Friday, September 16, 2005

"Religion" is the Tool

This is, of course, my opinion, so take it or leave it, and until someone is willing to rebutt it with something other than insults, I'll stick with it: I'll just suffice it to say that to try and find any particular psychological trait or social or economic background (or any combination thereof) in the suicide bomber as an underlying cause of that behavior is indicative of what many people are doing. Ignoring or understating the obvious. Is it PCism? I don't know. Yes, many suicide-bombers are educated and I understand that is what these "recruiters" look for and why. Yes, many are of a higher, or at least middle-class, economic background relevant to their region. But many are not well educated which is apparent by their age (just how educated can a 16 or 17 year old be and where were they educated at all?) Also, many are from below middle-class families. There are so many variables there, it's an exercize in futility.

What many people are refusing to say out loud is that Islamic fundamentalism and/or extremism is what this all boils down to. Is it an unwillingness to upset Muslims who don't subscribe to that extremism that keeps them looking for other reasons? (PCism) But we keep coming back to that one aspect, Islamic extremism, that the suicide bombers ALL have in common. What makes them "susceptible" to it is surely psychological and something we understand even less than the psychology of the serial killer who came from a normal family. Yet there are many more obvious indicators in the suicide bomber.

Many Muslims are exposed to the same extremism yet do not go down that road of "suicide-martyrdom", but many of them quietly endorse it to different degrees because they're not being actively recruited for such missions or brainwashed by charismatic ideologues. These cheerleaders or "side-liners" who excuse it or over-look it (hell, we see some cheering in the streets) are slowly coming around though and as fewer make excuses and become more vocal against suicide-bombers, we will see fewer of them.

The suicide-bomber's original anger can be political, social or economic, but they're told their "religion" demands their action. The extremist's interpretation of the religion is so rigid and spartan and demanding that when one encounters such a charismatic ideologue as their recruiters/trainers it only reinforces what they've already "learned" throughout their life, where their religion permeated every aspect of their lives, and he brings them to a whole new level. These ideologues, or "sergeants", are very adept at breaking down the suicide-bomber's natural instinct of "self-preservation" by use of the "religion", guilt, and the promise of a utopia, even fear, among other things, before they're sent on missions, - suicide or otherwise.

And let's not forget the detainees who have told us of the drugs given them to bolster their confidence in their non-suicide missions or when we find the suidide-bomber handcuffed to the steering wheel of an IED-laden car. In these cases, it's obvious that they're reluctant and the "sergeant" who sends them on the mission recognizes this. As I said, they're very adept.

Instead of looking for the motives of the suicide bomber, I just think it would be more important to put the middle man under the magnifying glass. The suicide-bomber's master. These guys are very proficient at manipulation and re-inforcement. We don't hear from these guys. They stay under the radar. The suicide bomber is just their means to an end.

I think that as we go up the chain, we'll see less real "religion" and more of a power struggle and social engineering. Religion is the tool.


At 9/17/2005 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Tawny Buttz said...

I think those who seriously believe suicide bombers are all about dedication to philosophical religious principle underestimate the power of brainwashing and Muslim leaders who are Svengali-like in their application of it. I also believe that we have yet to fully grasp the culture of the extremist Muslims that brought them to being wired for destruction. I wonder how long Liberals, or if that's not the correct term, those who believe we just need to capture a majority of hearts and minds, will go on believing that in the face of continual clean-up of body parts from streets and buses or subway cars.

I don't believe for second that suicide bombings are going to diminish so long as there are those who believe in their own version of Fundmentalist Islam which tells them everyone who isn't like them is a devil.

It is my opinion that Extremist Muslims are practicing the very worst kind of bigotry and racism, and they are given a pass for it by this pitiful need from some to understand the process by which they think. It seems to me that process has been defined loud and clear each time someone else blows himself or herself up. Given the fact that Middle East culture condones whatever form of retaliation an eye for an eye demands, I don't believe we will ever be rid of homicide bombers. Yes, we may find ways to reduce their number, but we will always have them in some demented portion of the global population.

Which is why I believe the War on Terror will never be won and must continue to be fought indefinitely. Because as soon as we withdraw from one place, we can bet the farm some new or other Svengali will be there to fill the terrorism void.

At 9/17/2005 10:25:00 AM, Blogger A Person said...

You're right. It will never really end. They are simply the Nazis of our time.

Yeah, I said Nazi.


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