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Author Topic: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.  (Read 499 times)

Astro

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Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« on: May 13, 2008, 05:11:59 PM »
Alright.  I realize this thread is probably going to turn into either a litany of mistaken assumptions or a trollfest, but I'm going to start it anyway.


Today, 50+ people were killed in the Indian city of Jaipur by several bombings which occurred in proximity to each other.  Nobody's claimed responsibility, as is the norm when it comes to terrorism in India.  For that matter, even internationally, responsibility is usually contested by a number of groups, leaving the victims unsatisfied and the message uncertain.

I'm not condoning terrorism here in any form.  The pros and cons of such tactics for "valid" causes can be discussed elsewhere.  I don't want mentions of Che et al.

Rather, I'm curious about the function of a terrorist act if nobody claims responsibility.  Is it simply a matter of vengeance?  How would this avenge anything?  How can innocent victims suffice?  If your target doesn't know who did it and why it was done, what purpose does it serve other than indulging in thrill killing? 


On the flipside, if responsibility IS claimed and it is simply the target government (terrorism is almost always necessarily macropolitical) hushing things, what is the purpose of staying silent?  Does it suffice not to give recognition to groups that may simply be seeking attention, or are the victims and their families further damaged by such a move?

J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

dekocards

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Re: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 05:17:27 PM »
To be considered terrorism, generally it has to be politically motivated (this is probably the only aspect of the definition that is agreed on by most experts).  Because of this, an act of terror would generally not be about vengeance.  In cases where no group claims credit, its general purpose is to cause instability, fear, and chaos (although it sometimes backfires, in the case of 9/11, it tended to unite rather than divide the country politically).  In other cases, the group need not claim the bombing because it is obvious.  In Israel for example, the various Palestinian groups need not always assume responsibility because the credit will be given to the "cause" regardless.

Astro

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Re: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 05:22:09 PM »
To be considered terrorism, generally it has to be politically motivated (this is probably the only aspect of the definition that is agreed on by most experts).  Because of this, an act of terror would generally not be about vengeance.  In cases where no group claims credit, its general purpose is to cause instability, fear, and chaos (although it sometimes backfires, in the case of 9/11, it tended to unite rather than divide the country politically).  In other cases, the group need not claim the bombing because it is obvious.  In Israel for example, the various Palestinian groups need not always assume responsibility because the credit will be given to the "cause" regardless.


Yeah, I know that is the usual canned answer, but I'm looking to delve more deeply into that and question the assumptions.  What if the cause isn't clearly established?  What if there are a number of potential causes?  What if there is one cause but a number of different groups with divergent aims regarding this cause? 

And if the cause is completely unclear, what the hell is the point?  (Hence the vengeance speculations.  Vengeance could also be political.)
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 06:33:14 PM »

Yeah, I know that is the usual canned answer, but I'm looking to delve more deeply into that and question the assumptions.  What if the cause isn't clearly established?  What if there are a number of potential causes?  What if there is one cause but a number of different groups with divergent aims regarding this cause? 

And if the cause is completely unclear, what the hell is the point?  (Hence the vengeance speculations.  Vengeance could also be political.)


I was thinking along similar lines, when the NY Times article stated that it is the norm in India for no group to claim responsibility for terrorist acts.  What could be the point?

Astro

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Re: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 09:31:17 PM »

Yeah, I know that is the usual canned answer, but I'm looking to delve more deeply into that and question the assumptions.  What if the cause isn't clearly established?  What if there are a number of potential causes?  What if there is one cause but a number of different groups with divergent aims regarding this cause? 

And if the cause is completely unclear, what the hell is the point?  (Hence the vengeance speculations.  Vengeance could also be political.)


I was thinking along similar lines, when the NY Times article stated that it is the norm in India for no group to claim responsibility for terrorist acts.  What could be the point?

Exactly.  I mean, the only reason we assume "Pakistan" is because the Indian government says IT assumes Pakistan.  But that could just be a political ploy for its own advantage.  It just doesn't make much sense.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Bombings in Jaipur and a question about terrorism.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 10:33:22 AM »

Yeah, I know that is the usual canned answer, but I'm looking to delve more deeply into that and question the assumptions.  What if the cause isn't clearly established?  What if there are a number of potential causes?  What if there is one cause but a number of different groups with divergent aims regarding this cause? 

And if the cause is completely unclear, what the hell is the point?  (Hence the vengeance speculations.  Vengeance could also be political.)


I was thinking along similar lines, when the NY Times article stated that it is the norm in India for no group to claim responsibility for terrorist acts.  What could be the point?

Exactly.  I mean, the only reason we assume "Pakistan" is because the Indian government says IT assumes Pakistan.  But that could just be a political ploy for its own advantage.  It just doesn't make much sense.


Exactly.  This would be a good question to pose on a NY Times blog or another newspaper's blog.