Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gwynne Dyer: (In)Toxic(ated) and Pretentious

Communicator check one two one two
This is Bones McCoy on a line to Sulu
Set the bullshit to warp factor one
Check your tri-corder set your phaser to stun
--Beastie Boys
Tonight, I went to see the world's laziest journalist (Gwynne Dyer) speak tonight on the island.

After a slurry and lairy beginning, where Dyer played loudly with the mic stand for no apparent reason, our speaker got into a bit of a rant about how terrorism was not that dangerous because, among other things, there haven't been any terror attacks in North America since 9/11.


More interestingly, Dyer asserted that apart from the atrocities in England and Spain, there have been "no Islamist terror attacks outside the Muslim world since 9/11".

*Sigh* I think this is where his title comes from. Ok, well there are other possibilities, really: a) He was more drunk than he let on, or b)He was flat out lying.

Just a brief review:
11/22/05 Thailand, Yala: A village chief is shot eight times by Muslim militants as he returns home.
11/21/05 India Srinigar: Ten people, including eight civilians, are injured in a Mujahideen grenade attack on a city street.
11/17/05 India Lancha: Two cousins are killed inside their home by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
11/16/05 India Srinigar: Lashkar-e-Taiba sets off a car bomb in the heart of a business district, killing at least four people and injuring over forty.
11/16/05 Thailand Narathiwat: A man, woman and seven children, including an infant are slaughtered in their home by ten Islamic militants with assault rifles.
11/16/05 Thailand Narathiwat: Two Buddhists are murdered by Muslim extremists in separate shooting attacks.
11/15/05 Thailand Narathiwat:A man working in a rice field is shot three times by two Islamists who stop him under the pretense of asking directions.
11/15/05 India Tangmarg: al-Arifeen claims responsibility for a grenade attack on a political rally. Six people are killed, including a 12-year-old, and about ninety injured.
10/29/05 India New Delhi (62 dead) Three coordinated blasts that tear through a bus and two markets crowded with people celebrating a Hindu festival bear all the hallmarks of the Religion of Peace. An Islamic group claims responsibility.

These are all in non-muslim countries and all within the last month, nevermind the last 4 years.

Anyways, Dyer said very little that was interesting or fresh and spoke with a slight faux-English accent that idiot travelers pick up after "living" in England for a month. You know the ones. They say "Ah-tall" instead of "at all".

Oh, and dah-ling, maybe the next time you mention Israel try to say the word without snarling and drooling. And, uh, avoid references to the Elders of Zion.


Anonymous said...

Read his books.
His point is the amount of time, money and energy going into fighting terrorism is ridiculous.
Terrorism is the weapon of the weak, and while terrorists are capable and do commit terrible acts the cure is indoubtly worse than the poison. He compares it to historical events like 10% of the population of Europe being wiped out during WWII or hundreds of thousands dead in Japan from Atomic Bombs or Firestorms. If the cure to this poison involves countries going into other states preemptively, and other countries follow this example...where does that leave us?
Sooner or later there will be a nuclear exchange somewhere, if anything hastens that, give me the poison because nothing we do could be worse than WWIII.

Shamrocks! said...

I understood the point he was trying to make, but I just don't think blatantly telling his audience something completely untrue helped his case.

I've lived in Japan and visited Hiroshima, and I've looked into what happened and while I deplore the awful loss of life, the bomb probably saved lives. If the US invaded, the Japanese leadership was planning a mass suicide of every citizen of the islands. Considering what happened on Okinawa where thousands of citizens died by their own hands or were massacred by Japanese troops, I think that invading was the wrong tactic.

If you and I (and I do) want to prevent a nuclear exchange, wouldn't putting more effort into the W.o.T be better?

Dyer seems to think that because there hasn't been a major attack in North America (which is quite a narrow focus) since 9/11, that the whole exercise is a waste, basically saying both wars have been a waste. In my own view, I think both wars have been part of a fly paper strategy. The war is going to be fought on our soil or theirs, so we might as well bring the party their way.

The US has made it easy on potential jihadis to be lured into an acceptable field of combat for both sides. It's not in American streets, and it's not in arab capitals. Still, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who approves of how things have gone, but I don't think it's been a complete failure.

On a total side note, some of Dyer's rhetoric was pretty out there. He said at one point
"No arab has been able to drive directly between the two capitals of Arabia (Damascus and Cairo) in sixty years".

First of all, how many arabs consider those to be the 'capitals' of arabia? How many actually had cars at the time and made that specific trip? And how many really look at that as the main beef between the arab world and Israel?

Anyways, I could just keep going. It was just kind of a waste of time.