India Uncut

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Martin Amis on terrorism and psychpathology

In a wonderful interview called "Goading the Enemy" in Newsweek, Martin Amis says:
The great danger of terrorism is not what it inflicts... It's what it provokes.
Amis, whose remarkable essay, The Age of Horrorism, I'd commented on here, also says, in a different context:
I'm talking about a certain strata of opinion that is dying for American failure in Iraq because they hate George Bush. They're dying for failure, but they're also attributing reason to the enemy, saying, "What terrible historic wrongs have we committed to bring this down on ourselves?" And they haven't made the leap to seeing that it isn't a matter of reason. It's a psychopathology. Their war is against God's enemies and it's meant to last for eternity, and how rational an undertaking is that? Yet people won't make that leap because it feels racist to them.
Brilliantly put. Indeed, I am staggered when people I know revel in every setback the Americans suffer. The US has certainly made huge mistakes in the War Against Terror, but that doesn't mean that the terror isn't terrible or tangible or utterly unjustifiable. Some people who object, and reasonably so, to the acts of the Bush administration, seem to function under the implicit belief that an enemy of the enemy can't be all that bad, and applaud each setback to the Americans. They don't realise that when people get tortured and beheaded in Iraq, it bodes badly not just for the neocons in the US, but for all those of us who value reason and liberty.

Defeat in Iraq may well get the neocons out of power when the next presidential elections take place in the US. But what else will it do to the world?
amit varma, 8:40 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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