August 11, 2005 | Graham

Five tips to reduce terrorism

I came across this piece in Open Democracy by Scilla Elworthy a couple of weeks ago. In it’s own context it is not that different from the advice that I would give a political combatant in a domestic legislative scrap, so it resonates with me.
Elworthy has five principles to reduce terrorism which she believes the occupying troops ought to observe. Something for our soldiers in Southern Iraq to consider.
They are:

  • avoid, wherever possible, using more violence;
  • show respect;
  • apply deep listening;
  • engage civil society; and
  • involve women
  • All makes sense to me.
    And applying Sophie Panopolous’ metaphor in a slightly different context, perhaps Bill Heffernan should pay attention too!

    Posted by Graham at 10:11 pm | Comments (5) |
    Filed under: Australian Politics


    1. It would be a nice world if we could politely ask the terrorist to employ these principles too.
      Otherwise the manifesto goes like this:
      1. wherever possible, using more violence;
      2. show disrespect;
      3. shout and rant slogans;
      4. blow up civil society; and
      5. kill women and children

      Comment by Stephen — August 12, 2005 @ 3:09 pm

    2. Graham, it will be very hard to involve women when we have just turned the functioning, secular but dictatorial government of Saddam into a non Functioning Islamic Radical goverment that is becoming closely aligned with Iran.
      Its funny how the Christian conservatives in Australia denounce the Islamic Conservatives now in power in Iraq / Iran.
      While the Liberal Left (not to be confused with the australian liberal party) share a common wish for Democracy and Peace with the progressives in Iraq / Iran.
      Its like looking into a mirror. The Right Wing hate what they see – and the left hate the mess that the right wing has created.

      Comment by alphacoward — August 15, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

    3. Sadly, the US troops and leaders no doubt already think they are observing that advice.
      Will publishing the pics indicating otherwise help to change things? dubious, seems to be a nasty lock-in.
      but the Brits approach to creating dialogue with the Islamic community is not just obvious, it is another example of simple little steps rather than big political interferences.

      Comment by Karin G — August 15, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

    4. Well intentioned but naive..

      Comment by me — August 15, 2005 @ 6:29 pm

    5. Forget Iraq. Get out of Iraq. Remember 65% of Australians did not want our (democratic) government to send our brothers to Iraq in the first place. Our democratically elected leader chose to ignore the wishes of Australians in the most important decision we could have given him.
      Was that democracy in action? If John Howard was not listening to the Australian people, who was he listening to? George, Tony and Ariel? Since when do George and Tony decide Australian foreign policy? If England is “mother” England, and America is “daddy”, isn’t it about time we grew up and left home?
      If the Chinese Army invade Australia and a few brave souls decide that as our Army was easily vanquished they would take up the baton on their behalf, do the Chinese regard that as terrorism? Do they tell those resistance fighters they are INSURGENTS? Where do they suggest they insurged from? New Zealand?
      We as a nation must learn to discriminate between genuine terrorist attacks, such as might occur in Israel (by Palestinians) or England (IRA) and terrorist attacks that have been planned and executed by “unknown” (sic Al Queda), state of the art high tech operatives, double agents, covert intelligence operations and the like mounted purely for the effect they have in giving political leaders more clout in developed nations.

      Comment by Marcus — August 16, 2005 @ 12:59 am

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