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Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality 
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Post Re: Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality
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Read the quote and think carefully of events since 911, seems prophetic doesn't it


Sagan's warning about the selling of war (by some group) by advocating the "dangers of skepticism" is not entirely accurate for all radical terrorist orgs.

Al Qaeda's propaganda machine is based mostly on political grievances (occupied territories, puppet regimes, etc) and the imposing of western values, most of which Islamic culture simply does not share (capitalism, consumerism, materlalism, certain forms of "entertainment).

There are other organizations that protest the imposing of western values. This past valentines day there were scattered protests that objected to the capitalist nature of the day. Quite frankly, V-day is a day of legal robbery, in my opinion.
The price of tokens of affection are doubled - literally DOUBLED. So are dinner prices. All because of an expectation created by a voracious capitalistic machine influencing the herd.

I heard on some local radio station that claimed a recent poll indicated 53 percent of women said they would "break up" with their partner if he didn't do something for them on V-day.
If that's true (who was being asked, how many, etc. etc) it's truly, in my opinion a horrific indicator.
One of these days I might protest "love capitalism" myself. :P

Anyway..,

Al Qaeda's intention at the start was not, from what I understand so far, the global dissemination of sharia law.
The last model of the coursera course on Terrorism deals strictly with an analysis of Al Qaeda. I'm looking forward to it.

Since 911, splinter groups have emerged from A.Q. with their own priorities.

Interestingly enough, the magazine associated with AQ, "Inspire" was not endorsed by Osama Bin Laden. Actually, he rejected it as part of AQ's "brand" and did not want it to represent AQ. Since the death of OBL and the authors of Inspire that started it, my understanding is that it continues to circulate to this day.

I better example of a "war on skepticism/critical thought" and autonomy might be the terrorist organization Boko Haram which translates to "Western Education is Forbidden"

Boko Harem's primary targets at the start of their splinter campaign were educational institutions.

(side note: no, I am not saying sharia law or fundamental religious governments are better than democracy).



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Taylor
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality
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Ant :
Sagan's warning about the selling of war (by some group) by advocating the "dangers of skepticism" is not entirely accurate for all radical terrorist orgs


You make a good point here, my knowledge of bin laden and his associated groups comes largely from the 911 commission report. When I said to think carefully of events since 911, I was suggesting, to consider what was the group in the NCR, including our allies. For the most part I have been in agreement with you when it comes to jihadi motivations. For what this may be worth, I have friends who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, they tell me that religion is not the primary motivator of the people their up against, western powers there are perceived as occupiers. More specifically toward Carl Sagan's quote, he was warning us, that is, you and I and anyone else, that we need to pay close attention to our own leaders.



Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality
Something to add to my previous post; these leaders of ours will warn we the people against being overly skeptical toward our leaders, elected and unelected. Political slight of hand. as the saying goes "trust me, I'm from the gov't, I'm here to help you " :usa: :trustme:



Last edited by Taylor on Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:02 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality
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Ant;
Al Qaeda's intention at the start was not, from what I understand so far, the global dissemination of sharia law.


Your understanding here is correct, bin laden was pissed at western military presence and diplomatic influence in the middle east, particularly in Saudi Arabia. bin laden was Saudi by birth. He had serious resentments partly from Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

From the 911 commission report;
IN February 1998, the 40 year old Saudi exile usama bin ladin and a fugitive Egyptian physician ayman al zarwahiri, arranged from their afghan headquarters for an Arabic newspaper in London to publish what they termed a fatwa issued in the name of what they called a"World Islamic Front". A fatwa is normally an interpretation of Islamic law by a respected Islamic authority, but neither bin ladin, zarahiri, nor the three others who signed this statement were scholars of Islamic law. Claiming that America had declared war against god and his messenger, they called for the murder of any American, anywhere on earth, as the "individual duty for every muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it".
Three months later, when interviewed in Afghanistan by ABC-TV, bin ladin enlarged on these themes. He claimed it was more important for muslims to kill Americans than to kill other infidels. " it is far better for anyone to kill a single American soldier than to squander his efforts on other activities", Asked if he approved of terrorism and of attacks on civilians, he replied " We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorist are the Americans, Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets."
Though novel for its open endorsement of indiscriminate killing, bin ladin's 1998 declaration was only the latest in the long series of his public and private calls since 1992 that singled out the United States for attack.

I think your coursera would be remiss if they do not at least enter into some acknowledgement of the commission report. I find it to be useful as a reference, it reads like a thriller.



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Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 13: Obsessed with reality
The final module will focus on AQ..,

"To conclude, module five will bring the varied course concepts together through a detailed look at the case of al-Qa'ida, including the group's successes, failures, tactics, and strategies."

Much of the information I imagine will be drawn from START research and from social/psychological models referenced from previous lectures.

should be a very interesting case study.



Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:12 pm
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