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Who's a terrorist?

by Jerome a Paris Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:59:18 AM EST

On the day after US doctor George Tiller was murdered by a Christian militant, it's worth wondering if the word "terrorism" still means anything.

As David Neiwert noted, we get major headlines (including talk of weapons of mass destruction), and immediate judicial action, about an "aspirational" plot by brown people - with no weapons! - when very little attention was given to countless plots by white supremacists with massive firepower and more specific intentions.

As this DailyKos diary notes, any terrorist of Muslim background is filed under the vast "Islamic terrorism" umbrella, whereas any Christian terrorist that uses religious aguments to justify his or her acts is presented as acting against the teachings of his/her religion, and public figures that give encouragement to illicit action are not taken to task.

The only case of white "terrorists" that see to garner massive police and media attention are those associated with the extreme left, like Julien Coupat, a French anarchist who has been accused, with no proof to date, of attacks on railway tracks, and has spent that past 6 months in jail under terrorism conspiracy statutes.

Murders by Christian and other hard-right terrorists of targets designated as such by prominent politicians and thinkers are isolated incidents; but the mere sign of intention by disaffected muslims or anarchists to act upon their revolt is taken as an existential threat to all of us. The conclusion is simple: anti-establishment thought is dangerous and to be criminalised; reactionary or racist crimes are not a problem. Hmmm.... I wonder who benefits from such a partial approach. Not.


Display:
An interesting interview of Coupat (in English) here.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:11:41 AM EST

Tiller Abortion Worker Honored at White House by Obama
Yet another connection between Pres. Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller

WASHINGTON, May 26 Christian Newswire -- Gold Star Mother Betty Pulliam, who lost a son in Viet Nam, now works to take the lives of other women's sons and daughters at George Tiller late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Kansas. Yesterday, she breakfasted with President Obama and was honored in our nation's capital as part of a Memorial Day observance.
This is yet another connection between Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller. Obama's new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, had close connections with Tiller. Pulliam was among those who were honored by Sebelius at a party held in Tiller's honor at the Kansas governor's mansion.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:13:26 AM EST
In the States, we call them Republicans.  And damn, they're good at what they do.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:26:55 AM EST
The only case of white "terrorists" that see to garner massive police and media attention are those associated with the extreme left

Including "eco-terrorists". Where I must wonder when and how sabotage and terrorism were conflated.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:32:17 AM EST
DoDo:
wonder when and how sabotage and terrorism were conflated
Is it only terrorism if there is damage to people?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
previous to the 1970's Terrorism was a word for government attacks on civilians, soDresden, Guernica, Rotterdam and the London Blitz would be terrorism, with the change in meaning, so that it no longer applies to governments (Although state terrorism is used, but is a more clumsy phrasing) we've lost an accusatory word for agressive politicians.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess political violence is a better term for all of these things.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chomskys Pirates and empereors is the book of choice really in discussing this.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we have an executive summary? :-)

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
read it when it first came out, about ten years ago, and the new expanded edition is in my to read pile. i'll re-read it tonight and give you the summary in the morning.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conquer a ship, you are a pirate. Conquer the worl, you are an emperor.

Then there is some other stuff :)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:57:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, Julien Coupat himself presented some interesting thoughts over terrorism and sovereignty in an interview made a few days before his release to Le Monde:

Q. What does the word terrorism mean to you?

A. Nothing allows one to explain why the Algerian Department of Intelligence and Security, suspected of having orchestrated -- with the knowledge of the DST -- the wave of attacks in 1995, is not classed among the international terrorist organizations. Nothing allows one to explain the sudden transformation of "terrorists" into heroes in the manner of the Liberation, into partners suitable for the Evian Accords, into Iraqi police officers and "moderate members of the Taliban," according to the most recent sudden reversal of the American strategic doctrine.

[It means] nothing, if not sovereignty. It is the sovereign in this world who designates the terrorist. He who refuses to take part in this sovereignty will take care not to respond to your question. He who covets a few crumbs will comply [with the question] promptly. He who doesn't suffocate from bad faith will find instructive the case of the two ex-"terrorists" who became the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the Palestinian Authority, respectively, and who -- to top it all off -- were both given Noble Peace Prizes.

The fuzziness that surrounds the designation "terrorist," the manifest impossibility of defining "terrorism," does not affect several provisional lacunae in French law: terrorists are at the source of this thing that one can define very easily: anti-terrorism, for which "terrorism" forms the pre-condition. Anti-terrorism is a technique of government that thrusts its roots down into the old art of counter-insurrection, so-called "psychological warfare," to be polite.

Anti-terrorism, contrary to what the term itself insinuates, is not a means of fighting against terrorism, but is the method by which one positively produces the political enemy as terrorist. By means of a wealth of provocations, infiltrations, surveillance, intimidation and propaganda; by means of the science of mediatic manipulation, "psychological action," the fabrication of both evidence and crimes; by means of the fusion of the police and the judicial; and by means of the annihilation of the "subversive menace" by associating the internal enemy, the political enemy -- which is at the heart of the population -- with the affect of terror.

In modern warfare, the essential aspect is the "battle for hearts and minds" in which blows are permitted. The elementary procedure here is invariable: individualize the enemy so as to cut him off from the people and from communal reason; display him in the costume of a monster; defame him, publicly humiliate him, incite the vilest people to heap their spit upon him; encourage hatred of him. "The law must be utilized simply as another weapon in the arsenal of the government and, in this case, represents nothing other than a propaganda cover to get rid of undesirable members of the public. For maximum efficiency, it would be suitable that the activities of the judicial services are tied to the war effort in the most discrete fashion possible," advised Brigadier Frank Kitson (former general in the British Army, theoretician of counter-insurrectionary war), who knew something of the subject.

Once is not a pattern: in our case, anti-terrorism has been a flop. In France, one isn't ready to let oneself be terrorized by us. The prolongation of my detention for a "reasonable" period of time is petty revenge, quite comprehensible due to the means mobilized and the depth of the failure; as comprehensible as the petty fury of the [intelligence] "services," which since 11 November [2008] have through the press attributed to us the most fantastic misdeeds and stalked our comrades. How this logic of reprisals has seized control of the minds of the police and the small hearts of the judges, this is what the cadenced arrests of those "close to Julien Coupat" will have had the merit of revealing.

It is necessary to say that certain people are using this affair to extend their lamentable careers, like Alain Bauer (a criminologist), for example; others are using it to launch their latest ventures, like poor M. Squarcini (the Central Director of Domestic Intelligence); while still others are trying to rehabilitate the credibility that they've never had and never will have, like Michele Alliot-Marie.

The rest of the interview has to do with anarchist paranoia though (sorry, only website I found a translation on):
http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/7671

by jayjay (jeremy [at] will-hier-weg.de) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sabotage became worse when we entered the ownership society - by attacking goods, you destroy what makes the very value of people.

In other words, when money shamelessly became more important than people.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the most basic level, it is terrorism when it (is meant to) instill terror in the minds of its victims... I wouldn't characterise the feeling of Monsato execs, lab docs and car dealers after the clearing of test fields resp. the setting free of test subject macaques resp. the burning of SUVs as terror.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Terrorism - Wikipedia

Terrorism is a policy or ideology of violence[1] intended to intimidate or cause terror[2] for the purpose of "exerting pressure on decision making by state bodies."[1] The term "terror" is largely used to indicate clandestine, low-intensity violence that targets civilians and generates public fear. Thus "terror" is distinct from asymmetric warfare, and violates the concept of a common law of war in which civilian life is regarded. The term "-ism" is used to indicate an ideology --typically one that claims its attacks are in the domain of a "just war" concept, though most condemn such as crimes against humanity.

Terrorism is more commonly understood as an act which is intended to create fear (terror), is perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a materialistic goal or a lone attack), and deliberately targets (or disregards the safety of) non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence or unconventional warfare, but at present, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of terrorism.[3][4]



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:55:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The truth about `animal rights terrorism' | spiked

Britain is `the Afghanistan of animal rights extremism', said a security analyst earlier this year, conjuring up images of a network of terrorists - or `thugs and terrorists', as he called them - gathering in secretive camps and ruthlessly plotting a campaign of bloody violence against scientists and researchers.

Prime minister Tony Blair gave sanction to the idea that British animal rights extremists are part of a global terror threat when he met with President George W Bush at the end of last month. As well as discussing such heated issues as the Israel-Lebanon war and radical Islamist terrorism, Blair presented Bush with a `progress report' on Britain's own war against animal rights extremism, in the hope that it might encourage more American pharmaceutical companies to invest in British research.

...Today, you will sometimes read newspaper articles which say there are still, 10 years after the heyday ended, hundreds of animal rights `extremist incidents' every year in the UK. ... Yet the media's interpretation can sometimes be misleading. For example, one report claimed that in 2005 there were `around 1,500 animal rights incidents' (8). It is true that the ABPI report shows around 1,500 `incidents' in that year, but its clear and uncomplicated figures show that the vast majority of those incidents were demonstrations. Out of 1,508 incidents, 1,205 were demonstrations.

...What kind of `terrorists' cause between zero and seven `slight injuries' in any given year? Or fire fireworks rather than missiles? Or send abusive letters rather than letters with bladed-mousetraps in them, as animal rights activists did in the past?...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:49:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair, ALF is a terrorist organisation - they're using arson and pipe bombs.

(Although to be fair to ALF, many of those incidents have been "encouraged" by agent provocateurs...)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:29:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. Let's not be too categoric: with most of its activity being property damage (setting free lab animals, arson of labs and cars), and the bombers and attackers of both the eighties and present wave not appearing to be the entire movement (well, also because ALF is a decentralised franchise organisation like al-Qaida); ALF is as much of a 'terrorist organisation' as Hezbollah. More like an organisation using violence, including terroristic methods (in the eighties, also including food scares).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:52:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Arson, in my considered opinion, crosses the line between property damage and violence. Arson kills people, even if sometimes by accident. Bashing in a window or putting sugar in a car's gas tank - while certainly unpleasant activities that have to have serious political justification to be morally acceptable - do not.

The distinction between ALF as a political movement and individual affinity groups is noted.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the very least, a definition of terrorism includes the fact of organizational support in acts of political violence.  Otherwise there is no way to distinguish between mere individual psychopathic behavior and organized acts of violence.  The social and policy responses to individual acts of derangement and organized collective actions of violence are very different, so the distinction is necessary.  

In America, although one can argue that Christian fundementalist speech might incite individual acts of violence, there really is not serious collective action on the part of established Christian-identity organizations to engage in strategic use of violence for political ends the way there currently is in a few predominantly Muslim countries.  The same could not be said of Ireland or Lebanon in other recent historical periods, for comparison, when Christian-identity terrorism was explicit.  However, it cannot be denied right now that there are major  Muslim-identity organizational efforts, albeit from a tiny radical minority, engaged in strategic use of political violence, in America, Europe, South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

This is why it is somewhat disingenuous to try argue an equivalence between the recent murder of Christian doctor by an individual whose act has been condemned by even the most radical of the Christian-identity anti-abortion groups and other acts of violence perpetrated by Muslim-identity activists whose acts  result in claims -- sometimes even competing claims -- of responsibility by Muslim-identity organizations.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:20:18 AM EST
although one can argue that Christian fundementalist speech might incite individual acts of violence

Nope, it's more than that. They post the name and personal information of abortion doctors -- which is how both the simple abuse-spouting protesters and the killers find their victims.

Meanwhile, in analogy, that's how a lot of 'Muslim-identity terrorists' find their victims, too: whewn someone declares a British author of Muslim Indian birth and his translators, or a secular professor at a Baghdad university, or a cartoonist free game, those who attempt to kill them aren't necessarily part of a well-trained close-knit bomber cell.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should also point to views that al-Qaida is not a singular hierarchic organisation, but a brand.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:17:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree, and emphatically so.  There is simply no comparison between personalization of political opponents and planning, providing resources for, and strategically benefitting from violence as a political strategy.

The former, personalization, is a legitimate, non-violent tactic, if still antagonistic, and it has been used, with great effect, by none other than President Obama, whose political education came from the Chicago school of radical Saul Alinsky who in his seminal book, Rules for radicals presents the foundational rule of community organizing within a democracy: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Operationalizing politics around organized violence is a completely different thing altogether.  That has not happened in the recent murder of Dr. Tiller, according to news accounts to date.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're saying that if, knowing there are people who will take such action about if you provide moral and social cover you still go ahead and provide what would militarily be called targetting information, then you are still entirely innocent? Frankly I find it hard to believe that anyone would argue that way.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is simply no comparison between personalization of political opponents and planning, providing resources for, and strategically benefitting from violence as a political strategy.

Huh!? You draw a line I can't see.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://tpmtv.talkingpointsmemo.com/?id=2644487

Even if you accept this is not enough to merit calling him an accomplice, it still does not explain why brown "terrorists" with "aspirational" plans are a Big Deal.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:47:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murder is a big deal, period.  But the policy responses differ between individual acts of violence and organized violence as a political activity.  You are certainly correct that the social construction of terrorism used against non-white, non-Christian elements might differ from the way the actions of white, Christian actors are cosntructed, which is why we need to go the extra effort to engage in reflexivity, which you are doing here to your credit.

However, the facts of this case simply do not bear out any equivelency between groups such as Al Qaeda or the IRA and the strategies and tactics of even the more radical, Christian anti-abortion groups in the US.  Therefore the policy responses need to be different.  In a democracy you should be able to "pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it," without expecting violence to occur to that individual.  Are there limits that such actors should be aware of and that might have been aggregiously ignored in this case?  Yes.  But that's gross negligence, not the same thing as organizing murder for political (or even religious) ends, which is what fatwas against Salmon Rusdie were as well as the various acts of terrorism currently being perpetrated by radical elements in the name of (a mistaken interpretation of) Islam.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, for a start, comparing Al Qaeda - distributed, no central command, more a franchised brand than an army  - with the IRA - with an extremely centralised command structure is a bit weird.

I don't see the difference between a fatwa and the discourse of radical anti-choice groups in the US. Personalise the victim, dehumanise and demonise him, imply rewards in heaven and respect from a community. I don't believe that those who issued fatwas actually sent out assassins to hunt down Rushdie. They just hoped that some crazy would do it for the good of his soul or some such nonsense - appeasing the same god that their co-religionists in the Christian anti-choice movement are.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:16:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fatwa against Rushdie called explicitly for his death.  There was no such public call on the part of any organized anti-abortion group, to my knowledge, for the killing of Tiller.  That's a huge difference.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't remember the Nuremberg files website that was up online for ten years, that kept gettig taken offline for being a hitlist of abortionists?

George Tiller was on there.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do.  And that WAS a form of terrorism.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:13:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so would you say thats an organised group giving the equivalent of a Fatwa?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Tiller was shot back then (but survived). And Tiller's present murderer was radicalised back then.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
George Tiller, Memoir | DemocracyNow! | 1 June 2009

DR. GEORGE TILLER: While I was developing this practice between 1973 and 1985, I thought I was just Joe Blow family physician, raising my kids, stamping out disease, and taking family vacations. But that's not true. There are a lot of--it has been impressed on me that there are a lot of people in the United States that don't like what we do.

And this is what an office looks like when it's been bombed at about midnight. Our response was and still continues to be, "Hell, no, we won't go!" I put up $10,000 as a reward. Nobody ever collected on it. That was 1986. ...

We began to have people arrested outside our office. The clinic was blocked. People couldn't get in. Federal marshals finally had to take over. After six weeks, they had to take over the clinic. And things got back to relatively normal.

The phrase "a shot in the arm" will have an entirely different--has had an entirely different meaning to me. I was leaving the clinic, and I was shot. I was shot twice as I left the clinic. The good news was that there was no major damage. But what I found out was I wasn't nearly as tough as I thought I was.

I hired a Brink's armored car to take me to and from--the first time I came back into the--I drove my car back into the parking lot a couple of days later, I thought, "This won't bother me." I was wrong. It did bother me. Although it's not on here, for six weeks I hired a Brink's armored truck to pick me up at 7:00 in the morning and take me home at 5:00 in the--as you know, that was the only time in my life I've been able to leave the clinic on time. ...

In August of 1994, I was the first on the anti-abortion hit list or assassination list. And Janet Reno and President Clinton assigned federal marshals to me for thirty months. They came to the house, got me, took me to the office, stayed at the clinic. And they did that for about thirty months.

In 1991, Susie Gilligan--poor Susie--came to Wichita as--to help us put down the--or help us get through the anniversary celebration of the Roe--of the 1991 Summer of Mercy. OK, the Summer of Mercy. I got to experience a Federal Witness Program protection. Ashcroft, at the behest of National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood and the Fund, they broke his arm, and they supplied Federal Witness Protection Program protection for two weeks. ...

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to read an excerpt from the Kansas City Star that just came out. It says, "The suspect in custody for the slaying of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was a member of an anti-government group [the Freemen] in the 1990s and a staunch opponent of abortion. ..."`Freemen' was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system, which they called common-law courts. Adherents declared themselves exempt from laws, regulations and taxes and often filed liens against judges, prosecutors and others, claiming that money was owed to them as compensation.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ideologues in the American anti-choice movement claim that Tiller was a murderer. They also claim that murder warrants capital punishment.

The difference is cosmetic, at best: The American fascists just allow their followers to put two and two together themselves.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's NSFW. Definitely NSFW.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,"

Er... I don't really see a difference with a fatwa ! Maybe we should coin a word for the WASP's fatwas ? Something like "Lynching" maybe?

Democracies are far from perfect and "burning" someone (in a media sense) can have drastic effects (in a physical sense), not to speak of leading to suicide in many cases

The above quote is more of military mumbo-jumbo, and usually contains the word "shoot" when speaking of target (even in corporate sense)!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we should coin a word for the WASP's fatwas ?

How about "sedition"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Upon checking a dictionary, I withdraw that. (German-English dictionaries usually give it for Verhetzung and Völkervehetzung, which has a slightly different meaning from inciting an insurrection/rebellion against the state...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, my english isn't so good, but the word "sedition" exist also in french.
It's not  about an individual "target" !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Verhetzung" isn't (necessarily) either, but it isn't restricted to attacks on the powers-that-be, either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but nonetheless it is one of the primary, accepted principals of political organizing in the US, particularly among actors on the Left, such as President Obama, whose first job out of college was training to be an organizer with the protogees of Saul Alinsky himself.  Why is Rush Limbaugh, for example, the new "leader" of the Republican party?  Because Pres. Obama and Rahm Immanuel have picked him as the target, isolated him, personalized him as the face of conservatism in America, and proceed to polarize him with riducule to great effect.  

Is it military sounding? Yes, and that is one of the biggest criticisms of Saul Alinsky and his followers and was levelled against Obama too regarding his relationship with  Saul Alinsky follower who used unpolitic, militant language, Rev. Wright.  

The point is that personal polarization is an accepted part of American political discourse today, from the President on down, so it cannot be categorized, in any honest way, with terrorism.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but nonetheless it is one of the primary, accepted principals of political organizing in the US, particularly among actors on the Left

Are you suggesting that the Left in America  are the more ptriotic?

The idea that the Republicans have so little control of the political Agenda that the democratic part of the political spectrum can define who leads them seems a touch ridiculous.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:19:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonetheless, the political left HAS defined, for the moment and to the detriment of Republicans, who the conservative leader is.  And that's a tactic straight out of Saul Alinsky's organizing handbook.  Elections have consequences, and sound political strategies do too.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really care about what Dem's think or not (or Gop neither), it's not an excuse to say that "even Obama" used the technique"...!

It's just plain fatwa that allows all the looney guys to act individually, and some less looney (read with an agenda and a team) to go for the extremes !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:41:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a difference between targeting a political figure like Rush Limbaugh and targeting a doctor. It is much the same difference as the one between shooting a civilian and a soldier. The former is a public figure who can and should expect this kind of attack. The latter is a civilian who should be allowed to go about his business.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er... I don't really see a difference with a fatwa ! Maybe we should coin a word for the WASP's fatwas ? Something like "Lynching" maybe?

I believe the term you're looking for is "Patwah" - after Pat Robertson, who issued one of them a few years back.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:34:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mere individual psychopathic behavior and organized acts of violence

Rightwing America has been pulling that handy distinction out since the 1960s. Once again we'll be hearing about a "lone madman"?

As for collective (and very serious) action on the part of specifically Christian organizations, you may have missed the years of picketing and "sidewalk counseling" of the Pro-Life movement, and its undeniably violent side.

As for how George Tiller was systematically named and made into a target by Christian organizations, see this example from Christian Newswire in today's Salon.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...reproduced upthread as comment #2 by Jérôme :-) (Albeit without a hat tip to you.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the shouting"look he's over there" then "Wasn't anything to do with me" defence seems rather dubious to me too.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, the only time (i heard) when it's permissible for a buddhist to lie is if a hunter asks him/her which way an animal went...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, personalization of political enemies is the currency of freedom in a democracy.  Violence is not. Political actors should be able name name political opponents for the purpose of public shaming or riducule without expecting violence to occur.  As I responded in the comment up thread, personalization of a political opponents is not terrorism, and it is also a key tactic employed by President Obama himself, who learned politics on the streets of Chicago where radical Saul Alinky's "Rules for Radicals" are still the Bible of community organizing: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Furthermore, there is no indication on the part of even the radical Christian-identified organization "Operation Rescue" that it advocates violence, even indirectly.   The same simply cannot be said of organized terrorist groups such as have occurred in among other Christian groups at other times, and also among too many such groups of Muslim self-identification. Anti-abortion organizations are simply not engaging in terrorism in the US in the way that Al Qaeda is, and the distinction is important for developing just policy responses.    

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. What, in your mind, is a "just policy mesaure" vrt. "al-Qaida" from among the the many 'War on Terror' measures of the Bush (and now Obama) admins?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 12:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just policy responses to political terrorism would recognize the political dimension of the contest, including both a degree of reflexivity (are we doing anything to bring this on ourselves?) as well strategic activities to neutralize a political challenge (including, but not limited to, diplomacy, covert action, ridicule, and even in necessary cases, violence itself).  A just policy response to lone criminal would include the arrest of the perpetrator and engagement of the judicial system for application of justice, both for the victims as well as for the perpetrator, particularly if mental illness was a factor.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:13:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just policy responses to political terrorism would recognize the political dimension of the contest

"Contest"?... Between whom?

violence itself

Which would be different from what you recommend in the other case, how?

lone criminal

What about a lone criminal inspired by a political motive pushed by organisations, and picking a target highlighted as such by the same organisations?

However, I did not ask in theory, I asked about the practice of the past eight years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The past 8 years were not, in my opinion, characterized by either just or effective policy responses to the political challenge (challenge to power through violence) presented by Al Qaeda.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:40:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Challenge to power? (A real one rather than merely one believed or propagandistically claimed or ascribed to the terrorists, I presume?) What exactly do you mean?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
personalization of political enemies is the currency of freedom in a democracy

In what way was Tiller a "political enemy"?

And btw, I find that "currency of freedom" amazingly overstated...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tiller is a "political enemy" because of his own well-documented activism in the abortion issue in the US.  That violence should happen to him because of that is a grave failure of democracy.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If what you are saying is that a medical practitioner's activism makes of him a political figure, and are justifying his repeated designation as an enemy by religious groups as "the currency of freedom", then I think you are offering an unflattering picture of American society to the rest of the world.

"The currency of freedom" would seem to have got him shot.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:11:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not his medical practice that makes him a political activist. It's the fact that he was a known leader, self-cultivated, in the abortion rights movement.  He has followers, and his activities in that area are very much about a struggle for power over the rights of women to obtain abortion services.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His claim to fame was that he defended himself against harassment lawsuits. If having been (illegally and groundlessly) sued by insane extremist for doing your job makes you a public figure who is a legitimate target for harassment campaigns, then you are essentially saying that anybody who is wealthy enough to file an illegal lawsuit (and pay the SLAPP fine) can harass anybody he likes to, at will.

Sorry, no points.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"well-documented activism in the abortion issue": This claim requires some explanation other than "leadership", if you mean to justify tenets of the Alinsky "bible" of "community activism" with Tiller "activism". It seems to me you imply Tiller, practicing his profession, is a politician simply because certain people opposed him delivering medical care which they disapproved. For the most "well-documented" form of "activism" attributable to Tiller is his defense against criminal investigation and civil suits. The litigation in particular enjoined the lawful, personal and material interests of a third party, his patients.

George Tiller, Memoir| DemocracyNow! | 1 June 2009

LAURA SHANEYFELT: Yes, certainly. It seemed, as you just heard Dr. Tiller describing from that audio clip, that his clinic was sieged several times on the street. And it seemed that starting in about 2006, that the protesters were taking their fight from the street into the courts, and they were successful in getting several investigations of Dr. Tiller started.

And Dr. Tiller, being the great American that he is, always believed in the court system and always believed that justice would prevail. And he, of course, was right. He was investigated by two separate grand juries. He was investigated by the district attorney's office at the behest of protesters, and then he faced criminal charges this past year and was always acquitted of everything. Both the grand juries found that he had done absolutely nothing wrong, as did the local district attorney's office, and then his--a jury of his peers similarly found in March of 2009 that he was not guilty of any of the charges against him.

AMY GOODMAN: We're joined here in New York by Bonnie Scott Jones, who's the deputy director of the US program for the Center for Reproductive Rights. You also worked very recently with Dr. Tiller. Tell us about this class action suit.

BONNIE SCOTT JONES: Sure. Well, this was actually related to one of the cases that Laura Shaneyfelt talked about. A group of citizens, by petition, organized a grand jury to investigate Dr. Tiller. And that grand jury subsequently subpoenaed the medical records of thousands of Dr. Tiller's patients.

When that happened, patients--many of Dr. Tiller's patients, as you already heard, are incredibly grateful and appreciative of all that he did for them. Patients came forward wanting to help Dr. Tiller [and themselves!]. And we ended up representing some of those patients on behalf of all of the patients involved, in trying to protect the confidentiality of their medical records. Dr. Tiller was incredibly committed to protecting the confidentiality of his patients and to protecting their safety, their health and their well-being. And so, we represented those patients in trying to block the turning over of their medical records to the grand jury....

And ultimately, as Dr. Tiller always had faith in, justice did prevail. And the Kansas Supreme Court quashed the subpoenas that were in place, substantially limited them, and allowed only very limited information, and none of the patients' names or any identifying information to be turned over to the grand jury.

If the formula of participation in the political process is "Agitate + Aggravate + Educate + Organize", then the conspicuous absence of "Sue" must be a trope.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
santiago:
it is somewhat disingenuous to try argue an equivalence between the recent murder of Christian doctor by an individual whose act has been condemned by even the most radical of the Christian-identity anti-abortion groups and other acts of violence perpetrated by Muslim-identity activists whose acts  result in claims -- sometimes even competing claims -- of responsibility by Muslim-identity organizations

I have reread Jérôme carefully and I don't see him claiming equivalence. His point is about how "terrorism" is defined and used in public discourse. Who is called a terrorist and who isn't? How are cases of violence presented and considered? How little careful analysis goes into pointing to Muslims as a dangerous enemy, while Christian violence is rapidly explained away with a pinch of casuistry and a large dose of "lone/individual/personal/unbalanced" etc etc.

The question is how the media and general public discourse classify violent events.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would suggest that your definition of terrorism is obsolete, as it does not take internet-based networking into account.

As a consequence of advances in surveillance technologies, top-down organizations are having an increasingly tough time of it (don't take my word for it, ask ETA).

At the same time, electronic forums are making it easier for innumerable small, loosely affiliated groups to share information on targets and tactics and coordinate actions on an ad-hoc basis. This structure also has the advantage of being more robust than a traditional top-down organization.

This is how the radical right-wing scene in Germany is (self-) organized; this is, by all reports, how the Al Quaeda franchise works; and this is exactly how the US xtian radicals are organized.

And Tiller's killer was a member of this terrorist network.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ńt gmail dotcom) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. I should add that while communication technology makes it easier, franchise terrorism is not totally new. It was practised by European anarchists in a spree of assassinations more than a hundred years ago. There was the decentralised Revolutionäre Zellen in sixties to eighties Germany.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:04:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, terrorism (as a word) was first used to describe a russian Nihilist group that broke the law in ways designed to strike terror in the heart of the czar. So a group that breaks the law to fight the ruling groups in a society are terrorists.

Or to use another definition, terrorists are designed as such to be able to punish persons that according to normal judicial procedure (as opposed to terrorist legislation) are innocent.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:47:06 AM EST
The key word is "group," which does not appear to be the case in the Tiller murder.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was Tim McVeigh a terrorist?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:33:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, McVeigh was part of a group with political strategies and intents for his actions - a conspiracy would be the legal category.  The news reports to date on Tiller's murderer do not indicate that this is the case in the present matter.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:37:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, McVeigh was part of a group with political strategies and intents for his actions

So are abortion murderers. But McVeigh plotted and committed his act alone (at least according to the official version).

The news reports to date on Tiller's murderer do not indicate that this is the case

Nor the opposite if I am not mistaken...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the official version is that McVeigh committed his act with other individuals, one of who was also convicted.  The act was documented to be part of a planned (by McVeigh) political uprising by other pro-gun militant groups.  

There is no indication in the Tiller murder case yet that the killer wanted to anything other than murder an abortion provider.  It appears to be a personal act rather than a political act.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
santiago:
It appears to be a personal act rather than a political act.

personalization of political enemies is the currency of freedom in a democracy

Are you arguing that Tiller was political and his murderer "apolitical"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  Tiller was a political leader in the abortion rights movement.  His enemies targetted him for political action, including public shaming as well as judicial action.  His political enemies, including the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, did not advocate for his murder or injury, and explicitly so.  His killer, therefore, unless other evidence of conspiracy or intent surfaces, is merely a criminal murderer or horribly mentally ill, not a political activist.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Public shaming" in Fundamentalist territory in a gun culture is just asking for a "mentally ill" murderer to step up, wouldn't you say? You cannot absolve anti-abortion groups of responsibility.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't absolve them responsibility.  I think their discourse is very irresponsible.  But it's not in any way similar to the kind of explicitly murderous political organizing in Muslim-identity groups such as Al Qaeda. Nothing like that actually exists in Christian-identity groups regarding abortion in the US.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely that would be a matter of degree, not kind: creating the circumstances for terrorism by setting up the prerequisites and hoping someone else does it vs. doing it yourself? You still wanted to kill people to achieve some "political" aim.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there is no supportable accusation anywhere that anyone, particularly the anti-abortion groups that have been stumbling over themselves to create distance between them and this action, have ever wanted Tiller's murder.  The fact that non-violence is a part of the mission statements of all of the organizations is also key here. There is just no evidence of intent to induce violence here.  That's not terrorism.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as a matter of fact, Osama bin Laden denied involvement in 9/11, initially... (While Hezbollah TV blamed it on Israel when it put out the myth of 4,000 Jewish employees not turning up in the morning.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BNP in the UK is claiming that it's not in any way a racist party.

It believes in jobs for white people, and 'voluntary' repatriation of non-white people.

But it's not actually demanding in public that white people kick in the doors or faces of non-white people. So it's not really racist and is a perfectly respectable political party.

Aside from the obvious problems with this, there's an extra problem which appears when the Christian Reconstructionists get involved.

Firstly anti-abortion rhetoric is based on equating abortion with murder. There's no black and white about this - abortion is murder to them.

Secondly there are explicit calls to 'action' - on that basis.

Finally, Reconstructionists believe in a literal old testament eye for eye morality.

It's not hard to join the dots. Which is why there's been an organised terrorist movement (sic) in the US which has been running violent anti-abortion campaigns since the early 90s, and whose leaders and members are well known.

Tiller's death is part of an extended campaign of organised intimidation, violence, arson, bombing, attempted murder and actual murder. So the idea that he was attacked by an isolated crazy is nonsensical.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely you are not pretending to take what these assholes say for public consumption at face value. We're talking about a political movement that's known to be unashamedly two-faced in its communications: One message for "the base," one message for the heathens.

Take a look at the absolute glee with which their base reacts to the news, and come tell me again that this is not a political murder. For someone with your knowledge of political activism, this lack of understanding of basic in-group/out-group propaganda tactics is frankly stunning.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, after this has happened more than a few times, are you still inclined to frame this as "irresponsible"?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:43:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it HAS happened more than a few times.  The tactic has shown to risk motivating sick people to violence. (There is also documented violence, albeit less, against anti-abortion activists as well, mind you, which is not surprising on such an emotionally personal issue.) It's irresponsible to continue to use it and ultimately self-defeating as well, but it's not in any way the same as planning a murder for political effect which is what Muslim terrorist organizations explicitly do today.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. If I fire an arrow down my garden, miss and the arrow kills a kid in the road beyond, that's irresponsible.

If I do it again and another kid dies I think we may need to use a new word.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But political speech, in America anyway, is in an entirely different category than other ways of acting. In America, it's better to err on the side of hurting people by allowing broader political speech. So irresponsibility cannot be honestly associated with planning and execution of a crime unless material partication in fact occurs.

Such a tradition is not the history in Europe.  Nonetheless, America has been spared Europe's own history of political murder and massacre, so it's difficult to say which is better.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America has been spared Europe's own history of political murder and massacre, so it's difficult to say which is better.

Well if you don't count the political murder and massacre of Native Americans, or the civil war, or the Mexican-American war, or the Numerous covert wars for political control of South America. I think its down to a lack of history and those broad open spaces which meant that not everyone was knocking into each other, rather than any inherant political or moral superiority of Free Speech.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:38:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
America has been spared Europe's own history of political murder
And the wave of political violence in the 1960's, including the assassinations of the two Kennedys, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:39:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
im sure they don't count because they were lone individuals.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or the Ku Klux Klan... or the crushing of "riots" (e.g. celebrations) of blacks when Jack Johnson defeated James J. "Great White Hope" Jeffries in 1910... or, for that matter, Sacco & Vanzetti...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:11:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are being a little disingenuous.

A personal act would be killing an intruder or your wife in a domestic dispute or a guy in a bar fight.  No complete stranger hundreds of miles away is bound to go home fearing for their lives, wondering if they are next on the list.  It may or may not make the local news.  Probably won't make national news.  Probably won't spawn political debates.  Probably won't put religion on trial.

This was as much a personal act as burning a cross on the lawn of your black neighbors.  It's ideology that drives you to commit that crime, not vengeance, not self-defence, not anger-management issues.  

The murder of someone solely because their actions violate your religious beliefs is an implicitly political one.  Because it means anyone who violates those religious beliefs could be next, and you don't want to be next.  Like the burning cross, it isn't just meant to get rid of a specific someone.  It is meant to send a message to others as well.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:46:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is in the category of killing famous people.  It happens, and sick people do it.  Ronald Reagan was shot by an individual killer even though Pres. Reagan was a known and controversial political leader.  That didn't make his attempted murder an act of terrorism, and the same goes for Dr. Tiller's murder.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well legally it is, you don't have to be part of a group to be a terrorist.

According to the U.S. Code, an "act of terrorism, means any activity that involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State, and (B) appears intended

    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (iii) to affect the conduct of a government  by assassination or kidnapping."

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that's exactly why most of us on the left opposed that definition of terrorism.  It's so broad that its only functional use is only to politically brand unpopular people in deviant categories and thereby bias policy to punish them.  It gives power to the state and those who control the state.  

We're not talking here, I hope, about legal (political) definitions, but rather honest categories that allow for just policymaking to develop.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as policy responses go, it would only be fair to point out that a number of us on ET (including Jerome) have long agreed that the correct response to terrorism is police activity that treats it straightforwardly as crime.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is my position as well.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see the usefulness or justness in recognising the political motivation, and intent  for indirect effect on those not affected by the violence via intimidation; of only acts committed by (hierarchical?) paramilitary organisations, and not those committed by looser organisations, cooperating individuals or lone more radical individuals inspired by a broader ideology.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:18:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In most cases, I don't think there should be a difference either. In fact, calling a law-breaker a "terrorist" usually just serves the interests of the state by making it politically easier to inflict punishments and making it harder for the law-breaker to defend against such state sanctions. (Hannah Arendt, Karl Schmidt, and Michel Foucault are the philosophers who have provided most of the thinking on this, from three very different angles.)

However, just like the word "war" can be overused for hyperbolic effect but nevertheless there are some things which really are wars, there are also some things that really are terrorism, and the word "terrorist" should be reserved for only those special cases if being honest is important at all. Al Qaeda and other groups, such as the IRA or the Sendero Luminoso that deliberately killed innocents as an explicit strategy to degrade the political power of states and political elites, are terrorist groups in any honest categorization. Sick individuals who are obsessed with famous people they happen to hate for one reason or another are not terrorists in this sense.

Also, the policy responses to organized crime are much different than the policy responses to individual criminal behavior.  The latter can usually be handled with existing resources, while the former, because of its greater threat to state power and civil society at large, often requires extraordinary resources.  Terrorism is akin to organized crime, and it requires different resources and strategies than less organized threats to civil society.  

by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:40:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You keep harping on the "policy response."

The "policy response" to having a string of murders, arson, attempted murders, assaults and general thuggery by card-carrying members of the Reconstructionist (read: Fascist) part of the American fundagelical movement is to dismantle the American fundagelical movement, or at the very least to dismantle the Reconstructionists.

It needs to be said loud and clear here: People who believe that the Bible trump the Constitution are fascist thugs. People who defend that view are enablers and collaborators. There is no place in civilised society for fascist thugs and their enablers. Specifically, a number of named instigators; Limbaugh, Robertson, Rushdoony, Ahmanson, Schaeffer and O'Reilly are fascists and need to be taken out of circulation, the same way the Ku Klux Klan was a generation ago.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how, specifically, was the KKK taken out of circulation? It was never banned or it's membership imprisoned. It is not even labelled a "terrorist" organization, even though a number of its sympathizers certainly fit reasonable definitions of being terrorists.  Its frequent marches and public protests are still protected by the state. It was eventually defeated and relegated to its current place of perceived deviancy and ignorance by open discourse, plain and simple.  That's how your so-called fascists are defeated in a democracy.  Or do you suggest something different?
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:40:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ku Klux Klan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In 1870 a federal grand jury determined that the Klan was a "terrorist organization".[29] It issued hundreds of indictments for crimes of violence and terrorism. Klan members were prosecuted, and many fled from areas that were under federal government jurisdiction, particularly in South Carolina

and it's been taken out of circulation TWICE the current clan is journalistic shorthand for a variety of seperate groups, loosely linked, sort of like Al Quaida.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Klan membership actually GREW after that court ruling, even to include the eventual membership of the now esteemed anti-war Senator Robert Byrd (who is third in line of succession to the US presidency).  Policy and government action never "took it out" of commission.  Only public discourse ever did.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And, that wikipedia source, that I can see, never actually shows that the court ruling ever really used the word "terrorist," which is a more modern classification for that kind of activity, I believe.  The use of the world is from the historian's 1990's interpretation from what I read.  The ruling, common in the post civil war period when dealing with irregular forces in the South, outlawed the group, and it's a perfect example of how a policy response to terrorism might be different from that of mere criminal violence.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:24:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're kinda sorta glossing over the systematic government harassment involved. In the late '60s and early '70s, the Feds threw everything and the kitchen sink at them, up to and including infiltrators and agent provocateurs. They are not doing that to the fundagelicals - or even to the Reconstructionists.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was 40 years ago jake.  A lot has changed since then.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Including, apparently, the American government's stance on fascism.

But then again, we already knew that, didn't we...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the official version is that McVeigh committed his act with other individuals, one of who was also convicted.

After checking, I submit you are right: I confused Terry Nichols with his brother Jim Nichols who is free. Still,

Timothy McVeigh - Wikipedia

McVeigh declined further delays and maintained until his death that he had acted alone in the bombing.

Terry Nichols - Wikipedia

Despite his role in the bombing, after Nichols failed to cooperate fully with him, McVeigh complained that he and Fortier "were men who liked to talk tough, but in the end their bitches and kids ruled."[23]

IOW, there are grades of cooperation, and the Oklahoma bombing was certainly not the work of a well-organised cell -- more one individual and some helpers. (In the official version. In inofficial versions, James Nichols got free for cooperation and McVeigh had help from militiamen.)

The act was documented to be part of a planned (by McVeigh) political uprising by other pro-gun militant groups.

That McVeigh hoped that he can ignite an uprising doesn't mean that those militias were in on the bombing plan...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:25:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I urge folks to go and read Al Giordano's piece here:

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/terrorism-and-state-lesson-again-right-and-left

In update 2, he equates this with the 1962 challenge to John F and Robert Kennedy, by George Wallace. Hm. Seems almost everytime a moderately left president is elected we start seeing domestic terrorism in the US. It is organized, it is conspiratorial, and it is terrorism. And I can't help but feel that this is a direct challenge to Obama - and he cannot respond weakly in the face of it.  Well, per Giordano, the President has a lot of tools to work with to fight back on this. To start with, here comes the FBI.  But I think we will start to see some heat on these people - I surely hope so, for if there aren't limits set, it will get worse.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:47:13 AM EST
Terrorism is a policy or ideology of violence[1] intended to intimidate or cause terror[2] for the purpose of "exerting pressure on decision making by state bodies."[1] The term "terror" is largely used to indicate clandestine, low-intensity violence that targets civilians and generates public fear.

Terrorist. n.  One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.

I think the terms are largely unhelpful.  As they say, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.  And everything from "just wars" to verbal bullying cause terror.  

But if some religious nut jobs who fly planes into buildings because they don't like what America stands for, who commit a horrible act in order to intimidate America into changing its policy, if they are widely considered terrorists, why is a single religious nut job who guns down a doctor because he doesn't like what he stands for, who commits a horrible act in order to to intimidate other doctors into changing their policy, not considered a terrorist as well?  

Do you think we'd be having this conversation if it were a Muslim from Afghanistan who killed the director of a girl's school in America?  No, that person would get their picture in the dictionary next to the definition of "terrorist."  But a Christian American who killed a gynecologist?  Just a disturbed individual?  Fine.  I accept that on the condition that everyone accept that those planes on 9-11 were hijacked by disturbed individuals, not terrorists.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:59:32 PM EST
The issue, as you point, is one of consistency.

And inconsistency points to other agendas.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why I've introduced the concept of political organization.  That's what provides for consistency and allows an honest determination between individual criminal acts and organized political actions.  Terrorism is word that should be reserved for only organized political actions with an intent to murder. Freedom fighter might also fit, but that doesn't matter here, because we're arguing about the difference between a common criminal, for whom we can expect the current justice system provides adequate policy responses, and organized threats to democratic governance in America.  No one is arguing that Tiller's killer is a "freedom fighter" or any other benevolent category.

The facts just don't support the argument that he is a Christian terrorist comparable to Muslim terrorists such as those in Al Qaeda. Instead the evidence appears to support his categoration as an individual  murderer, motivated perhaps out of his Christian identity, but not as a part of a larger political objective. That's an important distinction because the policy responses and priorities are very different.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:35:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you don't think the pro-lifers are politically organized you are choosing to remain blissfully ignorant.

And common criminals don't kill people on the basis of their religious convictions.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pro-lifers ARE politically organized.  But they don't organize to kill or commit other acts of violence.  There is no pro-life group in America that uses violence as an organizing tool.  The same cannot be said of Muslim-identity groups.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Anti-Choice Violence and Intimidation  (pdf)

Since 1993, seven clinic workers - including three doctors, two clinic employees, a clinic escort, and a security g uard - have been murdered in the United States. Seventeen attempted murders have also occurred since 1991. I n fact, 
opponents of choice have directed more than 5,800 reported acts of violence against abortion providers since 1977, including bombings, arsons, death threats, kidnappings, and assau lts, as well as more than 143,000 reported acts of disruption, including bomb threats and harassing calls.  


Recent cases of abortion-related violence (AP)

And by email


Most of these murders have been strategic assassinations. They are not motivated by anyone's "rhetoric."  These are calculated acts of terrorism. James Kopp  who was convicted of the sniper murder of Slepian is an outstanding example of the point. He is suspected in the murder or attempted murder of several other doctors in the US and Canada who were shot with a similar MO.  He had accomplices in his escape from the U.S to Europe and his correspondence with others who were trying to wire him cash is what led to his capture by the feds.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, where there is political organization, a political objective, and material organizational support, you can make the comparison between anti-abortion terrorism and Muslim terrorists.  

But that doesn't appear to be the case in the Tiller murder, even if such a case can be made in a few  other acts of violence against abortion providers.  All of the usual suspects and even the most radical of the anti-abortion groups have condemned the act and stand to lose instead of gain, because of it.  

btw, according to NARAL, even looking dissapprovingly upon a woman who wants an abortion may be an act of violence, so their piece is an argument, not evidence. They are just making their own social construction of anti-abortion activists by attempting to classify them in public discourse with terrorists. It's no different than the "babykillers" meme from the other side, so you've got to use a different source.

by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is clear evidence of repeated violence, destruction, and murder aimed at people who support and by their medical practice aid women in their right to abortion, and there is evidence of collusion between the perpetrators and their supporters.

Yet you persist in asserting that Tiller's case is not to be considered in this context. The least one can say is that your argument is, though apparently rational, extremely thin in regard of the history of anti-abortion violence.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There has been no evidence to date of collusion between Dr. Tiller's killer and any political actors.  There is not an under cover movement in place in America that supports, plans, and aids in acts of violence against abortion rights leaders or abortioin providers. There are numerous incidences of individual acts of people, most of whom turn out to be mentally ill.  You are presuming such collusion, but in the vast majority of acts of violence against abortion providers, no such collusion was ever shown to be true or even inferred.  Usually the perpetrators were people expelled or shunned from such groups because they were nuts.  There were, however, some cases that I think could be classified as terrorism.  This particular case does not appear to be one of them.  
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kansas.com

Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that advocated the justifiable homicide position, said publisher Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines.

"I met him once, and he wrote to me a few times," Leach said. "I remember that he was sympathetic to our cause, but I don't remember any details."

Leach said he met Roeder in Topeka when he went there to visit Shelley Shannon, who was in prison for the 1993 shooting of Tiller.

My emphases.

by Sassafras on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
according to NARAL, even looking dissapprovingly upon a woman who wants an abortion may be an act of violence

Violence can be non-physical.  Maybe there is some existential violence there or something.  However, that's not a matter for the law.  Nor is it the topic at hand!  The topic at hand is a man who murdered a doctor.

They are just making their own social construction of anti-abortion activists by attempting to classify them in public discourse with terrorists. It's no different than the "babykillers" meme from the other side

No.  Let me be clear.  No one here has attempted to classify anti-abortion activists as terrorists. We have attempted to classify the anti-abortion activists who murder doctors as terrorists.  They are killers.  That's not a social construction.  That is a fact.  The label of "terrorist" is a social construction.  We're just asking that it be used consistently.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are several political organisations - the Army of God, Opration Rescue, several large churches

There is a political goal: make abortion illegal and/or impossible to obtain

There is material organsational support - including quasi-permanent presence around places that provide abortions or other family planning services.

And you have many public figures that describe doctors as "baby killers."

Combine this with:


Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation.  Operation Rescue recently made headlines when it bought and closed an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas and has become the voice of the pro-life activist movement in America.  Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.

Sure, they are not openly calling for doctors to be killed (because that would be immediately illegal), but they are as close as you can. And they do it on a massive scale.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Army of God is, probably, a Christian terrorist organization, and it has been dealt with as such politically, and it does not appear to be involved in this event.  Operation Rescue, looking at it honestly, is not.  Trying to ban or prevent abortion access non-violently is simply not terrorism, like it or not, or legal or not.  Violence against people, particularly deadly violence, has to be a basic part of the definition of terrorism, and that doesn't appear to apply in any honest way to Operation Rescue, as "antipatico" as that organization might otherwise be. Trying to prevent abortion access is a legitimate political activity in a democracy, even where such action might be illegal.  Deliberate killing or hurting is what would make such action terrorist.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Tiller - Wikipedia
Scott Philip Roeder (born February 25, 1958(1958-02-25)) was arrested some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.[9][33][34] He was charged on June 1, 2009, with first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.[35] The suspect had been a member of the anti-government Montana Freemen group and was convicted in 1996 on explosives charges after police officers discovered a fuse cord, a pound of gunpowder and nine-volt batteries in the trunk of his car. The Kansas Court of Appeals overturned this conviction in 1997, ruling that the search of Roeder's car had been illegal.[36][37][38] Roeder's ex-wife Lindsey asserted in a 2009 interview that the explosives had been intended for detonation at an abortion clinic.[39] David Leach, publisher of Prayer & Action News, a magazine that describes itself as "a trumpet call for the Armies of God to assemble" and that opines that the killing of abortion providers would be justifiable homicide, told reporters that he and Roeder had met once in the early 1990s and that Roeder had authored contributions to Leach's publication later in that decade.[40][41][42]

Hmmm...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There might be something there regarding conspiracy.  Nonetheless, the report indicates no participation between Roeder and that group for years, and not in this incident. This still fits the profile of crazy, obsessed individuals and is not terrorism comparable to groups like Al Qaeda.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trying to prevent abortion access is a legitimate political activity in a democracy, even where such action might be illegal.  Deliberate killing or hurting is what would make such action terrorist.

you seem to leave out the threats part of the definition of terrorism. Trying to prevent abortion access by acessing politicians may be legitimate political activity, but how can it be legitimate to threaten vulnerable people?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Threaten, as in threaten injury, is not legitimate.  Threaten, as in hang out at a regular protest at a clinic is legitimate, regardless or how distasteful it might seem to some.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:09:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.

This Day in History 1993: Dr. David Gunn is murdered by anti-abortion activist

Dr. David Gunn is shot and killed during an anti-abortion protest at the Pensacola Women's Medical Services clinic. Dr. Gunn performed abortions at several clinics in Florida and Alabama and was getting out of his car in the clinic's parking lot when Michael Griffin shouted, "Don't kill any more babies!" and shot the doctor three times in the back. Griffin immediately surrendered to a nearby police officer.

Griffin had attended a prayer service and protest organization meeting three days earlier and was apparently waiting for Dr. Gunn, the father of two, to appear on the morning of the shooting. Rescue America, the group holding the protest, did not exactly strongly condemn the murder of Dr. Gunn. "While Gunn's death is unfortunate, it's also true that quite a number of babies' lives will be saved," said national director Don Treshman after the slaying.



The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:11:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An example of illegimate, and abhorent, behavior.  But virtually every abortion clinic in the US is picketed peacefully every single day (a possibly disconcerting piece of information in and of itself), so obviously the vast majority of such "threats" must be legitimate.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:19:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
santiago:
virtually every abortion clinic in the US is picketed peacefully every single day (a possibly disconcerting piece of information in and of itself)
Evidence of an organised harassment movement.

Civil disobedience by inconvenient organisations usually results in police intervention and various criminal charges. But some organisations get a pass.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not civil disobedience if it's legal, which in the case of almost all abortion clinic pickets, like pickets of any kind in the US, it is.  Organized harrassment might be distasteful, but it's not terrorism.  However, anti-abortion activists (which are different from the majority of those who passively identify themselves as pro-life and aren't motivated to action around it) are one of the hated groups in the US, so they usually aren't the ones getting a pass on anything when it comes to policy outcomes.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:50:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not openly.  I don't think you can be a registered political organization (which you'd need to be to raise money and make political donations) in the US if violence against abortion providers is in your bylaws.  What people talk about in private - we can never know.

I find it insightful that you choose to write:

"There is no pro-life group in America that uses violence as an organizing tool.  The same cannot be said of Muslim-identity groups."

And not what would be the proper comparison:

"There is no Christian-identity group in America that uses violence as an organizing tool.  The same cannot be said of Muslim-identity groups."

or

"There is no pro-life group in America that uses violence as an organizing tool.  The same cannot be said of Salafist jihadists groups."

Last time I checked, no serious person claimed that Islam or Christianity were terrorists organizations (though a pretty good case can probably be made.)  And no one was calling all pro-lifers terrorists.  They were calling the man who killed the doctor a terrorist.  His actions were those of a terrorist.  

You seem to be arguing that if one is not a card carrying member of a known para-military organization, one cannot be a terrorist, even if one commits a crime for the same motivations and with the same intent and effect as a bona-fide terrorist.  Or that terrorism is defined by scale not by motivation or intent.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:26:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome made the argument that this murder is Christian terrorism that is not being called such because it was perpetrated by a Christian and not a Muslim.  That's wrong. This horrible act should not be called terrorism because all of the evidence, especially from the groups actively opposing and personifying the anti-abortion struggle against Dr. Tiller, have NOT, according to any reporting to date, engaged in even the most indirect calls for, or acceptance of, violence against Dr. Tiller. Quite the opposite in fact appears to be the case here.  There is not even any evidence yet of unregistered, conspiratorial groups involved in this matter even though there has been in other murders of abortion providers. Personal hate motivated out of the notoriety of the victim and the emotionally charged abortion debate appears to be the motivation for murder, as it was in other acts of violence against Dr. Tiller.  This fits a crime of stalking and killing famous people, like John Lennon or other celebrity, more than it fits a conspiracy of political terrorism.  Just because it involves a controversial political leader does not make it terrorism.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The trouble is that in "old europe" we do have memories of hate discourses fed for years to people who acted "individually" at first, then by organized groups, then... We all know where and how it ended !

It works both sides! And we should call a cat, a cat, when we see one!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:55:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very good point.  And that's a key distinction between what is acceptable political discourse in America and in Europe.  
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:59:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome's argument is that, if such an act were perpetrated by a Muslim, it would be called terrorism.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it would be just as wrong to call it such in that case too.
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"don't kill people on the basis of their religious convictions"

The "religious convictions" in this case is the idea that a viable foetus past 20 weeks would be entitled to be considered a human person.
And even if it is not considered as such, the damage made by anti-abortionists is quite smaller than some of the animal rights activists like the ALF (on the list of domestic terrorist threats in the US).

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The "religious convictions" in this case is the idea that a viable foetus past 20 weeks would be entitled to be considered a human person.

Yes, that is the religious conviction in question. Your point?

quite smaller than some of the animal rights activists like the ALF

What are the comparable body counts? Facts, not assertions.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a human issue, a philosophical issue, more than a problem of "religion". Mothers here will tell you that you don't have to be religious to feel the thing kicking.
France btw recently passed a law permitting parents to give a name and bury their unborn babies in case of miscarriage.

The fact is the sentence: I'm not aware of any pro life group on a terrorist list.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a human issue, a philosophical issue, more than a problem of "religion". Mothers here will tell you that you don't have to be religious to feel the thing kicking.

So?

France btw recently passed a law permitting parents to give a name and bury their unborn babies in case of miscarriage.

Non sequitur much?

The fact is the sentence: I'm not aware of any pro life group on a terrorist list.

And I believe that the point being made by others is that the lack of anti-choice groups on that list is a bug, not a feature. Actually, I just put them on my list. I keep it beside my list of enemies.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first two statements that you quote both imply that there is more to unborn babies or if you prefer foetuses than just "religion". It's just too easy to jump at the occasion and blame it all on religious integrism. Or else, let me help you frame this better: we should maybe consider banning religious organizations and religions altogether for holding out to moral values that obviously tend to foster terrorism.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or else, let me help you frame this better: we should maybe consider banning religious organizations and religions altogether for holding out to moral values that obviously tend to foster terrorism.

Works for me.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:18:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue is not pregnancy but the killing of doctors who perform abortions.  That is a religious issue.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:48:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, we don't know who the killer is - apparently a man was arrested earlier today. Second, we've as of today no idea whether he is in relation with pro-life political organizations and if there is any case of conspiracy here. Third, we don't know what the killer's motivations were.
On the other hand, there is no mention of abortion in christian holy books; there is no incitation to murder of abortionists either by the church or by affiliated organizations, even if this act is considered a crime.

Finally, one may wonder what of the Hyppocrat's oath specifically banning doctors from performing abortion - to my knowledge religion was in no way responsible here. Also one may wonder whether the issue of abortions and particularly late-term abortions is not one that should concern the society as a debate about the human person, beyond this or that religious or political conviction, because any mother that has carried the object in question and felt it moving inside can testify as to whether it is a living being or not, better than any religious authority or dogma could.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:40:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, we don't know who the killer is - apparently a man was arrested earlier today.

The suspect is Scott Roeder.

Second, we've as of today no idea whether he is in relation with pro-life political organizations and if there is any case of conspiracy here.

Roeder's family life began unraveling more than a decade ago when he got involved with anti-government groups, and then became "very religious in an Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye way," his former wife, Lindsey Roeder, told The Associated Press.

"The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew. He became very anti-abortion," said Lindsey Roeder, who was married to Scott Roeder for 10 years but "strongly disagrees with his beliefs."

"That's all he cared about is anti-abortion. `The church is this. God is this.' Yadda yadda," she said.

Lindsey Roeder said that the early years of the marriage were good and that Scott Roeder worked in an envelope factory. But she said he moved out of their home after he became involved with the Freemen movement, an anti-government group that discouraged the paying of taxes. The Roeders have one son, now 22.

"When he moved out in 1994, I thought he was over the edge with that stuff," his ex-wife said. "He started falling apart. I had to protect myself and my son."

(...)

Some anti-abortion activists said they were familiar with Roeder. Regina Dinwiddie, a protester in the Kansas City area, said she had picketed a Planned Parenthood clinic with Roeder. She said she was "glad" about Tiller's death.

Third, we don't know what the killer's motivations were.

Someone using the name Scott Roeder posted comments about Tiller on anti-abortion Web sites, including one that referred to the doctor as the "concentration camp Mengele of our day" -- a reference to the Nazi doctor who performed ghastly medical experiments on Jews and others at Auschwitz. The posting said Tiller "needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation."

In another posting, on an Operation Rescue Web site, Roeder suggested a visit to Tiller's church.

"Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there?" he wrote. "Doesn't seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller."

Operation Rescue condemned Tiller's killing as vigilantism and "a cowardly act," and the group's president, Troy Newman, said Roeder "has never been a member, contributor or volunteer."

Dave Leach, publisher of the magazine Prayer and Action News, said he met Roeder about 15 years ago. A decade ago, Roeder subscribed to the quarterly magazine, which is published in Iowa and has said "justifiable homicide" against abortion providers can be supported, Leach said.

"Scott is not my hero in that sense; he has not inspired me to shoot an abortionist," Leach said in an e-mail. "But definitely, he will be the hero to thousands of babies who will not be slain because Scott sacrificed everything for them."

On the other hand, there is no mention of abortion in christian holy books; there is no incitation to murder of abortionists either by the church or by affiliated organizations, even if this act is considered a crime.

I am not blaming the bible or the church.  I don't blame the Koran or Islam for the heinous acts committed in their name.

It is the anti-choice people who invoke religion.  You can't walk around a dr.'s office with signs telling patients God condems them and then say religion has nothing to do with this.

Finally, one may wonder what of the Hyppocrat's oath specifically banning doctors from performing abortion - to my knowledge religion was in no way responsible here. Also one may wonder whether the issue of abortions and particularly late-term abortions is not one that should concern the society as a debate about the human person, beyond this or that religious or political conviction, because any mother that has carried the object in question and felt it moving inside can testify as to whether it is a living being or not, better than any religious authority or dogma could.

One may wonder these things.  

But this diary is NOT about about that.  It is about the way the label "terrorist" is or is not applied to people based on their religion, color of their skin, etc.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:00:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, so the guy is a nutcase who got several fixations on stuff and then ended up making anti abortion heroism his purpose in life. Oh well.

I have no idea what the pro life or anti choice or whatever people will say about this affair, if they'll take some responsibility or pretend any contact with Scorr whatever was purely incidental; or if they will  invoke God or not; it's not my business, really. I only saw the thing framed here as "religious", without any kind of nuance, and I reacted.

And I only reacted to that - involving religion without nuance, because this guy pretended to be religious. How about dr. Tiller who frequentates a church while he's been performing abortions. Anybody can pretend anything. The rest of Jerome's diary has been argued in detail up above.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he was pretending...

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not the point at all, we have likes and dislikes, and me calling the eastern europe communists genocidary criminals will not make me go shoot one them, even if I do think the earth will be cleaner and happier without them (few as they may be now).
We all have convictions, political, philosophical, religious, cultural, whatever, sometimes we hate our opponents, sometimes we hate our neighbours or our cheating wife, but we don't go to their house to take their life. You need to realize that the idea that babies are killed is quite tough and hard to bear, and you cannot blame pro life groups for framing it like this, because something alive actually IS KILLED in there, baby or not.

But the whole issue is passing to the act, taking a gun and going out to get him. It's quite mindboggling that this turns into a discussion about religion and terrorism without any proof of conspiracy or whatever.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I for one advocated on this very site for Greenspan to be hanged, drawn and quartered. (I'm still unrepented btw) But maybe if some one actually takes his head, maybe I'll begin feeling somewhat uncomfortable. Maybe I'll even avoid traveling to the US, given the turn things seem to take downthere.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if this doctor Tiller was often picketed, aggressed and threatened and called a murderer on a regular basis, why didn't he just sue those "pro life" people, why didn't the police remove them and the judge locked them up.

I mean it's easy to frame them now for incitation to murder by personalisation and using strong words such as baby murderer, and so creating motivation for nutcases to pass to the act.
But was it was a legal and allowed thing to do in the first place, or not?
It seems that it was, they have the right to use these tactics and these words. In Europe it would be forbidden, in the US it falls under the free speech umbrella, even if it might constitute incitation to murder.

So well. Sounds somewhat strange now to hear americans (supposedly well aware of all this) fingerpointing organizations and religion for incitation to murder.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Terrorist in the Morning, Martyr Ever Afterward

Consequent to the murder of Dr. David Gunn in Pensacola, Florida, in March 1993, Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The law banned "force, threat of force or physical obstruction" to patients and clinic workers. This helped reduce confrontations and intimidation outside clinics, where volunteers often had had to escort patients through lines of screaming, grabbing protesters. But the law hasn't stopped fanatics from continuing their violent outlawry.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:28:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfect. It seems that doesn't ban use of highly aggressive tactics such as "wanted" posters.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
one may wonder what of the Hyppocrat's oath specifically banning doctors from performing abortion - to my knowledge religion was in no way responsible here.

I've no idea what you mean with this. Since when does the Hippocratic oath "specifically" ban "doctors from performing abortion"? And what is the relevance in the first place - many doctors don't swear by it any more.

by Nomad on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since it was invented.

Relevance is that there is principial opposition to abortions with no connection with religion. So not every body "pro-life" is necessarily religious or is so from religious motives. But then reading poemless' stuff above, the guy's religiousness sounds a bit nutsy to me. But if it makes a good diary topic and generates interesting debates, by all means. I guess.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hippocratic Oath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

I stand corrected with the oath. But using it as an argument that there is principal opposition to abortions today because of the Hippocratic oath as it was decreed some 2400 years ago is neither here nor there.

by Nomad on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you point out, that is a quote from the original oath. Here's the full text:

Hippocratic Oath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

A number of the articles have no application to modern life and medical practice. As the same Wikipedia page points out, the Hippocratic oath is often taken today with modifications or even in a totally rewritten form - or it may not be taken at all, since it is absolutely not obligatory.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:52:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and if you look at it it dosn't ban abortons, only abortions brought about by Pessarys.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Versions of the oath, there are several. That's a fairly significant argument against the idea of a convention of medical ethic.

Also, that oath? Performance is not prerequisite to licensing which is conferred by "self-regulated" professional boards in each state (cf "it is not obligatory and no longer taken up by all physicians.") nor guarantee against harm nor indemnification. heh.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol what a legalistic soul ! :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:32:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zygmunt Bauman

Law stood between order and chaos, human existence and animal free-for-all, the habitable and the uninhabitable world, meaning and meaninglessness. Law was for every body and for everything: also for everything [detected] anybody may do to anybody else. The incessant seard for ethical principles was a part (and expectable par, an inexorable part) of legislative frenzy. People had to be told of their duty to do good and that doing their duty is goodness. And people need to be prevailed upon to follow that line of duty, which without being taught or goaded or coerced they would hardly do. Modernity was and had to be, the Age of Ethics --it would not be modernity otherwise. Just as the law preceded all order, ethics must precede ll morality. Morality was a product of ethics; ethical principles were the means of production; ethical philosophy was the technology, and ethical preaching was the pragmatics of moral industry; good was its planned yield, evil its waste or sub-standard produce. [bodlface emphasis added]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wanted to go back to this to say that I didn't mean to be aggressive or impolite with in my reply to your inquiry. It was quite late when I sent that post and I imagined the text (which I knew quite well) can easily be verified on Wikipedia.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The oath contains principles that can easily be transposed to our days, as shown here:

"The Oath of Hippocrates," holds the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics (1996 edition), "has remained in Western civilization as an expression of ideal conduct for the physician." Today, most graduating medical-school students swear to some form of the oath, usually a modernized version. Indeed, oath-taking in recent decades has risen to near uniformity, with just 24 percent of U.S. medical schools administering the oath in 1928 to nearly 100 percent today.

Yet paradoxically, even as the modern oath's use has burgeoned, its content has tacked away from the classical oath's basic tenets. According to a 1993* survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, for example, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia, 11 percent hold convenant with a deity, 8 percent foreswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patients—all maxims held sacred in the classical version.
....
Perhaps most telling, while the classical oath calls for "the opposite" of pleasure and fame for those who transgress the oath, fewer than half of oaths taken today insist the taker be held accountable for keeping the pledge.



Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The oath contains principles that can easily be transposed to our days

Yes.  let's have another look.

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

I see it advocating pantheism, acknowledging slavery without comment, forbidding gall bladder operations and taking for granted the equivalence of gay and straight relationships.

If you claim its ban on abortion has a binding moral authority, then presumably you advocate all of these as well?

by Sassafras on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:55:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say all principles can be adapted, but most of them can, and the very idea of an oath is symbolically important.
This is precisely why most american medical schools today seem to use it. Which proves that the oath in itself, while 2400 yo, is far from being obsolete - which was the original point made by Nomad to which my previous post replied.  

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:29:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either it has authority or it doesn't.  You can't, with any validity, take a 2000+ yo document and cherry pick the bits that accord with your existing beliefs whilst ignoring the rest.

Put it this way-if I were to say to you that abortion is just fine but you have to accept gay relationships as equally valid because Hippocrates said so, would that appear to you to be a consistent argument?

If most American medical schools today do indeed use it (a point asserted, not proven), then the widespread availability of treatment for gall and kidney stones and the apparent lack of contractual obligations for doctors to contribute to the retirement funds of their professors would seem to suggest that it's understood to be a largely symbolic/historic gesture and that nobody is bound by the detail.

by Sassafras on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 02:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point in question is asserted by the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics (1996 edition), as I stated before. What more proof do you want, should I send you the code of ethics by mail ? I've hardly ever seen such bad faith comments.

The whole issue here is that symbolic or not, the oath  is far from being considered obsolete, which is what I claimed in the beginning.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:37:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the AMA's current (2008) Code of Medical Ethics:

AMA - Opinion 2.01 - Abortion

Opinion 2.01 - Abortion

The Principles of Medical Ethics of the AMA do not prohibit a physician from performing an abortion in accordance with good medical practice and under circumstances that do not violate the law. (III, IV)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:51:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides the fact that this is not the edition my link concerned, with all due respect, this was not the subject here.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently the AMA's current Code of Medical Ethics does not consider that part of the original Hippocratic Oath concerning abortion to be binding. That is perfectly relevant to this discussion.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:12:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know it's not binding, I said that myself way before already, it is symbolic, but it's interesting in order to show that opposition to abortion is not necessarily a religious, or a christian, but an human(ist) matter. I quoted it for its moral value, with no relation to religion, and transcending millenia! Is this kind of argument accepted here on ET ? :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that it isn't symbolic of the things you want to claim that it's symbolic of. Unless you cherry-pick and make special pleadings to the effect that your favourite lines are applicable but the rest is not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well forgive me for distinguishing between swearing on Aesculapius and promising to observe professional and human ethics. If you call that cherrypicking, I can be excused for calling your post sophistical.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you follow the link afew posted you will see that it applies for the version you cite as well. The final line in the entry reads:

Report: Issued prior to April 1977.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ńt gmail dotcom) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither Hippocrates nor Hippocratic Oath return a result when serached for in the AMA Code.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hippocratic Oath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Derivations of the oath have modified over the years in various countries, schools, and societies as the social, religious, and political importance of medicine has changed. Most schools administer some form of oath, but the great majority no longer use the original version that forbade abortion, euthanasia, and further forbade general practitioners from surgery.

(my bold)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:58:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're twisting things here. The point is that the oath is not at all obsolete, is very much relevant (contrary to what Nomad originally claimed) and is still used, even if amputed by those parts that no longer fit current morals. Those modifications are quite recent, 1964 is I am not mistaking.
So my original claim that the oath is a non-religious act opposing abortion still stands. The fact that it was procust-ized to fit our times doesn't change that.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
the oath is a non-religious act opposing abortion still stands

The oath as administered today does not oppose abortion (apart from 8% of cases, according to your PBS link). So your claim doesn't stand.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
So my original claim that the oath is a non-religious act opposing abortion still stands.
You surely mean non-Christian?

Hippocratic Oath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL well, actually in those times ancient gods were such a real part of the every day life, that I doubt the sense of the word religious was the same as today.

OTOH he swears by gods, yes, but all those principles listed underneath have nothing religious, but concern the high morality a doctor must possess in the exercise of his profession.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying that the pagan worshippers of Classical Antiquity were less religious and god-fearing than your average modern Christian doctor?

If anything, the fact that

in those times ancient gods were such a real part of the every day life
would contradict your assertion that
all those principles listed underneath have nothing religious


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:19:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying that the pagan worshippers of Classical Antiquity were less religious and god-fearing than your average modern Christian doctor?

No, I cannot know that. What I'm saying is that the relation of the man with the sacred was likely different in those times.
The modern christian doctor may be religious, but he's not outside society - or the society is different than the one of the antic Greece. So he might have a spiritually rich inner life, but I suspect his relation to his god is far more personal and more distinct than his public life, because he is expected hence thus forced to respect ubiquitous laicism around.
That might not be the case in Christian clinics though.

OTOH weirder situations occur, where the president of a secular state is still sworn in hand on the bible. I feel like asking, is that particular oath binding, and towards whom exactly :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OTOH weirder situations occur, where the president of a secular state is still sworn in hand on the bible. I feel like asking, is that particular oath binding, and towards whom exactly :)

AFAIK, it is legally meaningless. Of course, there are other definitions of "binding" than the purely legal one.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you mean Obama could have refused to swear on the bible, if he wanted to ?

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 08:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Legally, yes. Politically, no.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If anything, the fact that

in those times ancient gods were such a real part of the every day life

would contradict your assertion that
all those principles listed underneath have nothing religious"

No, because those principles are not theological in their essence, but ethical. Moreover, those are not alien ethics of antique peoples, but professional ethics acknowledged as such to our days, based on the respect for the patient and for life - hence humanistic. It is the society who, a few decades ago, decided to cherry pick those ethic principles and remove the embarrassing ones.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:09:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you arguing that it matters whether an article was removed fifty years ago or five hundred years ago? Or are you arguing that it was wrong to remove the article in question, irrespective of when the removal took place?

In the former case, you have to justify your assertion that the age of an ethical system suffices to justify it. In the latter case, you are either begging the question (by requesting that we accept that abortion is wrong, and therefore it was wrong to remove the clause), or rendering the Hippocratic Oath irrelevant to the conversation (by appealing to some thus far undisclosed external principle that renders abortion morally objectionable and thus makes it wrong to remove the clause. Such a principle would also make reference to the Hippocratic Oath superfluous, however, as appeal to this external principle would obviously either suffice to make the case on its own merits, or fail to convince that the modification of the Oath is seriously in error).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 08:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only modifications I know of were made in the 20th century. Feel free to dig up and find others I could not.

By the way, I am not arguing about what was wrong, no need to draw conclusions about my opinions. I didn't even argue for prolifers, but merely pointed out to obvious, if uninteresting things.

What I argued in this subthread, is that the parts concerning abortion and euthanasia that were removed quite recently, seem to fit in a coherent ethical code in the oath, which code seems to be based on the respect for life and for the dignity of the patient.
Hence the code is not obsolete in its core and in its  intentions, and is not of religious inspiration (just like Obama's policies are not so because he sworn in hand on the King James' Bible version 1.3.5).


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only modifications I know of were made in the 20th century.

So what? Why does it matter whether the modifications were made in the 20th century A.D. or the 20th century B.C.?

I didn't even argue for prolifers, but merely pointed out to obvious, if uninteresting things.

You were using the Hippocratic Oath as an argument against permitting abortion.

What I argued in this subthread, is that the parts concerning abortion and euthanasia

Except that it did not prohibit abortion. It prohibited a specific surgical intervention. As Mig demonstrated elsewhere, it was quite fine with abortion, as long as it didn't involve rummaging around in the uterus with unsterilised, sharp instruments. (And on a related note, Greek culture at the time was A-OK with infanticide...)

that were removed quite recently,

Why does it matter that they were removed recently?

(Actually, it can be argued that they weren't even removed recently - it was fifty years or so ago and modern medicine is less than two hundred years old...)

seem to fit in a coherent ethical code in the oath,

According to your ideological stance on what fits in the ethical code of the oath.

(just like Obama's policies are not so because he sworn in hand on the King James' Bible version 1.3.5).

But Obama's oath is indisputably religious in nature (which of course means that he is not legally bound by it). The fact that such religious oaths are routinely taken and then just as routinely disregarded as pious bullshit intended purely for public consumption does not actually help your case any.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 07:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"You were using the Hippocratic Oath as an argument against permitting abortion"

Wrong. I mentioned it in order to show that there is opposition to abortion that is not religious.
This is by now amply demonstrated, by the communist and fascist regimes, the atheist prolife organizations, the strict morals originating in the 19th century, the first-phase feminists, the 'humanitarian rebound' before WW1 and so on.
I suspect religiousness is a mere set-up in order to frame opponents as bigots, like in other cases, and so mine their credibility by implying  that their motivativations come from irrational faith. Yawn.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:06:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Today the arguments against abortion are (outside totalitarian police states) almost universally religious in nature. You have not shown that there exist significant non-religious anti-choice organisations in any modern democracy - you have shown a private website that gathered maybe a hundred signatures of unconfirmed veracity. Intelligent Design Creationists can come up with more than 700 more or less verified signatures from people who claim to oppose evolution on scientific grounds. And ID Creationists are pretty much the standard textbook definition of "religious nuts."

As noted elsewhere, there may well have been good areligious reasons in the past to disavow abortion. But medical science marches on, and so does medical ethics, so dragging out discussions of abortion from before the Great War strikes me as grasping at straws.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:49:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was mistaken about the element of abortion included in the Oath, but I still claimed it is not relevant as evidence that there is "principal opposition to abortions with no connection with religion" today.

As the original text of the oath has been revised several times, to accommodate modern health care, and/or personal preferences, the literal aspect of the oath has become obsolete, even when its symbolic value has not.

by Nomad on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 07:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it was so, and those annoying parts were took out when soixantehuitards started feeling uneasy about them. At some point you may even take out murder from the ten commandments, that won't change the fact that it will be a cosmethical purge in order to accomodate current moods. When we can't change ourselves anymore, we change the laws, seems to be the principle here. And we imagine that because of that amputation, the reality changed too.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is actually well worth a wider discussion on morals as a philosophical category. Our laws are more and more reactive, rather than principial, reacting for instance to the latest media event - or to what our neighbours did so we should do too. This looks like an awfully smelling legal "liberalisation" competition. (and then go figure why the markets want the same logic applied to them - duh! - but I digress)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sigh

You're perfectly fine with excising the bits about gall bladder operations, but when somebody touches the bits about abortion (which is a subject that happens to be ideologically important to you), you start complaining that the oath is being retconned.

That is called special pleading.

Oh, and a little exercise for you: How many of the ten commandments would it be constitutional to enforce in a modern, Western democracy?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More unsupported bluster on your part. Your original assertion about the Hippocratic oath has been abundantly shown to be totally mistaken, yet you don't have the good grace to retract or at least remain silent. And you have accused others of bad faith?

Stop digging, you're in a deep enough hole.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 02:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The part about people being unable to change themselves might be classified as bluster, but I reject your saying that my assertion has been shown mistaken.

I said that abortive procedures were banned by the hippocratic oath, which was not of religious inspiration.
I was replied that the oath did not ban those procedures (a mistake Nomad later acknowledged)
and that in any case the oath is antique,
to which I showed it is widely used to our days.

The latter point has been replied that
the oath may well still be used, but it is not binding
(I answered its symbolic importance is still recognized)

and that even so, it is used without the part (abortion) that specifically concerned our discussion.

To this I replied and still hold that the oath was invented and is still used for its value as code of professional ethics. Not for its mention of Apollon, not for its mention of gallbladder or pessary, but as a code of professional ethics, ethics being particularly  important in the medical profession.
This medical profession deals with people, humans, in their weakest, most sensitive moments, on an intimate level, physically and spiritually. Thus the ethical principles of this oath are as such not just a mere collection of phrases, but part of a whole that I called humanistic.

"I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death.
If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life;
this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.

Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being  "

Modern society chose to pick from that collection of humanistic principles the ones that it agrees with.
Those ethical principles that were removed and which made the topic of this discussion (abortion) were not concerning antique religions, or antique procedures, but were part of the same ethics.

QED. It is not my fault that society chooses the ethics it pleases, and I don't blame it or anyone here for it. I'm saying that it was all part of a coherent ensemble, of humanist inspiration, and not of a religious one.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:46:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should also add to all this the following links showing that antiabortionionists were hardly ever religious in the history of mankind. This is mostly a feature of the last 40 years or so.

Here is how things went before:


17th century to present
In the mid to late 19th century, during the fight for women's suffrage in the U.S., many first-wave feminists, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, opposed abortion,[63][64] Anthony
on the grounds that it was an evil forced upon women by men. In her newspaper, The Revolution, Anthony wrote in 1869 about the subject, arguing that instead of merely attempting to pass a law against abortion, the root cause must also be addressed. Simply passing an anti-abortion law would, she wrote, "be only mowing off the top of the noxious weed, while the root remains."[65] She continued: "No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh! thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime."[64][66][67]
Around 1970, during second-wave feminism, abortion and reproductive rights were unifying issues among various women's rights groups in Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Britain, Norway, France, Germany, and Italy.[68]


1765 - Post-quickening abortion was no longer considered homicide in England, but William Blackstone called it "a very heinous misdemeanor".[72]
1803 - United Kingdom enacts the Malicious Shooting or Stabbing Act 1803, making abortion after quickening a capital crime, and providing lesser penalties for the felony of abortion before quickening.[73]
1821 - Connecticut passes first statute that forbids using poison to induce miscarriages.[74]
1842 - The Shogunate in Japan bans induced abortion in Edo. The law does not affect the rest of the country.[25]
1873 - The passage of the Comstock Law in the United States makes it a crime to sell, distribute, or own abortion-related products and services, or to publish information on how to obtain them (see advertisement of abortion services)
1820-1900 - Primarily through the efforts of physicians in the American Medical Association and legislators, most abortions in the U.S. were outlawed.[75]


1936 - Joseph Stalin reversed most parts of Lenin's legalization of abortion in the Soviet Union to increase population growth. Stalin's reversal was repealed in 1955.[83]

1936 - Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS, creates the "Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion". Himmler, inspired by bureaucrats of the Race and Settlement Main Office, hoped to reverse a decline in the "Aryan" birthrate which he attributed to homosexuality among men and abortions among healthy Aryan women,[84]

1938 - In Britain, Dr. Aleck Bourne aborted the pregnancy of a young girl who had been raped by soldiers. Bourne was acquitted after turning himself into authorities. The legal precedent of allowing abortion in order to avoid mental or physical damage was picked up by the Commonwealth of Nations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion#5th_century_to_18th_century

Also this:


Over several centuries and in different cultures, there is a rich history of women helping each other to abort. Until the late 1800s, women healers in Western Europe and the U.S. provided abortions and trained other women to do so, without legal prohibitions.

The State didn't prohibit abortion until the 19th century, nor did the Church lead in this new repression. In 1803, Britain first passed antiabortion laws, which then became stricter throughout the century. The U.S. followed as individual states began to outlaw abortion. By 1880, most abortions were illegal in the U.S., except those ``necessary to save the life of the woman.''
...
Abortion became a crime and a sin for several reasons. A trend of humanitarian reform in the mid-19th century broadened liberal support for criminalization, because at that time abortion was a dangerous procedure done with crude methods, few antiseptics, and high mortality rates. But this alone cannot explain the attack on abortion. For instance, other risky surgical techniques were considered necessary for people's health and welfare and were not prohibited. ``Protecting'' women from the dangers of abortion was actually meant to control them and restrict them to their traditional child-bearing role.

http://www.feminist.com/resources/ourbodies/abortion.html

There are also the examples of eastern Europe communist states where abortion, like homosexuality,  was a crime:

abortion was banned between 1965 and 1989 by the Ceausescu regime and was allowed without restriction after 1990.

http://www.unesco.org/courier/2000_02/uk/ethique/intro.htm


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said that abortive procedures were banned by the hippocratic oath, which was not of religious inspiration.

Which is quite blatant bullshit, as it specifically invokes Apollon, the deity of medicine.

I was replied that the oath did not ban those procedures (a mistake Nomad later acknowledged)

It bans a procedure to induce abortion. To suppose that the Ancient Greeks had a philosophical problem with abortion per se is... unsupported by our general knowledge of their culture. Removing excess children by the means of putting them somewhere outside the city where they could die from exposure or be eaten by wild animals was not excessively frowned upon, according to several historians of the era (this was, in fact, a fairly common practise in most of Europe well into the 2nd millenium). Compared to such outright infanticide, abortion can be surmised to be fairly uncontroversial.

and that in any case the oath is antique,
to which I showed it is widely used to our days.

No it isn't. A number of different abridged versions are used.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 08:47:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does invoke Apollon in the opening, but the content is not theological and not meant so. The god held the office of the american swearing Bible today. Obama too invokes God then goes to meetings and says GBY, and yet he goes on implementing his own policies, regardless of what the said god might think about it.

You're splitting hairs trying to avoid the basic point that it is that oath that is used, more or less modified.  There are tons of versions of the bible, but no one bothers pointing out if it was King James version or James Dean's. It's called focusing on the core issue.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're splitting hairs trying to avoid the basic point that it is that oath that is used, more or less modified.  There are tons of versions of the bible, but no one bothers pointing out if it was King James version or James Dean's. It's called focusing on the core issue.

And the core issue is that the Oath is not used in any of the ways you have implied or claimed that it is used, and is entirely irrelevant to the case you're trying to make (that abortion is universally unethical and that the American anti-choice movement does not have a serious terrorist problem).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 07:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're completely wrong, and you're twisting facts - as usual when you've no arguments left.

The oath has been understood to condemn euthanasia and abortive procedures. Here is the PBS link I have already posted:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_classical.html

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy."

Also, my point was not about "universally unethical", as you mistakenly imply, but that there is and alwyas was opposition which is not religious. Please read the threads carefully before reacting. It will save a lot of people the time spent debunking your mistakes and misinterpretations.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:13:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hippocratic Corpus contains about 60 different medical works. One of them is the "Oath" another one is "The Excision of the Foetus". Abortive techniques, both chemical and physical, are described in the Hippocratic Corpus. Doesn't it make sense then to translate the pessary of the Oath in the narrow meaning of a specific abortive technique rather than the generic "any abortive remedy"?

But now we descend into the topic of philology and critical textual analysis of classical Greek sources, for which I believe neither of us are qualified, so we should stop here.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well then I think you should go point that out to the guys at PBS as well, along with classical greek transcriptions of the whole corpus. I'm just afraid their take on it shows what the general view of the oath is.
Middle age doctors practice went in the same sense btw, in that while condemning it on moral grounds, they accepted therapeutical procedures when necessary, and even described them in detail in medical treaties by Mauriceau or Ambroise Paré.

( see: History of Women in the West: Renaissance and Enlightenment paradoxes ... Georges Duby, Natalie Zemon Davis, Michelle Perrot, Arlette Farge, Pauline Schmitt Pantel, Geneviève Fraisse
http://books.google.fr/books?id=a4_DzyOA514C)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:31:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One immediate inconsistency is the Oath's prohibition against abortion. The Hippocratic Corpus contains a number of allusions to the methods of abortion and the use of pessaries. The Oath's prohibitions did not echo the general feeling of the public either. Abortion was practiced in Greek times no less than in the Roman era, and it was resorted to without scruple. In a world in which it was held justifiable to expose children immediately after birth, it would hardly seem objectionable to destroy the embryo.

A second discrepancy between the Oath and general Hippocratic principles is the ban on suicide. Suicide was not censured in antiquity. Self-murder as a relief from illness was regarded as justifiable, so much so that in some states it was an institution duly legalized by the authorities. Nor did ancient religion proscribe suicide. It did not know of any eternal punishment for those who ended their own lives. Law and religion then left the physician free to do whatever his conscience allowed.

Pythagoreanism is the only dogma that can possibly account for the attitude advocated in the Hippocratic Oath. Among all the Greek philosophical schools, the Pythagoreans alone outlawed suicide and abortion and did so without qualification. The Oath also concurs with Pythagorean prohibitions against surgical procedures of all kinds and against the shedding of blood, in which the soul was thought to reside. Again, this interdiction against the knife is especially out of keeping with the several treatises in the Hippocratic Corpus that deal at length with surgical techniques and operating room procedures.

(source)

Wikipedia attributes the hypothesis that the Oath is pythagorean to a certain Edelstein

Classical scholar Ludwig Edelstein proposed that the oath was written by Pythagoreans, a theory that has been questioned due to the lack of evidence for a school of Pythagorean medicine.
on which one can find this
The Hippocratic Oath is to be considered a code of conduct for all physicians and not a Pythagorean manifesto, in spite of the view of Edelstein. In fact, it can be shown that the prohibitions and requirements on which the Pythagorean hypothesis rests (the prohibition against helping suicide, inducing abortion, performing surgery, and having sex with patients or with members of their household and the rules of confidentiality and collegiality) do not necessarily link the Hippocratic Oath to the Pythagoreans. Edelstein affirms that only the Pythagoreans condemned suicide, whereas it can be shown that Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and several authors in antiquity opposed it. Similarly, induced abortion was by no means universally accepted in antiquity. Soranus, for example, clearly states that many physicians opposed it in all cases. The passage of the oath concerning surgery can be shown to refer only to lithotomy (as others have underlined). As for sexual relations with patients or members of their household (male or female), the existence of laws against promiscuity (homo- or heterosexual), and other evidence, indicates that it was usually condemned. Finally, confidentiality and collegiality were virtues that the Pythagoreans were not alone in upholding. In addition, many of the principles upheld by the Oath are found in other documents unrelated to the Pythagoreans.
But there are other opinions, see for instance this.

Anyway, if both classical and medieval doctors according to you condemned abortion on moral grounds but still practised it on expediency grounds, 1) why can't we do the same; 2) why look on the ancients for moral guidance in the first place? They clearly didn't practise what they preached.

Anyway, IMHO the whole argument around the Hippocratic Oath is only relevant if 1) you take a natural law position; 2) you assume that the Hippocratic Oath embodies natural law. Both of those premises are subject to dispute and, in fact, are questions of principle not of fact. So you can debate endlessly on the facts and never get anywhere on the principles.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:48:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not say what we could or should do today. I did say that religion was hardly ever the only opposition to abortion. Is this kind of continuous reminder of rigour really necessary ?

It also seems to be the case that doctors prohibited the procedures save for exceptional cases, which never stopped them from describing those very procedures. Describing them is no proof as to lack of condemnation. Also see this in my post below

As to natural law, like I said before, I tend to agree with you. The question of ethics is to be discussed though, and not solely from a conciliation perspective with "irrational believers", but as a matter of society.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:56:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did say that religion was hardly ever the only opposition to abortion. Is this kind of continuous reminder of rigour really necessary ?

And we called bullshit on that. Today, the anti-choice position almost exclusively the province of religious nuts and totalitarian regimes. Medical science and medical ethics have advanced considerably over the past fifty years. So the positions of - even notable - ethicists from before the second world war are of decidedly limited use, when it comes to consideration of specific surgical procedures.

It also seems to be the case that doctors prohibited the procedures save for exceptional cases, which never stopped them from describing those very procedures.

Dude. Most European societies were fine with deliberately leaving viable, born infants to die from exposure. There is no way in Hell that there was a social consensus against abortion. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, whoever "we" is (btw I use to operate in my own name, and for my own texts, not for - or against - some "we"; this is quite pathetic). The bullshit was on their side.
First, like I showed, there are humanist and progressist currents in Europe and in the US today which are for a mindful-choice, ethical considerations being just a part of their reason. Second, majorities in most countries are for placing serious restrictions after the third trimester; I'm not sure in which camp you count these. Third, there for instance stuff like decision of Germany's Constitutional Court (ie, non religious) in 1975 confirmed in 1992 (ie, Today) affirming the right of the unborn to life and the duty of the state to protect that life:


The condemnation of abortion must be clearly expressed in the legal order. The false impression must be avoided that the interruption of pregnancy is the same social process as, for example, approaching a physician for healing an illness or indeed a legally irrelevant alternative for the prevention of conception. The state may not abdicate its responsibility even through the recognition of a "legally free area," by which the state abstains from the value judgment and abandons this judgment to the decision of the individual to be made on the basis of his own sense of responsibility.

http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/germandecision/

Third, like I showed before, prolifers are often more moderate than their opposers, for whom the "right to privacy" and the "reproductive rights" (ie, fanatical individualism) come before any other principle.

"It also seems to be the case that doctors prohibited the procedures save for exceptional cases, which never stopped them from describing those very procedures.

There is no way in Hell that there was a social consensus against abortion. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

Please stop twisting my words.
Mine was an argument to show that describing the procedure is not proof of accepting it in other than exceptional cases, let alone promoting it.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:39:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"placing serious restrictions after the third trimester"

should of course read

"placing serious restrictions after the first third trimester"

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"We" being mostly me, Mig, ceebs and occasionally DoDo.

First, like I showed, there are humanist and progressist currents in Europe and in the US today which are for a mindful-choice, ethical considerations being just a part of their reason.

Yes. And that's not the position I'm arguing against. I'm perfectly in favour of informed, carefully considered choice. But the American hospital picketers whom Tiller's murderer associated with are not in the camp advocating this approach. They want to ban the careful, informed choice. Full stop, no compromise possible.

Second, majorities in most countries are for placing serious restrictions after the first trimester; I'm not sure in which camp you count these.

See there's a reasonable, moderate position that has something to bring to the table. I happen to disagree on the precise date (my own cutoff point is halfway through, not a third of the way), but these people are operating in the sanity-based community. Quite unlike those who would deny women all access to abortion, no matter the stage of pregnancy and no matter the circumstances.

Third, there for instance stuff like decision of Germany's Constitutional Court (ie, non religious) in 1975 confirmed in 1992 (ie, Today) affirming the right of the unborn to life and the duty of the state to protect that life:
The condemnation of abortion must be clearly expressed in the legal order. The false impression must be avoided that the interruption of pregnancy is the same social process as, for example, approaching a physician for healing an illness or indeed a legally irrelevant alternative for the prevention of conception. The state may not abdicate its responsibility even through the recognition of a "legally free area," by which the state abstains from the value judgment and abandons this judgment to the decision of the individual to be made on the basis of his own sense of responsibility.

If you would scroll just a little bit further down in the same link, you would see that:

It should be noted that the decision does not make all abortions illegal. The legislature implemented a system of mandatory counseling which has as one of its goals to present the case that the developing unborn child is an independent human life. However, no legal sanction is applied in the first 3 months of pregnancy if the counseling is completed and the abortion is performed. Despite some of the reasoning contained in the decision, this system has not been found by the court to conflict with the constitution. Some abortions are therefore de facto legal. A significant number still occur, but the incidence per capita is about one-fifth that of the United States.

Germany is somewhat on the tight side by international standards, and if the description is anything to go by, the "mandatory counseling" bit is nothing more than a sop to the fantasy-based community. But current German policy does not go anywhere near the kind of la-la-land that Herr Ratzinger, Bush the Lesser, J. Paul II or Tiller's murderer come from.

Third, like I showed before, prolifers are often more moderate than their opposers, for whom the "right to privacy" and the "reproductive rights" (ie, fanatical individualism) come before any other principle.

In which fictional alternative universe is the side which gives aid an comfort to terrorists who have murdered and attempted to murder at least a dozen people over the last decade or two less extreme than the side which does not give aid and comfort to terrorists who attempt to murder people?

"It also seems to be the case that doctors prohibited the procedures save for exceptional cases, which never stopped them from describing those very procedures.

There is no way in Hell that there was a social consensus against abortion. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

Please stop twisting my words.
Mine was an argument to show that describing the procedure is not proof of accepting it in other than exceptional cases, let alone promoting it.

And I call bullshit on the claim that most of these people prohibited it. There is a difference between considering something undesirable (which abortion is nobody - not even the most absolutist pro-choice advocate - contests that fact) and calling it illegitimate.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 06:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if the description is anything to go by, the "mandatory counseling" bit is nothing more than a sop to the fantasy-based community

But of course, given the slant of the page that describes this policy, I would not be surprised if the counceling in question was actually a lot less objectionable than they make it seem.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 06:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me: Mine was an argument to show that describing the procedure is not proof of accepting it in other than exceptional cases, let alone promoting it.

You: And I call bullshit on the claim that most of these people prohibited it. There is a difference between considering something undesirable (which abortion is nobody - not even the most absolutist pro-choice advocate - contests that fact) and calling it illegitimate.

This is the last time I am going to comment on this. It seems like either you don't understand or you don't want to.

Migeru argued that the line about abortion in the ancient version was concerning a specific procedure, and was not an interdiction of principle. As an argument, he mentioned the rest of the Hippocratic Corpus, which describes such procedures in detail. Hence, he said, they don't seem to be banned.
The part you are commenting on was meant to show that this inference seems not to be true: doctors did not shy away from such detailed descriptions, regardless of their, the society's or the church's view on the subject. These detailed descriptions seem thus not to be relevant to this matter.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 09:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually there is no need to speak classical Greek, since others analysed this already:


Edelstein's interpretation of the Oath was essentially to discount its importance in pre-Christian Greece. He held that it was the ethic of a small minority of physicians (probably of Pythagorean origin) and that the Oath did not gain popularity until Christian times. There are several problems with Edelstein's hypothesis, but, nevertheless, an explanation of the prohibition of abortion is difficult. There are several points which must be satisfied.

First, as has already been stated, other parts of the Corpus Hippocratum discuss abortion techniques. But what does this prove? As many have pointed out, virtually every principle expounded in the Oath is elsewhere contradicted in the Corpus Hippocratum. Might there be a reason that the techniques of abortion are delineated, yet abortion is prohibited? Pliny the Elder's Natural History from the 1st century BC lists several compounds and methods known to cause abortion (Nardi, 1971). But Pliny was clearly opposed to abortion. He characterizes abortions as scelera or crimes (XXVIII, 7) and says that it makes humans worse than beasts (X, 63). When he discusses raven's eggs in XXX, 14, he clearly demonstrates that his purpose in discussing their abortifacient ability is to warn pregnant women to avoid them. So it is conceivable that the descriptions of abortion methods in the Corpus Hippocratum were provided for the sake of knowledge, more than for the sake of describing a potential procedure. Thus, the presence of information on abortions in the Corpus Hippocratum does not in and of itself contradict the Oath.


http://www.utilis.net/hippo.htm

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
When we can't change ourselves anymore, we change the laws, seems to be the principle here.
I, for one, am of the opinion that if laws are not being followed they should be changed. But then again, I'm a legal positivist and don't believe in natural law.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This topic is very difficult, and I agree with you on condition that we also know where to stop, and there are cases when leaders took it as a personal battle, even against the public opinion.
The French society in the '80s was still quite conservative and opposed to abandoning the death penalty, yet François Mitterrand did not hesitate to force the legislation through.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:58:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, the original oath, the one for general practicioners (but not surgeons) including a ban on abortion by pessary, was connected to religion...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well it's not anti-abortion completely. its anti-abortion through the use of pessarys. It may well be that abortion through pessary had a history of damage to the reproductive organs. Taking this one line quoting it incorrectly and out of context then claiming it to be proof of something it dosn't say is frankly ridiculous.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 07:15:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, one could always look at what other parts of the The Hippocratic Corpus say. Such as
HIPPOCRATES

    * "Concerning abnormal pregnancies in which excision is to be practiced is as follows.  First, lay a sheet on the woman..."

(Excision of the Fetus, 1)

HIPPOCRATES

    * "A kinswoman of mine owned a very valuable dancer, whom she employed as a prostitute.  It was important that this girl not become pregnant and thereby lose her value.....I told her to jump up and down, touching her buttocks with her heels at each leap.  After she had done this no more than seven times...the seed fell out on the ground."  (Nature of the Child,15)

...


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say all principles can be adapted, but most of them can,

so which out of these can't and why?

I see it advocating pantheism, acknowledging slavery without comment, forbidding gall bladder operations and taking for granted the equivalence of gay and straight relationships.

and why is abortion in the can rather than can't column?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 07:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So not every body "pro-life" is necessarily religious or is so from religious motives.

That is not logically impossible. In the same sense as magnetic monopoles are not logically impossible.

Show me an example, or stop pretending that anti-choice propaganda isn't a specifically religious issue (and specific to certain kinds of backwards religious groups to boot).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is some deviation, but -- unless we consider totalitarian political ideologies religions -- both Nazism and stalinist forms of Communism opposed and banned abortion. Not for the child's or mother's or personal moral principles' sake, but for the sake of the nation, basically. (In some communist countries, there were even rules for mothers to bear a minimum X children -- Ceauşescu's Romania being a particularly inglorious example, since it led to those horrible orphanages.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:31:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.godlessprolifers.org/members.html

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 08:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should probably have specified that I was talking about organisations, not individuals: You can find lone crackpots everywhere.

That said, DoDo's right, of course: Most fascist and some communist doctrines explicitly call for banning abortion on the grounds that it'll enable them to grow new soldiers faster... I'd forgotten that somehow.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:16:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only to grow soldiers; some of them are really defending a sort of old fashioned morals, as in, people need to work for the party and for the nation, not to over indulge in selfish pleasures. The West and its homos, drugs, rave concerts and short skirts were presented as islamists present it today: decadent and decaying.

By the way the crackpots on my list do form an organization. There are a couple of prolife atheist humanist ones.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:59:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the comparable body counts? Facts, not assertions.

You missed this bit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:49:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said that the fact that the organization in question is on a terrorist list seem to be quite eloquent. You may also look up thread for I've seen someone posting more information earlier.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:42:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole point of my post was to flag that the designation of "terrorist" was political and not really linked to actual level of violence or damage caused.

You made the specific opposite point:


the damage made by anti-abortionists is quite smaller than some of the animal rights activists like the ALF (on the list of domestic terrorist threats in the US).

You cannot hide behind terrorist designations when you make an assertion about facts. Please provide data, or withdraw your comment. Intellectual honesty is appreciated here, as you may have noted from Nomad above, who dug up the Hyppocratic oath and acknowledged that it mentioned abortion.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:32:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
dug up the Hyppocratic oath and acknowledged that it mentioned abortion
However...

Wikipedia: Modern relevance of the Hippocratic Oath

Derivations of the oath have modified over the years in various countries, schools, and societies as the social, religious, and political importance of medicine has changed. Most schools administer some form of oath, but the great majority no longer use the original version that forbade abortion, euthanasia, and further forbade general practitioners from surgery. Also missing from the ancient Oath and from many modern versions are the complex ethical issues that face the modern physician.
and
Modern versions of the Hippocratic Oath

A widely used modern version of the traditional oath was penned by Dr. Louis Lasagna, former Dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences of Tufts University.[9]

In the 1970s, many American medical schools chose to abandon the Hippocratic Oath as part of graduation ceremonies, usually substituting a version modified to something considered more politically and medically up to date, or an alternate pledge like the Oath or Prayer of Maimonides.

The Hippocratic Oath has been updated by the Declaration of Geneva. In the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council provides clear modern guidance in the form of its Duties of a Doctor[10] and Good Medical Practice[11] statements.

Declaration of Geneva
The amendments to the Declaration have been criticised as "imping[ing] on the inviolability of human life" because, for example, the original made "health and life" the doctor's "first consideration" whereas the amended version removes the words "and life", and the original required respect for human life "from the time of its conception" which was changed to "from its beginning" in 1984 and deleted in 2005.[4] These changes have been criticised as straying from the Hippocratic tradition and as a deviation from the post Nuremberg concern of lack of respect for human life.
See also NOVA | Doctors' Diaries | The Hippocratic Oath: Modern Version | PBS
Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you consider being on an official US government terrorist list as not enough proof for an organization to be more dangerous that one which isn't on that list, I rest my case.

For the record, I'm not withdrawing my comment,
because the simple fact for the ALF to be on that list
constitutes an argument of its superior dangerousness.

During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country. During the past several years, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has emerged as a serious terrorist threat. Generally, extremist groups engage in much activity that is protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. Law enforcement becomes involved when the volatile talk of these groups transgresses into unlawful action. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.

http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/jarboe021202.htm

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:42:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.

How many dead?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any dead as result of activity of pro life organizations ?

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:18:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anti-abortion violence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anti-abortion violence is most frequently committed in the United States, though it has also occurred in Australia and Canada. G. Davidson Smith of Canadian Security Intelligence Service defined anti-abortion violence as "single issue terrorism".

...

In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has killed at least 9 people, including 5 doctors, 2 clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort.[4]

Another doctor, George Patterson, was shot and killed in Mobile, Alabama on August 21, 1993, but it is uncertain whether his death was the direct result of his profession or rather a robbery.[7]



The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:32:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anti-abortion violence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has killed at least 9 people, including 5 doctors, 2 clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort

See that page also for a list of attempted murders, assault, threats, arson, property destruction, in the US and Canada.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:33:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Double barrel, oops!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mention "anti-abortion violence", but specifically organized anti-abortion murders planned and executed by anti-abortion organizations. The question was whether the pro life organizations were behind actions leading to deaths, because in the FBI terrorism account, the ALF as an organization is designated as such, and I personally don't know of a pro-life one being so.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of the year before.

No, that is not incitement to murder by a pro-life organisation...

An account of the "protest" is here.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:08:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've read that. This has already been discussed on two occasions on this thread. Those kind of tactics are allowed in the US.
Personally I'd rather have them banned, because to me (and most europeans, I think) that hardly qualifies as exercise of "free speech" and I would never call or encourage anyone to call for the death of someone else. It is against anything religions say, btw.
But that's how it is in the States, those tactics are legal, and the other big problem is that someone actually went from slogan to act, pulled a gun and fired. The thing is that if the wide majority of the population wants abortion rights as they are, or wants death penalty, killings won't solve the problem.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: Scott Roeder's Network of Support

As reported earlier, when he was arrested after the murder, Roeder was found with the name and phone number of Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger on the dashboard of his car. Sullenger is herself a felon convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic in 1988: she is a "Senior Policy Advisor" at Operation Rescue (leading to the obvious question of what such a person is doing in such a role with a group that has made a very, very vocal point in the last 24 hours of claiming to deplore such violence.)


Already, the most virulent of anti-abortion forces are asserting the killer was a lone nut, and one that should not reflect on them; that depends, however, on your definition of "lone". Right now there are still plenty of questions, and few answers, but the tightness of the most violent elements of the anti-abortion movement surrounding Dr. Tiller certainly seems noteworthy.

Consider the connections we already are aware of. We know that Dr. Tiller's previous shooter, Dr. Tiller's future murderer, and a man who actively endorsed the notion that murdering doctors like George Tiller would be God's will all had previously met and communicated with each other. We know that Roeder, previously arrested for possession of bomb materials, had not "recently" talked to Sullenger, herself convicted for conspiring to bomb a California clinic -- but that caveat, "recently", seems to confirm that they did talk to each other. We know Roeder had frequent visitors to his home for apparent "religious gatherings"; he was far from isolated.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 12:20:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I suppose there will be an investigation and I do hope it'll clarify all the details concerning this and the responsibility of all involved. I fully support discovering and passing justice on those responsible. If pro-life organizations were amongst them, well then let them be prosecuted, I certainly don't defend anyone guilty of conspiration to murder.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
If you consider being on an official US government terrorist list as not enough proof for an organization to be more dangerous that one which isn't on that list, I rest my case.
It means that it is more subversive, not necessarily more dangerous by other measures such as, as has been claimed, actual number of human deaths by activists.

"Terrorist designation" sometimes descends into political theatre, as when the US Senate branded the Iran Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist organisation" and Iran retaliated by branding the US Army and the CIA "terrorist".

Being on the US terrorist list is evidence of an organisation being terrorist, but it is not the only such evidence to the point of arguing that not being on the list means you're not terrorist.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:52:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"it is not the only such evidence to the point of arguing that not being on the list means you're not terrorist."

You may think so, and I can see your point, but this is part of the debate as well. You'll agree that your approach is somewhat more constructive than calling someone intellectually dishonest. Or else a new rating "I'm sure this is not in good faith" should be invented.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the intellectually honest thing to do at this point is to acknowledge disagreement on what constitutes mutually acceptable evidence, thus ending the debate.

But that's just me.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
Or else a new rating "I'm sure this is not in good faith" should be invented.
I'm sure your "2" rating of Jerome counts.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you consider being on an official US government terrorist list as not enough proof for an organization to be more dangerous that one which isn't on that list, I rest my case.

For the record, I'm not withdrawing my comment, because the simple fact for the ALF to be on that list constitutes an argument of its superior dangerousness.

Dude. Do we need to spell it out for you in scarlet, bolded capital letters? With underscore? The American government's terrorist lists are political statements, not serious analysis.

Exhibit A: The Iranian army is on the American terrist list.

Exhibit B: The Israeli "settler" militia Irgun is not.

Case open and closed.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Consequently, given that I did provide arguments for my claim that some animal rights groups are more dangerous than pro life ones, I find your referring to my supposed  "intellectual dishonesty" way out of line and I demand you that you remove your comment and counter-argue my point if you consider it wrong.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:46:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You used membership of a politically derived list as proof of danger, despite the whole point being that dangerous terrorists were being ignored for political reasons.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's quite a subjective matter. Obviously someone for which the government is illegal, or, say, the army is protecting the oligarchs, will never agree with such argument. Argument as provided though, unlike what was claimed.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:03:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If there cannot be agreement on what constitutes mutually acceptable evidence there cannot be rational debate.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:10:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your claim was not that they were "more dangerous" (something which may be subject to a judgement call, and where the formal opinion of a government would indeed matter), it was that they did more "damage," a factual claim.

Please, show the "damage."

Again, the whole point in that thread was to note that terrorists are labelled as such not in line with objective factors, but rather, in view of political arguments. Since you seem so keen to make my point now(for which I thank you), I wonder what you have spent the whole thread arguing about.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 12:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. I already posted this link about the damage.
http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/jarboe021202.htm

Then I argued that the damage was considered serious enough for those organizations to be considered terrorist. Moreover, the document says:
"Currently, more than 26 FBI field offices have pending investigations associated with ALF/ELF activities. Despite all of our efforts (increased resources allocated, JTTFs, successful arrests and prosecutions), law enforcement has a long way to go to adequately address the problem of eco-terrorism."

Note that this document dates from 2002 and the investigations concern acts starting in 1996, so that's not about W's neocon administration.

That was indeed the point of the thread. This point was contested regarding the term "terrorist" and the connection with religion.
My point was precisely that we can hardly keep the religion responsible, reduce this to a problem of religion, or speak of organized conspiracy. Or otherwise said, that your diary was quite a raccourci.

Finally, I'm not "making your point", I said that we speculate on the help the guy would have received. Let's wait and see. If that is the case, we can call for the association who organized this to be prosecuted, even to be designated as "terrorist". As of now, it's all speculation and shortcuts, as someone also showed in the first half of the thread.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:34:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. I already posted this link about the damage.
http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/jarboe021202.htm

Which has some highly interesting things to say, actually. Specifically:

The FBI defines eco-terrorism as the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.

My emphasis. Nonviolent property damage is not "terrorism" in anything that resembles a normal definition. Nice way to blur the distinction between nonviolent sabotage (such as that carried out by Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd) and terrorist acts (such as those carried out by ALF).

Then I argued that the damage was considered serious enough for those organizations to be considered terrorist.

No. You asserted that. Never argued it. The only actual evidence you provided was that the FBI thought that they were terrorists, and that the FBI didn't think that the sundry anti-choice groups were terrorists. Since when did the FBI become an organisation whose estimates can be taken at face value?

Note that this document dates from 2002 and the investigations concern acts starting in 1996, so that's not about W's neocon administration.

No, it was under Clinton's neolib administration. You do realise that most people around these parts do not consider Clinton a Good Guy, right?

My point was precisely that we can hardly keep the religion responsible, reduce this to a problem of religion, or speak of organized conspiracy.

Except that in the case of anti-choice related violence the pattern is quite clear: There are no (or virtually no) anti-choice groups that do not have religious backing (usually from some of the more odious religious groups on the planet). And there is a string of religiously motivated violence, threats and murders against doctors and pro-choice activists.

So yes, in this specific case, it is meaningful to talk about religious terrorism. The fact that not all terrorism is religiously motivated is a red herring, as is the fact that the American government does not take Christian terrorism seriously.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As mentioned about twenty times before already, religion explicitely condemns murder, and so do  religious hierarchy and organizations.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In which fictional universe is that true?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:27:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had not seen the link before, sorry. You should have poste a quote directly, it would have been helpful, such as this one:


During the past several years, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has emerged as a serious terrorist threat. Generally, extremist groups engage in much activity that is protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. Law enforcement becomes involved when the volatile talk of these groups transgresses into unlawful action. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.

The damage seems to be mostly in the form of arson, from the article.

Anti-abortion violence is listed as follows, by NARAL:


Since 1977, there have been over 80,000 acts of violence and/or disruption at clinics, including:

7 murders
17 attempted murders
41 bombings
166 arsons
82 additional failed bombing and arson attempts
373 physical invasions of personal and business properties
1042 acts of vandalism
100 butyric acid attacks
654 anthrax threats, of which 480 happened since September 11, 2001.
125 assaults
355 death threats
3 kidnappings

Source: National Abortion Federation (NAF), Violence and Disruption Statistics, March 2003. Figures include incidents from both U.S. and Canada.

Sounds like more damage, and ots more victims, at a cursory glance.

And I can't resist quoting this from your fbi link...


During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country.

"most dangerous" domestic threat. So says the FBI!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see now that you DID post a quote! Sorry again! The thread is getting too unwieldy...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Concerning the NARAL quote:
  • the source is not independent
  • we don't know if it refers to organized or individual violence

I saw the line about the rightwing extremism, my statement was not a generalization though. Of course there was and is right wing extremism, just like many other kinds.
The difference seem to be that while I feel completely at ease to acknowledge that about the rightwing extremisms (and all the others), you and others defend those on the left side, even as the FBI classification seems impartial and has been done during the Clinton administration. Talk about impartiality vs ideologic bias...

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:19:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Concerning the NARAL quote:
the source is not independent

Do you want to contest the facts? Do you think that NARAL has a history of making shit up as it goes along?

This is factual information that's part of the public record. If you're not going to dispute that, then the source is irrelevant.

we don't know if it refers to organized or individual violence

Yes we do. It's part of a pattern in the anti-choice movement - for that matter in the wider American fascist movement of which the anti-choice movement is a part. When leading ideologues proclaim that abortion is murder, that doctors are legitimate targets for "direct action" and that there is such a thing as "justifiable homicide," then there can be no presumption of "individual violence."

The difference seem to be that while I feel completely at ease to acknowledge that about the rightwing extremisms (and all the others), you and others defend those on the left side,

Uhm, no. We're perfectly content to condemn left-wing terrorism - when it is actually terrorism. ALF are terrorists - they use pipe bombs and arson. Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd are not - they use non-violent sabotage. If you can't tell the difference between violence and property damage, then frankly I wonder about your ethics.

even as the FBI classification seems impartial

Another unsupported assertion. FBI "seem impartial" but NARAL are "not independent." This is the worst farrago of special pleading, unsupported assertions, red herrings, no true Scotsman fallacies and flat denial that I've seen since last time mikep showed up and tried to defend Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

and has been done during the Clinton administration.

When was that ever relevant?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"leading ideologues proclaim that abortion is murder"

That is not a question of ideology, but a subject of debate that the society should assume. There is legitimate concern about the quality of human being involved in this matter, and the issue is extremely grave. It should have not been just shunned aside by libertarian ideologues obsessed about "civic rights". We do have right of possession of our body alright, but not without a serious debate as to whether we're speaking of a mere body organ here, or a whole new living being waiting to be born.
Obama's stance of calming things down and finding solutions is far wiser than anything done these last 30-40 years.

"We're perfectly content to condemn left-wing terrorism - when it is actually terrorism. ALF are terrorists - they use pipe bombs and arson. Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd are not - they use non-violent sabotage"

I'm glad to hear this and find myself disproved.

"FBI "seem impartial" but NARAL are "not independent.""

I precisely spoke about the quoted document. It speaks about many kinds of terrorism, and amongst others refers to the eco kind as well. It cites objective numbers and the assessment does hardly sound biased.
In general, I tend to believe state authorities as independent and impartial in that they are not involving directly in these matters, but remain focused on defending public safety.

"This is the worst farrago of special pleading, unsupported assertions, red herrings"

I beg to differ. Could you provide a few links in support please, preferrably a complete list of red herrings and unsupported assertions. Or else I'll have to consider this yet another flaming, ideologically-charged statement we've come to expect of you.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:47:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is not a question of ideology, but a subject of debate

Since when was ideologically motivated debates illegitimate? And in which fictional world is it not an ideological position to claim that abortion is murder?

It should have not been just shunned aside by libertarian ideologues obsessed about "civic rights".

I'll have revisionist history for 200, Alex.

We do have right of possession of our body alright, but not without a serious debate as to whether we're speaking of a mere body organ here, or a whole new living being waiting to be born.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether abortion is ethically defensible. When reasonable people can disagree about the moral status of an activity, it is not within the government's remit to prohibit it. You can make a reasonable case for abortion and you can make a reasonable case against abortion. That the government does not prohibit abortion does not detract anything from your ability to not have an abortion, if you are more convinced by the case against than the case for. But if the government prohibits abortion, then it is enforcing your ideological position against people who find it unconvincing, for no clear public gain.

I precisely spoke about the quoted document. It speaks about many kinds of terrorism, and amongst others refers to the eco kind as well. It cites objective numbers

Where? The numbers in the parts you quoted referred exclusively to property damage, which is completely irrelevant. Sabotage isn't terrorism.

and the assessment does hardly sound biased.

That is your subjective assessment, an assessment that you have so far refused to attempt to justify on the merits.

In general, I tend to believe state authorities as independent and impartial in that they are not involving directly in these matters, but remain focused on defending public safety.

I laugh so I don't cry. If I had cited an FSB document to you, you would immediately have flagged it as coming from an unreliable government source. But the FBI are fine and dandy.

"This is the worst farrago of special pleading, unsupported assertions, red herrings"

I beg to differ. Could you provide a few links in support please, preferrably a complete list of red herrings and unsupported assertions. Or else I'll have to consider this yet another flaming, ideologically-charged statement we've come to expect of you.

An exhaustive list? Are you fucking kidding me? I'll give you one or two examples of each. But I'm not going to waste my time combing the entire thread for every logical fallacy you've committed. That would take all night, and I've got stuff to do tomorrow.

Special pleading: Concerning the NARAL quote:
the source is not independent [...] the FBI classification seems impartial
. The political organisation Jerome cites is suspect, but the political organisation you cite is not.

And again: I didn't say all principles can be adapted, but most of them can, The principles you find convenient can be applied verbatim, the ones that are inconvenient can't.

Unsupported assertion: And even if it is not considered as such, the damage made by anti-abortionists is quite smaller than some of the animal rights activists like the ALF You still haven't posted a body count. Remember: Sabotage is not terrorism, no matter how much neoliberals want to pretend that it is.

Red herring: Mothers here will tell you that you don't have to be religious to feel the thing kicking.
France btw recently passed a law permitting parents to give a name and bury their unborn babies in case of miscarriage.

True Scotsman [my bold]: I would never call or encourage anyone to call for the death of someone else. It is against anything religions say, btw.

And another one: As mentioned about twenty times before already, religion explicitely condemns murder, and so do  religious hierarchy and organizations.

Flat denial: So my original claim that the oath is a non-religious act opposing abortion still stands. The fact that it was procust-ized to fit our times doesn't change that.

And a little backpedaling, just for good measure [my emphasis]:

ValentinD: And I only reacted to that - involving religion without nuance, because this guy pretended to be religious. How about dr. Tiller who frequentates a church while he's been performing abortions. Anybody can pretend anything. The rest of Jerome's diary has been argued in detail up above.

poemless: I don't think he was pretending...

ValentinD: That's not the point at all, we have likes and dislikes

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 06:47:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking about the greatest number of fallacies ever seen.

I'll only repeat that this is no ideological debate, since there is no doubt this is about a living being. Anything around this issue can be analyzed objectively.

As to the ethical part, regarding the person quality, this is not just some controversion, but a matter of life and death. Our society usually takes the defensive approach in this kind of cases and tends to protect life, in general (even in slightly more trivial cases like, say, our right to wear animal fur, for example).

As for FSB / FBI as a legitimate comparison, or the "flat denial" that is not one, the backpedalling that is not so, the religion which does condemn murder and so on,
I've positively had enough of your constant trollish argumenting tactics, trollish provocations, trollish language, which you carry on time and time again with the passive blessing of the editors.
Spinning zillion words per minute filled with apparently respectable quotations, deductions or interpretations, constitute in fact a very activist way of blogging which has been seen ever since there is journalism and writing in general. The world is filled with smartasses who pride themselves with being able to "debate".
Except that yours are not debates, and since I'm not running for elections, I've no reason to waste any more time with individuals such as yourself.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 11:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you don't like it here, nobody is making you stay.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 02:29:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll only repeat that this is no ideological debate, since there is no doubt this is about a living being. Anything around this issue can be analyzed objectively.

Objective... you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Our society usually takes the defensive approach in this kind of cases and tends to protect life, in general (even in slightly more trivial cases like, say, our right to wear animal fur, for example).

When was fur prohibited? I must have missed that memo.

As for FSB / FBI as a legitimate comparison,

Why isn't it? They serve much the same function in their respective societies and are subject to much the same amount of oversight and political pressure.

I'll note, in passing, that the FSB has a better record than the FBI on the subject of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. And on Ossetia...

And before you give me any bullshit about Russia being an evil dictatorship and the US being a shining beacon of democracy, I'll just make a couple of notes: Florida '00, Ohio '04, Guantanamo, and the last three SecTreas in a row.

or the "flat denial" that is not one,

I'll leave that to the reader's judgement.

the backpedalling that is not so,

You claimed (or at the very least strongly implied) that Tiller and his murderer only pretended to be religious. poemless called you out on your lack of knowledge of their actual piety. You then claimed that it was about something else. I'll leave it to the reader to judge whether that constitutes backpedalling.

the religion which does condemn murder

Which religion? All religion? Your religion? Tiller's religion? Zen Buddhism? Islam? Christianity? Protestantism? Fundagelicalism? Reconstructionism? Tiller's murderer subscribes to a religion that condones murder. Unless you're going to argue that an ideology that condones murder is not a true Scotsman real religion.

Spinning zillion words per minute filled with apparently respectable quotations, deductions or interpretations, constitute in fact a very activist way of blogging which has been seen ever since there is journalism and writing in general.

Uh-huh. I note that you're not actually arguing your case anymore.

You asked for an exhaustive list. I provided you a rather less than exhaustive list. And then you bitch and moan about the work it would be to deconstruct it. I'm not demanding a detailed point-by-point deconstruction. Unlike some people here, I don't make demands on a guy's time just because he comes here to blog. But if you ask other people to go to the trouble of compiling a list of evidence, you can at least do them the basic courtesy of picking any one item on that list to deconstruct before you flippantly dismiss it. Otherwise, who's wasting whose time here?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll only repeat that this is no ideological debate, since there is no doubt this is about a living being.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Both Biologically and Biblically depending on where you take your source of argument there is doubt about where a fetus becomes a living being.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 08:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure you are making the distinction between "living being" and "human being" ? I said several times that I don't know whether it is a human being, but sure as hell looks like it's alive, especially after becoming what they call "viable".

Related to this, here is an excerpt from an interview given by Simone Veil, the author of the abortion liberalisation in France:


Q: Une clause de conscience figurant dans la loi Veil n'oblige pas les médecins français à pratiquer l'avortement. Quelle fut votre réflexion à ce sujet?

S..V. : On comprend que, pour un certain nombre de gens, il existe un cas de conscience face à cette pratique. C'est une question éthique et pas seulement un geste médical. La seule chose que j'avais négociée avec l'Église était de ne pas contraindre les médecins. C'est un point à maintenir, car on ne peut obliger personne à aller contre ses convictions. Il est de plus en plus évident scientifiquement que, dès la conception, il s'agit d'un être vivant.

Simone Veil's answer in English:

We understand that, for a certain number of people, there is a problem of conscience related to this procedure. This is an ethical problem, and not only a medical procedure. The only thing that I had negotiated with the Church was to not force the doctors. This is a point that must be maintained, for we cannot force anyone to go against his convictions. It is more and more obvious from a scientific viewpoint that, from conception, there is a living being".

http://www.tvmag.com/jsp/magazine/article.jspx?arId=31501

Or otherwise said, you are a example of "more catholic than the pope" - and a living one!
:)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 05:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That something is living is not a terribly interesting observation.

That there is an ethical discussion about abortion - that cases can be made for and against - is not terribly controversial either. It is precisely because reasonable people can disagree that the state has no business imposing either choice on its citizens. Forcing somebody to have an abortion is rightly considered an atrocious violation of her rights - and so is forcing somebody to carry an unwanted foetus to term.

Given that premise, we can have a more or less reasonable discussion about the tradeoffs involved, and hopefully agree on such things as cut-off dates (e.g. medio second trimester), exceptions to cut-off dates (e.g. for non-viable foetuses, mentally impaired patients, rape, etc.), how doctors who are personally opposed to the procedure should handle it (whether they should be obligated to perform it because they are in a regulated monopoly business, or they should only be required to refer the patient to an institution that will provide the treatment), and so on and so forth and etcetera.

But until the anti-choicers come down from their moral high horse, they will not be counted among the reasonable people who can be given a seat at the table when pragmatic discussion of tradeoffs must be made.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:39:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The anti lifers feature the same fanaticism in affirming the absolute right to dispose of one's body (as if there would be no question whether there is also another living, maybe human, body in there), and the same lack of openness to dialogue. My last diary says the same thing at the end: you get to someone's mind through his heart, and to the heart, by showing openness for his concerns.

(and I do have a feeling that say 300 years ago people were a bit more pragmatic and more cool about this, despite the weight of the church in society)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:08:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is not quite true.

It is true, of course, that no compromise is accepted with people like Herr Ratzinger or Dick Cheney's trained monkey. But that is mostly because Ratzinger and Cheney's trained monkey A) have no moral leg to stand on, considering their past behaviour and B) are not arguing in good faith.

However, once you accept that it is not a question of whether abortion can be permitted, but under which conditions abortion can be permitted, the vast majority of pro-choicers stop closing ranks, and pragmatic debate can commence about the conditions under which the ethical problems with forcing a woman to carry to term are outweighed by the ethical problems of aborting the foetus.

You will find that in most countries where there is no strong absolutist anti-choice lobby, there is a consensus that once you hit the third trimester, there must be a very good reason (typically concern for the health of the mother and/or the viability of the foetus) to permit abortion. But as long as there is a slavering, dogmatic and authoritarian anti-choice lobby that is prepared to launch upon any compromise at all as the thin end of a wedge to destroy reasonable access to reproductive health care, there can be no such compromise.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 06:59:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not quite correct.

"Many religious organizations have also taken positions that endorse the right of women to seek abortions in specific situations.
...
Pro-choice advocates also maintain that giving women control over their reproductive functions—what they call their reproductive rights—is a fundamental requirement for achieving equality between men and women in U.S. society.
...
Pro-choice groups therefore remain committed to the constitutional right to privacy defined in Roe. They view anti-abortion demonstrations that prevent women from obtaining abortions as interfering with that right to privacy.
The moderate pro-life movement consists of many different organizations... Although its members are extremely diverse, most come from religious groups such as the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant denominations.
...
Many are willing to allow abortion in certain cases, usually when pregnancy threatens the health of the mother or has resulted from rape or Incest.
"

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/therapeutic+abortion

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:23:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Many religious organizations have also taken positions that endorse the right of women to seek abortions in specific situations.

Not including the Roman Catholic Church.

Pro-choice advocates also maintain that giving women control over their reproductive functions—what they call their reproductive rights—is a fundamental requirement for achieving equality between men and women in U.S. society.

Yes? Your point? Nothing in that position prevents one from endorsing prohibition of third-trimester abortion, except for good reasons.

Pro-choice groups therefore remain committed to the constitutional right to privacy defined in Roe.

Yes, in the US they do. That's kinda my point you're making: The presence of an influential extremist lobby that almost universally argues in bad faith tends to polarise the political discourse. Surprise, surprise. When the bad guys are willing to play dirty and exploit every attempt to compromise as the thin end of a wedge to enforce their extremist position, their opponents stop trying to compromise (except the PES, for some reason...).

In those European countries where the extremist anti-choicers have been stamped out, it is virtually unheard of for pro-choicers to demand unlimited access to abortion in every stage of pregnancy. This scaling down of demands coincided precisely with the political defeat of the most rabid anti-choice extremists in those countries, indicating (but of course not proving) that it is anti-choice extremism that drives pro-choice absolutism.

They view anti-abortion demonstrations that prevent women from obtaining abortions as interfering with that right to privacy.

Are you claiming that the screaming anti-choice crowds in front of medical clinics are in fact composed of moderate, reasonable people who - if just given a seat at the table - would be willing to reach a reasonable compromise?

In that case, I have some Bear Stearns shares I'd like to sell you.

The moderate pro-life movement consists of many different organizations... Although its members are extremely diverse, most come from religious groups such as the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant denominations.

But not including the Catholic leadership, not including Herr Ratzinger and not including Dick Cheney's trained monkey.

Remember what my argument actually is, please: When a powerful, extremist lobby exists that consistently argues in bad faith, it tends to polarise the debate. To dispel the notion that there is a powerful anti-choice lobby arguing in bad faith, it is not sufficient to show that there are moderate people who have a philosophical problem with abortion. You have to demonstrate that they have successfully sidelined the insane extremists.

Which is gonna be a pretty tall order, considering that the extremists count Herr Ratzinger, the late, unlamented John Paul II and the last President (in name, at least) of the United States of America among their supporters.

Many are willing to allow abortion in certain cases, usually when pregnancy threatens the health of the mother or has resulted from rape or Incest."

That is an extremist anti-choice position, not a moderate one. Equating a first trimester foetus with a third trimester foetus is morally and biologically insane.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:42:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:

Remember what my argument actually is, please: When a powerful, extremist lobby exists that consistently argues in bad faith, it tends to polarise the debate. To dispel the notion that there is a powerful anti-choice lobby arguing in bad faith, it is not sufficient to show that there are moderate people who have a philosophical problem with abortion. You have to demonstrate that they have successfully sidelined the insane extremists.

This fallacious argument was almost going to remain unanswered. It might help you if you looked at this article in the last issue of NY Times:


Yes, many pregnancies are terminated in dire medical circumstances. But these represent a tiny fraction of the million-plus abortions that take place in this country every year. (Almost half of that number are repeat abortions; around a quarter are third or fourth procedures.) The same is true of the more than 100,000 abortions that are performed after the first trimester: Very few involve medical complications of any kind. Even the now-outlawed "partial-birth" procedure, which abortion-rights supporters initially argued was only employed in the direst of dire situations, turned out to be used primarily for purely elective abortions.

That is, for the comfort of the person involved. This provides a hint as to how the famous 'sense of responsibility' is put to use in real life. And further on, the exact opposite of your argument:


Indeed, the argument that some abortions take place in particularly awful, particularly understandable circumstances is not a case against regulating abortion. It's the beginning of precisely the kind of reasonable distinction-making that would produce a saner, stricter legal regime.

If anything, by enshrining a near-absolute right to abortion in the Constitution, the pro-choice side has ensured that the hard cases are more controversial than they otherwise would be. One reason there's so much fierce argument about the latest of late-term abortions -- Should there be a health exemption? A fetal deformity exemption? How broad should those exemptions be? -- is that Americans aren't permitted to debate anything else. Under current law, if you want to restrict abortion, post-viability procedures are the only kind you're allowed to even regulate.

If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester -- as many advanced democracies already do - would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester medical exemptions.




Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 07:39:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to provide a credible source for the factual claims here. Douthat is a Republican blogger, not a credible source. And the page you link to is an opinion piece, not an article.

And his political analysis is upside-down: The extremist anti-choicers want to ban abortion. Full Stop. Even for entirely uncontroversial cases were the health of the mother or the viability of the foetus are concerned. Pretending that this no-holds-barred opposition will go away if second-trimester abortions are regulated is either a deliberate, outright lie or an indication that Douthat is living in a fantasy world.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 07:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Granted, Douthat would send conservative flags red and alarm levels off the chart to a genuine progressive :)

Still his point is defendable. Suffice it to read the 400-odd comments to that article. Anyone who brings the slightest nuance to the absolute right-to-privacy/freedom-of-choice position, is barely recommended, while the dogma-upholders are in the 400 recommendations. Sounds familiar 'ey :)

The criticisms can be resumed in one phrase: any kind of nuancing, control, restriction of the aforementioned absolute right opens the door to denying it and so is a direct attack on a fundamental Liberty.

A lot of people may have a more reasonable stance, but the consistent lot of fanatics on both sides are on mutually exclusive, irreconciliable positions and noisy enough to make it look like that's all there is to it.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 08:15:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again with the moral equivalence and compulsive centrist disorder.

One side murders people on a regular basis and the other side makes noisy arguments to the effect that the first side are extremists who want to enslave women. Of course the two sides are morally, tactically and politically equivalent...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 10:09:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I was to be nasty, I wouldn't even underscore that 4 deaths in 40 years hardly qualifies as "regular basis", and I could tell you what the prolife fundamentalist would reply to this: that the numbers of the murdered infants are far superior, and so the moral assymetry is quite likely at the other end of the balançoir. Oh well. The point is that the "noisy arguments" succeeded in making an absolute right and a fundamental freedom of a very disputable issue, with the result emphasized in the NY Times article I quoted.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a credible source for some of the factual claims. According to a 2005 study by Finer, Lawrence B., Frohwirth, Lori F., Dauphinee, Lindsay A., Singh, Shusheela, & Moore, Ann M. :

"the two most common reasons were
"having a baby would dramatically change my life" and "I can't afford a baby now" (cited by
74% and 73%, respectively--Table 2).
A large proportion of women cited relationship problems or a desire to avoid single motherhood (48%).
Nearly four in 10 indicated that they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third said they were not ready to have a child.
Women also cited possible problems affecting the health of the fetus or concerns about their own health (13% and 12%, respectively).

The most common sub-reason given was that the woman could not afford a baby now because she was unmarried (42%). 38% indicated that having a baby would interfere with their education, and the same proportion said it would interfere with their employment. In a related vein, 34% said they could not afford a child because they were students or were planning to study..

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf

Like the article claimed, most of 'em are elective.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 09:10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not really seeing why this is a problem.

Why is it a problem, exactly?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 10:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's no a problem. JakeS was doubting the credibility of the facts mentioned in the NYT article that I quoted.
So I thought I'd investigate the issue.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some more factual data supporting the claims in the article quoted:


    * 25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
    * 21.3% Cannot afford a baby
    * 14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
    * 12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
    * 10.8% Having a child will disrupt education orjob
    * 7.9% Want no (more) children
    * 3.3% Risk to fetal health
    * 2.8% Risk to maternal health
    * 2.1% Other

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Reasons_for_abortions


About half of all U.S. women having an abortion have had one previously.
This fact--not new, but dramatically underscored in a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute on the characteristics of women having repeat abortions--may surprise and concern some policymakers, even prochoice ones.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/10/2/gpr100208.html


In 1993, the American Medical News-- the official newspaper of the AMA-- conducted a tape-recorded interview with Dr. Haskell concerning this specific abortion method, in which he said:
    "And I'll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range. . . . In my particular case, probably 20% [of this procedure] are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective."

In June, 1995, Dr. McMahon submitted to Congress a detailed breakdown of a "series" of over 2,000 of these abortions that he had performed. He classified only 9% (175 cases) as involving "maternal [health] indications," of which the most common was "depression."


http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/pbafact10.html


Although prominent defenders of the method asserted during 1995 and 1996 that it was used only or mostly in acute medical circumstances, Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers (a trade association of abortion providers), told the New York Times (February 26, 1997):
"In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along."

"In an article in American Medical News, to be published March 3, and an interview today, Mr. Fitzsimmons recalled the night in November 1995, when he appeared on ''Nightline'' on ABC and ''lied through my teeth'' when he said the procedure was used rarely and only on women whose lives were in danger or whose fetuses were damaged.

''It made me physically ill,'' Mr. Fitzsimmons said in an interview. ''I told my wife the next day, 'I can't do this again.' ''

Mr. Fitzsmmons said that after that interview he stayed on the sidelines of the debate for a while, but with growing unease. As much as he disagreed with the National Right to Life Committee and others who oppose abortion under any circumstances, he said he knew they were accurate when they said the procedure was common.


http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/26/us/an-abortion-rights-advocate-says-he-lied-about-procedure.html


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 09:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
some religious nut jobs who fly planes into buildings

Citation, please.

 

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could google this if you really wanted to you know...

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL.
by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's actually interesting that you feel there is bias in favour of Christian extremists - to the detriment of Muslim extremists. My experience of MSM is quite the opposite.

Take this article published by BBC about East Timor (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8068221.stm). Nowhere does it mention that the Timorese Christians were massacred by Indonesian Muslims.

This is far from being the only article with this type of bias. I read another one in the BBC about the history of the great Turkish nation. No mention of the extermination and ethnic cleansing of the millions of Christian Greeks from Asia minor... Why?

I find that the "protection" of Muslim minorities by MSM goes too far. In France, for example, stories of crime and violence perpetrated by Muslims (attacks in the RER, fatal car chases, etc.) usually stop short of giving the name of the perpetrators... whereas when it's a white aggressor, the name and racial background are usually not omitted. It's funny, because you end up knowing when it's a Muslim or a White perpetrator simply by deduction.

Anyway... it's interesting to see these discrepancies in perception.

by vladimir on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:24:53 PM EST
As to the "discrepancies in perception", it is indeed interesting, given the tidal flow of "civilisation-clash" propaganda presenting Islam(ists) as the enemy since 2001, that you may find a couple of examples where you feel there is an imbalance in the other direction.

As for your mention of "crime and violence perpetrated by Muslims", can you explain  what being (supposedly) Muslim (devout or simply by family tradition) has to do with RER attacks or car chases? Would you expect the media to report "Catholic" if the perpetrators' families were Catholic?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:13:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the tidal flow of "civilisation-clash" propaganda

What MSM channel is this on?

can you explain  what being (supposedly) Muslim (devout or simply by family tradition) has to do with RER attacks or car chases?

Nothing. You misunderstood what I wrote.

Would you expect the media to report "Catholic" if the perpetrators' families were Catholic?

No. But when it Charles DUPONT is the perpetrator we usually get to know about it. When it's Ahmed CHERKAOUI we usually don't.

Did you read the BBC article? Talks about the killings in Timor... between Indonesians and Timorese. No mention of Muslim perpetrators and Christian victims. Yet this was the very motif. Can you tell me why?

by vladimir on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When it's Ahmed CHERKAOUI we usually don't.

Then why did you say "Muslims" and not "Arabs"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:40:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because one often implies the other. Which is not true of white ethnic groups.

Question of freedom & choice over the past centuries. In Eurasia, Europe and North America, you can criticize Christianity in public and get indifferent looks in reaction. Try doing that in Cairo or Casablanca with Islam & we'll see how long you live. In fact, in most Western societies, you can practice whatever religion you want freely. In most Islamic societies, you can only practice Islam. The figures speak for themselves. From Timor to Turkey to Morocco... the numbers of non-Muslims are have dwindled if not outright disappeared.

That's why in most cases Arab = Muslim.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which, even if it were not a set of shortcuts and unsupported assertions, does not justify the use of "Muslim" when speaking of delinquence and petty criminality. "Muslim" has nothing to do with the matter.

Neither does "Arab", which my previous comment didn't mean to imply was acceptable, since it merely replaces religion by race. Underclass youth may be of Arab or black African origin, or of European origin. The unifying factor is to be found in the word "underclass".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 01:42:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which, even if it were not a set of shortcuts and unsupported assertions,

Maybe you can be a bit more precise here?

The unifying factor is to be found in the word "underclass".

You seem to be very attached to the ideal of a raceless, religionless society. It's taboo, in your world, to distinguish between these... It's politically incorrect. Yet you make other distinctions, which can be equally offensive to others. That of class. You have no qualms asserting that the "underclass" (read: the poor, the underprivileged) are more prone to being car thieves and street bullies - petty criminals.

Underclass youth may be of Arab or black African origin, or of European origin.

You're right of course. It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis of crimes committed per socioeconomic or ethnic group - although in France, it's illegal to compile statistics of this nature... you may not have known that.

My point was that when it's an Arab or a black African... MSM won't tell you about it. When it's a white or a skinhead, MSM WILL tell you about it. That's racist and biased in the other direction. Period.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was that when it's an Arab or a black African... MSM won't tell you about it. When it's a white or a skinhead, MSM WILL tell you about it. That's racist and biased in the other direction. Period.

Statistics, please.

by Sassafras on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8068221.stm

Why no mention of Muslim ethnic cleansing of Christians?

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:54:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless there is a hitherto unsuspected white skinhead or black African link to the situation in east Timor, then a link to the coverage of East Timor does not provide even anecdotal evidence for the general assertion you made above:

My point was that when it's an Arab or a black African... MSM won't tell you about it. When it's a white or a skinhead, MSM WILL tell you about it. That's racist and biased in the other direction. Period.

Statistics, please.

by Sassafras on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis of crimes committed per socioeconomic or ethnic group - although in France, it's illegal to compile statistics of this nature... you may not have known that.

Unless you think that I stay up in front of PPDA every evening counting points... there are no statistics of this sort around. It's a general impression that I get when watching the news and reading the paper.

The discussion (unless I'm totally gaga) is about anti Christian versus anti Muslim bias in the MSM. The BBC article was quoted as evidence of this bias in the first post of the thread.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A 'general impression'?

Okay.

When was the last time Christians were deported from the UK because they were hauled out of their university bedrooms and libraries in full view of other students and violently arrested? (And then deported or released without charge?)

When was the last time Christians had their doors kicked in early in the morning and were shot at and wounded, and then (again) released without charge because there was no evidence of terrorism? (As happened in Forest Gate in the UK.)

When was the last time Christians in the US or Europe were attacked, intimidated, shot at, or killed because of their religion or moral beliefs?

When was the last time you heard the phrase 'Christian Extremists' in the MSM?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:33:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When was the last time Christians in the US or Europe were attacked, intimidated, shot at, or killed because of their religion or moral beliefs?

Sunday? That dead doctor chap was a Lutheran at worship, which, despite my Irish Catholic antecedents, I'm reasonably sure actually counts as Christian.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He wasn't killed because he was a Lutheran at worhsip though, was he?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was killed for his moral beliefs. Could even have been Christian moral beliefs.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:45:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering how many of the congregation fully supported those moral beliefs. (The ones who weren't visiting with guns, anyway.)

But I suppose we'll just never know.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No need to taint his congregation by associating them with the fundagelicals. That's not fair

And it's not even smart politics: The sanity-based community needs the moderate and reasonable Christians to not feel threatened. Otherwise, we risk that they close ranks around their religious in-group, which will make purging the fundagelicals from the body politic much more difficult.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
White often implies Christian. European implies Christian. French implies Catholic. English implies Protestant.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:21:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
White can also imply Jewish, or Orthodox Christian, or simply non-practising / non-believer... which is most often the case.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So can Arab.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:31:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right. It's a question of proportions which leads one to generalise... or to avoid generalising.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:34:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman:
French implies Catholic
Tsk, tsk, you're going to offend the French in the audience.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Napoleon would have a few things to say about that from his grave.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Try doing that in Cairo or Casablanca with Islam & we'll see how long you live.

You know, if we're going to have high standards, we have to have better arguments than "but he did it too"

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right of course, in principle. But there are dangers to applying high moral standards to ones behaviour when faced with intolerance - or violence.

Our Western societies strive to be so intensely tolerant and accepting of Islam that the medium term survival of our own culture is put at risk. While we build thousands of mosques throughout Europe every year, the percentage of Christians in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia is... as I said earlier... dwindling if not completely annihilated. While our MSM goes to great lengths to engineer public opinion that is benign towards Islam, the Turkish persecution of Christians continues to this very day. I take the Turkish example here because it's the most "European" of Muslim nations.

In Morocco, it's plain illegal to preach Christianity. You get sent to jail.

Yes, in principle, I am in favour of tolerance and religious coexistence. But for that to work, you need reciprocity. Otherwise, the risk that your own history and culture progressively disappear is very very real.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well now, there's a collection of jarring frames and assumptions.

Which "Western" culture are you talking about, for a start?

Which "Muslim" cultures are you talking about?

Are you really arguing that because Morocco tries to stop the spread of Christianity (historically one of the best ways of promoting a religion) that it's ok for Germany to oppress Muslims?

Otherwise, the risk that your own history and culture progressively disappear is very very real.

Reading the post above, I'm inclined to wonder why you say that like it's a bad thing. Apparently morals are luxuries in your culture.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:13:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's ok for Germany to oppress Muslims?

Huh? I said that?

Apparently morals are luxuries in your culture.

What are you talking about? On what basis do you refer to me as being amoral?

Critique of Islam, even when based on factual assertions has become so taboo hasn't is? That's precisely the result of MSM opinion making that I'm referring to.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:27:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you're complaining about tolerance, so the implication is that intolerance would be a better response.

What are you talking about? On what basis do you refer to me as being amoral?

But there are dangers to applying high moral standards to ones behaviour when faced with intolerance - or violence.

Moral standards are luxuries only to be indulged in when it's easy.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:04:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I said was:

Yes, in principle, I am in favour of tolerance and religious coexistence. But for that to work, you need reciprocity.

My response is to demand reciprocity. If I don't get reciprocity, my response is to critique and point out the problem... because problem it is.

You're the one who's trying to frame me with extremist proposals... of which I offer none none. But, yes, I am very concerned with the problem of non reciprocity that I see between Islam and Christianity (in fact, between Islam and non-Islam) and I don't know what the best response to that is.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:15:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guessing that the group you're concerned with are a sub-group of Islams that doesn't really get on with the rest of Muslims, rather than Islam vs. non-Islam.

Why do you care about reciprocity anyway? Surely you should just do the right thing?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:20:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The sub-group you refer to ain't no sub group. It's mainstream. So mainstream, that the political power blocks in most if not all Muslim states is overtly Islamist and anti Christian. So mainstream that even in Turkey, the majority voted for Erdogan - an overt Islamist.

When was the last time you visited (in order of increasing intolerance) Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Bosnia, Iran or Saudi Arabia?

Why do you care about reciprocity anyway?

Oh come on! Maybe it's because it tells me about the values our neighbours have.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
So mainstream, that the political power blocks in most if not all Muslim states is overtly Islamist and anti Christian. So mainstream that even in Turkey, the majority voted for Erdogan - an overt Islamist.
Meet the "overtly anti-christian" Turkish PM Erdogan: "Alliance of Civilizations" is Our Answer to Those Who Claim Clash Among Civilizations is Inevitable
Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative was an answer to those who asserted that clash among civilizations was inevitable.
Delivering the opening speech at the 2nd Alliance of the Civilizations Forum hosted by Turkey in Istanbul, Erdogan said as Turkey and Spain, they initiated the process with the belief that dialogue was possible.
"We sincerely believed that the Christian, Muslim and Jewish peoples, the East and the West, could understand and tolerate each other. We believed that prejudices in a globalizing world could only be dangerous," said Erdogan.


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), while Mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Turkish secularism: "If the people want it," he declared, "of course secularism will go away. You cannot rule this people by force; you don't have the power to do that. This [i.e. secularism] cannot work in spite of the people."

And the people, he suggested, wanted Islamic law: "But the fact is that 99% of the people of this country are Muslims. You cannot be both secular and a Muslim! You will either be a Muslim, or secular!...For them to exist together is not a possibility! Therefore, it is not possible for a person who says `I am a Muslim' to go on and say `I am secular too.' And why is that? Because Allah, the creator of the Muslim, has absolute power and rule!"

Erdogan was imprisoned for four months in 1998 for his agitation for the restoration of Islamic law in Turkey: he had declared that "mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers. This holy army guards my religion. Almighty our journey is our destiny, the end is martyrdom."

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Link?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well thats a selection of comments without context, thrown together to provide specific meaning.  The last quote appears no worse than a U.K. politician going to church and singing Onward Christian Soldiers

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what are you saying, that Erdogan is a moderate?
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No I'm saying that anyone can take a handful of out of context quotes to prove a man a maniac, especially where you can colour the quotes by translation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if he can get along with a secular western leftist like Zapatero...

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but that just show that Zapatero is appeasing him.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:11:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly.

Plus, Zapatero is from the anti-Christian fifth column.

And so on.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Lionel Jospin was a Trotskyist. (And that's assuming that the Likudnik attack dogs of MEMRI translated -- resp. the domestic secular establishent opponents of Erdogan transscribed -- Erdogan's over a decade old speech faithfully.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're talking about 2 things.

  1. Islamist groups in traditional Islamitic countries

  2. Islamist groups in traditionally "Western" countries

About the first we can bicker. About the second, you will have to show first that this group is actually mainstream Islamist.
by Nomad on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
But there are dangers to applying high moral standards to ones behaviour when faced with intolerance - or violence.
Let's give up the moral high ground. It worked grea for France in Algeria, for Spain against ETA, and it won plenty of hearts and minds for Bush in Iraq.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:24:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's give up the moral high ground

Jérôme took the moral high ground. My point was precisely to give up the moral high ground.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And we shouldn't, is my point...

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That works if everyone adheres to the same principles. Otherwise... someone gets shafted. Refusing to get shafted is called Real Politik.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Retaining the high moral ground helps keep the allegiance of your own population and drains support from the opposing faction. This is especially important in (counter)insurgency situations.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:54:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's worked so well to date, hasn't it?

I utterly reject your assertion that betraying the alleged principles of your alleged culture does anything but damage the said culture.

I also utterly reject "Real Politik" as being a useful practical way of solving problems or achieving long-term ends. It's really a cover for the fear that you might lose face or that your opponent might gain, even at the same time that you do. Macho bullshit - see the "shafted" reference.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what do you propose? Build another 3000 mosques in Europe? Introduce Sharia Law in the English suburbs where the majority of the population is Muslim?
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Build another 3000 mosques in Europe?

What would be your problem with that?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My problem with that would be the same as the problem that most non Muslims had or still have in Muslim nations over the past 100 years which resulted in their exodus.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is?... Don't beat around the bush. There are an awful lot of unstated generalisations and special pleadings in the above short sentence.

It appears to me that you are arguing under the influence of Milosević-era war propaganda about Serbian forces doing the thankless task of defending Christian Europe against the Muslim Menace, and that menace then winning in Kosovo. The problem with that wasn't just that minarets in Bosnia were blown up before NATO forces sitting idle gave their KLA terrorist allies the opportunity to cleanse Kosovo of Serb Orthodox churches, but that even earlier, those valiant ecumenical cursaders blew up Christian churches -- Catholic ones -- in Slavonia.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like valiant Croat Catholic soldiers blew up the oldest Christian church in Dubrovnik's city centre in the early 1990's - which just happened to be Orthodox. Wasn't the only non Catholic church they blew up. There were plenty of valiant actions committed by each one of the 3 groups.

This has nothing to with Slobodan Milosevic and your remark appears to be an ad hominem.

It has everything to do with the irrefutable fact that Christians (and indeed non-Muslims) are disappearing from North Africa and the Middle East because of repressive Islamist regimes...

You are quick to condemn my critique of Islam, yet appeasing of the Islamist regimes which deny non Muslims their basic human rights. Why is that?

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And they got repressive.... how?
by Nomad on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, so that's the excuse. Well it's OK then isn't it?
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that you were the one talking about reciprocity. It doesn't really work then, does it?
by Nomad on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:57:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if I remember correctly, it's the Turks who advanced uninvited to the gates of Vienna and camped there for about 500 years.

If I also remember correctly, the Arabs came uninvited to Spain & all the way to France... and set camp there from the 8th to the 15th century.

So it went both ways.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You sound like Aznar - still fighting the reconquista.

Here's a list of those who came uninvited to Spain and set up camp before the several waves of Muslim incursions: Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, Visigoths (and other Germans).

Isn't it funny that it's okay to celebrate all these heritages except the Muslim one? Actually, it's okay to celebrate the fine buildings the Muslims left behind, it's just their descendants who are not welcome. Right?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's just their descendants who are not welcome. Right?

Wrong.

You're pushing me to an area I don't want to occupy. It's really interesting how most posts on this thread push my comments to extremes in an effort to discredit.

Speaking of who's welcome and who isn't... there have always been social frictions when the ethnic composition of communities of different cultures changed balance. It's so simplistic to just brand this social reaction as "racist".

This is the case with Poles in Germany. It was the case with Italians in France after WWII. With the Irish and the English. etc.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:41:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
It's really interesting how most posts on this thread push my comments to extremes in an effort to discredit.
Pot, meet kettle

vladimir to Colman:

OK. So you're not against Sharia Law in Europe.
You're an open minded guy.
Do you really want me to simply quote all the "extremes" you've introduced in your comments all by yourself?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:50:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really want me to simply quote all the "extremes" you've introduced in your comments all by yourself?

Please do.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
there have always been social frictions when the ethnic composition of communities of different cultures changed balance. It's so simplistic to just brand this social reaction as "racist".
You know, I'm encountering this "social friction is not racism" argument increasingly often. Normally in the contest of discussing gypsies, but nevertheless I don't buy the argument.

There is social friction and there is racism, usually simultaneously. And the existence of one doesn't negate the other, despite what many people seem to believe.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure. Then how do you explain the development of communities in large cities?
Italian, Chinese, Arab, Albanian, ... They're all racists?
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru: I'm encountering this "social friction is not racism" argument increasingly often. Normally in the contest of discussing gypsies, but nevertheless I don't buy the argument.

There is social friction and there is racism, usually simultaneously. And the existence of one doesn't negate the other, despite what many people seem to believe.

This is such moral posturing that its actually condescending.

Social friction doesn't need racism to exist. Racism on the other hand, is an extreme expression of social friction. The two can be associated, but they aren't always. For example, I personally wouldn't appreciate seeing large numbers of properties in my neighbourhood sold to Germans, Americans, Russians or whatever ethnic group or minority. It would change the social fabric of the area considerably and leave me without what I have come to love about the area - a cozy local fit with a cosmopolitan touch. Does that mean that I'm a racist? No.

Now why, if I had said the same thing about gypsies or Arabs... would I automatically be called a racist? This is an important question because it's sort of the way the discussion unfolded in this thread.

Imagine if a right wing Catholic had been elected to office in Austria and decided to outlaw the preaching of Islam. You'd all be screaming 'racism'. And you'd be right. Yet when I point to the same exact policies on display in Morocco, what I get is not a confirmation that indeed Islamism has a racist bent... but that I myself am a racist.

What a load of BS.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:07:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I personally wouldn't appreciate seeing large numbers of properties in my neighbourhood sold to Germans, Americans, Russians or whatever ethnic group or minority. It would change the social fabric of the area considerably and leave me without what I have come to love about the area - a cozy local fit with a cosmopolitan touch. Does that mean that I'm a racist? No.

Well, those are nationalities, not ethnicities.  But you are using the exact same excuse that racists used to keep blacks out of their neighborhoods.  It's not that they had anything against black people, they just wanted to protect the character of their neighborhood.

If you didn't want Jews moving into your neighborhood, would that make you an anti-Semite?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what does that say about the Chinese quarter in Paris? Or the Italian quarter in NY? Or the "black" quarter in Harlem? Or the Chinese quarter in NY? Or the Arab quarters in Les Mureaux? Who is racist here?
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:41:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not aware of anyone in these neighborhoods actively discriminating.  In fact, in America, places like Chinatown (most big cities have one) and Harlem are usually among the most diverse neighborhoods.  Choosing to live some place because they speak your language or share your cultural interests or because you just got off a boat and your sponsor lives there or because your family has lived there for generation and it feels like home ... you cannot be suggesting these are acts of discrimination.

Telling someone they cannot, should not move into your neighborhood because of their race, religion, etc., is discrimination.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telling someone they cannot, should not move into your neighborhood because of their race, religion, etc., is discrimination.

Obviously.

And your post is spot on. People move to specific neighbourhoods because they want to identify. Not because they're racists. If I end up surrounded by Americans in my French suburb... I will no longer identify and will most likely move on to another place where I have a better sense of identity.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except I didn't say "People move to specific neighbourhoods because they want to identify."

You are absolutely incorrigible.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course you did.

Choosing to live some place because they speak your language or share your cultural interests
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please do not substitute your interpretation of what I write for my actual words.  I say what I mean.  Stop attributing your perverse "logic" to me.


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you should improve your writing skills.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep digging.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation TechnologyÖ]

I don't see how this can get productive conversation.

by Nomad on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are welcome to delete my response.  It's not productive.  I just don't take anyone questioning my writing skills very well.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then instead of being aggressive and calling my logic "perverse" why not simply clarify what you wanted to say.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I get a 2 for this?  

Here I am trying to explain to you why your arguments are not logical and I get a 2.  Nice.  

Someone else can take over from here.  I'm taking a break.  I thought ET would be a place where we could have a legitimate discussion of the hypocritical application of the label "terrorist".  If I wanted to get into an argument with anti-abortion Christian conservatives there are about a million other blogs for that.  

Ciao.

And by the way, my writing skills rock.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:26:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're pushing me to an area I don't want to occupy. It's really interesting how most posts on this thread push my comments to extremes in an effort to discredit.

Then perhaps you should try actually spelling out what your thoughts are. In short sentences and using small words. Cut it out in cardboard for us, please, and bend it in neon for good measure. Because I for one am Not Getting It.

I am seeing a lot of things that could be anything from a well-thought-out position, through an uncritical repetition of the Conventional Wisdom, to outright racism. And the fact that I can't pin down which of those three you're hinting at isn't helping me follow your reasoning.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well one version of Spanish history says that the Berbers were invited in by count Julian of Cueta, after his daughter was reped by the Visigoth king Roderic.

In the UK at the same time the Christians came uninvited, should we similaraly ask them to leave?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:30:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And just because the Serb national myth is about some battle in the 14th century doesn't mean that teh Spanish or Austrian national myth has to be about the evil muslims 5 to 13 centuries ago... Of course, the traditionalist right-wing in Spain may still talk about the Virgin Mary winning a battle in Covadonga for the Spanish Christians. But I tend to just roll my eyes at that stuff and move on.

My view of history is informed by things like this. You have made clear what your view of history is. At this point the rational thing to do is to agree to disagree and leave it at that.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have made clear what your view of history is.

You are assuming that you've understood something that you can not have understood given our exchange on this thread.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you say so.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment about the Turks at the gates of Vienna and the Arabs in Spain was a reaction to:

Ceebs : And they got repressive.... how?

...which insinuated that the regimes in North Africa were repressive because of European colonial adventures in their lands.

You just jump to conclusions - I don't know how...

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if it was actually me who'd said it......

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, it was Nomad.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it's still a non sequitur. What has 15th C Vienna got to do with 21st C interventions?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're Muslims. That's all you need to know.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it went on and on and on and this thread became boring very quickly, because there is no end in sight if it turns into a case of regurgitating tit for tats. Another case why reciprocating with the behaviour of the other is not a good idea (negative feedback).

It went both ways, until one party curbed itself (kind of). I call it improvement.

by Nomad on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometimes it seems History is seen as nothing more than a list of grievances that the historian should be compensated for.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 09:14:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were plenty of valiant actions committed by each one of the 3 groups.

Can't you see that that was my point? (BTW I forgot to point out that the Croats also excelled in blowing up minarets.)

This has nothing to with Slobodan Milosevic

I did not claim it either. What is connected is the meme about the ecumenical defense of Christian Europe.

Christians (and indeed non-Muslims) are disappearing from North Africa and the Middle East because of repressive Islamist regimes...

Disappearing is a bit extreme, and I doubt that the Copts in Egypt or the Lebanese Christians will disappear anytime soon. Where, I note, the bulk of this exodus you talk about came from, but not because of repressive regimes based on a Muslim majority, but a civil war.

You are quick to condemn my critique of Islam

I saw no critique of Islam from you. Only blanket War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements.

appeasing of the Islamist regimes

I spoke of no Islamist regimes, much less appeased them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:49:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only blanket War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements.

So...

Critique of MSM favourable treatment of Muslim minorities in Europe becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Critique of repressive regimes in North Africa which will put you in jail if you preach Christianity becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Concern at the lack of reciprocity between Muslim states and European states regarding the tolerance of religious practice becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Concern regarding a non very integrated and fast growing minority of Muslims in numerous European ghettoes around large cities becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Seems to me that you have a rather Manichean (black or white) vision of your environment. I'm not a Islamophobe if I raise these issues, which merit our full attention.

by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 08:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Critique of MSM favourable treatment of Muslim minorities in Europe becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Please demonstrate that such favourable treatment is indeed endemic.

Critique of repressive regimes in North Africa which will put you in jail if you preach Christianity becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

No, but pretending that they are evidence of the inherent dangerousness of Islam is.

Concern at the lack of reciprocity between Muslim states and European states regarding the tolerance of religious practice becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Muslim states? On which planet is Turkey a "Muslim state?"

Concern regarding a non very integrated and fast growing minority of Muslims in numerous European ghettoes around large cities becomes War of Civilisations/Eurabia statements?

Not if it is raised in the context of advocating for employment programmes, improved police training, better city planning, housing policies, etc.

But if it is raised in the context of a farrago of half-truths, innuendo and fear-mongering talking points... then it becomes a lot more iffy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What, we really have to make it clear to you that we condemn repressive regimes? You're new around here, right?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:54:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Introduce Sharia Law in the English suburbs where the majority of the population is Muslim?

No, why would we do that? That would also be a betrayal of our principles : I want less religious nonsense in law, not more.

Though if Muslims want to build mosques, can afford to do so and there aren't any practical planning issues, I don't have a problem with that. It might help the Catholic church pay for their abuse compensation bills by selling off chapels.

If people want to use sharia as a way of resolving their civil differences, and if uneven power relationships can be compensated for, I have no big problem with that.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. So you're not against Sharia Law in Europe.
You're an open minded guy.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
So you're not against Sharia Law in Europe.
Your logic is amazing. Colman started with
No, why would we do that? That would also be a betrayal of our principles : I want less religious nonsense in law, not more.


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And it ended with:

If people want to use sharia as a way of resolving their civil differences, and if uneven power relationships can be compensated for, I have no big problem with that.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, because in civil law matters, in "common-law" countries (such as Colman´s Ireland), there is a presumption that the courts and the legislation don't get involved in civil matters unless agreement between the parties is impossible.

Which is not the case in "civil code" countries (such as your France).

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really care how people freely choose to sort out their civil differences: mediation, arbitration, chat with the priest, sharia judge, whatever, so long as the weak are protected (generally via minimum entitlements and  rights you can't sign away).

Now, there are all sorts of problems with all the alternative dispute resolution methods, but there are all sorts of problems with the courts as well.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
Introduce Sharia Law in the English suburbs where the majority of the population is Muslim?
Who, exactly, is proposing this?

Quotes, please, not straw men.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:30:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody in London just yet. Need a majority (or a large minority) first. But that's not a long way off.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're just speculating and shaking a bogieman.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I really call Bullshit on that one. only 6% of the UK population comes from Minority religions, and thats all religions, not just Islamic faiths of various stripes, and just over 38% of the UKs Muslims live in London It dosen't take a genius to work out that firstly we're a long way from their being a majority in London, and secondly that it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Borough with the largest proportion of Muslims is Tower Hamlets
The main religions followed or practised in Tower Hamlets are Christianity and Islam. Based on the census, there are 75,783 people who identified themselves as Christians (38.6%), and 71,389 people who are Muslims (36.4%).[25] The Muslim community mainly consists of Bangladeshis and Somalis. The Muslim proportion of the borough's population is the largest out of all local authorities in England & Wales.[26] There are 24 Church of England churches in Tower Hamlets, which include Christ Church of Spitalfields, St Paul's Church of Shadwell and St Dunstan's of Stepney[27] and also churches of many other christian denominations. There are a total of 40 confirmed mosques, including Islamic centres, in the borough. The three largest are the East London Mosque, the Brick Lane Mosque and the Markazi Mosque.
If they tried (and they don't - there is no "muslim party" fielding candidates) they could probably have a minority government in the local council, a shot at a London Assembly member, and a shot at an MP. And that would be the extent of the elected representation of political Islam in the UK.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 05:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a long way off is between 50 to 100 years. In Germany, for example, the declining population of ethnic Germans coupled with a fast growing population of Muslims is likely to cause civil strife in the time-frame outlined above.
by vladimir on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
likely
Do you mean more likely than not?

I think you're exaggerating. In fact, I think you're projecting Kosovo onto the whole of Europe. The problem is not religion or multiculturalism but the declining economic opportunity over the past 30 years.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:11:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So thats discounting the secularisation process that is happening in Western European countries? Whats special about Muslims that they will be able to resist these cultual forces?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears Europe's majority party is intent on slowing down the secularisation process (or at least welcomes its slowing-down). And then they'll complain about religious extremism.

EPP | European People's Party

Concluding the interfaith dialogue, the EPP President, Wilfried MARTENS, announced that the EPP will support the launching of a European charter for interfaith dialogue aiming to set up a European platform for this dialogue: "We see in society a revival of religions and of religious identity. It will be important to connect in an intelligent way, identity and openness to each other at the moment that there is a call for a stronger affirmation of the own identity of all religions."


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:18:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but that has been something politicians have been talking about for fifty years now, at a minimum. It hasn't noticeably slowed things down though.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eeeep... another linearisation of trends into the infinite.

If you look at the immigrant population of Germany from Muslim countries more closely, you'd see that birth rates and religiousity decline strongly with time... in other words, there is significant assimilation...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, you can't bring actual demographic data into the debate, it's not fair...

Qantara.de - Predicting a "de-Islamicised Muslim World" (2008)

"There will not be a clash of civilisations" is the most important message they bear. But Emmanuel Todd and Youssef Courbage do not want merely to assuage the West's fear of Islamicisation. They want to prove that the Islamic world is in the midst of radical change that will eventually bring modernity to the seemingly entrenched societies of the Islamic world. A quiet, but inexorable and dramatic revolution. Mass literacy and a decline in the birth-rate in Muslim societies are making such far-reaching social change possible.

...

On its path into modernity the Islamic world is experiencing a transitional crisis, conclude the demographers. The reactionary forces are fighting what will ultimately be a losing battle, even if radical Islamism is momentarily the strongest political reaction to this transitional crisis.



The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, the fertility rate in Turkey is now pretty close to the reproduction rate: 2.21 according to the 2009 estimate of the CIA's World Factbook, and 2.2 in 2006 according to Turkstat. (In the second link, annual data from 1990 shows the decline in this and the growth rate nicely.)

As for the wider Muslim world, a nice graph from a German article on the subject:

As for Muslims in Germany,

(From top to bottom: Turkish women in Turkey, Turkish women in Germany, German [women], German Muslim women.)

Now that was demographics. As for secularisation, with focus on Turkish immigrants to Germany, I summed up results of a few studies in this comment on ET (in 2005).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:41:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I shall note a special effect: the "Turkish women in Germany" category doesn't involve the ethnic Turkish citizens of Germany (e.g. the most assimilated part): only Turkish citizens.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 07:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a long way off is between 50 to 100 years. In Germany, for example, the declining population of ethnic Germans coupled with a fast growing population of Muslims is likely to cause civil strife in the time-frame outlined above.

Sigh...you know...I have elderly relatives (of whom I am NOT proud), who would say exactly the same thing about Catholics. According to them, the bans on contraception and abortion are a Catholic plot to take over the world by outbreeding everybody else.

All I can say is that every reason (and there are many) why that is an abhorrent point of view applies equally when the target is Muslims.

by Sassafras on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 04:38:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Refusal to adhere to civilised principles in our conduct is called "Kissinger diplomacy," not realpolitik.

We saw how well that worked in Viet Nam. And then we saw how well it worked in Lebanon. And in Palestine. And in Cambodia. And in - aw, Hell, I'll leave the rest of the list as an exercise to the reader.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:01:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Morocco, it's plain illegal to preach Christianity. You get sent to jail.

Uhm, last time I checked, most European countries stopped sponsoring the promulgation of Christianity sometime around the last World War. Did you miss that memo?

While lack of religious freedom is deplorable, I could find a great many issues that rank higher on the list of problems with Moroccan democracy.

Yes, in principle, I am in favour of tolerance and religious coexistence. But for that to work, you need reciprocity. Otherwise, the risk that your own history and culture progressively disappear is very very real.

You seem to be labouring under the mistaken belief that Europe has a Christian culture?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 02:34:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schaeffer (HuffPo): How I (and Other "Pro-Life" Leaders) Contributed to Dr. Tiller's Murder

Hyperbole from the pulpit from religious leaders, be it from my father or from President Obama's former pastor the Rev. Wright, is par for the course. But once in a while someone "does something" about it and then everyone says that they were only speaking metaphorically or "spiritually" when they called for violence or for the overthrow the state or when they said things like "God damn America!" or that "abortionists are murderers like Hitler!"

Angry speech has become the norm in American religion from both the right and the left. Words are spoken which -- when taken seriously -- lead directly to violence by the unhinged and/or the truly committed.

When evangelicals on the right call President Obama a socialist, a racist, anti-American, an abortionist, not a real American, and, echoing the former Vice President, someone who is weakening America's defenses and making us less safe, the logical conclusion is violence. If you take these words literally you might pull the trigger to "make America safe" and/or free us from communism or to even protect us from -- what some "Christian" leaders claim -- Obama as the Antichrist.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:03:07 AM EST
Indeed, "man caused disasters" or terrorism have no clear universally accepted definition. Who is terrorist in US maybe hero somewhere else. Another question - Is Taliban's hospitality to Al Qaeda comparable to Western hospitality and refuge to assorty of political dissidents, absconded oligarchs and freedom fighters who are wanted in other countries like Chechen rebels?

So, rules and definitions are likely to be imposed by Great Powers as long before. The law of jungle. However Sher Khan of the Book of Jungle sometimes missed his targets and Sher Khans of the modern world are not invincible as well.

There's nothing new about hypocritical attitude of Western policy makers and press to different kind of problems. They live in denial, denial about everything, about human sufferings in the third world caused by their wars, about racism and discrimination (like in Australia, where 30% of all crimes are committed against Indians, tiny fraction of population), about corruption and lack of genuine democracy in their countries. It's for history to judge them.

As a historian I know many cases of falsification and distortion of history (for example how Western historians tried to absolve and glorify colonial empires in Asia, Africa and Latin America) but in the end the truth always prevailed.

by FarEasterner on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:30:15 AM EST
in Australia, where 30% of all crimes are committed against Indians

What kind of crimes: all, or just violent, or just hate crimes? Could you cite a source?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:51:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indians only make up 1.18% of Australian population, so if it's all crimes, then Australian criminals are being remarkably discriminatory.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 06:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This figure is quoted in Indian media. When I find it I'll give source. But Indian media reports about hate crime against Indians in Australia on daily priority basis. I did not check yet but I think this topic is hardly covered in the Western media. Western media publicizes hate crimes only in appropriate countries, for example Russia.
by FarEasterner on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:16:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So I woke up to news this morning that a Muslim convert had opened fire on an Army recruiting center and killed someone.  The suspect was referred to as a terrorist throughout the piece.  Sigh...

I think this makes our point.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 10:52:35 AM EST
In the news accounts I read (you link isn't working for me), the killer was charged under terroristic acts laws, but even the military went out of its way to say that he was a lone criminal and not part of any terrorist or political group. That's not at all the rhetoric being given about Dr. Tiller's killer where everyone is claiming that anti-abortion activists are involved in terrorism.  In any case, neither perpetrators are terrorists.
by santiago on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Little Rock gunman is indeed being immediately charged with 15 counts of terroristic acts, and was under investigation by the FBI as a potential terrorist after a trip to Yemen.

From a quick look through, media language varies. But there's no doubt what kind of argument can be heard in certain quarters:

Fox News Religion Contributor FATHER JONATHAN MORRIS: Is the Obama Administration More Concerned About Radical Anti-Abortionists Than Radical Islamists? « FOX Forum « FOXNews.com

With the two events having so much in common on the surface, it would seem logical to suggest---and some in the media are already doing this--that radical anti-abortionists like Scott Roeder offer a threat to our national security that is on par with radical Islamists like Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad.  Nobody says this outright, but much of the reporting I have seen assumes crazed individuals with warped religious ideology who act independently of any organized group are just that-crazed individuals -- and that they're basically all alike.

In my opinion, we make a grave mistake if we follow the media's lead.

Yes, both Scott Roeder and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad acted independently in their crimes this week.  But while Scott Roeder's ideology was just the fruit of his own psychological imbalance, Abdulhakim's ideology is shared by dozens of well organized groups and thousands of men and women who have done harm to our country in the past and have sworn to wreak greater havoc on our homeland and military in the future.  Proof of this important distinction between the nature of these two tragic events has been the unanimous condemnation of Scott Roeder's crime by every major pro-life group in our nation. That's on the one hand.  On the other hand, we get nothing but silence from the leaders of the particular strain of Islam that Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad studied in Yemen.

In other words, it is crystal clear that Scott Roeder, the man suspected of killing Dr.  George Tiller, in no way represents the pro-life cause he heralded, while Abdulhakim will be considered a hero by many of his fellow Islamists whose cause is the destruction of America and Christianity in particular.

This distinction seems to escape not only our nation's media but also the leaders at the top of the current administration.  In fact, based on their law enforcement decisions and political responses to these two events this week, the Obama administration is giving the impression that they consider the threat of additional crazed anti-abortionists, ready to kill abortion providers, to be greater than the threat of additional radical Islamists ready to strike domestic targets.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 02:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FOX news?  You can't cite them if honesty has anything to do with your argument, and you know it. :)
by santiago on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 09:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm citing a Catholic commentator because his haste to draw a "both are crazy but one is all alone and the other not" seemed to me to have some bearing on the discussion here. Actually, Fox News as news was more... balanced.

I've also cited a Memphis outlet because the Little Rock gunman is from Tennessee. It's not beside the point, it seems to me, to look at what the popular media are saying in the "heartland".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:07:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know.  I'm just being flippant.
by santiago on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Little Rock Shooting Suspect Joins Growing List of Muslim Converts Accused of Targeting U.S.

The suspect in the deadly shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas is the latest in a series of Muslim converts accused of planning or launching violent attacks in the U.S., part of what security experts call an alarming domestic trend.

The attack came less than two weeks after a foiled bomb plot on two synagogues in Riverdale, N.Y., allegedly led by four men who converted to Islam in prison or shortly after their incarceration.

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the 23-year-old accused of killing a U.S. soldier and injuring another in the attack Monday in Little Rock, was born in Tennessee as Carlos Leon Bledsoe. He reportedly converted to Islam as a teenager, and court records show he changed his name in March 2006.

Little Rock police said there was no indication Muhammad was part of a wider plot to attack the military, but terrorism experts say there are important connections between his and other homegrown terror plots in recent years, including their targets, motives and inspiration.

"The real common denominator is the ideological commitment (present) in every single case I've seen over the past few months and over the past few years," said Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 02:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfect example of misuse of "terrorist" classification to try to achieve a policy response out of proportion to the actual danger to society.  Same argument applies here: this ain't terrorism.  

Both Muslims and pro-life activists are so reviled in society today that criminal acts by crazy individuals incite categorical denunciations of terrorism.

by santiago on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 09:55:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
santiago:
the rhetoric being given about Dr. Tiller's killer where everyone is claiming that anti-abortion activists are involved in terrorism

Scanning the Google News page on Tiller's murder, I have been unable to see much evidence of this. On the other hand, this is prominent:

The Religious Right Didn't Kill George Tiller - WSJ.com
The left tries to smear 'Christianists' as akin to Islamic extremists.

The comparison between the religious right and Islamic extremists is invariably partisan so as to smear the GOP as being held hostage to forces as dangerous as Hamas or Hezbollah. "Even as the Bush administration denounces and battles Islamic religious zealotry abroad, fundamental Christian zealotry is taking hold here at home," wrote Stephen Pizzo on the liberal Alternet Web site in 2004. On his popular HBO program, comedian Bill Maher frequently compares murderous Islamists to censorious Christians.

But if the reactions to the death of Tiller mean anything, the "Christian Taliban," as conservative religious figures are often called, isn't living up to its namesake. If "Christianists" were anything like actual religious fascists they would applaud Tiller's murder as a "heroic martyrdom operation" and suborn further mayhem.

The puerility of the reasoning is stunning.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 02:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by santiago on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 09:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try the Google News link I provided.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 04:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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