Skip to comments.Dying to Kill - Suicide Versus Democracy
Posted on 01/18/2002 5:48:47 AM PST by veronica
This past summer I had a spirited discussion with a prominent historian. He assured me that the wave of suicide bombings on the West Bank marked "a revolutionary" break with the past.
It was a "new" tactic, he said one for which Israel and other free societies simply had no antidote. "You see," he confidently announced, "when people wish to kill you more than they want to live, theirs is a cause that won't die." I replied that there that had been no kamikazes since the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945 and that Japanese militarism still seemed quite dead to me.
There is no doubt that suicide bombing portends terrible things for citizens of affluent democracies. What sort of sinister zeal possesses men to give up their lives to kill others? Why would these killers hate us to such a degree as to destroy themselves and us at once? Why do they prefer the next world to the present one?
I. "Holy" Warriors Are Not New
Warriors who deliberately seek death in battle whether to end their own misery amid certain defeat, to undergo offensive missions that hold out no chance of their own survival, or to kill the enemy without hope of escape are not altogether rare in history. When nearly surrounded, King Leonidas of Sparta sent away thousands of his army from Thermopylae in 480 B.C. There, with his remaining 299 Spartans and a few hundred Thespians and Thebans, he prepared to leave the confines of the pass and charge out to fight amid a sea of thousands of Persian troops. "Fight with great courage," the king told his Spartans hours before annihilation. "Today we will dine among the dead."
During the failed Jewish revolt of A.D. 73, when the last enclave of the zealots at Masada was surrounded, and before the Roman besiegers could storm the stronghold, the rebels under Eleazar ben Yair killed themselves. By the historian Josephus's count, all but seven of some 960 trapped men, women, and children perished. Hitler's order, in January 1943, for the encircled garrison at Stalingrad to shun escape or surrender and fight to the last man was equivalent to suicide for thousands.
Yet, the September 11 terrorists were somewhat different more like the Japanese death brigades of World War II, who in their organization and training killed on a scale never seen before or since in civilized warfare. Thousands of Japanese flew as suicide pilots, commandeered ramming-boats, manned one-way rocket planes, or (as infantrymen) organized death charges. Many foot soldiers fought with dynamite satchels or grenades strapped to their bodies.
In all these cases, the sole intention was to kill as many of the enemy as possible before meeting certain death. A new fanaticism a lethal mix of Shintoism, Buddhism, and Bushido promised a better life in the hereafter, where warrior souls would enjoy a divine existence in return for their sacrifice on earth. The destruction of Japanese parliamentary government in the 1930s, and the rise of a dictatorship, had already
Try to ignore the bold typed LIES that mar this thread.
It will take alot more attacks like 9-11 but eventually the world may get to the point they will view collateral damage as a neccessary tool of war, in this particular war anyway.
And sliming AMERICA too. Even more typical...
An American died at the Bat Mitzvah yesterday BTW.
NO. Humans have souls.
"...THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, and ladies and gentlemen. We meet in a hall devoted to peace, in a city scarred by violence, in a nation awakened to danger, in a world uniting for a long struggle. Every civilized nation here today is resolved to keep the most basic commitment of civilization: We will defend ourselves and our future against terror and lawless violence.
A few miles from here, many thousands still lie in a tomb of rubble. Tomorrow, the Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly, and I will visit that site, where the names of every nation and region that lost citizens will be read aloud. If we were to read the names of every person who died, it would take more than three hours.
The terrorists call their cause holy, yet, they fund it with drug dealing; they encourage murder and suicide in the name of a great faith that forbids both. They dare to ask God's blessing as they set out to kill innocent men, women and children. But the God of Isaac and Ishmael would never answer such a prayer. And a murderer is not a martyr; he is just a murderer.
Yet, there is no such thing as a good terrorist. No national aspiration, no remembered wrong can ever justify the deliberate murder of the innocent. Any government that rejects this principle, trying to pick and choose its terrorist friends, will know the consequences.'
These cowards don't have the stones to outright attack the IDF although they do snipe at the IDF and FAIL.
"Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
-- General George S. Patton
True. But if I support evil policies and vote for people to implement these policies, am I an innocent?
Perhaps I ought to claim sovereign immunity. :)
A mafia don is not innocent simply because he did not personally pull the trigger on his enforcer's gun. He's guilty of at least conspiracy to murder.
I will grant however that this guilt is almost completely an American oddity. American conspiracy law is quite strict.
Their suicides are no different than the Heaven's Gate cult, except that they seek to take out their enemy in the process. A bunch of young minds are fed a lot of hate and garbage growing up, told that this is their destiny and something far better awaits them on the other side. These ignorant fools are then given a gun or a bomb and told to go please Allah.
Mohammed Atta's letter says far more about the suicide terrorist's mindset than trying to equate it with the clinically depressed. I sense your two authors came up with this hokey idea in order to soothe their own associated guilt for these horific deeds.