My god my god….

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by Neil Godfrey

The first number (left) is the number of terrorist attacks since January 2016. Numbers wounded are not included.

Data collated from List of terrorist incidents, January–June 2016

Mid East
(minus Africa)
Africa South and
SE Asia
Europe N and
S America
18 — 117 dead
Burkina Faso
2 — 36 dead
4 — 19 dead
1 — 34 dead
1 — 0 dead
33 — 698 dead
2 — 2 dead
1 — 8 dead
3 — 1 dead
1 — 1 dead
3 — 6 dead
6 — 55 dead
1 — 2 dead
1 — 1 dead
Saudi Arabia
1 — 5 dead
2 — 5 dead
1 — 1 dead
Northern Ireland
1 — 1 dead
13 — 681 dead
3 — 21 dead
11 — 87 dead
2 — 3 dead
13 — 118 dead
16 — 59 dead
7 — 11 dead
1 — 0 dead
West Bank inc
East Jerusalem
8 — 8 dead
Ivory Coast
1 — 22 dead
10 — 68 dead
5 — 77 dead
5 — 16 dead
2 — 8 dead
7 — 216 dead
12 — 157 dead
2 — 2 dead
1 — 63 dead
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Neil Godfrey

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18 thoughts on “My god my god….”

  1. Yeah…we buried a prison officer here today, the victim of an under vehicle booby trap…the best part of 50 years on, of a community divided by religious and political sectarian terrorism. Of course a lot of the folk in the US supported that terrorism, oft times with finance and munitions. But that was an olde worlde romantic type terrorism where the folk on the receiving end of being blown to bits didn’t matter terribly much. Welcome to my world.

    That’ll be the N. Ireland statistic from the data above.

  2. How do these totals compare with the 100,000 killed in the US invasion of Iraq or the 2000 killed by the Israelis in Gaza in 2014. In what sense were these not terrorist attacks?

    1. No need to change the topic. The conclusions you are supposed to draw from the data as presented– since they are right there in front of you– are (1) the vast majority of terrorist attacks occurred outside of Israel, Europe, and North America; (2) the vast majority of people killed by terrorist attacks were killed outside of Israel, Europe and North America; and (3) Western news coverage of terrorist attacks is almost entirely on the fraction of terrorist attacks and victims in Israel, Europe and North America. The last point is really not in the data as presented but should be pretty obvious, eh?

      1. Yes, the western media, and westerners generally are much more concerned with western lives than middle eastern lives. Imbalance of reporting is one consequence, but the larger blindness is refusal to acknowledge our own violence as being morally equivalent to Islamic terrorists violence. Refusal to acknowledge our responsibility prevents us from recognizing the solution. If we’d pull our troops out of the middle east and stop bombing, missiling, and droning them, they would have less motive to kill us. The astounding thing is that we are waging war on ISIS and yet we are outraged that they are reciprocating.

        1. The moral question about how to respond may not be unlike deciding on the appropriate response to Nazism after the Allied Powers created the conditions for the emergence and rise to power of Nazism. Can we really afford not to fight ISIS at this stage — even though it is a product of the 2003 war of Western aggression in violation of international law? I’m not suggesting we ignore the crimes of our own government but that indignation needs to be directed at sustained public activism that works at increasing public awareness.

  3. To compare ISIS with Nazi Germany is just fear-mongering. Germany was one of the most advanced industrial nations in the world, with an armaments industry second to none. ISIS by contrast has few economic and industrial resources. There weapons come from those the industrial countries, including the US, have seeded the whole region with. Hitler engaged in serial unprovoked aggressions on countries that posed no threat to him, much like we did in Iraq. ISIS is waging war on us because we waged war on them.

    1. Neil didn’t compare ISIS with Nazi Germany. He compared the West’s moral dilemma of how to respond to ISIS to the moral dilemma of how to respond to Hitler. Both ISIS and Nazi Germany were the products of bad/failed Western policy, but does that mean the West can just say “Oopsie!” and walk away? Is it right to compound failed policy by refusing to take responsibility for that policy and cleaning up the mess we made?

      You break it, you own it. Your solution of simply walking away from the mess might save Western lives, but it surely would make the lives of those in the Middle East far worse, and the death toll almost certainly would substantially exceed what it would be if we stay.

      1. We do not own the middle east. The people of the region do. It’s ludicrous to think that we can fix the problem with more of the same kind of military terrorism that caused the problem in the first place. And the analogy between the two situations is bogus. The treaty of Versailles may have provoked German resentment that fueled the rise of Hitler a decade later, but Hitler was not responding to direct military aggression as ISIS is. Your rosy prediction of how more western military brutality will be so much better for the people of the middle east than leaving them alone to work out their own problems is eerily reminiscent of Cheney’s prediction that Iraq would be a cakewalk and they would greet us as liberators. You are just offering more rationalizations for continued western imperialism.

        1. “We do not own the Middle East; the people of the region do.” — you should read the Scott Atran article I posted about yesterday evening my time. That’s exactly the sort of military support he says we should be supporting against ISIS.

          You included in another comment Israel as one of the powers who should be involved in the fight against ISIS. I have less objection to supporting the Kurdish movement especially given that the only relatively independently successful force against ISIS has been the Kurdish Peshmerga.

          It’s been a long time since I have been accused of supporting Western imperialist ventures.

        2. “We do not own the middle east. ”

          You seem so intent on disagreeing that your reading comprehension has fled. Nobody said we own the Middle East. What I said was that we must take responsibility for the harm our policies have done, and that may well mean staying militarily engaged in the Middle East to clean up our mess.

          “It’s ludicrous to think that we can fix the problem with more of the same kind of military terrorism that caused the problem in the first place. ”

          Again, you seem so intent upon disagreeing with me that you impute policy recommendations to me that, within the context of the entirety what I’ve actually said, nobody could rationally believe that I’d make. There is something between continuing “with more of the same kind of military terrorism” and walking away and letting the Middle East burn. Put your thinking cap on, man, because what you propose is among the most immoral and dangerous options I can imagine.

          “Your rosy prediction of how more western military brutality will be so much better for the people of the middle east than leaving them alone to work out their own problems is eerily reminiscent of Cheney’s prediction that Iraq would be a cakewalk and they would greet us as liberators. You are just offering more rationalizations for continued western imperialism.”

          Wow. What rosy prediction? First, I did not propose “more western military brutality” only that walking away to let others clean up our mess could be a whole lot worse than our taking responsibility for cleaning it up ourselves. Second, I’m not sure how saying that we should take responsibility for our own mess, which implies accepting that we are responsible for the mess in the first place, i.e., that our military adventurism has destabilized the region and made things far worse than when we started, is somehow a vote of confidence that we should continue those policies.

          It has become abundantly clear to me that you are being irrational here, and I’m done responding to your comments.

          1. Scot, I don’t know you and have no motive to attack you personally. I was using your comment as a jumping off point to express my view of the situation. I’m happy to hear that you do not see more military attacks as the solution to the problem, and I should clarify that I’m not just advocating “walking away and letting the Middle East burn”. (see how easy it is to put words in the opponents mouth when making an argument).

            But what do you propose? Russia pulled back from active military attacks, while not renouncing its role in resolving the problem. Why can’t we? I agree that we should amp up our role in diplomatic negotiations, and use our economic influence in bringing the various sides to the table. We should not sell more arms to the Saudis until they stop funding radical madrassas, and stop slaughtering the Yemenis. We should suspend aid to Israel until they cease settlements in the west bank and engage in peace negotiations. There is much we can do to influence the situation besides bombing ISIS. We should try to resume the role of honest broker rather than a partisan in the fight. Yes, accepting that we are responsible is a necessary first step, which almost no one but Donald Trump has said publicly in the US. But when you see that your actions have caused harm, the first response should be to stop doing what you are doing.

    2. Scot’s response is spot on. You have misinterpreted my comment. I was actually quite prepared for you to be consistent and say, “Yes, I would have been a conscientious objector to fighting Nazi Germany. It was the Allied Powers crushing economic and national treatment of Germany that brought on this mess. Besides, Britain declared war on Germany, not Germany on Britain. It’s all about a struggle between imperial powers for European and wider dominance.”

      I have heard of the rare person(s) who did take such a stand by facing prosecution rather than enlist to fight against Japan on the grounds that it was the US who deliberately provoked Japan into war by cutting off their oil.

      The question is a moral one, not a point by point comparison of ISIS with Nazi Germany or the Pacific War.

      1. Can’t say what I would have done. The Acis powers had to be defeated, but it might have been smarter for allies to have held off hostilities and let Germany get bogged down in Russia, and Japan in China.

        The moral question has to do with the consequences of the various options for action or no action. The consequences of of fighting or not fighting the Axis were very different from the consequences of fighting or not fighting ISIS, so the moral calculus is different. To decide the enemy is evil and must be defeated by any means available, without considering the consequences of other options is an emotional decision, not a moral one.

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