Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Two comments on similarities between suicide bombers and high school shooters, here and here, courtesy of Hak and Sunny respectively.

The first is top notch so here it is in full (for those to lazy to click):
Seeing the footage of Mohammad Sidique Khan again, during the David Aaronovitch program on Channel 5 the other night, it occurred to me that there is no difference between Khan and those of similar kidney, and the sociopaths who shoot up Colorado schools. So, if it's possible - or indeed reasonable - in some quarters to mbunderstand Khan and relativise his actions as some sort of legitimate 'discourse', then it's logical that the same is true of others who seek to redress their 'grievances' against society by taking the lives of random students, co-workers, or pedestrians.

I will not allow that either constitutes 'legitimate discourse' and most, if not all, of those who permit the first would not allow the second, which seems to leave us with a bit of an inconsitency, in that some sociopathic fanstasies are more mbunderstandable than others.
I guess that's the beauty of mbunderstanding: at its heart is faulty reasoning so applying it in a haphazard manner is in keeping with the spirit of the damn thing.

Not that Sunny is engaging in mbunderstanding, you understand. But if someone's going to write an article mbunderstanding the motives behind the recent high school shooters, they'd do worse than start from the premise behind his most recent post:
I believe there are some interesting parallels to be made between high-school killers and suicide bombers. Putting aside the global element to the latter aside for a moment, could it be that the media coverage, moral panic, wild statements by politicians and bungled police raids exacerbate the danger we face?

Think about it. Every time John Reid makes a bid for leadership with a speech telling us how suicide bombers are the greatest threat ever ever and ever, you can bet some kid is sitting there thinking of the potential power and attention they could be afforded.

Everytime George Bush says the threat of Muslim terrorists is greater than anything the west has ever faced before (put aside the absurdity of that statement for now) he only gives Osama Bin Laden and co-conspirators the encouragement they need.

Everytime the media release a poll showing how scared Londoners are of sitting next to brown kids on the Tube the discord that the terrorists wanted to spread is bearing fruition. Remember the four wanna-be suicide bombers of 22nd July? They saw the reaction to July 7th and wanted it for themselves.
Nice theory, but it all hangs on "Putting aside the global element to the latter aside for a moment". Sure, there may be copycat elements to both. But thankfully there isn't a bastardised form of religion promoting high school shootings being funded by rich fuckers who hate the West. Not yet.

In addition, the copycat element will vary from case to case. I doubt very much the media storm over naming and shaming paedophiles caused anyone to think "Aha - now that's how I can get famous!" but I wonder whether the same could be said of happy-slapping.

It would seem to me that yes, kids do copy each other. But the problem for Sunny's argument is that there are other forces at play and that not all suicide bombers are kids.

Nevertheless Sunny does make a good point:
It isn’t unreasonable to ask of our media and politicians that a sensible and measured reaction should be part of any armoury in dealing with the threat of terrorism.

But a little naughty of him to claim "a slightly edited version is on comment is free". Slightly edited in that it didn't include this part:
Robert Baer’s ‘Cult of the Suicide Bomber’, a recent documentary showed how suicide bombers were regarded as celebrities in the Occupied Territories
But Sunny posted that on PP at 5.01pm after Cif commenter graemewilliams had replied to Sunny's post at 4.47pm stating:
Robert Baer's Cult of the Suicide Bomber showed how in the Occupied Territories that suicide bombers are regarded as celebrities.
And it's hardly as if Sunny can say he didn't notice as he replied to that post at 5.26pm.

Tut tut. Credit where it's due Sunny! Honour amongst bloggers and all that...

UPDATE 05/10/06 2:00am:
Sunny has changed his post to read
[a shorter version is on comment is free]
Shorter in that it doesn't contain a rewritten paragraph by one graemewilliams.

Curiouser and curiouser...

UPDATE 05/10/06 4:00am:
Sunny finally added his hat-tip. I didn't think he was that shifty. Apparently too much effort to do at the time. Must have taken ages. Good on him.


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