Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => Politics and Law-Related News => Topic started by: bananapancakes on January 19, 2006, 11:28:33 AM

Title: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: bananapancakes on January 19, 2006, 11:28:33 AM
What do you guys think of this? 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aX6.U5m11V2U&refer=top_world_news (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aX6.U5m11V2U&refer=top_world_news)

Bin Laden Offers U.S. `Truce,' According to Audiotape (Update2)

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- A man identified as Osama Bin Laden warned of more al-Qaeda attacks against the U.S., while offering a ``long-term truce'' linked to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an audiotape aired by al- Jazeera today.

``We are preparing new strikes,'' said the man purporting to be the al-Qaeda leader. ``You will see them sooner rather than later, as Iraq isn't the only battleground as you have seen with other recent attacks in European territory.''

Al-Jazeera aired several segments of the tape, which was addressed to ``the American people.'' The Doha, Qatar-based broadcaster didn't say how it obtained the tape, whether it had been verified as genuine, or when and where it had been recorded. Bin Laden was last heard from in a December 2004 audiotape in which he named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to lead al-Qaeda in Iraq.

U.S. officials said they believe Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are hiding in the mountains along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for terrorist acts around the world, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. and the March 11, 2003, train bombings in Madrid.

In the most recent attempt to disrupt al-Qaeda, U.S. forces last week bombed a remote region in northwestern Pakistan, killing four al-Qaeda members, including an explosives expert on the U.S. ``Most Wanted'' list and al-Zawahiri's son-in-law, Agence France-Presse cited Pakistani officials as saying.

`A Hydra'

Security analysts including Sajjan Gohel, of the Asia Pacific Foundation in London, have said that killing al-Qaeda members won't defeat the movement.

``Al-Qaeda is like a hydra with many heads,'' Gohel said in a telephone interview today. ``It's an ideology more than an organization, and if you were to chop off one head, it wouldn't wither away and die.''

The man purporting to be bin Laden said he was offering a ``long-term truce'' to allow for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, ``which have suffered so much from war.''

Portions of the tape aired by al-Jazeera included a mention of truce ``conditions,'' in addition to a U.S. pullout from the two countries. Details of the other conditions weren't given in the portions aired.

There's no ``shame'' in a truce because it would prevent the loss of billions of dollars to ``those with influence'' and ``war merchants'' who worked on U.S. President George W. Bush's election campaign, the man said.

Last Videotape

Bin Laden was last seen in a videotape aired in October 2004, just days before the U.S. presidential election. The al- Qaeda leader admitted for the first time that he planned the Sept. 11 attacks, and suggested the idea came to him when he saw the 1982 aerial bombardment of tall buildings in Beirut.

Stepped-up security in the U.S. hasn't prevented al-Qaeda from attacking the country since 2001, according to the man purporting to be bin Laden on the latest tape. Instead, al-Qaeda has been using the time to prepare for another assault, he said.

There was no immediate U.S. response to the message. White House Scott McClellan told reporters that he hadn't heard the tape and so couldn't comment on it.

``We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and opinion polls show the Americans don't want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land,'' the man on the tape said. ``If your desire for peace, stability and reconciliation is true, here we have given you the answer to your call.''

Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: John Galt on January 19, 2006, 12:18:12 PM
Its bin laden...and he sounds a bit desperate.


Bush is unintelligent though...his response? "The terrorists started the war, and we will end it in a time and place of our choosing."

Man, I miss clinton.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: bananapancakes on January 19, 2006, 12:24:39 PM
Its bin laden...and he sounds a bit desperate.


Bush is unintelligent though...his response? "The terrorists started the war, and we will end it in a time and place of our choosing."

Man, I miss clinton.

I completely agree about missing Clinton.

It is unconscionable that Bush should treat this message that way, but no longer does it surprise me.  Unfortunately, this administration has tossed out the ideals of diplomacy and negotiation that were a much better option imho exercised by former presidents. 

Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: angmill08 on January 19, 2006, 12:46:59 PM
The message from Bin Laden sounds too good to be true. Why orchestrate 9/11 if all al Qaeda wanted was no US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?

 This message basically admits to losing ground. Al Qaeda embarked on a campaign of terrorism with a goal  of punishing the US for imperialism/involvement in the Middle East. Now they've given that up and decided to push for a much, much smaller goal -- US out of Iraq and Afghanistan? WTF? They had that before 9/11.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: bananapancakes on January 19, 2006, 12:55:24 PM
The message from Bin Laden sounds too good to be true. Why orchestrate 9/11 if all al Qaeda wanted was no US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?

 This message basically admits to losing ground. Al Qaeda embarked on a campaign of terrorism with a goal  of punishing the US for imperialism/involvement in the Middle East. Now they've given that up and decided to push for a much, much smaller goal -- US out of Iraq and Afghanistan? WTF? They had that before 9/11.

This argument is interesting.  I dismissed the statements by Bush & Mclellan.  Going with your logic though, I can see that there is possibly an implication of Al Qaeda losing ground. 

Also, I just thought of the possibility that even if they give up formally or call a truce, who is going to stop the rogue agent from commiting an act of terror anyway?

Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: TomServo on January 19, 2006, 01:21:12 PM
I'm really not clear on the reason al-Qaeda has "lost ground".  I'm an American, and I believe strongly in our country's values, but since 9/11, these things have happened to the US and the al-Qaeda organization:

1. US experienced huge losses across several industries totalling billions of dollars, notably the airline industry.

2. US has become more of a "police state" than previous, with incredibly stringent airline security and limits to guarantees of freedom.

3. US has experienced a major tear in its political fabric, with partisanship becoming the key decision-maker in many citizens' opinion-forming process.

4. al-Qaeda has become the most feared organization in the US and abroad.

5. al-Qaeda has gained support in a completely unstable Iraq, and should the US withdraw, may even gain control of political forces within the government.

6. al-Qaeda is considered in every discussion of US security, foreign policy, and government defense spending.

7. US is now spending ridiculous amounts on defense, potentially weakening other public services within the US, while troops abroad equal less security at home.

These are just off the top of my head- to imply that al-Qaeda has lost ground is not considering all the facts, in my opinion. 
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: bananapancakes on January 19, 2006, 01:39:34 PM
makin banana pancakes pretend like it's the weekend

 ;D

You got the reference!

Now if only we could make banana pancakes for Bush & Bin Laden and make up. 
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: verbal on January 19, 2006, 01:44:55 PM
bush is a tool. what he said was retarded. unfor he was right. u cant except a truce with bin laden for a number of reasons. the first is that he is a terrorist who targeted women and children. of course we have to kill him. secondly americans would go crazy. they would never allow a truce with him. on top he cant keep terrorists from attacking america. hes not that respected. bush should have just said we dont negotiate with terrorists.

whats funny is i think bush should pull out of iraq immediately. this just makes it harder.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: angmill08 on January 21, 2006, 03:48:14 AM
Actually, after reading more coverage of this and reading the actual tape transcript, I see that Bin Laden did not actually say that if the US would get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Al Qaeda would stop the terror attacks. (That's what it at first seemed like he was offering, which is why I wondered if Al Qaeda felt that they had lost ground and expressed the "WTF?" confusion.)

It basically seems like this tape is more hot air from Bin Laden. And, of course, Bush's reply is just more hot air on top of that.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 21, 2006, 08:11:47 AM
1. US experienced huge losses across several industries totalling billions of dollars, notably the airline industry.

2. US has become more of a "police state" than previous, with incredibly stringent airline security and limits to guarantees of freedom.

3. US has experienced a major tear in its political fabric, with partisanship becoming the key decision-maker in many citizens' opinion-forming process.

4. al-Qaeda has become the most feared organization in the US and abroad.

5. al-Qaeda has gained support in a completely unstable Iraq, and should the US withdraw, may even gain control of political forces within the government.

6. al-Qaeda is considered in every discussion of US security, foreign policy, and government defense spending.

7. US is now spending ridiculous amounts on defense, potentially weakening other public services within the US, while troops abroad equal less security at home.

servo-

i think that you are essentially correct with each one of these points, but i don't know if they are particularly relevant to whether or not al qaeda as an organization has been weakened.  while it is rather decentralized in operation, there is definitely some degree of hierarchy and stucture to al qaeda--otherwise it would make no sense to target bin laden--and i think what may be happening is that our actions in afghanistan and pakistan have been weakening that structure.  it doesn't make much difference how much harm bin laden's organization is inflicting on us if his organization is about to collapse.  as for iraq, i think that there are many people using the al qaeda label there but i don't think that the insurgency is really integrated into bin laden's organization.

just my two cents.

1. "there is definitely some degree of hierarchy and stucture to al qaeda--otherwise it would make no sense to target bin laden" : This strkies me as being both circular and wrong (there are perhaps symbolic reasons for targeting him; that he funds some operations doesn't mean that there is a hierarchy, nor, for that matter,  does that fact imply an organization. etc. etc.

2. Weakening/collapsing the structure presumes that there is one. Sounds like wishful thinking to me. USG kills some guy who has done something. USG puts his photo up on some hierarchical chart. USG claims organization therefore weakened.

3. Bin Laden would no more seriously suggest a truce on the terms that he has proposed than GWB would accept them. Bin Laden's actions and the actions of those who act under the umbrella term "al qaeda" can usually be understood as rational when one (a) expands the time horizon and (b) you look at the actual consequences of each act. (We, by contrast, play in the shorter-term and think more narrowly).

4. In view of 3, there is a strong case to be made that al qaeda is more likely to achieve its aims than we are to achieve ours.

my humble two cents
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 21, 2006, 07:42:37 PM
3. i never suggeted that bin laden was being serious with a truce; i find it extremely unlikely that he would actually hold up his end.  however the fact that he would even suggest it makes his position look weaker and so it seems that he would only do so when he was compelled to by necessity.  of course, it occurs to me that it might also be an attempt to make his side look more reasonable.  knowing that the us will never agree, he might have done it to try to further divide us from its allies.  thought?

I am more inclined to believe the latter of the two explanations: a seemingly reasonable offer that will be rejected by the administration but that the anti-iraq war people in the US will perhaps find appealing. Also, of course, his main audience - the umma - will, he believes, be persuaded that he is being moderate and the despised Bush is not. Makes sense to me; it's what I would do in his position even as I were planning future attacks. Does not indicate any weakness in his, or his networks', positions.

As to the hierarchy question: it is not how I would organize if I were them, and it is not something that I can imagine them organizing. Networks are more inefficient but more durable. It seems to me that efiiciency is less important to their aims than is durability and longevity. They are in it for the long haul.

'Morning, btw
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 21, 2006, 07:56:17 PM
The people who appreciate strength - it is not ALL muslims, after all - know that he is not weak. Then there are the others, the one's who were not entirely comfortable with what happened on 9/11, the cosmopolitans in Karachi etc. If he is to reach out to them, to sway them over the long haul, he has to be both strong and moderate (one can be both): to offer peace and to strike at the heart of the enemy. No-one likes a nut but other nuts. He doesn't want to appear a nut. Think Goldwater and Reagan.

21.55 hours
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 21, 2006, 08:17:07 PM
I'd bet on his reading of muslims over USG's reading.

Of course he has to reach out to the cosmopolitans: his goal, presumably, is the caliphate. If so, he has to encourage Muslims as diverse as Jakartan professionals, taxi drivers in Kano, lawyers in Kuala Lumpur, and fishermen in Zanzibar, as well as the traditional Arab heartlands. It's a long-term job: he'll try this and see what the outcome is, and try something else (maybe a modification, maybe an extension) later.

Meanwhile, we send Karen Hughes to Cairo and Istanbul.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 22, 2006, 07:00:40 AM
Of course he has to reach out to the cosmopolitans: his goal, presumably, is the caliphate. If so, he has to encourage Muslims as diverse as Jakartan professionals, taxi drivers in Kano, lawyers in Kuala Lumpur, and fishermen in Zanzibar, as well as the traditional Arab heartlands. It's a long-term job: he'll try this and see what the outcome is, and try something else (maybe a modification, maybe an extension) later.

his goal is a caliphate but one purged of insidious western influences, so to speak.  i would think that jakartan professionals and lawyers in kuala lumpur would have no place.

No, I don't think so. Bin Laden is NOT the Taliban. He is pro-technology, his ADC is a modern pediatrician, he poses with tricked-out AK-47s and uses satellite phones. He trusts most those people who have been educated to a high level in the West. I do not believe for a moment that his vision of the Caliphate is pre-modern one. How could it survive? It couldn't. His caliphate will need engineers and bankers and air-traffic controllers.

Somehow we have imagined Bin Laden as a stupid, medieval man. I don't know how that happened, exactly. He is not stupid; he has political aims; he has a strategy.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 22, 2006, 07:22:16 AM
Stanley Watson - I am surprised at you! You honestly believe that accepting the values of modernity means accepting liberal democracy, individualism and consumerism? Modernism is necessarily Westernism?  I think that your own ideological commitments are blinding you.

You've been a bad boy, so I'm going to quote some Geertz at you:

"We [anthropologists] have been the first to insist on a number of things: that the world does not divide into the pious and the superstitious; that there are sculptures in jungles and paintings in deserts; that political order is possible without centralized power and pricipled justice without codified rules; that the norms of reason were not fixed in Greece, the evolution of morality not consummated in England. Most important, we were the first to insist that we see the lives of others through lenses of our own grinding and that they look back on ours through ones of their own."

 ;)
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: SCgrad on January 22, 2006, 07:25:07 AM
Bin Ladin makes it well known that he is the main man behind 9/11

He is asking for a pissing contest with GB at the very least

GB not going to back down from this

Binny could be completely harmless and his bleeding head on a wooden stake would mean the world to many Americans (not that he is completely harmless)
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 22, 2006, 09:58:13 AM
Stanley Watson - I am surprised at you! You honestly believe that accepting the values of modernity means accepting liberal democracy, individualism and consumerism? Modernism is necessarily Westernism?  I think that your own ideological commitments are blinding you.

why should that be surprising?  i am afraid you may have me improperly pigeonholed as something i'm not.  you disagree that modernity does mean a degree of greater individualism? 

i apologize if i'm not being clear about my terms.  i blame it on my lack of a real debating background.  my main point was that one can have technology without having modernity.  do you agree with this premise?



Not trying to pidgeon-hole you - sorry for being unclear. It's just that I didn't imagine that anyone believed that being modern necessarily means placing the individual at the center of the political and the social. The confucian and muslim and other ways of organizing the social do not rely priviledging the individual, and yet it would be hard to argue that, say, Japan or Taiwan are not modern.

There is a sense, often used in sociology, where "modernity" is identified in that way, but that use is tongue-in-cheek and critical (see, Anthony Giddens' work, for example).

Taking a critical stance - and from another direction - toward our own (American) faith in the individual as center: do we as Americans believe that, let's say, a Laotian is equivalent to an American? I think not.

I agree with your premise: possessing technology does not entail being modern. I am just willing to accomodate a broader definition of the modern than just one that is centered on, or even involves, liberal democracy, individualism and consumerism. Think of a Kibbutz environment: modern, but it lacks each of these elements; or Fascism  / Communism which was also proto-typically modern.

Much of the impasse over the last 50 years in the defining a consensus on, and commitment to, human rights has turned on this very issue. I think so, anyway.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 23, 2006, 10:55:30 AM

funny, i thought that modernity was by definition a movement from more tradition, collective-based mentalities toward those that do privilege the individual.  perhaps i am just using the term "modern" as a substitute for western.  i would not consider traditional confucian, muslim ways of organizing the social to be modern.  i would think that japan and taiwan would be considered modern in as much as they have moved toward a more western definition of social organization.

and again, i am not familiar with giddens' work or the kibbutz environment.  your knowledge is clearly broader than mine. 

i think of modernity as stemming primarily from the westphalian system, which ultimately led to the creation of private space to which religion could be consigned. 

Yeah. Modern doesn't necessarily mean Western. Think back to the way that the word "civilized" was used at the start of the last century. They similarly equated civilization with occidentalism. (As an aside, "Western", in turn, doesn't necessarily mean liberal democracy, etc).

Modernity stemming from the Westphalian system? Maybe, in one sense (and a narrowly Western sense at that): nation-states, sovereignty etc. (if we ignore, of course, all the nation-states that pre-existed Westphalia in other places). But not socially or culturally, I think. In the latter context, I have heard modernity sourced to the advent of Shakespeare, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Henry Ford, and all manner of other signposts (all Western, naturally), but never to the Westphalian system. Were you IR person in undergrad? (Feel free not to answer)
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: SkullTatt on January 23, 2006, 11:30:56 AM
What do you guys think of this? 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aX6.U5m11V2U&refer=top_world_news (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aX6.U5m11V2U&refer=top_world_news)

Anything Bin Laden is doing or saying is in his own self-interest. Accepting his "offer" is about as close as you could get to making a deal with the devil. Hopefully they will kill him soon if he's not already dead.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: SCgrad on January 24, 2006, 02:38:37 AM
"Western" is another way of saying "American"


"Globalization" is another way of saying "Americanization"



not in theory, but in practice
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: tbbs1 on January 24, 2006, 06:14:33 AM
but to return to the main point, though my definition of modernity might be extremely narrow and western, i think it's very relevant to the current discussion.  this is clearly a sort of modernity that bin laden and his fellows reject violently.  i think it is also something that "cosmopolitans in karachi" accept and desire (this may be an incorrect assumption i admit; i believe it is true but cannot back it up empirically).  since this latter group embraces an idea about how society should be structured that is so completely at odds with bin laden's views, they most likely do not have a place in his imagined caliphate.  i find it difficult that he would try to show a face of moderation in order to appeal to such groups



to build upon stanley's point, i think that there are certain aspects of "Western modernity" that are more a product of modernity than the evolution of Western values. take for example the status of women. technological change and economic necessity, in my opinion, did more to advance the cause of women's equality than did traditional western values (there is little tradition/history in the west for women's equality).

similarly, let's suppose that bin laden does in fact desire the establishment of a technologically-modern caliphate. those could be mutually exclusive. for it to be technologically modern, it would require mass public and higher education to train the workers for its ecnonomy and greater urbanization in order to organize the economy. but mass education and greater urbanization will in turn create more of the "cosmopolitan Karachis" referenced above, who are not interested in bin laden's vision.

the basic point is not that liberal democracy is inevitable -- i do not think that that is true. but i do believe that a technologically modern society does require certain liberal values, at least to be economically successful. china is an interesting example to keep in mind.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 24, 2006, 08:49:34 AM
to build upon stanley's point, i think that there are certain aspects of "Western modernity" that are more a product of modernity than the evolution of Western values. take for example the status of women. technological change and economic necessity, in my opinion, did more to advance the cause of women's equality than did traditional western values (there is little tradition/history in the west for women's equality).

Hmm. I think that these claim may be both factually and conceptually problematic.

Numerous historical,  anthropological and sociological studies have shown that the sexual division of labor, the distribution of rewards,  the control of strategic resources and the social status of women was higher in pre-modern societies than in modern (what is called, in the argot of these disciplines "Fordist") societies. Economic studies in developing countries today show that by the four criteria listed above, women in the subsistence economy ( aproxy for the pre-modern) have it better than women in the modern sector.

I have a poor understanding of what "economic necessity" is. Who faces such a pressure more: the subsistence farmer, the sweatshop worker, or the investment banker?

What is "western modernity", and how can it be disentangled from "western values"?

similarly, let's suppose that bin laden does in fact desire the establishment of a technologically-modern caliphate. those could be mutually exclusive. for it to be technologically modern, it would require mass public and higher education to train the workers for its ecnonomy and greater urbanization in order to organize the economy. but mass education and greater urbanization will in turn create more of the "cosmopolitan Karachis" referenced above, who are not interested in bin laden's vision.

the basic point is not that liberal democracy is inevitable -- i do not think that that is true. but i do believe that a technologically modern society does require certain liberal values, at least to be economically successful. china is an interesting example to keep in mind.

How do we then explain that for nine hundred years the most modern, richest, most urbanized, most cosmopolitan and educated society in the world was an Islamic caliphate? And that for a thousand years before that it was a Confucian Empire?
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 24, 2006, 09:08:02 AM

fair enough.  i am using the word modernity in this narrow western sense.  for the record yes i was an IR person, but i understand that modernity is defined differently in other disciplines (my film history professor was particularly confused by how i defined the word). 

and i disagree that westphalia was not the beginning of social modernity.  i think that social modernity (again narrow definition) does entail the existence of a private domain for the individual.  i believe that this private domain came about beginning with westphalia, which started the process of moving religion out of the public realm (and yes i know that this is arguable). 

but to return to the main point, though my definition of modernity might be extremely narrow and western, i think it's very relevant to the current discussion.  this is clearly a sort of modernity that bin laden and his fellows reject violently.  i think it is also something that "cosmopolitans in karachi" accept and desire (this may be an incorrect assumption i admit; i believe it is true but cannot back it up empirically).  since this latter group embraces an idea about how society should be structured that is so completely at odds with bin laden's views, they most likely do not have a place in his imagined caliphate.  i find it difficult that he would try to show a face of moderation in order to appeal to such groups


If you define Modernity as Westernism, then sure - Bin Laden doesn't want any part of it for his future imagined caliphate. That's easy. It is only complicated by the fact that some imagine that because he therefore "hates us for our freedoms". I doubt that very much, I don't see any evidence to support that claim, and I don't see how that view has gained such common currency.

I think you'll find that the claims of community and faith are far greater in Islam than they were in Christianity. Islam is a fundamentally *political* faith. I would not bet that the "Western-Modern" concept of social organization is more in tune with the intuitions of a professional in Karachi or Mombasa than are the instincts of Bin Laden or Al Zawahiri.

Part of the challenge for us, I think, is to stop viewing Islam as a sort-of protest against the West or against Liberalism etc. It is not. It is its own belief system, with internal coherence, and with sufficient appeal to command the allegiance of hundreds of millions of people. Compared to Christianity, there is very little variation in the structure of that belief. I would say that (for different reasons) the Taliban/Wahabi variant  and the American-Black-Muslim variant are the only outliers.

I have no reason to believe that Bin Laden is a Wahabi or that he adheres to the Talban view of Islam. His messages and his actions have all been political ones.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: tbbs1 on January 24, 2006, 11:00:06 AM

Hmm. I think that these claim may be both factually and conceptually problematic.

Numerous historical,  anthropological and sociological studies have shown that the sexual division of labor, the distribution of rewards,  the control of strategic resources and the social status of women was higher in pre-modern societies than in modern (what is called, in the argot of these disciplines "Fordist") societies. Economic studies in developing countries today show that by the four criteria listed above, women in the subsistence economy ( aproxy for the pre-modern) have it better than women in the modern sector.

I have a poor understanding of what "economic necessity" is. Who faces such a pressure more: the subsistence farmer, the sweatshop worker, or the investment banker?


i should be more precise when discussing the status of women. i was  referring in particular to political rights and general economic opportunity.

and by "economic necessity" i was referring obliquely to particular conditions that contributed to the increased rights of women in the united states. for instance, women, at least in the US, have routinely been afforded more opportunity and rights during and in the aftermath of war. for example, certain professions and professional schools became more accepting of women out of necessity in the second half of the 19th century mainly because there were shortage of young men (600,000 of them having been killed). the political rights of women in America at least originated with this type of economic necessity (and not from Western political traditions). 


How do we then explain that for nine hundred years the most modern, richest, most urbanized, most cosmopolitan and educated society in the world was an Islamic caliphate? And that for a thousand years before that it was a Confucian Empire?


well, i believe in the case of the islamic caliphate, it was comparatively more liberal than the others societies of its age (in no small part because it was the most cosmopolitan and educated society in the world). and it is certainly not true that western values translate to societal supremacy. but that is besides the point. my point was in response to the idea that bin laden wants a modern Caliphate with "engineers and bankers and air-traffic controllers," i.e., a technologically modern society, by today's standards. if by Caliphate we should mean he wants all Muslims to live under one political entity governed from Saudi Arabia, Baghdad, or elsewhere, I do not think that the requirements of a technological modern society preclude that from happening (those lots of other factors do). however, if you extend that idea of a Caliphate to the imposition of Salafist beliefs (or another rigid belief system) on all members of that political entity, I do think he could achieve a technologically modern society. i do not believe you could educate and employ tens of thousands of engineers, bankers and air-traffic controllers in a society in which women could not drive.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 24, 2006, 11:31:07 AM

i should be more precise when discussing the status of women. i was  referring in particular to political rights and general economic opportunity.

and by "economic necessity" i was referring obliquely to particular conditions that contributed to the increased rights of women in the united states. for instance, women, at least in the US, have routinely been afforded more opportunity and rights during and in the aftermath of war. for example, certain professions and professional schools became more accepting of women out of necessity in the second half of the 19th century mainly because there were shortage of young men (600,000 of them having been killed). the political rights of women in America at least originated with this type of economic necessity (and not from Western political traditions). 


Total War as an emancipator of women? I'm with you on that score. Take, for example, the case of Eritrea and Ethiopia: identical traditions, customes, cultures, economies (if anything Eritrea is poorer, but the economic structure is the same), polities etc. They fought a thirty-year (civil) war. Ethiopia, with a population of 70 million, threw in its men and boys; Eritrea, with a population of not even a quarter that, threw in men, boys, women and girls. The women fought alongside the men, all afros and kalashnikovs. There is no country today, after the victory was won,  that has a more emancipated female population than Eritrea, if by emancipation we mean parity with the social and economic status of  men. There are few countries where women have a lower status than in Ethiopia.

Notice, though, how this is very very tangential to the issue of economic development, economic modernity etc. Further, no-one would claim that Eritrea is a Western or a liberal state.



well, i believe in the case of the islamic caliphate, it was comparatively more liberal than the others societies of its age (in no small part because it was the most cosmopolitan and educated society in the world). and it is certainly not true that western values translate to societal supremacy. but that is besides the point. my point was in response to the idea that bin laden wants a modern Caliphate with "engineers and bankers and air-traffic controllers," i.e., a technologically modern society, by today's standards. if by Caliphate we should mean he wants all Muslims to live under one political entity governed from Saudi Arabia, Baghdad, or elsewhere, I do not think that the requirements of a technological modern society preclude that from happening (those lots of other factors do). however, if you extend that idea of a Caliphate to the imposition of Salafist beliefs (or another rigid belief system) on all members of that political entity, I do think he could achieve a technologically modern society. i do not believe you could educate and employ tens of thousands of engineers, bankers and air-traffic controllers in a society in which women could not drive.

See how that term "liberal" re-appears? You are using it in the sense of "tolerant", I think, whereas Stanley is using it in the Lockean sense. Yes, the Caliphate then was tolerant: there was a personal space for individuals to follow their own faiths (there were no persecutions, restrictions and pogroms of Jews and Christians, for example, in the Caliphate as there were of Jews and Muslims in Christendom), and yet the political and public space was indisputably islamic.

A great deal of value was placed on education, on higher education, on technology and on economic expansion. I see no necessary reason why his future imagined Caliphate shouldn't emphasize those values also.

As you can sense, I see no reason why the notion of a Caliphate, as imagined by Bin Laden, needs to be "extended" into a Salafist vision. I do not know of any instance in which Bin Laden himself or Al-Zawahiri as stated or implied this. I understand that USG has conflated the two - perhaps from ignorance (entirely possible), or from an attempt to communicate complex ideas simply to an otherwise confused populace (that would be us). I think it is the former, personally: I need only think back to the "Yellow Devil" portrayals of the Japanese during WWII.

Even if it were a Salafist vision that he has in mind, however, I do not see any practical problem that the Caliphate would have in achieving technological and economic modernity without having a female professional labor force (at the extreme) or without having an integrated professional labor force. I guess I think that economic determinism is so much bunk.  :)
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 24, 2006, 08:14:23 PM
Fair enough. It felt more like a discussion than an argument, though. And good morning.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: tbbs1 on January 25, 2006, 09:55:36 AM

I guess I think that economic determinism is so much bunk.  :)


i suffer no shame in usurping marx for my own ends.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 25, 2006, 10:00:13 AM
Heck, everyone else does - why shouldn't you?
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: Fidelio on January 27, 2006, 07:50:38 PM
Redemption,


Your LR advice is solid but with all due respect...

Osama Bin Laden is not a Salafi.

http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/

Due to his despicable actions, the top Salafi scholars have declared Bin Laden a deviant. 
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: 140am on January 27, 2006, 08:50:25 PM
Modernity is the forward thrust of the human condition away from whatever the previous/current incarnation is.  This takes a much different form depending on where you may be.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 28, 2006, 01:39:47 PM
Redemption,


Your LR advice is solid but with all due respect...

Osama Bin Laden is not a Salafi.

http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/

Due to his despicable actions, the top Salafi scholars have declared Bin Laden a deviant. 

I'm quite sure that he's not. I was arguing that he isn't a Salafi and that it is even unlikely that he is a Qutbist (is that a word?).

Maybe I should be handing out RC advice as well? Just joking, of course  ;)
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: Fidelio on January 28, 2006, 03:54:37 PM
LOL woops, sorry yes I didn't read right.  Yes I need RC advice also, LSAT is this saturday. 
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 28, 2006, 03:58:29 PM
LOL woops, sorry yes I didn't read right.  Yes I need RC advice also, LSAT is this saturday. 

Well, good luck. Don't stress out about it. Don't overstudy. Sleep well, have a positive attitude and attack every question like it matters (because it does).
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: Fidelio on January 28, 2006, 09:29:13 PM
Thanks, hey your a female? someone said on the study for LSAT section of LSD that you were female? ? I thought you were male.
Title: Re: bin laden: possibility of a truce with usa/west
Post by: redemption on January 28, 2006, 09:46:07 PM
That's me in the avatar. I'm a girl