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Old 09-19-2011, 01:08 AM
T.G.G.P T.G.G.P is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 278
Default Re: Lessons Learned: The Creation of Terrorists (Robert Wright & Scott Atran)

I didn't expect this because I've learned from Atran and don't think Bob has much subject matter expertise, but I found his point out replaceability persuasive.

I watched this right after the John Muller diavlog (I think he did one on nukes before, this was on terrorism) where drone strikes were portrayed as an effective means of preventing al Qaeda proper from accomplishing anything.

The Taliban's offer to turn over Bin Laden was all over the news in 2001. Most people didn't take it that seriously though. Considering how untrustworthy the Pakistani government has been, the skepticism is understandable.

Also surprised Scott Atran says rational actor dynamics don't apply. He was seguing from a discussion of our support for middle eastern autocrats, but even a governing regime like the Taliban reacted fairly rationally in his telling.

I also think Scott's reference to Germany & Japan doesn't help make his argument. What specifically did we do differently? I would say, following Chris Coyne, that we invaded places that already had a very effective central government and cohesive society and so could more easily be reoriented once the government had been utterly defeated in a war.

Some news for Scott Atran: Obama's election did not really improve America's public image in the Middle East, just western europe. It's really "lifelong flaming liberals" like Atran who caught Obama-mania, not salafists. UPDATE: He seems to acknowledge that at the very end.

"A black man suddenly becomes the most powerful person in the history of the world"
Kids in America may be taught about MLK in schools, but the rest of the world is not America. There has not been a comparable campaign against racism and shift in public opinion in the middle east.

Illiterates are not comparable to Silicon Valley denizens.
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