NYT understanding of terrorist grievances

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A New York Times editorial seems to justify and misreads the (irr) rationality of terrorism; the NYT sees such acts as expressions of anger and frustration.

There is nothing Americans want more than to win the war on terror, to come to a place where people no longer feel it is a fine thing to forfeit their own lives and the lives of innocents in order to make the world notice their anger and frustration.

The Times still deludes itself that Muslim (the M—word, of course, is left out of the editorial) extremism is a consequence of grievances.  Left unstated by the Times but lurking beneath the surface is the "blame Israel" explanation, which lead to frustration and anger.

No mention is made of the apocalyptic yearnings that animate much terror,  nor is the goal of an Islamic caliphate that gives hope to suicidal terrorists ever mentioned. Many of the terrorists hail from middle or upper—income educated classes; this is a form of warfare for them and their goal is domination, not the release of anger and frustration. By relying on those tropes, the Times in effects helps to  "understand" and legitimate their actions. They, unlike many terrorists, miss the target entirely.

Here is what we want to do in the wake of the arrests in Britain. We want to understand as much as possible about what terrorists were planning. To talk about airport security and how to make it better. To celebrate what worked in the British investigation and discuss how to push these efforts farther. It would be a blessed moment in modern American history if we could do that without turning this into a political game plan.

As for understanding what worked for British Intelligence:  How about staring with not having national newspapers divulge state secrets?

Ed Lasky   8 11 06

A New York Times editorial seems to justify and misreads the (irr) rationality of terrorism; the NYT sees such acts as expressions of anger and frustration.

There is nothing Americans want more than to win the war on terror, to come to a place where people no longer feel it is a fine thing to forfeit their own lives and the lives of innocents in order to make the world notice their anger and frustration.

The Times still deludes itself that Muslim (the M—word, of course, is left out of the editorial) extremism is a consequence of grievances.  Left unstated by the Times but lurking beneath the surface is the "blame Israel" explanation, which lead to frustration and anger.

No mention is made of the apocalyptic yearnings that animate much terror,  nor is the goal of an Islamic caliphate that gives hope to suicidal terrorists ever mentioned. Many of the terrorists hail from middle or upper—income educated classes; this is a form of warfare for them and their goal is domination, not the release of anger and frustration. By relying on those tropes, the Times in effects helps to  "understand" and legitimate their actions. They, unlike many terrorists, miss the target entirely.

Here is what we want to do in the wake of the arrests in Britain. We want to understand as much as possible about what terrorists were planning. To talk about airport security and how to make it better. To celebrate what worked in the British investigation and discuss how to push these efforts farther. It would be a blessed moment in modern American history if we could do that without turning this into a political game plan.

As for understanding what worked for British Intelligence:  How about staring with not having national newspapers divulge state secrets?

Ed Lasky   8 11 06