Sunday, January 10, 2010

Alas, Today's Terrorists Don't Write

I never thought of terrorism along these lines:;jsessionid=2AB221C13D4D53E51973B72BF6628111.w6?a=526631&f=112&sub=Columnist

Roger Cohen is tremendously provocative columnist, whose favourite pieces of mine range from drone wars (although, he started his piece about how the US weaponised the fruitfly) and a deliciously sarky piece about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Anyway, Cohen's irreverent musing links intrepid revolutionaries of yore with displacement/resettlement of today's pre-terrorists and their subsequent anti-Western militancy.

I know of no written treatise/manifesto/exegesis penned by Zawahiri, Bin Laden, Haqqani, Mullah Omar, al Sadr, Irwandi Yusuf, Prabhakaran, Kony, or Mehsud (or his lucky donkey); no equivalent to Mao's guerrilla bible from 1937.

By comparison, today's guerilla, or 'insurgent' if you prefer, is a dull sociopath.

Still, the point Cohen makes is really interesting; to what extent is displacement or resettlement in the West a feature of modernday terrorist experience and subsequent thought patterns? Certainly travel to places like Waziristan, Peshawar/Rawalpindi, Quetta (oops all Pakistan), and um, Sudan?, London?, the seething airport lounges of Lagos; are these the paltry incubation sites for anti-Western militancy?


No wonder the poor sods are so dull and disaffected! Ho, Mao, Che, Castro, and Friends had Cuba, Argentina, Paris, Moscow and many other FUN places to scheme and conspire. Perhaps if we offered today's pre-terrorists (starting perhaps with Gitmo ex-cons - sorry I can't say "con" because they were never convicted - I meant "detainee") happier sanctuaries, they might write more. Then we would learn more about them (and learn what's wrong, for crying out loud!).

This Happy Potential Terrorist Sanctuary would have psychoanalysts fluent in Urdu, Arabic, and Arabic. We could construct an adventure course where we would play corporate trust games - they always look like fun (learning to trust sniping co-workers to break your fall off a jungle gym). Even contemporary writing classes and workshops; where we explore other ways of expressing oneself without resorting to C4. Day care would have to be made available; Bin Laden could really use this - the dude is really lacking parenting skills.

I think I'm onto something. Perhaps I should start working on a proposal - "Camp Ray of Sunshine" or something. I suspect that hosting it in Cuba might give everyone the wrong impression so we'll choose somewhere fun and lively, and remote (naturally). Galapagos might work actually.

Links again:

Bin Laden and Parenting:

Cohen on Drone Wars and Fruitflies:

Cohen on Obama's impromptu Nobel:

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