What do terrorists want?

Louise Richardson

What do terrorists want?

Louise Richardson, Executive Dean of the Radcliff Institute and student of terrorism says

From the perspective of history, "The war on terror will be seen as a colossal mistake....By declaring war on terrorism we're playing exactly into their hands. We're conceding the very objective they are trying to achieve."

Here's a summary of her views

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/02.08/05-terrorists.html

Charlie Rose Show video featuring Louise Richardson as one of 3 panelists

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9 comments

Iðunn 9 years ago

Good hub.

Have to say that the IRA are not remotely similar to what we think of as terrorist groups. Even the British say so and in fact that is the basis of the Good Friday Agreement and why soldiers both sides were let out in ?96? . The PIRA were the soldiers defending one half of a country in a civil war primarily over civil rights. They weren't and aren't terrorists and aren't even on the U.S. list of terrorist groups nor have they ever been (although the splinter groups RIRA and CIRA have been and are). Additionally, psych studies on PIRA prisoners fouind the PIRA to be idealists rather than criminals in profile.

Despite the misconception to the contrary, the middle east situation has zip in common with the Troubles in the north of Ireland. the catholics in the north have never wished to "push the proddies into the sea", commit genocide on an entire population, or danced in the streets at the death of civilians whom they exclusively targetted - those things are the domain of the "palestinian" struggle to kill as many Jews as possible.

The PIRA accepted a (very poor) compromise and embraced the political process at the first genuine opportunity. the "palestinians" wouldn't accept the Oslo Accord that gave them everything they demanded except Jerusalem. the PIRA could and did keep truces until the other side broke it first. the "palestinians" haven't been good for their word one single time over and over.

the differences are endless. There is no similarity between the catholic struggle for civil rights and the "palestinian's" desire to commit genocide on jews.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Well, I don't know a lot about Northern Ireland. But I suspect you overstate your case a bit in favor of the Irish Catholics and against the Palestinians. Louise Richardson isn't the first person to suggest that there are similarities. The Palestinians have committed unspeakable acts of terrorism and the Israelis have responded very harshly. The kill ratio is about 100 Palestinians for every Israeli. And the Israelis have not observed the UN conventions and they have created settlements outside Israel, taking land long occupied by Palestinians. There is plenty of blame to go around. Israel has violated the rights of the Palestinians as the British did the Irish in Northern Ireland, except much more so. And of course they face worse acts of terrorism as well than did the British.


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Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

BTW, as you probably noticed Louise Richardson is Irish. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. As I understand what she's saying is that conflicts like Palestine, Iraq and Northern Ireland are best dealt with politically rather than by declaring war as Bush has, in effect, against the entire Muslim world.


Iðunn 9 years ago

she is correct that the only true solution will be political but you need for both sides to accept that. as long as one side, let's say "palestinians" will except nothing less than pushing all the jews into the sea, no political solution will be possible there.

I can source my comments if you find it necessary. My opinions are based on fact.


Iðunn 9 years ago

on the other, I agree with you that Bush's action was counterproductive and moreso, that's he's a greedy moron who could care less how much damage he's done. I have been and am totally against the invasion of Iraq and Israeli support of that U.S. action is one of Israel's policies I disagree with.


Longhunter 6 years ago

Deeds,

What would you have us do when attacked by terrorists (i.e. 9/11/01)?

What would you have done if you were president on that fateful day?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Well, one thing I wouldn't have done is invade Iraq. I hope I would have focused more resources than Bush did on tracking Osama bin Laden down in Afghanistan. Once I got him I would have gotten the hell out of that death trap for Americans.

Then I would have called together our allies and developed a plan to deal effectively with international terrorism.


Longhunter 6 years ago

Deeds, you might be surprised but I agree with your first point.

On your second one, I agree up to a point. That being that this plan in no way restricts us or any of our allies from acting alone if necessary. An example would be where we've been attacked, have intel on the location of the ones responsible, and want take them out either by a missile fired from a drone or by sending in a special ops team. Another would be if Israel feels they must take out a terrorist camp. They should not have to call our president before acting.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks. We aren't far apart on this issue.

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