[-empyre-] terrorism

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Thu Feb 7 06:28:17 EST 2008


George Bush and other associated politicians may believe that they have 
construct 'terrorism' as a universal category which they then 
unthinkingly condemn,  but we do not and should not follow their lead. 
What is more useful (I believe) is to consider an act of 'terrorism' as 
an event which should be understood in its social and political context. 
If  we don't take this admittedly more complex approach then we really 
cannot differentiate between the various violent responses to events.

For example should we not mark differences between the actions of the 
ira in the uk, maoist's in nepal,  and islamists in afghanistan and for 
that matter the sudanese islamists who are currently still committing 
genocide... People have died in all these terrorist struggles but it is 
the social and political context that counts and not a false universal 
category that is constructed by our local democratic politics.

I'm also not sure about the meaning of " defining terror as an enemy 
rather than a tactic " ...


John Haber wrote:

> Naeem's description was vivid, so his contribution is worth it for 
> that alone.  (Did I say it's hard to write about art?)  It raises a 
> number of questions as well.
> One was my uncertainty on what he feels, other than amazement.  It 
> could be read as condoning terrorism or not.  While I don't believe in 
> Bush's global war on terror -- or even on the value of defining terror 
> as an enemy rather than a tactic -- I'm not too keen on killing 
> people, period, but especially civilians.
> A second was how familiar it sounded.  "Street theater"  has been an 
> aspect of American politics, although more so in the 1960s, and one 
> can still start an interesting discussion of whether it was useful as 
> politics or intersected in an interesting way with performance art.  
> I'll just say it was necessary at the time but probably left little 
> legacy.  I marched in an anti-Bush demonstration in New York when the 
> 2004 GOP convention was held here, and I remember how depressed it 
> made me.  All the people around were chanting, "This is what democracy 
> looks like," and all I could think was, "This is what happens when 
> democracy fails or is suppressed, and we're reduced to self-expression 
> rather than change."
> A third was the whole issue once again of borders in context of 
> globalization.  As in everything before, capitalism is an enormous 
> force for destruction and creation, and it's only fair if we're scared 
> to death.  I'll save you my Thomas Friedman analysis (or my amusement 
> at discovering that a hot artist, at least in Beverly Hills, is also 
> named Tom Friedman) for a better time.
> John
> _______________________________________________
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> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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