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9/11 20 years on

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Prof Wind Up Merchant
1389544.  Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:37 am Reply with quote

I thought I would post this topic on this anniversary.

20 years on from the attacks we have not defeated the terrorist idealogy that lead to 2 planes crashing into the World Trade Center, 1 the Pentagon and 1 that was headed towards the capitol but was diverted by brave passengers to a field in Pennsylvania.

The terrorist organisation still exists.

The war was a reaction to the incidents but it did not achieve its aim to end the terrorism.

This is a failure.

Since 9/11 we have had the London attacks in 2015, the many attacks on Paris from 2013 to 2020, Mumbai India, Christchurch New Zealand, Brussels, etc.....

So we still live with the threat of terror.

We really have not tackled the root cause of the disfranchisement of Muslims, to want to create terror groups to harm their enemies. The West have partly sown the seeds of this.

 
Jenny
1389555.  Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:57 pm Reply with quote

I don't know what you mean by the disenfranchisement of Muslims, PWUM. Like any other citizen, they have the vote. The problem with the radical element, as far as I can see, is that they would like the rest of us to operate according to Islamic law, which I see no chance at all of persuading the majority in any western country to agree with.

 
Alexander Howard
1389566.  Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:17 pm Reply with quote

It is hard to say whether there is ever a conclusion. After the attacks, Americans were more united than ever before: they all felt attacked as a nation. Now they are more divided than ever before, but that is because of other political forces, unrelated to 9/11 or what followed.

There have been many terror attacks since, but mainly by enraged lone-wolf attackers and nothing like the scale or organisation we saw 20 years ago.

The military response was overwhelming and was remarkably successful initially in Afghanistan - though goodwill was lost by attacking Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who was a dangerous, murderous maniac but who as far as we can see had nothing to do with the attacks.

ISIS grew out of the wreck of Iraq in reaction to the Shi'ite majority taking control, when Sunnis had always ruled before, and Syria, which fell apart of its own accord. It was driven back though.

Afghanistan has fallen back into the tyranny the American's helped to throw out, but perhaps we can say that for some years to people saw there is another way to be to which they might aspire - and had their government been competent and uncorrupt then they might have kept it, but that is another story.

The militants will come back again and again, but at least we have seen their ideology for what it is, and shown that there is another way.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1389593.  Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:10 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I don't know what you mean by the disenfranchisement of Muslims, PWUM. Like any other citizen, they have the vote. The problem with the radical element, as far as I can see, is that they would like the rest of us to operate according to Islamic law, which I see no chance at all of persuading the majority in any western country to agree with.


I agree with this assessment.

People are being brainwashed, both Muslims anf non-Muslims.

We say we don't want to negotiate with terrorists.

If we did that we would not have had the Northern Ireland peace process. We had to negotiate with the IRA via their political wing Sinn Fein and tell them terror will not bring about a united Ireland only diplomacy and democracy will. The people will decide whether the union remains or not by the ballot box at some point.

The Problem is that Brexit had reignited tensions which could undo the work done to keep the peace.

The West don't want to engage with Al-Qaeda. At some point we will have to to challenge this idealogy.

 
Jenny
1389608.  Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:32 am Reply with quote

I take your point PWUM but there is a distinct difference between negotiating with home-grown terrorists and sovereign countries controlled by people some regard as terrorists.

 
CB27
1389663.  Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:22 am Reply with quote

The failings are because of the approach of the US, UK and others to the problem. They've used a colonial mentality of throwing money and expensive equipment at local leaders for promises of safety, ignoring the very people they're meant to help.

Afghanistan is a perfect example where tribal leaders were essentially bribed for siding with the coalition by being allowed to keep their positions and given control of social budgets and local politics and they simply used this to maintain their own power and wealth.

Billions were spent on this country to help build it up, but looking at schools alone you can see how badly managed this was. The US promised their money would help build thousands of schools and allow millions more children to get an education, especially girls. The truth is the money was given to local leaders to build these "schools", but when reporters decided to visit several of these schools last year they found shabby half finished and abandoned shacks, some of which were built in locations with little or no local population to serve, but the land often owned by the local commanders and leaders who of course decided that the money be spent buying their own land at inflated prices and making a show of starting to build something.

 
Alexander Howard
1389664.  Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:54 am Reply with quote

That's not a 'colonial attitude', just a daft one. It is a good analysis of some of what went wrong though.

A colonial attitude in the British sense is very different. If Afghanistan had been run as a British colony, there would be a Governor and District Commissioners taking personal responsibility and interest in their responsibilities. The country could have been brought up to standard gradually with its own resources wielded by its own people, just as India was modernised not by subsidy but by directed industry.

The Taliban would not have been left to run their own shadow state, because the District Commissioner would ensure that each village in his district had a sound system of equal justice and incentives. Each local khan would not have money thrown blindly at him, but would have a Resident to give compulsory advice with the promise of a reward for loyalty and compliance, and a place at Oxford for his son.

It might not be quick nor even and would involve bayonets more than is comfortable, but it is overall benevolent and effective. That is a 'colonial approach'.

 
Alexander Howard
1389681.  Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:04 am Reply with quote

There was a telling video of a British NGOwallah teaching a class on modern, conceptual art.

Teaching Afghans about art is like going to Mongolia to teach the locals about horse-riding.

 
CB27
1389693.  Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:12 pm Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
A colonial attitude in the British sense is very different. If Afghanistan had been run as a British colony, there would be a Governor and District Commissioners taking personal responsibility and interest in their responsibilities. The country could have been brought up to standard gradually with its own resources wielded by its own people, just as India was modernised not by subsidy but by directed industry.

That's a level of revisionist history that takes your breath away.

I'd like to know how India was brought up to standard, yet under British rule saw famines that killed over 50m people.

 
Alexander Howard
1389707.  Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:04 pm Reply with quote

India has had famines since the dawn of time. Only a tiny fraction of that period was during the Raj. Industrialisation and the railways lessened reliance on local agriculture and reduced the instances of famine. Industrialisation requires good, settled, even-handed government and the rule of law.

(It does not always work of course, or my ancestors might have stayed in Ireland.)

It was a famine in Bengal which caused Parliament to take control of government from the East India Company, and while the India Office could not control the weather, they did give a damn, which the Company did not.

 
dr.bob
1389734.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:05 am Reply with quote

Please explain how good, settled, even-handed government and the rule of law managed to result in atrocities such as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

 
CB27
1389742.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:04 am Reply with quote

There are recorded famines in India before the Raj, but not as frequently, and not as impactful on the people.

And that was just one type of example. Yes the British did build some things in India, but it was mostly to serve their own needs, and they certainly took a lot out of India as well.

As for governance, while the British Governors and officials oversaw the administration, the actual work was carried out by provincial councils, often also run by British officials who relied on the local "elite leaders" to advise how and where money was spent, which led to a lot of corruption that still affects politics in some regions of India today as certain "elite families" dominate regional politics.

This is very similar to how progress was carried out in Afghanistan, where US officials (and UK and other countries) oversaw governance under a central Government which relied on local war leaders to decide where and how money is spent.

 
Jenny
1389775.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:52 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure how we can assess the impact of famines on the people before the days in which there were civil servants who kept records of such things.

 
CB27
1389833.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I'm not sure how we can assess the impact of famines on the people before the days in which there were civil servants who kept records of such things.

Rulers in the Indian subcontinent had lots of civil servants, so there are historic documents for several famines before the British rule, including the numbers that perished.

The problem is that how famines and other disasters were dealt with were based on the whims of local rulers who were often either corrupt, incompetent or too focused on fighting their neighbours for power, or a combination of the lot.

 

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