Thursday, January 31

Suicide Bombers: Warriors of the Middle Class

A very interesting article here. Read the discussion over my previous post on suicide bombers here. I quote:

We tend to imagine suicide bombers as hardened, bloodthirsty killers. But most people aren’t nearly as ready to commit violence as you think. It’s actually the quiet, docile members of the middle class who make the best human explosive devices. And that’s what makes this weapon of mass murder so hard to stop.....
But suicide bombers are different. They usually face their victims alone. They neither threaten their enemies nor try to make them break down emotionally. The secret of their tactic is not to perform it as violence at all, until the very last second when they detonate the bomb. The tactical advantage of the suicide bomber is to approach as if nothing unusual were happening. There is no confrontational tension because the bomber acts as if there is no confrontation.
Clandestine, confrontation-avoiding violence such as suicide bombing is a fourth pathway around confrontational tension. It succeeds only because the attacker is good at pretending that he or she is not threatening at all. People accustomed to the typical macho forms of violence are not good at this; gang members would make lousy suicide bombers. But mild-mannered middle-class people are ideal for it. Since they are not confrontational by nature, they do not have to control a blustering or threatening demeanor that would warn their victims. Self-directed introverts, they do not need to hear cheering as they stalk their prey. Middle-class culture is especially accommodative, adept at maintaining a smooth surface of conventionality. Whatever our private feelings, we learn not to express them on the job, in social situations, or in public. This is good training for carrying a bomb under one’s clothing until the target is so close that massive damage is certain.
Suicide bombing, in other words, is not just a matter of motivation; it is primarily a matter of technique. Violent political movements may embrace it for ideological purposes, but they use it mainly for a very simple reason: It works.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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