Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Suicide bombing is usually seen as underlining how different the West and East are. But just how incomprehensible, how foreign, is this practice? Recently, I heard the following rather provocative question asked in a talk: if Claus Von Stauffenberg, the man who unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Hitler, had been willing to kill himself too, thus ensuring that the job was properly done, would we today regard him as a hero, a martyr? Would there be public holidays for him in Germany?

P.S. To forestall any possible misunderstandings, this post should not be read as endorsing suicide bombing in general, especially when civilians are involved. Rather, the example makes a point about the idea of suicide bombing.

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