Denial is someone who has seen solid evidence or proof and decide to ignore them
What I observed in Russia was very definitely denial. I am talking here about an old tourist guide who hadn't come to terms with the removal of Stalin's body from Lenin's tomb - which happened when he was 11. In his head Putin was still an anti-religious communist - in spite of hs many well publicised appearances in church.
As far as the west is concerned, what I actually said was "seems", in other words "might as well be".
Whether this comes from ignorance or from actual denial doesn't matter - the effect is the same.
In reality there is actually no reason for us to treat Russia any differently from the way we treat the other post soviet and post eastern bloc states - yet we persist in doing so. If we assess on the basis of human rights, rule of law or democracy Russia is, at worst, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum for these states (clearly better than Belarus, Ukraine or almost all the "Stans").
All News is written by people with an agenda. This applies even to honest journalists.
As everyone who has seen a news story written about something where they have some first hand experience knows, journalism is usually inaccurate, frequently spectacularly so.
This is because journalists are rarely specialists and tend to see things through the prism of their own limited prior knowledge. This usually reflects "conventional wisdom".
As we know on this blog from our analysis of copyright/patent issues, "conventional wisdom" rarely contains much wisdom.
What I find disappointing about this blog is that when it strays into areas outside its core expertise there is a tendency to revert to the same conventional wisdom that it (rightly) decries in IP related subjects.
Russia is quite a good example of this.
During the cold war the west cultivated any "anti-communist" group that it could find. Many of these groups were not in fact "anti-communist" at all - but in fact, actually "anti-russian", reflecting older conflicts that really we should not be taking sides in.
After the collapse of communism (yes it really did collapse you know) we carried on cultivating anti-russian groups in former soviet republics and former eastern bloc countries. This was a mistake as it has turned Russia into an enemy quite unnecessarily.
It has also created an environment of unconscious bias where western stories about Russia are rarely accurate.
My suspiscion is that the so called "troll army" is really no such thing - but rather the sum total of ordinary expat Russians who find the western media really annoyingly inaccurate and try to hit back. THe social dynamics of internet false story propagation and amplification explain the rest.
Terrorist organizations are no different from governments,
I suggest you wath "Mars Attacks" and see how far that approach got the "President."
There is no negotiating with these people, and even if you did it and it seemed to go well you might consider the plight of the tribes who thought that they had negotiated a deal with Mohammed. As soon as he felt strong anough he turned round and wiped most of them out.
Thomas Jefferson's experience with the Barbary pirates are also salutary. When they made an agreement it was written in English and Arabic - unfortunately the two documents did not say the same thing.
The more you try to censor people, the more isolated those with more extreme views will feel, and the more likely that they will carry out lone wolf attacks. What is required is the much more difficult task of engaging with them
What - these people are nothing like IRA. If someone believes that killing p5 people in a suicide attack will cancel their sins and send them straight to heaven you can't "engage" with them - except to convince them that their beliefs are false. Unfortunately a concerted effort to make the argument that Islam is false is not on the agenda
1) The Iranians, the Saudis and every other totalitarian Islamic government in the world (who by the way are the reall promoters of this kind of terrorism) will just love the fact that the Christians, the Bahais, the Apostates andthe atheist bloggers will have nowhere to hide if there is no secure encryption.
2) As the article points out this kind of terrorist doesn't need a support network and secure communications - all he had was a driving licence and a kitchen knife.
3)Stopping the terroists from public propaganda is a bad idea - their public propaganda has the effect of telling the truth about Islam - which the likes of Theresa May are trying to keep quiet about. Better out in the open where everyone can see it for what it is - and then there will be fewer people to provide cover. All Amber Rudd seems to want is a set of peril sensitive sunglasses.
Re: One man's terrorist is anothers freedom fighter
_One man's terrorist is anothers freedom fighter
We can all agree seeing a prisoner getting beheaded in a propaganda view is terrorist content.
We can all agree that depicting a leader as Gollum might be seen as terrorism by some, but not by many.
The problem is there is no clear line, because it is a murky area. Terrorism is the first go-to used by repressive regimes, for actions that many would consider free speech (ignoring that isn't provided for in that countries laws)._
No - terrorism has a pretty clear definition.
Terrorism means vilent actions, taken not because they achieve a direct result but because of the psychological impact it will have on the opponent.
It is perfectly possible to be a terrorist AND a freedom fighter at the same time.
When the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was terrorism - because the military value of those targets was less than that of targets that had already been hit just as hard by conventional means. However those actions had not provoked a Japanese surrender. However the terror effect of nuclear weapons produced that result.
Since the US was engaged in a fight for freedom at the time the aircrew who dropped the bombs were simultaneously (objectively) freedom fighters AND terrorists.
In the present case of course ISIS will tell you that their prophet said "I have been made victorious with terror". They would probably have more of a problem with being described as "freedom" fighters - since their creed is definitely nothing to do with freedom.
Being willing to commit a crime at the behest of an authority figure telling you to do it (and that IS the situation of these people) is something around 60% of the population would do. This was shown by the famous Milgram experiment.
Do you really want to lock up 60% of the population?
OK that is impossible.
Do you want to lock up a random sample of that 60%?
Hang on that is not what is happening.
Do you want to lock up a random sample taken disproportionately from the poor and minority groups?
What kind of morals do YOU have if you want to do that?