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Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 20 Mar 2015 23:33

Tuvaluan wrote:Perhaps you could share what is the " institution of civil society" you refer to in the above quote?


Tuvaluan Ji - I don’t have deep knowledge of India’s domestic political and public institutions; nonetheless when I say civil society institutions I mean: non-governmental organizations, such as business organizations, community organizations, volunteer organizations, media organizations, sports and recreational organizations, arts, cultural, and entertainment organizations, and religious organizations.

According to scholars, a viable civil society can mitigate violence.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 21 Mar 2015 00:39

Tuan wrote:non-governmental organizations, such as business organizations, community organizations, volunteer organizations, media organizations, sports and recreational organizations, arts, cultural, and entertainment organizations, and religious organizations.


Tuanji, Many of these organizations are politically compromised in India and do not speak in the public interest, so I would not consider any of these guys as instruments of Indian "soft power" by a long shot.

According to scholars, a viable civil society can mitigate violence.


From empirical observation, most scholars are full of poop, metaphorically speaking -- they speak in generalities and throw out ideas that are out of context and inapplicable in most situtations, standing on the shoulders some other scholar who has done the same thing, and soon enough they all pretend they have something deep and meaningful to say. To a fault, they all seem to take credit for outcomes in reality that has nothing to do with their scholarly output.

This generalization about "civil society" is a fine example -- Indian "civil society" has consistently spoken against public interest and have been politically compromised quite severely, going back to several decades. Just notice the enormous number of NGOs that were exposed recently in India -- these NGOs/civil societies just seem to be fronts for money laundering from shady sources that refuse to provide financial details for oversight. Ditto for business interests that push for talks with Pakistan, even if such a direction is against public interest. etc. etc.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 21 Mar 2015 02:43

Tuvaluan wrote:This generalization about "civil society" is a fine example -- Indian "civil society" has consistently spoken against public interest and have been politically compromised quite severely, going back to several decades. Just notice the enormous number of NGOs that were exposed recently in India -- these NGOs/civil societies just seem to be fronts for money laundering from shady sources that refuse to provide financial details for oversight. Ditto for business interests that push for talks with Pakistan, even if such a direction is against public interest. etc. etc.


Duly noted!

But some groups of NGOs saw activism as their primary means of reaching their goals, because they did not believe they could get the authorities to move in any other way. Perhaps the best-known example of an Indian NGO, as I read a while ago, is the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Campaign), an organization that opposed the construction of a series of large dams in a large river valley of central India. The members of this NGO believed that large dams worsen water scarcity for the majority of the people in the long run rather than solve the problem, and they opposed the displacement it entails upstream of the dam. Most of the NBA member went to jail in number of times as a result including celebrated novelist Arundhati Roy – faced the prospect of being jailed again, because they criticized the Supreme Court of India when the court’s decision on dam construction did not go in their favour.

So just wondering what is your take on this particular demonstration of the Indian “civil society”?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 21 Mar 2015 18:21

But some groups of NGOs saw activism as their primary means of reaching their goals, because they did not believe they could get the authorities to move in any other way. Perhaps the best-known example of an Indian NGO, as I read a while ago, is the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Campaign), an organization that opposed the construction of a series of large dams in a large river valley of central India. The members of this NGO believed that large dams worsen water scarcity for the majority of the people in the long run rather than solve the problem, and they opposed the displacement it entails upstream of the dam.


Actually Arundhati Roy was not the leader of the NBA, it was Medha Patkar, though ARoy did get some photo op out of it. These NGO members were against the decision of a multi-state tribunal (since this was a conflict between state governments about water sharing) that would have displaced people without adequate compensation (or information), and the supreme court sided with them initially. Then it came to light that these same "concerned NGOs" in the NBA were physically attacking and intimidating the people who actually took compensation and were ready to move out of the area. At this point, it was clear that this was just agitation-propaganda being carried out with the explicit intent of stopping implementation of the decision of the inter-state tribunal with the larger goal of providing access to river waters to the people of three states --- this was clearly not in the public interest, and no govt. mitigation action was going to satisfy this group of "Civil society" rabblerousers. The SC decision was actually for the NBA, and then the govt. was told to deal with compensation for the displaced people, which they did, and after that the supreme court decision was favourable to the government. But as in all cases, these "civil society" NGOs are against any court decision that is not in the favor, even if it addresses their concerns, which about says that their motive has less to do with fighting for the public interest or even the sub groups that were being displaced by the dam. I mean, why harrass and intimidate people who accepted govt. compensation, if their initial complaint was the lack of compensation?

Medha Patkar was thrown in prison by the Gujarat govt. after this point when she blockaded work on the project and her NBA members indulged in thuggery, and so did the MP govt. in 2009. NBA was also caught committing perjury in the supreme court and was hauled up for it. Medha Patkar and ARoy seem to want to add "arrested for fighting the power for the sake of truth and justice" to their resume, because after the arrest, both of them seem to have moved on to other causes.

This is not to say the govt. did everything right or that no one was affected badly -- someone always is. But these NGOs goals do not seem to have anything to do with the public interest or the interest of the "downtrodden and displaced" which is their usual claim.

They want to lead not only the narrative, but overrule the interest of the public and elected state govts. via elected institutions that are trying to deal with complicated problems involving state rights and water sharing, which is messy enough without "civil society" working to sabotage their arbitrated decisions by pretending to speak for some sub-group and not being satisfied even after their complaints are heard and addressed.

Getting back to this topic of terrorism and soft power, if these "civil society" NGOs were allowed to meddle in matters of security, as they were during ManmohanSingh/Sonia regime, they are likely to screw the govt. and push for the interest of known terrorists. The cases of the underworld criminal who was involved in gunrunning and the case of Ishrat Jahan, who was known to be a LeT operative/suicicde bomber are perfect examples of what NGOs would do India.

Granted, there is the issue of extra judicial killings, but it was also the case that there was intelligence that proved both these examples involved individuals who were committed to assisting terrorism. But the NGOs did not just question the matter of extra judicial killings, they colluded openly with Sonia Gandhi's party that was running the central government, and actively slandering and lying and creating hatred for the entire Gujarat Public -- Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin were just the means to an end, one of vilifying the state government and discrediting Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the eyes of the public at large. These "civil society" NGOs NEVER accepted that both Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin were involved in terrorism, as you would expect any honest NGO to do, if their intent was to put an end to extra judicial killing.

Even if "civil society" is considered "soft power", it is going to do nothing to combat terrorism in India - it is more likely that they will actively aid and abet terrorist activity by providing them cover and weakening any govt. action against terrorist groups and terrorists.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 21 Mar 2015 19:10

Granted, there is the issue of extra judicial killings, but it was also the case that there was intelligence that proved both these examples involved individuals who were committed to assisting terrorism. But the NGOs did not just question the matter of extra judicial killings, they colluded openly with Sonia Gandhi's party that was running the central government, and actively slandering and lying and creating hatred for the entire Gujarat Public -- Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin were just the means to an end, one of vilifying the state government and discrediting Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the eyes of the public at large. These "civil society" NGOs NEVER accepted that both Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin were involved in terrorism, as you would expect any honest NGO to do, if their intent was to put an end to extra judicial killing.


These cases were handled as crime or terrorism related charges? Is there any evidence or links to terrorism? Correct me if I am wrong, but it is widely believed that a crime is driven by economic motives whereas terrorism is driven by political motives. Don’t know... Can’t tell...so please shed some light on this?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 21 Mar 2015 19:30

Tuan, I think if you are following these forums there was a youtube video of a documentary on the ishrat Jahan case released by the Intelligence Bureau with excerpts from the Current NSA and people in RAW and security cases, indicating that Ishrat Jahan's companion was funded by entities in Dubai or UAE (forget which) and they were down in other states and were being actively watched by Security agencies. I believe it was posted in the Paki thread .

The LeT openly mourned for Ishrat Jahan as their martyr after she was killed, and so did the Jamaat Ud Dawa and retracted a few years down the line in 2010. David Headley is also alleged to have stated that Ishrat Jahan was a LeT operative. Sohrabuddin was smuggling weapons into gujarat when he was killed, and the intelligence orgs claim that this was intended to commit terrorism in gujarat, and this was while the despicable UPA govt. in the center was trying to fan terrorism and communal violence in Gujarat to tar their political opponent in the CM's post.

These two cases became a political football with a crooked CBI officer (who was made to leave office in disgrace) muddying the waters, assisted by a disgruntled IPS officer who perjured himself to earn some political brownie points, so if you go by public information, you are unlikely to learn anything useful.

Added later: found the video -- it was in the Ishrat Jahan Conspiracy thread.

https://vimeo.com/90870480

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 21 Mar 2015 20:20

Tuan wrote: Correct me if I am wrong, but it is widely believed that a crime is driven by economic motives whereas terrorism is driven by political motives. Don’t know... Can’t tell...so please shed some light on this?

You cannot ever be wrong if you are stating that those statements are "widely believed". But it is a standard rhetorical trap and needs to be cleared up.

If I say "It is widely believed that the moon is not made of cheese", the statement being right does not in any way indicate what the moon is actually made of.

So if it is widely believed that "crime is driven by economic motives whereas terrorism is driven by political motives" - the bit about widespread belief may be true but the actual statements that crime=economic motives and terrorism=political motives may not be true. Terrorism could have religious motives or even economic motives. A Pakistan general wrote a whole book about terrorism in the Islamic way of war. Terrorism is a subset of crime.

A person shot dead by a burglar is no less dead than a person shot dead by a terrorist. For this reason it is widely believed that terrorists should be dealt with like any other armed and dangerous criminals. Correct me if I am wrong. Can you shed some light?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 21 Mar 2015 22:08

shiv wrote:So if it is widely believed that "crime is driven by economic motives whereas terrorism is driven by political motives" - the bit about widespread belief may be true but the actual statements that crime=economic motives and terrorism=political motives may not be true. Terrorism could have religious motives or even economic motives


Shiv Ji - Before I respond to your query, could you please give me an example of any terrorist organizations that are driven by religious motives or economic motives? Because, IMHO, religious groups that engage in terrorism have ultimate political goals.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 21 Mar 2015 22:45

Tuan, you are nothing but a goddamn troll. Stop jerking people around with your goddamned trolling.

If you are so effing ignorant about terrorist groups and their motivations, examples of which abound on a daily basis, then the question arises as to your intent for opening this thread. If you already known the answers to your rhetorical question, answer them yourself instead of wasting everyone's time.

Before I respond to your query, could you please give me an example of any terrorist organizations that are driven by religious motives or economic motives?


Why don't do read the fricking newspaper to figure that one out, and if you cannot figure out if there are any terrorist organizations that are driven by religious motives, perhaps you should not be discussing topics like soft power and combating terrorism.

But you clearly know about ISIS and yet you pretend ignorance and pretend you are not aware of things, like your pretense of not knowing about Ishrat Jahan or the NBA. Time to stop feeding trolls.

Even "soft power" is all about politics in the end, so what difference does it make if a violent terrorist's quest for power is motivated by economics, religions, or baking pastries?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 21 Mar 2015 23:20

Let me make myself clear again, terrorism stems form political violence, not religious one, period. (i.e. identifying where terrorism begins and ends)

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 21 Mar 2015 23:44

violence is violence -- the only difference is the motive and the means used to organize violence.
Hairsplitting by labeling terrorist violence as "economic violence", "religious violence", and "recreational violence" etc. misses the point. Period. The means for accruing political power and the motive cannot be cleanly separated just because it makes a good paper in some social studies or international relations journal.

The motive can be political power for a particular group of people sharing a common narrative such as "we are god's true children and have the right to kill or enslave anyone who does not agree with us", i.e., polticial power for a a religious group, which uses religious means. Does that mean this is only about politics and not about religion?

Even Nation States use violence on non combatants outside their boundaries for political purposes and use "national interests" as the narrative to get the people in their nation to support that violence, so is that terrorism? If so, what is the point of using "soft power" to combat "terrorism" by State and Non-State Actors motivated to accrue political "hard power" explicitly via violence?

Terrorism is political theater and all about committing violence on non-combatants/civilians, but that does not mean it is only about politics -- when a group of people with a common narrative is involved, then by definition it creates the platform for political power play. They express their political power via a narrative than be religious or cultural or whatever, and to pretend that this is all about politics and nothing else is laughable.

The general argument seems to be (also seen in the link to the paper posted by A_Gupta in the other soft power thread) is that India should show its "civilizational soft power" and then become a great power...and these arguments are made by the same jokers who go around writing papers on how India is full of heathains practising the castesystem that needs to be civilized, who then turn on a dime and pretend that India needs to stop focussing on hard power and focus on soft power instead....presumably because they think Indians are still as stupid as they were in the past 60 years to not see through this con.

So what exactly is this "soft power" in India that is going to attract everyone to drop their weapons and play nice with India? Why hasn't this wonderful "soft power" not worked in a piece of cr@p nation-state like Pakistan or any number of smaller countries in the neighbourhood? and given all that, what good is this "Soft power" that is supposed to combat terrorism and hard power, when it cannot even achieve the far lesser goal of protecting the self-interests of a country from power plays of far less powerful countries?

Indian "soft power" is readily seen by the number of Indian movie fans in countries that also send terrorists into India or explicitly work against Indian interests. That singular fact about says all that needs to be said about the effectiveness of "soft power" against entities that have a choice of using "hard power".

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2015 05:38

Tuan wrote:
Shiv Ji - Before I respond to your query, could you please give me an example of any terrorist organizations that are driven by religious motives or economic motives? Because, IMHO, religious groups that engage in terrorism have ultimate political goals.

It is easy to get tied up in words unless we define what I mean or what you think religion means.

There are two ways of making the connection between religion and terror or religion and economics

One way is to say "Terrorist organizations are driven by religious motives"

The other way is to say "Religion drives some terrorist organizations". Islam is a political religion which means that Islam is positioned as an ideology that does not restrict itself to spiritual matters and the relationship between man and God. Islam positions itself as a complete system of living that is mandatory for all humans and that those who do not come under its fold are enemies. This is a political stance that requires offence, defence and funding as well as a political structure to collect (islamic) taxes to fund terrorist and charitable activities. In a word, Islam is called a religion, but Islamic writings and leaders clearly encourage violence for both economic and political motives. Violence is mandated in Islam with no ambiguity whatsoever to meet political and economic goals.

Sunni Islam is the majority religion in Pakistan, It has spawned off a large number of organizations whose departments have different names depending on what they do. One such organization is the Lashkar-e Toiba which is a military wing that conducts terrorist attacks in India. The political wing of the Lashkar e toiba goes by the name of "Jamaat ud dawa" which acts like a charitable organization to collect money and run seminaries in Pakistan. Children from the poorest families are taken under the fold of the Jamaat ud Dawa and are fed and given an Islamic education. Some percentage of these children (mainly boys) are selected for terrorist activities. In the case of the Lashkar e Toiba the terrorism is mainly against India.

So here we have a religious organization that is an unabashed political force that uses terrorism and charity in different contexts. Trying to box this organization in as purely political, purely religious, purely terrorist or purely economically motivated is nonsense.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2015 05:42

Tuan wrote:Let me make myself clear again, terrorism stems form political violence, not religious one, period. (i.e. identifying where terrorism begins and ends)

Confusion stems from ignorant semantic nitpicking.

Islam is a political religion and even if you want to deny it nothing will change. Christianity is similar but long ago the Thirty years war in Europe led to the splitting off of politics from the Christian religion leading to the creation of Westphalian nation states (a name that derives from the peace of Westphalia that followed the thirty years war.)

Islam has had no such internal struggle to separate religion from politics. The attempt to impose a secular nation state on Islamic nations has failed in most instances

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby RamaY » 22 Mar 2015 08:45

X-posting from UK thread.

Hari Seldon wrote:UK-stan soaring to new heights. Must be declared a security threat and have its visa-on-arrival facility in many countries re-examined, perhaps...

Image


This is one way UK is using soft power in Syrian theater.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 23 Mar 2015 07:17

shiv wrote:One such organization is the Lashkar-e Toiba which is a military wing that conducts terrorist attacks in India. The political wing of the Lashkar e toiba goes by the name of "Jamaat ud dawa" which acts like a charitable organization to collect money and run seminaries in Pakistan. Children from the poorest families are taken under the fold of the Jamaat ud Dawa and are fed and given an Islamic education. Some percentage of these children (mainly boys) are selected for terrorist activities. In the case of the Lashkar e Toiba the terrorism is mainly against India.

So here we have a religious organization that is an unabashed political force that uses terrorism and charity in different contexts. Trying to box this organization in as purely political, purely religious, purely terrorist or purely economically motivated is nonsense.


Shiv Ji – I am definitely not interested in semantic nitpicking rather in a process of learning and just trying to understand.

I agree with you for certain extent that in the case of LeT, terrorism should be defined as an act committed "in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause" with the intention of intimidating or targeting the public ".

Having said that, talking form the perception of where terrorism begins and ends, LeT's stated objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to "liberate" Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir, which is pure political. However it is compartmentalized into different wings with various tasks as you pointed out.

Another similar organization was the LTTE (regardless of its a secular ideology) which was made of seven different wings including a military wing, political wing, intelligence wing, finance wing, procurement wing and so on. Similarly, LTTE’s objective was the creation of an independent state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka which was also political.

It is against this backdrop I extrapolated the LeT and other terrorist organizations as politically motivated. Am I wrong?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 23 Mar 2015 08:16

After many hundreds of paki threads, it is quite incredible that the LeT is being talked about as some sort of stand alone organization -- if this is not trolling, then it is at the very least wasting everyone's time, instead of reading the paki threads on terrorism and knowing the basics before starting threads about dealing with terrorism using "soft power".

The following facts have been repeated hundreds of times in many variations over the years.

The pakistani army's motto is:
Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah (English translation: "A follower of none but Allah, the fear of Allah, Jihad for Allah")


Pakistan claims to be the fortress of islam, and the Pakistani army runs the LeT, and myriad other terrorist groups that are all linked with Islam -- Islam proclaims itself to be not just a religion, but also claims that the Quran is a political document, and also down the financial/economic under islam, which includes no interest loans. The dots are already connected, and to pretend that the LeT's motivations are only political, given how the entire rationale for the formation of Pakistan is based in religion, is not just specious logic, this is bordering on trolling everyone by starting a thread that seems to have some reasoning behind it, and instead exposes utter ignorance.

It would help to at least pay attention to well known facts about Pakistan and LeT before making false equivalences between LTTE and the LeT. The Sri Lankan Constitution explicitly treats Tamil Sri Lankans as second class citizens, and this bigotry was challenged by SL Tamils in 1978 when all other avenues of trying to stake their claim as citizens failed. The LTTE and various other groups like TELO came into being then, and they *did not* take their fight outside Sri Lankan borders, because they just wanted to be treated as first class citizens. This is very different from the Pakistani army sending in its homegrown and trained terrorists into Indian territory to claim Indian territory by force, and by ethnically cleansing non-muslim kashmiris out of J&K.

The difference in context here is pretty stark, and to make dubious equivalences between a legitimate struggle for citizens of Sri Lanka to be treated equally to the Pakistani terrorism spawned in J&K via their proxies like LeT is highly dubious. Unlike the SL Tamils who don't have anywhere else go (except as refugees), pakistani establishment and the army has repopulated all of PoK with pakistani punjabi terrorist groups and financed, built and managed full-fledged training camps for these groups to send their cadre into India. Nawaz Sharif also funded the LeT from the Pakistani budget to the tune of 300 Crore Pakistani rupees.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 23 Mar 2015 09:10

Tuan wrote:It is against this backdrop I extrapolated the LeT and other terrorist organizations as politically motivated. Am I wrong?

You are wrong.

You are simply a master of wording questions that hide your motive. The answer lies in a statement that you made earlier and that statement was

Tuan wrote:"crime is driven by economic motives whereas terrorism is driven by political motives


The LeT is a terrorist organization led by religious motives. The LTTE was a terrorist organization ostensibly led by political motives. Conclusion: terrorism is not necessarily due to political motives alone

Both were/are criminal organizations. Both have or had territorial ambitions and territorial control is inextricably linked to economic motives.

Your idea of linking terrorism to political motives is to steer discussion towards general acceptance of political motives alone as the cause of terrorism. It appears that you specifically want to talk about the LTTE - which is exactly where you have been heading all the while.

Are you trolling this forum?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby harbans » 24 Mar 2015 02:38

I think there have been some fundamentals raised here, which deserve less dismissal and more introspection. Yes truth is terrorism in most academic circles is associated with primarily Political motives of groups. The groups may have religious backing, or ideological, but Terror groups are primarily identified as Terrorist when their political aspirations become transparent. Till then they are hardly classified as Terrorist. We can have some arguments for and against this stance, but this is how and why of why PLO was classified as a Terror Group initially, so was Babar Khalsa or LeT or LTTE or the dozens we know.

What is important here is to see how many of these Terrorist groups that have political motives are religiously motivated. The answer is today Rising Red Sun star or Naxal kind commie groups don't really pose global threats. They can be countered using development and other means. This has been a run program in several nations that have eliminated such extreme left groups. What has not been eliminated ever are those that have a religious facade that hides Political ambitions. Islam for one exhorts itself as purely a religious entity, whereas with Sharia as core with its legislative, Judiciary and Executive arms (all understood as Political) is basically and primarily more Political in its aims than religious in most ways. Certainly it is both.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 24 Mar 2015 03:04

harbans wrote:What is important here is to see how many of these Terrorist groups that have political motives are religiously motivated. The answer is today Rising Red Sun star or Naxal kind commie groups don't really pose global threats.


Both those examples undercut the claims made so far that terrorism is caused by X (politics) but not by Y (religion). The examples of LeT and Naxals demonstate that terrorism can be caused by groups with political goals that are motivated by religious causes (LeT) or economic causes (Naxal/maoists/marxists), respectively. Or as in the case of Tamil groups, exclusively political goals related to equal rights.

The strongest logically coherent statement that can be made is "terrorism is not only caused due to political motivations" not least because one cannot separate ideology (whether religious or economic (like communism)) from the politics driven by that ideology. That kind of false separation only leads to incoherent logic, where you can claim X happened because of politics (even if religion was stated as the motive) and Y happened because of religion and not because of politics.

Terrorism is political activity that considers using violence as a legitimate tool for achieving political goals. The whole point of terrorism is to negotiate political goals via violence. Any ideology that can motivate a group of people to rally around that ideology and push it in the sphere of governance or government becomes politics.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby harbans » 24 Mar 2015 12:01

Terrorism is political activity that considers using violence as a legitimate tool for achieving political goals. The whole point of terrorism is to negotiate political goals via violence. Any ideology that can motivate a group of people to rally around that ideology and push it in the sphere of governance or government becomes politics.


Exactly what am trying to say. Terrorists aim to achieve those political goals with violence and fear. Those political goals are a result of:

1. Economic reasons and ideology: Naxals; Red Star,LTTE kind of groups we see in India, South America etc
2. Religious: Would put Islamic Jihadi groups on that front.

There are groups that combine both economic/ideological and religious too. Linkages of convenience between different groups are not uncommon. Presently there are certain basic rights that are understood to be "basic/ fundamental" for citizens anywhere. There are groups that demand these rights from their Govts that deny them these basic rights eg Tibetan groups in Occupied Tibet. Though they are largely non violent and certainly motivated by Tibets own religious culture, they cannot be termed as Terrorist. In JK for example those kind of "Basic/Fundamental" rights are already assured by the State, demands for Sharia through violence thus can be considered Terrorism for all practical purposes. I think we can possibly make some objective framework to define what constitutes a Terror group or activity in such a manner, bracket groups in each and see what kind of "soft" or "hard" power measures can be used to mitigate their effect on society.

Added later (continuation of thought): The Mafia for instance cannot be branded a Terrorist group like say the LeT, LTTE, Rising Star, Naxals as they have no ideological or religious leanings and are least interested whether they operate in a Communist, religious, Capitalist state. They operate on different fundamentals. Though they may like to have political patronage of sorts but it is more to protect turf. People of course are terrorized in a way of their activities and they may include killings, bombings, slaughters etc, but we don't associate them with what we are identifying as Terror groups.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 24 Mar 2015 18:06

The Mafia for instance cannot be branded a Terrorist group like say the LeT, LTTE, Rising Star, Naxals as they have no ideological or religious leanings and are least interested whether they operate in a Communist, religious, Capitalist state. They operate on different fundamentals.


Actually, Mafia activity is terrorism with a criminal motive -- terrorism in many south american countries operates by terrorising politicians and people running the country into working for them, and buys them out literally -- in these cases, mafia terrorism is political in the end. Most mafia activity does not care about politics since it is not powerful enough to take on the state, unlike the drug cartels which are richer than the governments of the countries in which they operate.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 24 Mar 2015 22:15

harbans wrote:The Mafia for instance cannot be branded a Terrorist group like say the LeT, LTTE, Rising Star, Naxals as they have no ideological or religious leanings and are least interested whether they operate in a Communist, religious, Capitalist state. They operate on different fundamentals. Though they may like to have political patronage of sorts but it is more to protect turf. People of course are terrorized in a way of their activities and they may include killings, bombings, slaughters etc, but we don't associate them with what we are identifying as Terror groups.


Harbans Ji, I completely agree with you.

A "mafia", according to Wikipedia, is a type of organized crime syndicate whose primary activities are protection racketeering and the arbitration of disputes in criminal markets. Secondary activities may be practiced such as drug-trafficking, loan sharking and fraud. It’s thus been classified as economically motivated.

The term “mafia” was originally applied to the Sicilian Mafia, but has since expanded to encompass other organizations of similar methods and purpose, e.g. "the Russian Mafia", "the Japanese Mafia", the American Mafia, the Mexican Mafia or "the Albanian Mafia" and so on.

Recently a SL scholar labeled the Rajapaksa’s government as a “Mafia State”.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index. ... olidation/

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 25 Mar 2015 03:36

Mafia has changed since the times of Don Corleone -- they now collaborate with terrorist groups and do business with them. This is nothing new -- the Paki terrorist groups have long been running the drug trade in afghanisthan to fund their operations, and their behavior is/was no different than any other drug cartel or mafia. It is plain silly to pretend that criminals cannot indulge in terrorism -- reality does not conform to textbooks written by so-called scholars, they are only observers of reality, and most times not even first hand observers. Reading a lot of books does not give anyone the license to redefine reality according to their dogma as to what does and does not constitute terrorism. Every terrorist group, or indeed any organization, has shifting priorities, but that does not mean we get to label them depending on the order of priority according to their world view...actually, no one is stopping us, but the only people we would be fooling is ourselves, if we start taking these labels seriously and end up trying to resolve non problems that arise because of this false partitioning.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2014/08/21/isis-mexican-drug-cartels-teaming-up-n1881302

But ... drug cartels use the same operational plan as terrorist groups do. They kill their opponents, they behead their opponents, they brag about it and they have operational control of many portions of the southern border of the United States. Mexico doesn’t. The United States doesn’t. Otherwise they wouldn’t be crossing daily with their drugs. They’re as vicious as some of these other terrorist organizations. We need to recognize them that this is an organized international crime group.


So there you have it -- the cartel effectively control territory, terrorize anyone who gets in their way, and uses the same brutal methods as ISIS or LeT. So why exactly is that not terrorism? Simply because some professor in some university says so or two guys somewhere wrote a book proclaiming it to be so?

Take this policy paper that declares that drug cartels are not terrorists because they commit terrorism for the sake of money, and not for the sake of ideology. Why is this correct and why is committing violent crimes on civilians for the sake of money not terrorism? Is that because the definition would then make many nation-states fall under the category of terrorists? If not, why this hairsplitting?

http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2011/10/26/mexican-drug-cartels-are-not-terrorists
But despite the alleged Iran-Zetas connection, having the U.S. State Department label the Zetas a terrorist organization solves nothing. The addition of the Zetas to that list won’t stop cartels from running the drug market nor from establishing international ties. Furthermore, unlike terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, these cartels’ goals do not include attacking the U.S. The Zeta cartel’s motive is money, not ideology.


So, basically, you can only be anointed a terrorist if you slice someone's head off and take over their property because you think god or Karl Marx is on your side, but not if you just wanted to make money off it to fund your own little country. uh..ok.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 25 Mar 2015 07:02

I am not sure why Sri Lankan terrorism and Sri Lankan politics comes up so often in this thread. We have in the past had Sri Lankans on this forum pushing their own agenda. This thread appears to be heading that way..

Quoting Tuan's posts in this thread. There are more references to Sri Lanka and the LTTE and terrorism than a dozen other thread combined

Tuan wrote:This notion is meant to think outside the box when combating one’s enemy, especially terrorism. I thought about this when I came to know a former Tamil Tiger cadre, named “Oppilan”, who operated as a mole and was willingly providing intelligence to India’s foreign intelligence agency RAW, while Oppilan himself held a position in the Tiger organization’s notorious intelligence wing.

Oppilan later confessed during an interview that he worked with the RAW operatives between the periods of 1992-95 when the agency conducted a covert operation against Tamil Tigers in order to oust its leader V. Pirabhakaran, following the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. When the Tamil Tigers began to investigate and arrest many Tiger cadres and other operatives who were involved in this conspiracy, Oppilan ran away and surrendered to the Sri Lankan military in June 1995.

Oppilan, who surrendered with invaluable information that was used against the Tigers to recapture the Jaffna peninsula in October 1995 during a Sri Lankan military operation code-named "Riviresa". Afterwards he was relocated by the Sri Lankan military intelligence to a foreign country where Oppilan had played a key role in dismantling the Tamil Tigers’ international operations until the terrorist organization was militarily defeated in May 2009.


Tuan wrote:
Thus, we have to start with life-span theories such as attachment theories, internalizing, child abuse, poverty, oppression, discrimination and so on because we have to first find out what makes a man terrorist? Looking at the research that has already been done on Pirabhakaran, bin Laden, and now on al-Baghdadi; I came to a hypothesis that “Terrorism springs from the very soul of a grieved man”. I know that some of you will disagree with me for many reasons. But what I read about each one of them made me to come to this conclusion. We know that bin Laden was armed, funded and trained by Americans and Pirabhakaran was by India for some extent. And then they both became monsters against their own masters.


Tuan wrote:
Tuvaluan Ji - I don’t have deep knowledge of India’s domestic political and public institutions; nonetheless when I say civil society institutions I mean: non-governmental organizations, such as business organizations, community organizations, volunteer organizations, media organizations, sports and recreational organizations, arts, cultural, and entertainment organizations, and religious organizations.

According to scholars, a viable civil society can mitigate violence.


Tuan wrote:
Having said that, talking form the perception of where terrorism begins and ends, LeT's stated objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to "liberate" Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir, which is pure political. However it is compartmentalized into different wings with various tasks as you pointed out.

Another similar organization was the LTTE (regardless of its a secular ideology) which was made of seven different wings including a military wing, political wing, intelligence wing, finance wing, procurement wing and so on. Similarly, LTTE’s objective was the creation of an independent state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka which was also political.



Tuan wrote:
Recently a SL scholar labeled the Rajapaksa’s government as a “Mafia State”.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index. ... olidation/

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby SSridhar » 25 Mar 2015 14:37

Shiv, you have a PM.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 26 Mar 2015 05:32

shiv wrote:I am not sure why Sri Lankan terrorism and Sri Lankan politics comes up so often in this thread. We have in the past had Sri Lankans on this forum pushing their own agenda. This thread appears to be heading that way..

Quoting Tuan's posts in this thread. There are more references to Sri Lanka and the LTTE and terrorism than a dozen other thread combined

Tuan wrote:This notion is meant to think outside the box when combating one’s enemy, especially terrorism. I thought about this when I came to know a former Tamil Tiger cadre, named “Oppilan”, who operated as a mole and was willingly providing intelligence to India’s foreign intelligence agency RAW, while Oppilan himself held a position in the Tiger organization’s notorious intelligence wing.

Oppilan later confessed during an interview that he worked with the RAW operatives between the periods of 1992-95 when the agency conducted a covert operation against Tamil Tigers in order to oust its leader V. Pirabhakaran, following the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. When the Tamil Tigers began to investigate and arrest many Tiger cadres and other operatives who were involved in this conspiracy, Oppilan ran away and surrendered to the Sri Lankan military in June 1995.

Oppilan, who surrendered with invaluable information that was used against the Tigers to recapture the Jaffna peninsula in October 1995 during a Sri Lankan military operation code-named "Riviresa". Afterwards he was relocated by the Sri Lankan military intelligence to a foreign country where Oppilan had played a key role in dismantling the Tamil Tigers’ international operations until the terrorist organization was militarily defeated in May 2009.


Tuan wrote:
Thus, we have to start with life-span theories such as attachment theories, internalizing, child abuse, poverty, oppression, discrimination and so on because we have to first find out what makes a man terrorist? Looking at the research that has already been done on Pirabhakaran, bin Laden, and now on al-Baghdadi; I came to a hypothesis that “Terrorism springs from the very soul of a grieved man”. I know that some of you will disagree with me for many reasons. But what I read about each one of them made me to come to this conclusion. We know that bin Laden was armed, funded and trained by Americans and Pirabhakaran was by India for some extent. And then they both became monsters against their own masters.


Tuan wrote:
Tuvaluan Ji - I don’t have deep knowledge of India’s domestic political and public institutions; nonetheless when I say civil society institutions I mean: non-governmental organizations, such as business organizations, community organizations, volunteer organizations, media organizations, sports and recreational organizations, arts, cultural, and entertainment organizations, and religious organizations.

According to scholars, a viable civil society can mitigate violence.


Tuan wrote:
Having said that, talking form the perception of where terrorism begins and ends, LeT's stated objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to "liberate" Muslims residing in Indian Kashmir, which is pure political. However it is compartmentalized into different wings with various tasks as you pointed out.

Another similar organization was the LTTE (regardless of its a secular ideology) which was made of seven different wings including a military wing, political wing, intelligence wing, finance wing, procurement wing and so on. Similarly, LTTE’s objective was the creation of an independent state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka which was also political.



Tuan wrote:
Recently a SL scholar labeled the Rajapaksa’s government as a “Mafia State”.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index. ... olidation/


Shiv Ji, i guess your compilation of my comments aren’t enough to figure out why I am interested in Sri Lanka, LTTE and obliterating global terrorism. Let me re-post some of my previous comments in this forum to shed some light. Hope it helps you to understand me a little better.

Tuan wrote:Dear members,
My name is Kagusthan Ariaratnam aka Murali. I am originally from Sri Lanka and came to Canada in 1997 as a political refugee. While I was attending high school in Jaffna during 1990s, I was forcibly recruited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), under the demand that at least one member from each family must contribute to the war. I was the first born son, with an older sister and three younger brothers. Since I was the eldest boy I had no choice but to join, otherwise my younger brothers would have faced hardships.
Subsequently, I underwent six months of basic military training and was deployed as a child soldier. In 1993, after completing a one-year intelligence training program, I was appointed as the naval intelligence officer of the LTTE and worked closely with the LTTE leadership. At the age of 20, having broken the LTTE’s arbitrary “code of conduct” by falling in love with a female LTTE soldier, (It is prohibited to have any kind of romantic relationship within the LTTE organization and the punishment for this transgression was death.) I was blackmailed by a superior officer to work for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian government's foreign intelligence agency.
Fear and despair drove me to confess my betrayal to the LTTE. As punishment, the LTTE assigned me to infiltrate the Sri Lankan government. Once safely in Sri Lankan government controlled territory I began working in earnest with the intelligence services of the Sri Lankan military. As a consequence, I became implicated in the fall of the LTTE-held Jaffna peninsula into the Sri Lankan government’s hands. It was during my time with the Sri Lankan military that I studied political violence and international conflicts in detail and became familiar with and passionate about diminishing it. My personal background, history, and experiences in both Sri Lanka and Canada have inspired and motivated me to tell my story to you all.



Tuan wrote:What happened to the LTTE leadership towards the end is history. There have been over 150,000 lives and over 30 years lost in the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Now that the LTTE has been militarily defeated and ethnic cleansing continues in government-controlled Tamil areas and government-run secret camps, the Sri Lankan authorities must be made accountable for their actions and give the ethnic Tamil minority reasonable autonomy, perhaps within a federal system such as Canada’s.
I see now, though, that what is needed is to speak to the hearts of the people. Underdeveloped countries in states of conflict need to be rebuilt: programs are necessary to treat the innocent victims of war and displacement; the uneducated poor require means with which to earn their living.
The only way to stop terrorism and to prevent the propagation of further atrocities is to build up the infrastructure of countries in need. People who cannot feed or defend their children, much less provide them with an education and a future, people who watch powerlessly as their neighbours and kin are raped and slaughtered, are prey to anyone, be it a government hiding its acts of genocide under a blanket of legitimacy, or an underdog terrorist organization, fuelled by righteous fervour. The people must know, in their hearts and in their minds, that their governments are watching out and taking care of them. It’s not really rocket science.
The abuses of power - the kidnapping, brainwashing, extortion, blackmail and torture – to which my family and I have been treated at the hands of Sinhalese government agencies and the LTTE, resulted in my eventual and inevitable mental and emotional breakdown – a state from which I am only now recovering.
The LTTE may be relegated to history in Sri Lanka as they have been defeated militarily, but nobody can destroy the aspirations of the million-strong Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. Without the divisive influence of Pirabhakaran, there is a greater potential for us to be politically united. Maybe we can still achieve an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka by rethinking our strategy.
I would like to make plea to the Tamils around the world to work for an economic revival of Tamil Eelam. Let’s make it a new Singapore. In fact, there is hardly any reason for Tamils to wait for the Sri Lankan government to help us. There are so many Tamil expatriates in the West, and our people have so much sympathy in south India, especially in Tamil Nadu, that financing our revival should not be a problem.
We will require support for education programs, technology, agriculture, fishery and the rebuilding of the destroyed infrastructure throughout Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. Once the Tamils become strong again, Colombo would be forced to rethink matters of federation, sovereignty and autonomy. Or perhaps, as one of the senior BRF member suggested in this forum, the whole of Sri Lanka could be coalesced into some sort of federation with India, gaining more leeway as a consequence for Tamil Eelam. There are many possibilities other than bloodshed.
The LTTE still has a merchant fleet, some privately owned businesses and an assortment of companies that together form a huge network and economic resource. This could either turn into a mafia-style shadow organisation or it could become a legitimate voice for the Tamil people in foreign countries. It is up to us – the Diaspora Tamils living abroad in free societies - to do whatever is in our power to ensure that future freedom fighters use legal and non-violent means to obtain basic and equal human rights for our people in Sri Lanka. No one within the country of Sri Lanka is listening to the Tamils – our only hope is to seek the compassionate support of world opinion.


Tuan wrote:This is Sri Lankan politics for you. All Sinhala politicians throughout history are flip flop like this. To be honest, SL Tamils should not put forth their trust in any Sinhala governments, as we are well aware of both the UNP and the SLFP during the course of 1948-2015. While Rajapaksa was a straight shooter, Mr. "Nice" Wikramasinghe on the other hand is a wolf in sheep's skin, who cannot be trusted and a dangerous person pretending to be harmless. He will not keep any of his promises just like all the “broken-promises” by the successive Sri Lankan governments for the Tamil minorities’ grievances that since independence nothing has ever been manifested. No one within the country of Sri Lanka would listen and genuinely offer an everlasting peaceful solution to the Tamils’ problem....

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 26 Mar 2015 06:15

Tuan wrote:Dear members,
My name is Kagusthan Ariaratnam aka Murali. I am originally from Sri Lanka and came to Canada in 1997 as a political refugee.
....
I was blackmailed by a superior officer to work for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian government's foreign intelligence agency.
....
Maybe we can still achieve an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka by rethinking our strategy.
...
I would like to make plea to the Tamils around the world to work for an economic revival of Tamil Eelam.
...
Or perhaps, as one of the senior BRF member suggested in this forum, the whole of Sri Lanka could be coalesced into some sort of federation with India, gaining more leeway as a consequence for Tamil Eelam. .

Tuan you are a Canadian national of Sri Lankan origin trying to use a popular Indian forum to garner support split off a part of Sri Lanka, a foreign country.

I think this you are a menace to BRF. I am going to request admins to lock this thread. I am astounded at how much leeway you have been given here.

Admins please take note. With respect - may I ask -what have you guys been doing?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 26 Mar 2015 06:40

shiv wrote:
Tuan wrote:Dear members,
My name is Kagusthan Ariaratnam aka Murali. I am originally from Sri Lanka and came to Canada in 1997 as a political refugee.
....
I was blackmailed by a superior officer to work for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian government's foreign intelligence agency.
....
Maybe we can still achieve an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka by rethinking our strategy.
...
I would like to make plea to the Tamils around the world to work for an economic revival of Tamil Eelam.
...
Or perhaps, as one of the senior BRF member suggested in this forum, the whole of Sri Lanka could be coalesced into some sort of federation with India, gaining more leeway as a consequence for Tamil Eelam. .

Tuan you are a Canadian national of Sri Lankan origin trying to use a popular Indian forum to garner support split off a part of Sri Lanka, a foreign country.

I think this you are a menace to BRF. I am going to request admins to lock this thread. I am astounded at how much leeway you have been given here.

Admins please take note. With respect - may I ask -what have you guys been doing?


Utter nonsense! I don’t understand how you interpret that I am “using” BRF to split off Sri Lanka. :roll:

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 26 Mar 2015 06:59

Tuan wrote:Utter nonsense! I don’t understand how you interpret that I am “using” BRF to split off Sri Lanka. :roll:

I don't suppose the LTTE or RAW or anyone else you claim to have associations with allowed you to ask such questions.

I don't have to give you any explanations about why I think what I think. You are on BRF to garner support for Eelam in a thread entitled "Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power". You are obviously both sophisticated and devious. I am sure you can find other places on the internet to get support for what you want rather than standing on the shoulders of those of us who have supported this form for nearly two decades.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 26 Mar 2015 07:00

Without the divisive influence of Pirabhakaran, there is a greater potential for us to be politically united. Maybe we can still achieve an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka by rethinking our strategy.


How can the above posts be interpreted as psy-ops to gain support for Eelam? (check above quote)

The topic is "combating terrorism using soft power" and the example given was some SL tamil who heard ilayaraja's music and became peaceful, plus a stance that terrorism can only have a political motive.
All of this is supposed to give the appearance of fighting for tamil's rights peacefully and using India's soft power to create more influence in the Tamil parts of SL. This is a forum about Indian interests, and all of the above seem to demonstrate and intent to drum up Indian support for an independent eelam down the lines, as seen in the above quote. Tuan is not who he claims to be -- I doubt if anything he has said is true.

The only group that such a line will serve is the likes of Rajapakse and sinhala nationalists to regain political support...I am not so sure that the above line is being pushed with the interests of SL Tamils at all. It is definitely not in the interests of India to see SL back under the control of someone like MR.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 26 Mar 2015 07:04

Tuvaluan wrote:
Without the divisive influence of Pirabhakaran, there is a greater potential for us to be politically united. Maybe we can still achieve an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka by rethinking our strategy.


How can the above posts be interpreted as psy-ops to gain support for Eelam? (check above quote)

The topic is "combating terrorism using soft power" and the example given was some SL tamil who heard ilayaraja's music and became peaceful, plus a stance that terrorism can only have a political motive.
All of this is supposed to give the appearance of fighting for tamil's rights peacefully and using India's soft power to create more influence in the Tamil parts of SL. This is a forum about Indian interests, and all of the above seem to demonstrate and intent to drum up Indian support for an independent eelam down the lines, as seen in the above quote. Tuan is not who he claims to be -- I doubt if anything he has said is true.

The only group that such a line will serve is the likes of Rajapakse and sinhala nationalists to regain political support...I am not so sure that the above line is being pushed with the interests of SL Tamils at all. It is definitely not in the interests of India to see SL back under the control of someone like MR.

Admins????? Where are you?

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby shiv » 26 Mar 2015 07:08

As an aside this guy Tuan alias Kagusthan Ariaratnam aka Murali is a typical example of how the West holds dissidents from other countries and allows them to do their thing. Canada harboured Sikh terrorists for decades and the UK has kept Pakis for a long time. This guy may be yet another useful idiot for the West. But he does not belong in here.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuvaluan » 26 Mar 2015 18:01

SSridhar wrote:News is emerging that Xi has met Sirisena in Beijing today and the two have decided to deepen defence cooperation.


OTOH, maybe Sri Lanka is doomed to be an quasi-enemy state like Pakistan, if it allows the chinese make deep inroads into SL and ignores India's security concerns --- the chinese have radio stations broadcasting news in Tamil, IIRC, so they are going to sweeten the pot for SL govts.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 29 Oct 2015 06:11

Canada's new PM is right: Bombs won't beat ISIS
http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/23/opinions/ ... index.html

Justin Trudeau's campaign promise to end the bombing mission, while continuing to train Iraqis away from the front lines, represented a balanced approach to recognizing the complexity of the Syrian conflict and the limited options available to the West.

While counterterrorism is most often linked with the exercise of "hard power" (intelligence, law, policing, and military power), it must increasingly make use of "soft power" (political, social, and economic control, together with broader policy initiatives dealing with the environment, development, critical infrastructure, migration, and humanitarian intervention).

The Syrian conflict has its roots in a volatile mix of discriminatory practices by government, widespread corruption, chronic lack of opportunity for young people, lack of essential services, all combined to convince many that there is no alternative other than violent extremism and terrorism. A strictly military approach to such a complex situation is dangerously reductionist. As the great American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, wrote in 1966: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

The Sunni Arabs of Iraq and Syria support ISIS only because they have no other option in a divided and discriminatory environment where Shia governments favor their own, with support from Iran and Hezbollah, and Kurds enjoy the support of the U.S. and its allies (to Turkey's great chagrin).

Because ISIS is the only Sunni force capable of confronting the Shia forces in both Iraq and Syria, it receives varying degrees of support from neighboring Sunni states, particularly Saudi Arabia. The Syrian conflict is in many ways a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and threatens to become a kind of proxy Cold War between Russia and the U.S.

Political, economic, social, humanitarian, and diplomatic initiatives are urgently needed if a long-lasting solution is to be found. With Russia entering the fray on the side of Bashar al-Assad, and supposedly moderate rebels less and less capable of sustained and effective combat, as well as increasing waves of desperate refugees fleeing rapidly escalating violence, with no end in sight, a comprehensive approach is all the more imperative.

Justin Trudeau's decision to end Canada's participation in the bombing campaign against ISIS is a step in the right direction.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 17 Jun 2016 15:16

In defence of soft power: why a “war” on terror will never win
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20 ... -never-win

Although the EU and UN’s “soft” approaches, which called for “addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism” in the first place, held great potential, they were watered down by the continued prevalence of hard military approach worldwide. The United States, for instance, has never bought into the “soft” approach and continued to follow a military strategy, despite noticeable change in terminology. As a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group concluded in 2001, the US government has shown little interest in “soft” counter radicalisation and de-radicalisation policies.

This is despite the fact that home-grown terrorism has become more prominent in America. The American government has also ironically been active in promoting “soft” de-radicalisation programmes abroad (such as in Afghanistan and Iraq), as well as the establishment of several regional centres and forums allegedly aimed at countering the global rise in violent extremism through “soft” power. This contradiction has undermined the credibility of the US as a genuine leader of, and believer in, the role of “soft” power in countering violent extremism, including the upholding of the rule of law, freedom of expression, and respect for human rights.

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 11 Sep 2016 03:47

The Role of Diplomacy and Soft Power in Combatting Terrorism – Concepts, Fighting Methods and Case Studies

The aim of this seminar is to bring together academics and practitioners who are involved in the field of terrorism, soft power and diplomacy, and ensure that they interact and benefit from each other. Besides conceptual discussions on terrorism, soft power, diplomacy, the use of soft power and public diplomacy in combatting terrorism, various cases such as ETA, IRA, Al-Qaeda and PKK have been discussed by using local information and benefiting from the contributions of the experts.


http://sam.gov.tr/the-role-of-diplomacy ... e-studies/

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Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 18 Sep 2016 01:52

Rethinking countering violent extremism: implementing the role of civil society

Hard power, soft power and smart power

The current theoretical framework for conceptualising CT has its origins in the
school of thought of international relations and politics where approaches have been
understood in terms of the exercise of power to “affect others to obtain the outcomes
you want” (Nye Jr., 2009, p. 160). Nye defines power as the ability to influence
others to get them to behave in ways that you want them to behave by either
coercion and/or payment (hard power), or through attraction (soft power).
Hard power instruments include military, financial incentives, economic sanctions
and legal options. Soft power on the other hand encompasses a rather broader
range of instruments that either directly or indirectly improve relations between
nations or bring about desired social change. Most governments possess soft power
diplomatic tools. Beyond government, soft power also resides in the institutions that
promote cultural or educational exchange. For Nye (2003), soft power encompasses
the range of civil society instruments. Speaking in the context of the USA he cites
Hollywood movies as an example of soft power. Although the cultural concepts and
understandings of US values and ideals that are exported by Hollywood can also do
damage to the image of the USA in countries it wishes to influence, such negative
soft power effects can often be neutralised or negated through other soft power tools
such as cultural exchange, education and the active promotion of democracy. Nye
argues that the instruments of civil society—films, higher education and cultural
exchange—are far more effective in presenting the USA to other nations. He
contends that the government should not try to stymie exports of popular culture,
but should use cultural exchange as a vehicle for communicating the positive aspects
of American values and culture (Nye, 2003). Despite growing anti-American
sentiment across the Arab world, Nye (2003) cautions against the use of concerted
propaganda campaigns as soft power:

Attraction depends on credibility, something a Pentagon propaganda campaign would
clearly lack. On the contrary, by arousing broad suspicions about the credibility of what
the American government says, such a program would squander soft power.
Hard and soft forms of power are not neutrally wielded, as Wilson (2008) notes each
form of power is constituted by “… separate and distinct institutions and
institutional cultures …” which regulate member’s “… attitudes, incentives, and
anticipated career paths” (p. 116). As a consequence, hard and soft power is often
seen to be in opposition to each other, with proponents vying for resources and
influence:

[N]either the advocates of soft power nor the proponents of hard power have adequately
integrated their positions into a single framework … Advocates of soft power and public
diplomacy tend to frame their arguments poorly; their positions are often politically
naive and institutionally weak. Meanwhile, hard power proponents, who are politically
and institutionally powerful, frequently frame their arguments inadequately because
they either overlook or believe that they can incorporate the soft elements of national
power that lie outside their traditional purview. (Wilson, 2008, p. 110)
4 A. Aly et al.

Hard power advocates argue that hard power is the most effective means of
achieving desired results particularly when dealing with rogue states. Coronado
(2005, p. 322) suggests that the reasons why hard power might be preferred to soft
power lie in the short term, often immediate results that hard power offers in
contrast to the long term more diffuse results of social change approaches: “For
some, it [hard power] is a ‘swifter’ and more efficient method to attain objectives,
bypassing the formal and substantive legitimacy of consensus building required by
international law and institutions”.

Soft power proponents on the other hand, argue that it is a more ethical
approach providing an “alternative to raw power politics” (Nye, 2011, p. 81). Soft
power, not only limited to government, can be employed by NGOs, corporations,
institutions and transnational networks. Unlike hard power tactics, soft power
measures are much harder to quantify and often take years to implement before any
measurable results become evident.

Hard power and soft power are far more nuanced than simple definitions of
coercion versus attraction. Soft instruments can be used in hard ways and vice versa.
It is instead, more useful to think of hard power as being purposeful in its application
and finite in its effect. Soft power can be both purposeful and non-purposeful and
potentially infinite in its effect. Neither soft power nor hard power alone is very
effective in achieving the goals of foreign policy. As Wilson (2008) suggests the
integration of these two approaches into a single framework that effectively balances
hard and soft power is challenged by the institutions and contexts which govern each
form of power. Armitage and Nye (2007) refer to the combination of hard and soft
measures as “smart power”: “by complementing US military and economic might
with greater investments in soft power, America can build the framework it needs to
tackle tough global challenges” (p. 1). Their recommended approach calls for a shift
in the way the US Government thinks about security. Although Nye recognises the
significance of coercive tools, he contends that the US Government must develop
ways in which to grow the US soft power to harness the dynamism found within civil
society and the private sector.

Hard and soft are comparisons that are also made in the CT space. Hard CT
most commonly refers to defensive measures such as target hardening, military
intervention, intelligence and punitive measures. Soft CT is proactive, designed to
address root causes and support for terrorism. More recently, soft CT has come to be
referred to as CVE—encompassing measures as varied as de-radicalisation programmes,
education, development programmes, conflict management, community
empowerment and counter narratives. In the CT arena, the disconnection between
hard and soft measures is also evident. Punitive measures introduced in Australia,
Canada, the UK and elsewhere respond to the phenomenon of foreign fighters in
ways that reflect hard power. The confiscation of travel documents of those
suspected to be planning to travel to Iraq and Syria in support of the Islamic State
is implemented by State institutions and law enforcement agencies who have limited
authority or interest in prevention and intervention. Meanwhile, broad-based
prevention initiatives that have the potential to interrupt radicalisation in the early
stages are reliant on the capacity of the non-government sector.
Rethinking countering violent extremism

5 Towards smart CT

Following the 9/11 attacks and the unprecedented impact thereof, the notion of a
“war on terror” has essentially become a universal term employed in both popular
and official discourse. The USA’s official CT response—the war on terror—has
virtually come to dominate the global CT discourse, influencing government policy
around the world (Sandler, 2011). In this sense, the meaning-making practice of CT,
through which we understand the definition and primary purpose of CT, has evolved
within a discourse associated with an offensive military hard line, largely focused on
securitisation and primarily targeting Islamist forms of VE.

From the first declaration of “war”, it was clear that the 9/11 terrorist attacks in
New York would frame the conditions for hard power to shape the CT response and
define the roles of significant actors in international security. As the world watched
the capture and demise of Osama Bin Laden on 2 May 2011, almost a decade after
the attacks, scholars reasonably argued that the prolonged war on terror failed to
eradicate the threat of international terrorism. While the hard power approach of the
war on terror succeeded in decimating the operational and tactical capacity of AQ
central, the belief that the destruction of training camps would lead to the demise of
AQ’s affiliates and its ideology was misplaced. The wisdom of employing a
conventional “hard” military response against an unconventional enemy whose
regenerative capacity relies on its ability to employ “soft” strategies of influence and
mobilisation has, rightly, been questioned. In the media and public arena, the “war
on terror” became the dominant frame in reference to a range of diverse responses to
9/11 from military action in Afghanistan and Iraq to local Muslim community
initiatives in the suburbs of Sydney. Attempts by political leaders in the USA,
Australia and the UK to clarify that the war on terror was not a war on Islam failed.
Instead the “war on terror” was constructed in the public imagination as a cultural/
ideological clash between the culturally progressive West and the culturally resistant
Islam. Importantly, rather than improve the US (and Western) soft power capacity
in the Muslim world, this construction of the “war on terror” did irreparable damage
not only to the US capacity to influence but also to that of the Western world.
American and British intelligence agencies report that the use of hard power in Iraq
without a balanced and effective soft power strategy has increased rather than
reduced the number of Islamist terrorists throughout the past decade or so.
Consequently, the need to get smart about CT, more than ever before, has become
important and necessary.

The failure of the war on terror to effectively eradicate the threat of international
terrorism is more complex than a simple hard/soft power balance. It is not simply a
matter of too much hard power and not enough soft power. Arguably the limitations
of the hard power approach and the need for parallel soft power approaches was well
recognised as evidenced in the Psychological Operations employed in Afghanistan in
an attempt to influence public opinion about the military intervention. Such attempts
failed to contain the propagation of al Qaeda ideology through a dedicated and
sustained communication strategy that incorporates the dissemination of master
narratives and local narratives through a plethora of media platforms.
The re-construction of the war on terror as a war on Islam was instead effectively
co-opted by AQ and its affiliates as a powerful rally cry to potential recruits and
sympathisers. The belief that the war on terror was a thinly disguised attempt to
undermine global Islam was no longer limited to conspiracy theorists and 9/11 truth

6 A. Aly et al.
seekers, but has become popularised among Muslims around the world. The initial
intention of constructing the 9/11 attacks and the coalition response as a just and
necessary war in order to consolidate domestic support became misplaced as the
USA effectively lost control of the narrative. Instead, the narrative of a just war
became and remains a central driver in the recruitment campaigns of Islamist
terrorist organisations. Among Muslims who interpreted jihad as a call to duty in
defence of Islam, and who may not have supported the use of violence during
peaceful times, the war on Islam was an instant and effective justification for armed
conflict. In addition, the idea of fighting as soldiers in a war to protect the faith
proved a potent motivator to action among disparate groups and individuals.
In 2010, the Obama administration made a strategic decision to change the way
that the US Government talked about the conflict announcing that they were not at
war with “jihadists”, ‘Islamists” or “terror”. In place of the “war on terror”, President
Obama began referring to the “war on al-Qaeda” referring to AQ as the enemy and
AQ’s Muslim victims as allies. The new terminology reflected a much needed and
long-neglected understanding of the importance of language in CT. The attempt to
shift the language of the war on terror, however, came too late. By 2010 AQ’s
jihadist ideology was already well entrenched and polls revealed an increasing wave
of anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East and other Muslim majority
countries. US public diplomacy efforts to change negative perceptions among people
in the Arab world largely met with failure. The task of undoing a decade of damage
done by a prolonged military campaign required more than a shift in the language of
war. Subsequently governments have had to contend with the reality that now
presents itself in the form of what has been variously dubbed a “war for hearts and
minds” and a “battle of ideas”. Western governments in particular are playing a
game of catch up in attempting to construct viable and effective counter narratives
that challenge the ideological foundations of the Salafi Jihadi narratives. It is within
this context that the notion of CVE has developed within government policy as a
way of capturing and coordinating soft efforts and mechanisms in the CT space.


http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1 ... 15.1028772

Tuan
BRFite
Posts: 187
Joined: 16 Oct 2008 01:26

Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 08 Feb 2017 20:07

The following article is co-authored by me with Professor Matthew Crosston for the ModernDiplomacy.EU, and we hope you enjoy reading it.

Strategy Silos and Counterterrorist ‘Smart’ Power: Fusing Hard Militaries and Soft Cultures to Fight Extremism

http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?opt ... Itemid=154

Agnimitra
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5150
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Agnimitra » 08 Feb 2017 23:22

^^^ The above website has ridiculous trash from self-described "prolific writers" like Dr. Abdul Ruff writing on Demonetization, his other specialties being freedom movements in Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya and the list of places that is mentioned in the Friday namaz du'a.

Tuan
BRFite
Posts: 187
Joined: 16 Oct 2008 01:26

Re: Combating Terrorism Using Soft Power

Postby Tuan » 24 Feb 2017 05:45

A great contribution to American “soft power” at the dawn of a new world order??? Pay close attention to the video and lyrics breakdown of Katy Perry’s new song Chained To The Rhythm.



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