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  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    Understanding the Motives of Terrorists

    By Nick

    Source of excerpts: CDI

    Many people will view the motives of terrorists the same way that undersecretary of state, Marc Gross does. Grossman said he was "not interested in al Qaeda's motives." The perpetrators, he continued, were "just mass murderers ... the people's motives were murder."

    But his answer avoided what virtually all counter-terrorism experts consider to be a key element in any effort to eradicate a particular terrorist organization.

    Regardless of the truth or validity of what terrorist leaders declare they want - what moves them to engage in violence - political motives are essential for terrorist leaders.

    1. Motives provide the rationale for their pursuit of political power. Terrorist leaders want power and have chosen violence to get it.

    2. Motives dispel cognitive dissonance by reconciling the risks with the cause (violence requires a purpose in harmony with the action or otherwise it cannot be understood as rational). Such dangerous behavior, many psychologists have observed, needs an important cause to justify the huge risks.

    3. Motives also serve to recruit followers to become fighters in the field. Followers include both true believers in the cause and what researchers call opportunists, those who like the action and feelings of belonging. Terrorist leaders rarely engage in actual operations; they rely on trained, usually young, recruits.

    2. Finally, motives develop a comradery to ensure group solidarity, loyalty, and self-protection in difficult times. Terrorism is group behavior, and research indicates that maintaining the group is a significant value for its members.

    Without political motives, terrorists can only see themselves and be seen by others as nothing but common criminals, a label all terrorists reject.

    Terrorists are in the business of advancing their cause, as one expert put it, by using a strategy of the weak to weaken the strong and strengthen the weak. Terrorists see themselves as... undeserved underdogs on a mission.

    Counter-terrorism must take into account terrorist motives in order to develop one key element in an effective strategy - the isolation of the hard-core terrorists. Historian Sir Michael Howard, speaking to the Royal United Services Institute in late October, emphasized this essential objective in British counter-terrorism strategy. "The object was to isolate the terrorists from the rest of the community," Howard said, "and to cut them off from external sources of supply." Those hard-core factions who are so committed to violence rarely end their terrorist pursuits, even with the removal of the repression under which they claim to have suffered. In a sense, terrorism becomes habit forming for them. Terrorism is what hard-core terrorists are good at, what gives them a sense of purpose, and what is necessary for self-preservation. Once hard-core terrorists are isolated, it is correct to refer to them for what they are, common criminals, nihilists, and murderers. They can then be hunted down according to law and with popular support. "Terrorists can be successfully destroyed," Howard told his audience, "only if public opinion, both at home and abroad, supports the authorities in regarding them as criminals rather than heroes."

    Redressing grievances undermines risk taking. If the group that perceives itself as being repressed sees an alternative peaceful political process for redress in contrast to its highly dangerous and destructive terrorism, chances are that many of its members will turn to politics and abandon terrorism. The current peace process in Northern Ireland, for example, has re-directed the IRA and its Sinn Fein political wing towards decommissioning, negotiations, and parliamentary politics. Violence in that troubled land, while not absent, has been reduced roughly in inverse proportion to the peace effort.

    Progress on bringing justice shrinks the pool of new recruits. Progress gives the "cause" less emotional appeal; people can turn to more personal or productive endeavors. For example, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau in the 1960s and 1970s, by instituting greater Quebec autonomy and elevating the status of the French language, severely crimped the recruitment efforts of the Front for the Liberation of Quebec (FLQ) to the point where its hard-core leadership became isolated, vulnerable, apprehended, tried, and jailed.

    Dealing politically with the motives of terrorists invariably creates divisions among the terrorists. The fact that amnesty and the prospect of peaceful political process can become more attractive than terrorism to some terrorists produces a crisis in leadership and policy direction. Moderate leaders can then emerge who can abandon terrorism, survive, and even attain power. This very process occurred in South Africa when President F. W. DeKlerk abandoned apartheid, released Nelson Mandela from jail, and legalized the African National Congress. Terrorism virtually disappeared and Mandela, who was once called a terrorist, became president.

    Working for justice is a prerequisite for tracking down and bringing to account those who reject the pursuit of justice. It facilitates and legitimizes the use of force against hard-core terrorists. Without taking into consideration the motives of terrorists and dealing with those grievances that may have merit, counter-terrorism is compelled to rely on brute force - an activity likely to generate more terrorism and terrorists and elevate their cause.

    posted by Nick at 8/13/2004 04:31:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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