Democracy Arsenal

« Hillary, Take it Back! | Main | Patience on Iraq's Constitution »

July 28, 2005

The IRA Puts Down Its Guns
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

The IRA formally announced a cessation of its armed struggle, vowing to use only peaceful means to pursue its political aims.  This is a potentially momentous announcement, and one not to be overlooked in evaluating the progress of the war on terrorism.  If this is a sign that Islamic extremists have discredited terrorist tactics in the eyes of groups that were once quite comfortable with violence against civilians, that is no small matter.   

In theory, such a shift of mindset could lead to a reduction in terrorism as groups that do have concrete political aims conclude that by resorting to terrorist means they will utterly isolate and deligitimize themselves.

One problem, of course, is that there is little sign of such a shift in mindset in the Middle East, the source of most of the world's terrorism.  The Iraqi insurgency rages, and Palestinian terrorism seems to be back on the upswing on the eve of the Gaza withdrawal.  Articles like this one and this one reprinted on Watching America (one links to a Dubai television broadcast reporting that “The American's oppressive, inhuman, and undemocratic behavior in recent years has led to the creation of martyrdom-seeking movements everywhere”) point to the widening gulf in perceptions about terrorism between the west and the Mideast.

That the circle of those who reject terrorism may is widening in Europe and elsewhere represents an achievement.  But at the same time it may be shrinking in the Middle East, with the result that the overall threat to the U.S. and our allies could be greater and not lesser than when the fight on terror formally started nearly four years ago.  One step forward two steps back?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The IRA Puts Down Its Guns:


"and Palestinian terrorism seems to be back on the upswing on the eve of the Gaza withdrawal."

A little one-sided don't you think? Latest week in the OCT.

Israeli violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) during the reporting period (21 – 27 July 2005):

Israeli Occupation Forces Continue to Attack Civilians and Annex Land Across the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

*4 Palestinian civilians were killed by IOF, including a child who was run down by an Israeli settler vehicle.

*19 Palestinians were injured among them a mother and child and a further 7 children.

*IOF conducted 34 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and one into the Gaza Strip (a total of 35 incursions conducted during the reporting period).

*Houses were raided and 33 Palestinian civilians were arrested by IOF.

*IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF isolated the southern Gaza Strip; IOF have prevented Palestinian civilians aged 16-35 from traveling through Rafah International Crossing Point; IOF have resumed a special checking machine at the crossing point; and IOF arrested 12 Palestinian civilians, including 2 women and a child, at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

*IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; in Wad Rahhal and Jourat al-Sama'a areas, south of Bethlehem, that 603 donums of agricultural land was seized for the purpose of the construction of the Wall; and IOF starting razing dozens of donums of agricultural land near Tarqumea, west of Hebron city.

*Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; a Palestinian child was run down by an Israeli settler and a number of houses and civilian facilities were demolished by IOF in the West Bank.

The believe that terrorism is expanding is a result of the brutal bombings murdering the citizens of Iraq. As the vast majority are Shia it is clear to me there are two issues in combatting it. One is the lack of coaltion troops to sucessfully occupy Iraq in its entirety. The success in the Kurdish and Shia territory is a result of these areas own internal political dynamic i.e. we are not letting anyone oppress us again and the geographical realities of where these two groups live in plurality. Another is there is said to be a certain looking away in regards to coalition activity in these areas. It is in the Sunni areas especially Baghdad where the population is cosmopolitan and those cities where Saddam instituted ethnic cleaning and forced settlement to change the ethnic composition that terror reigns most openly.
These areas are challenged by the religious schism between the Shia and Sunni adherents of Islam. This is the second problem and the one that can lead to civil war.

The lack of security and the religious schism are the yin and yang of one another. The lack of troops means the borders of Iraq are not secure from either the Jihadism of al-Queda or Iranian influence. For the Jihadists, they will always have the advantage of a blind eye as long as the vast majority of the terror bombings take place against their religious rivals the Shia. It also prevents any trust being built up by the security forces as they are currently composed of either Kurds or Shia. As such religious identity probably trumps national needs.

Until the security situation in these areas is enhanced the thesis that terrorism is not being rejected will have firm ground. The religious situtation could be subsumed under the nation-building process with some type of cantonization and Baghdad being a capital like Washington, DC. This means an explicit rejection of the Sharia as a basis for criminal and civil law.

Welcom to play the game,i like to earn the 9 Dragons gold,and i like to play with my friends to buy 9 Dragons gold together.Even though there is a lot of equipment of me, but i do not satisfy my these equipment so i go to buy some new equipment with the cheap 9Dragons gold. I often introduce the game to my friends and ask them if you want to have a lot of 9Dragons money,you can play the game well.Come on and join us to play the game.

I hope i can get Perfect World Silver in low price.

I likeghost gold, it brings me many happiness. If you haveghost online gold, you can help others.

I hope i can get runescape gold in low price,
Yesterday i bought cheap rs gold for my friend.

I appriciate him. I prefer the
rs gold in the game. In fact, the
runescape money is expensive.

Once I played Aion, I did not know how to get strong, someone told me that you must have aion kina. He gave me some aion online kina.

Once I played Aion, I did not know how to get strong, someone told me that you must have aion kina. He gave me some aion online kina.

I am so with you,rolex watch
luxury watch

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use