Thursday, September 21, 2006

What terrorists want.

Nice title, hmm? Well, I stole it: Lock, Stock, and Copyright from MPR today.

The only "nice" thing about having a long commute (1+ hrs on the road one-way) to LOLAU is my ability to listen to MPR programming. I love MPR. It's just the best news-source that I have nowadays.

Anyhoo... To the title: I listened to the Midday program hosted by Gary Eichten today, and they had as their guest, Louise Richardson Executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Her latest book is "What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat." She was a wonderful guest... (You can listen to it ONLINE by clicking here)

Professor Richardson was born in Northern Ireland, and grew up amongst the I.R.A. After leaving her village for "the big city" and university, she learned that there are two sides to every story. There's not the simple: "Terrorists = Evil" and "Governments = Good-guys" dynamic.

I sort of allude to this quite often, I suppose, but I'm a firm believer in the "the world is a mixture of grey, it's not "black and white" the way many American's think that it is/should be/really is, etc... etc... ad nauseam.

Professor Richardson is one of the "Premiere Experts" in the study of terrorism and the people whom use it as a weapon against society "at large".

During the program, (it's a call-in show) several American's called up to "argue" with the guest.

It was SO amusing. Actually, it's quite sad, some of the crap that comes dribbling from their slack-jawed mouths. However, it was edifying to me. You see, here's a guest, a Professor at HARVARD no less... Who has made it her life work to study and try to understand terrorism... And there's these "yahoo" weird Yanks that call in to the show, basically giving the "President's Line on Terror" to the expert!

It's rather galling, really... I mean, seriously. Lines like: "All Muslims want to kill us" and other bone-headed statements like that... It was "cringe-worthy".

Well... Let's just say that the woman has a great head on her shoulders. She impressed the heck out of me, and to be honest, it wasn't just the great remnants of the No. Irish accent.

Listen to the show, and let me know what you think!


-- Tuckmac