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August 18, 2005


Martin Kramer

Pape didn't catch on to the role of organizational rivalry, because his original research misattributed many of the attacks. For example, he attributed the whole array of suicide attacks in Lebanon to Hizbullah, when in fact they were undertaken by different, rival groups. I found serious mistakes in his database, and while I think he's rectified them in the book (I've just skimmed it), it was obviously too late to affect his theory. Have a look here, too, for what I described as the "competitive cycle of sacrifice" that took place in Lebanon between Hizbullah and Amal.

Well, at least Pape is trying. Look at the program of the next convention of the Middle East Studies Association, and show me one paper that addresses this kind of issue. That's "terrorology," and as we all know, real Middle East hands don't soil their hands with that.


Maybe Middle East hands don't soil their hands in "terrorology" because terrorism really isn't a "Middle Eastern" phenomenon, per se, even if it has come to be closely associated with Middle East nowadays? I'm writing out of complete ignorance since I'm totally unfamiliar with either of the books beyond a couple of reviews, but it's always been my experience that old regionalists often fail to grasp stunning similarities between comparable phenomena in different regions (partly because they don't know much beyond their specialty) and tend to attribute them to the region-specific variables. Perhaps it might be useful for "terrorologists" to separate themselves from any one region and think of the Tamils, the IRA, and the FARC in the same light as Hizbullah or Hamas.

Papa Ray

I take exception to this:

"there is nothing inherently dysfunctional about the Islamic faith per se that predisposes its adherents towards violence,"

Anyone who studies the Islamic [faith] and becomes a "true believer", must follow the Koran (don't hit me for the spelling, spell it like you want to and I will spell it like I want to), and treat the "infidels" as the Koran dictates. Either convert them, enslave them and make them pay taxes to continue to live or kill them.

Now if you want to be a progressive follower of the Islamic faith and be "Modern and such", you of course don't have to follow this course of life.

But be aware, if you don't and you are not a true believer they will kill you.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Papa Ray

Oh, while I am here, I do admit that my self taught crash course on Islam and the Middle East doesn't compare with your education and background, and/but- you wrote this awhile back:

"The Arab response to the tsunami has become a moment for Arab self-criticism and soul-searching, as an impressive roster of Arab journalists and political personalities have demanded a public accounting for the tepid Arab response. The Western media, unfortunately, have focused on reports of the hateful and absurd remarks of a small number of fringe figures involved in this global disaster, or on whether Arabs have been sufficiently appreciative of American relief efforts. Not everything is about the West."

Maybe a few said a few things, but they were lost in the noise. The only remarks that made it out (which they always seem to do), were negative to the United States. You know the ones I'm refering to.

I am willing to bet that there is not one ARAB or PERSIAN leader or anyone of that ilk that felt one bit of guilt or did one second of soul-searching.

The Western world might have changed the minds of a few of the survivors and people that recieved help first hand. But that's about it.

Our help, in fact, pissed off most of the extreamists even more. Gave them more reason to hate us.

I don't have to explain that reverse cause/effect to you.

Its time everyone tried to quit making excuses for the misunderstanding, the misconceptions. People need to admit that for the east and west to stop this coming terrible war, the exteamists have to be wiped out by force.

Words don't matter to them (except their own) they only understand and respect the blade.

Papa Ray
West Texas



I'm afraid you're badly wrong on both counts...

There's nothing inherent in Islam which compels a Muslim to act in the ways you describe. There are some Muslim scholars and politicians who claim that there is, but there are many more who disagree. What you're doing is taking sides in an intra-Islamic debate, not stating any "truth."

Re the tsunami, public opinion polls in the months after show that the American efforts in fact did improve the American image, not only in Indonesia but in the wider Muslim world.

Your mistake on both counts is to equate the extremists with Muslism in general. They'd like to speak for a unified Islam, or even a majority, but they don't. Why grant them a victory that they can't win on their own and don't deserve?

Rex Brynen

Oh Martin, give the MESA thing a rest ;)

Yes, it would be good to see more papers on this sort of thing at MESA. However, I also think it is fair to say that scholars who do work on counter-terrorism don't present at MESA conferences for the same reason that they rarely present at other areas studies conferences--the mix of attendees really isn't optimal, and you get far better feedback from going to ISA or specialist counter-terrorism conferences. Even if MESA was to be Kramerized, I still doubt it would be the best place for CT discussions.

Still, its pretty hard to swing a cat at a MESA conference without hitting someone in the intelligence community. I think my record is seven in one hour, while nursing a coffee in the Marriott Wardman Park coffee shop (spook-watching, its like bird-watching: "Look, a DIA warbler, and a pair of wise INR spotted owls..").

John Penta

What're CIA? Vultures?


Rex Brynen

Nah, they were under deep cover as energy consultants, until Karl Rove outed them to journalists.

yar apap

Boy I wish I could be as 'informed' as Papa Ray... Oh wait that would mean I am as informed as a pile of rocks. Thankfully I have a real education...

Mark R. Miner

Nice to see that ol' Marty is still at war with reality. Maybe one of these days he will grow up and finally realize that lying is wrong.

Papa Ray

I'm afraid a liberal education won't keep you safe anymore.

The masses of Muslims that don't believe they should kill infidels will not protect you from the million or so that do want to kill you and your whole family.

I make a clear distinction between "good Muslims" and the "True Believers". I also
know the the good Muslims are not going to come to our aid and we should not expect them to.

So, back to my orignal statement.

We just have to kill all the "True Believers".

My self taught education on Islam is in keeping with most that know the true nature of Islam and the Koran.

Your outdated, liberal view of the same is the one that you need to work on.

But then again, you might not mind being their slave and pay taxes to keep yourself and your family alive.


Papa Ray
West Texas

Real Scholar

Papa, I'll make this simple YOU ARE AN ILL INFORMED IDIOTIC MORON! You have no clue what you are even talking about. You make those "intelligent design" folks at the Discovery Institute look like real biologist by comparison.

Papa Ray

Thanks for the compliment.

You couldn't have done better if you tried..oh,
you did try.

Name calling, comparing is the extent of your smarts, oh, I forgot you (and apap) have an education. Liberal I would guess.

Have you read up on the rules yet on how to be a good slave?

I would bet that this Interesting post will give you a heart attack.

Please, please go read it.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Another Real Scholar

Nope Papa, afraid that Real Scholar, yar apap, and the Aardvark have a point. You are so ill informed that it is painful to read your posts. You can justify your bigotry and racism by claiming that you have knowledge all you want but those of us who actually know something are embarrassed by your 'self education'. I don't know what you are trying to prove with that link of your but it just reinforces my impressions of you as an ignorant hate-monger.


I just wanted to point out that the "interesting' post was written by a liberal. I have a liberal college education, I'm left leaning when it comes to most social causes but conservative when it comes to economic and security issues. And I believe that the only way to stamp out radical Islam is not only cutting off it's head but all of it's tentacles as well.

We can discuss this issue until we're blue in the face. The bottom line is that the US should not ever have to justify our way of life to the world.

'Your mistake on both counts is to equate the extremists with Muslims in general. They'd like to speak for a unified Islam, or even a majority, but they don't. Why grant them a victory that they can't win on their own and don't deserve?'

Well if they don't speak for Islam in general then why are the exploding wonders the only ones being heard? They are not suicide bombers or martyr's. They are quite simply murderers. And they are intent on coming to a theatre near you very soon. So lets hear the 'real' voice of Islam. Oh, wait, that's right. If the leaders of predominantly Muslim countries spoke up and took a real and substantial position against terrorism backed by laws and national policy there's a very real chance that would out them on Osama Bin Laden's hit list. Or at the very least cause civil unrest in their own countries.

And one more thing...for the supposed amount of collective intelligence in this post and on these comments, how could not one of you click on Papa Ray's profile and see that the gentleman served 2 tours in Vietnam. He got an education in the real world that none of us will ever have. Your should have more respect for someone who went over 'there' and served our nation so you didn't have to. I am embarrassed by your arrogance in thinking that people are unable to glean the truth from the sources other than the train wreck that is our current mainstream media.

Another Real Scholar

Mare, WTF makes you think the rest of us haven't served our country, maybe in the Middle East and we "got an education in the real world", eh? Yet, we still manage to find Papa wrong all all counts and manage to be well read enough to know that the leaders (both political and religious) of predominatly muslim countries have spoken up time and time again against bin Laden and his ilk. Papa and you need to stop sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la I'm not listening" and then declaring that you know 'the facts'.


Well please enlighten me of your particular experiences. I'd love to hear where and how your opinions have been formed. Which branch and what MOS did you have?

And it is not enough to speak out against radical Islam. It must be backed up by sermons in the Mosques, by adopting a zero tolerance policy on harboring or aiding terrorists with real consequences for breaking the rules and seizing their assets.

As for sticking our fingers in our ears, the opposite is true. We wouldn't be here if we didn't want more information to form opinions on national policy regarding terrorism. We're listening. Personally I'm just not hearing anything different than the standard fare of name calling because you disagree with anothers viewpoint instead of explaining why you disagree.

Lev Sedov

Mare, you are listing so well that you have ignored every single time Abu Aardvark (or any other legitimate scholar, i.e. NOT Daniel Pipes) has talked about Muslims who are doing EXACTLY what you demand! Why should the burden of proof fall on Another Real Scholar when it is you and Papa who are factually wrong!?

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