Terrorists in suits and ties

11.27.05

That’s what Gil Troy calls them in an op-ed piece in today’s Gazette (link requires subscription):

What happens when a terrorist organization decides to enter the political arena? Does it automatically become legitimate?

[ . . . ]

The truth is that terrorists by definition have entered the political arena from the start because terrorism is violence with a political agenda. Without the political context, bombing, kidnapping, and shooting are simply crimes. Terrorism, like war, is politics by other means, an extension of politics when negotiation or discussion break down – or never existed.

The questions also are misleading because we have discovered that the world’s commitment to morality and justice is relative: It varies depending on the players involved. Especially when it comes to the Middle East, the world’s moral clarity gets muddy, the moral compass goes haywire.

[ . . . ]

We cannot be fooled by [Hizbollah] or by Hamas. Terrorists in suits and ties remain cold-blooded killers.

Terrorist organizations have a history of trying to “go legit” while still maintaining their original violent purposes. But Gil Troy’s argument cuts both ways: if a terrorist in a suit and tie is just a terrorist, then how is a democratically-elected terrorist preferable to dictatorship? If a society gets the leadership it deserves, then shouldn’t we let democracy unfold?

That doesn’t mean, of course, that any other government – Israel included – should be forced to deal with them.

What about what’s happening in Egypt, where the first hints of democracy have yielded a corrupt election where there are no clear “good guys”, because the people being prevented from voting and running were associated with the ultra-fanatic Muslim Brotherhood? What is the preferable outcome – a fair and impartial election of terrorists, or an “election” of so-called moderates thanks to rigging and intimidation? As it happened, we had a rigged election of terrorists, so it’s almost the worst of both worlds. But how does that fit in with the theory that we ought to push for democratic reforms in the Middle East?

One thing is for certain: As long the world continues to reward terrorists by giving them legitimacy in political arenas, terrorism will continue to thrive.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 11.28.05 at 4:43 PM

Gil is correct much of the time

If the “broderbund” takes power in Egypt, the place will eventually collapse.

They’ve nothing to offer except Islam hard.

In fact, all throughout North Africa and the ME the more the residual benefits of European colonialism recede, the further the whole region falls behind the rest of the world.

Tweaking sharia in an effort to bring forth the “caliphate” is merely the latest incarnation of totalitarianism; like Stalin tweaking socialism in the hope of creating a classless society.

More misery, more disasters, more death.

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2 Jonny 11.29.05 at 1:56 AM

Terrorists in suits and ties – reminds me of David Duke – BTW… wasn’t he in Syria last week to show solidarity with the regime there?

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3 segacs 11.29.05 at 3:13 AM

So was George Galloway.

Great extremists think alike…

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