Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Terrorism as Self-Hatred

By now, I'm sure we've all read reports on the Somali armed group Al-Shabaab and the bombings in Uganda that killed 74 people.

Somali militant group al-Shabaab, on Monday claimed responsibility for Sunday's twin-bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital on Sunday night and slaughtered people watching the World Cup final at a restaurant and a sports club, authorities said.

One bombing targeted the Ethiopian Village restaurant, a popular night spot that was heaving with soccer fans and is frequented by foreigners, while the second one struck the Kyadondo Rugby Club that was also showing the match.

Coordinated attacks are a hallmark of al Qaeda and groups linked to Osama bin Laden's militant network.

I'm not always a Barack Obama fan, but I basically co-sign with what he says here:

Obama, leveraging his African heritage and popularity on the continent, took direct aim at the Shebab and Al-Qaeda after attacks on crowds in Kampala glued to the World Cup final on Sunday killed at least 76 people.

"What you've seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself," Obama told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

"They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains," he said, in the interview to be broadcast early Wednesday.

Acts of terrorism by these kinds of groups (in the Middle East and in Africa) have always struck me as a manifestation of a twisted kind of self-hatred. Think of it: They would accept the deaths of 100 of their own people by car bomb in a market square as a victory if they managed to kill 2 American soldiers. They believe that the best way to rise for those that history has never spoken for is to muzzle them forever with death. They accept the deaths of hundreds of their own people, people they claim to stand for, as collateral damage. And if it's true that they stand for the downtrodden, and are downtrodden, then these insurgents have bought into the narrative of their own lack of value. They regard their own lives with recklessness, and that of those that live around them with even less care. How does one look in the mirror and see someone of an expendable class? It's baffling.

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