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August 17, 2007 9:20 PM   Subscribe

"Al Qaeda" A lecture by Lawrence wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. An interesting look at the "root causes" of terrorism
posted by delmoi (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Superstition? DRTA
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:40 PM on August 17, 2007


Well, he said "hoplessness" It's a video, not text, so technically UDWTFA, and it goes into a lot more then just the root causes. I'd only seen 17 minutes when I posted it.
posted by delmoi at 9:50 PM on August 17, 2007


Pakistan: "The Taliban's Godfather"? Documents Detail Years of Pakistani Support for Taliban, Extremists
posted by homunculus at 9:54 PM on August 17, 2007


This topic is similarly covered in this book -- the Age of Sacred Terror (which I really recommend reading).

There's a lot that's simply counterintuitive about the whole terrorism situation, and I think that's just indicative of us thinking along the lines of Hollywood portrayals and using examples of domestic unrest (e.g. that it boils down to class conflict).
posted by spiderskull at 10:21 PM on August 17, 2007


Good one delmoi, thanks.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:31 PM on August 17, 2007


It's more complicated than they hate us for our freedoms????
posted by orthogonality at 11:08 PM on August 17, 2007


Defining the enemy in the Global War on Terror within an ideological space is maybe a good exercise but I'm personally tired of this nonsense of implying things are Al Quaeda when they aren't, or that people are supporting terrorism when they aren't. That's what I feel he's doing.

It ends up defining new, or constantly changing, classes of thoughtcrime, and necessitates the creation of an academic politburo, in order to vouchsafe everyone's philosophies, and some professors who fail to flock will end up on the lists.

They do fail to grasp the conventionality of the war--Americans don't want terrorist attacks, and are willing to continue fighting terrorists ad infinitum. I don't know who said you can't define what a terrorist is.
posted by nervousfritz at 11:34 PM on August 17, 2007


Aren't last names usually capitalized too?
posted by so_ at 11:59 PM on August 17, 2007


Good to hear someone else who opposed the Iraq war opposing rapid pullout.
posted by grubby at 12:04 AM on August 18, 2007


refreshing to hear an intelligent, balanced, lucid and unabbreviated discussion of this subject for a change - certainly nothing I have to worry about ever finding within the U.S. news media.

I saw an interview with Condoleezza Rice last year where she actually offered this brilliant analysis of why the U.S. is a target for Al Qaeda: "they hate us because we are free." - unbelievable...
posted by janetplanet at 2:52 AM on August 18, 2007


I saw an interview with Condoleezza Rice last year where she actually offered this brilliant analysis of why the U.S. is a target for Al Qaeda: "they hate us because we are free." - unbelievable...

"They hate us because we're free" certainly does boil it down about 10 levels but it's a perfectly accurate description of al Qaeda.

While al Qaeda does have political beefs, they should use the political process to try and solve them; a la the Israelis, South Afrians or the American Civil Rights movement. Also, their attacks target civilians instead of political or military figures, they call on everyone to follow their (specific interpretation of) religion, actively attack democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that their idea of a "good" government is the Taliban...

Yeah, I'd say they kinda hate freedom.
posted by b_thinky at 8:22 AM on August 18, 2007


Only 6 people in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad speak Arabic? Wow.
posted by afu at 10:08 AM on August 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Insightful!
posted by crypticvalentine at 10:39 AM on August 18, 2007


The Politics of God
posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on August 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


This aired about two months ago on the CBC Ideas podcast. Highly recommended.
posted by furtive at 12:41 PM on August 18, 2007


Excellent presentation, thank you.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 4:01 PM on August 18, 2007


What a great lecture. I watched it the whole way through and he raised a lot of good points. Interesting how he equated a nonexistent civil life with terrorism. Give people a couple of political parties to scream about on the internet and they may not have enough time to plan bombings.
posted by vodkadin at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2007


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