhaps governments will fund health and other initiatives if we collectively refuse to donate to charities. This will cause pain, but it might cause enough pain to make a change.

  • HeinzGuderian

    al qaeda,what is THEIR problem…..The West.
    What do they want……us,wiped off the face of the planet.
    Have we done anything…….published a few cartoons,and a dopey video,ridiculing their ‘Coca Cola’ brand. That didn’t go down too well.

    The problem here is,as nearly always,religion.
    The way to combat it ? Through education. Pointing out clearly and concisely how this religious backwardness is the very cancer,eating away at civilisation.

    From The Inquisition,to Luther. From de valera to Paisley. From Blair and Bush to Bin Laden. From Israel to Palestine. From India to Pakistan. From worshipping the sun,to the blessed virgin. From 1,000s of years of a peoples persecution,to nazi death camps. From persecution of homosexuals,to moronic free p’s,demanding that the Giants Causeway is 6,000 years old.

    We have to combat religion.
    When we win that war,then,and only then,should we really start contemplating the stars.

  • HeinzGuderian

    * In hindsight,from The Inquisition to the nazi Death Camps,would have been more appropriate.

  • BarneyT

    The point I am making is that by asking someone to articulate their grievance and stand back and say, “ok we’re listening”, you might get an insight. Granted Al Qaeda may very well respond as you indicate, but at least it gets it out there which is important.

    I cant disagree with your other other comments at all. With regard to Religion, I once heard an Anglican high-church clergyman say, God does not want religion. Religion is mans invention.

    Good and D’Evil
    God and Devil

    Surely it was all an analogy to start with?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Yes,but the anglican high church clergyman was talking about the Jewish god.
    Of course god needs a devil. A dark side. Isn’t one of the first questions a child asks,when presented with ths nonsense,”Why doesn’t god just kill the devil” ?

    adolf was hell bent on starting WWII,no matter how much we talked,or conceded.
    al qaeda,is exactly the same.

    This strangling grip of religion has to be broken. Bush and Blair certainly weren’t the ones to do it.
    Of the current politicians,Ed Milliband is the only one I’ve heard who describes himself as an Atheist.
    It’s a start.

    The point being,we can hardly promote our Pepsi,over their Coca Cola,when they are both mythical sky daddy brands.

  • BarneyT

    Ed is supposed to be mildly socialist too…which will be new to Labour too 🙂

  • carl marks

    Certainly a lot to think about, how you sue Al Qaeda, would love to see the look in the average rioters face when he was told he was being sued since most are unlikely to be in gainful employment or probably still in school one might have to go though the small claims court.
    Still a lesson we don’t seem to have accepted here is ‘winning the propaganda war means converting the other side not impressing your own side’ the last couple of weeks here has shown that.
    The whole white hats V black hats line pushed by many (very few with credibility) usually on both sides of any conflict (again see our own wee Ulster) is of course nonsense,
    Winning the propaganda war not only involves pointing out how bad the other side is but also admitting that you as well, have made serious mistakes and your side has done terrible things, Attempts to seize the high ground only work if you actually are morally superior, and very few people. Groups, governments or religions are ,

  • carl marks

    you wont hear ths from me often,
    but i agree nearly a 100% with your post of 11.21 an 1.49 wasnt bad either.
    what have you done with the real HG 😮

  • aquifer

    His point about victims and legal remedies is well made.

    The media turn people’s lives into post it notes for the ideas of idiots unless they can follow victims beyond the news cycle.

    A local bill of rights could have said something useful on all this, but just turned the handle on the grievance mill instead.

    Armed blackmail is cheap.

    Lives should not be.