One further thing I wanted to mention: the cult of the suicide bomber. Certainly Europeans seem to me to excessively attempt to rationalise said practise into the desperate reaction of an oppressed group. The description is not entirely inaccurate, but would seem to ignore the extent to which the cult of the suicide bomber has spread throughout the Arab world.
In fairness, said cult is something that is very difficult to comment on. For the most part we tend to admire those who sacrifice their lives for a cause; we usually tend to regard this as ennobling (of course, attacks on civilians have never been placed in that category, but said attacks are hardly specific to Palestine even if prohibited by the Geneva convention). I suspect that suicide bombing falls between two categories; that of, say, Buddhist monks immolating themselves and of fighters dying for a cause (if usually as a by-product of a struggle rather than as a specific aim). One of its problems is that it is less than fully engaged with the struggle in question; the lure of spiritual rewards in the next world and material rewards for families in this one makes suicide bombing more of a selfish lust for martyrdom than a contribution to any political struggle (which might be why suicide bombings seem to have very few effects, unless one counts provoking Israeli reprisals).
---- This message was posted by kharin to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS. <http://virus.lucifer.com/bbs/index.php?board=51;action=display;threadid=25956>
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