Hi John,                      

You wrote (out-of-line)

>Bruno FYI here is a private message I submitted today including a copy of
>part of a post to a complexity-list yesterday.
>(No restriction in using any of it anywhere)
>John Mikes   (jamikes).

Thanks for your courageous post where you attempt to define and 
perhaps justify in some way terrorism.

>Terrorism is usually assigned to activities by clandestine preparations to
>cause damage both in property and life, many times unselected and randomly


>What is terrorism?
>If we do not include A/ anarchy against ALL power & wealth and
>                               B/ criminal activity aiming at financial
>then (in most general cases) it is the expression of DESPERATION 

You are the interpreter. It could be you'r right but be careful
it depends of case. Desperation can express itself, although rarely
(but this happens today (27/sept/01) in Switzerland), by terrorist act.
Desperation can aswell expresse itself in songs, literature, etc.

>of the
>powerless against oppressing and overwhelming power, exercised in the
>absence of other possible remedies sometimes up to even self-sacrificing
>acts (and I include here hungerstrike and self-setting-on-fire as well) with
>the goal of hurting the powerful.
>It is alway triggered (except for point A/ and B/ - although A/ may be a
>by action(s) of the powerful and aims at making them suffer.

If that is terrorism, I don't think terrorism exists.
Intellectual left terrorism of the last (20) century was not necessarily
aimed at making people suffering. In Belgium we have known a form
of such terrorism (the CCC cellules combattantes communistes) which
demolished public and private goods, but cared not wounding people. Still
they killed two firemen accidentally and said they regret. Still they
were linked to the Baader German Group and Italian's one, who were 
murdering innocent persons, but not innocent "in their mind" (sure).
I think they were fighter with a (crazy) purpose, and were using
terrorism has a (unsuccesful) psychological trick to impose their
philosophy or way of life, by threaten life and goods of their "enemy",
the "bourgeoise classe" for exemple.
Most of them were coming from wealthy family and find their inspiration
in book full of hate written by anti-humanist thinker justifying violence
with eloquence. Young people fall easily in that trap, during puberty.

If you read their literature you will see they are aware of the moral
problem of making suffering. "making suffer" is not the goal. The problem
is that they believe the publicity on their message is worth making 
or dying innocent people.

I don't see why you put hungerstrike and self-setting-on-fire with 

Be prudent with your desperation interpretation before revendications
are given. (For exemple, it could be your own desperation that you were 
projecting) .

>When and how could we open our eyes that the reason for 'their' fight is to
>protect themselves from all these goals of the western world? They see their
>institutions and philosophy jeopardized by us, their lifestyle in danger

The western world is a myth. Islam has produced one of the most
genteel and sophisticated civilisation, our "western" sciences
owes a lot to Islam thinkers especially mathematicians, philosophers.
The civilisations meshed more than one time. Not always violently.
Since christians made crusade and invented christ soldiers, some
Muslims gives the right to defend Islam by killing the crusaders. (normal)
Later some school or  sect (not easy to distinguish) developped literal
interpretation of the coran and variant of it containing the idea
that Islam must rule the world, and that any muslim who kill a 
non-muslim (infidel) go immediately to paradise. It has always been
a minority in Islam traditions.

>from the free market global economy and their 'system' (in their view the
>only one worthwhile living for) being attacked. They conduct a life/death
>struggle, in their view worthwhile dying for the noble cause. For their
>culture, which they do not want to give up.

I'm afraid it is not the case in the current affair. In america there are
people who reject modernity including electricity, and nobody really
threaten their philosophy and souls. Those who revived those agressive
version of Islam are decadent intoxicated by petrodollars wanting to
communicates nothing more than hate: no revendication, no signature.
They are not defending the poor. They oppressed them by terror. They
use that nazy trick to use their (originaly real) people frustration for
enhancing hate of a world which exists only in their imagination.
They are sellers of fear and they work hard making grow a collective
paranoia. We tolerate the saoudian school of hate by petrol addiction, and
even used them against the communist. We are indeed paying a price
for a terrible mistake (not realising that the old war rule which
consists in building enemies against our enemies is inconsistent in
the quickly mondialised world). Of course it is now that it is easy to 
say it is a mistake.
Those enemy are the enemy of any form of moderate thought Islam included.
It is not that they do not want give up their culture, it is that they
want to impose their culture on us. Not Islam, but special interpretations
provided by some cynic people who makes an anachronical reading of it.
The problem is that in some region the moderate (muslims or not)  are 
threatened by those anti-humanist "value" since some time. Now we are

>We, in our worldview, cannot cope with that, cannot understand and most
>likely cannot win. We may reap a victory of arms, establishing a
>socioeconomic (maybe also religious?) oppression - vs the world THEY feel is
>their only real world.
>Just think of the "peace"-treaties of 1918, begetting WWII. That was
>political. Now we go against a culture, a religious belief and institutions
>thereof. Worse than  1918.

We don't go against anyone. We made errors. (Even big one like petrol 
addiction). With the Whahhabit petrodollars they could have build
universities and revived their most glorious talent, and competing
with us with respect to the real fundamental question. Easy-money
create frustrations. The precise reason why those school has developped
in some region is still not clear for me.
But they have no revendications, except the total destruction of anything
apparently contrary to their view. The destruction of the NYC towers was
nothing more than an eloquent "I hate you". It really correspond to the
case A/ you mention above. (Perhaps you have better information).

>"The Muslim world is highly diversified and unsurmountable differences exist
>among factions and national institutions".However: attack one little branch
>and you stepped on the toes of all of them.

And *that* is natural. That is why diplomacy is so fundamental.
No one can ask the muslims to reform or to take a view with respect
with those school. There exists sons in family with the typical
adolescent difficulties falling in that collective paranoia just as
a manner of confrontation with their (moderate) parents. 
We can ONLY give exemple of moderation. But we can also illustrate
our appreciation of our value by defending them. If not we can loose
our own dignity in the process.

>Many things are being written, mostly "to bring them up". They feel that we
>want to "bring them down". 

They want to bring us down. (They = a precise minority view of Muslims
which believes Islam must rule the worlds, having schools in a minority
of country, using terroristic trick in war, ...). 

Islam could very well rule the world in case the Muslims come back to
algebra and algorithm, which they invented. After all those are the
master tools of comp :-).

No one believes any ruling could come from arbitrary violence. 

>How can we achieve a cross-cultural
>cross-religious accord?

Both Oussama Ben Ladden and Gautama Bouddha grews up
in a very rich Palace. Both probably were "disappointed"
when discovering the outside "real" world.
Bouddha concludes in universal messages of compassion and love.
Ben Ladden concludes in holy wars and hate.

Why do you think the Talibans destroyed the Bouddha statues?

By fear of the oppressing power of Occident perhaps?


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