April 12, 2005
Identifying the Roots of Modern Terrorism
Eleven Rules for Preventing and Combating Terrorism
1. Prevent radical individuals and groups from becoming terrorist
extremists, by confronting them with a mix of “carrot and stick” – tactics and search for effective counter-motivation measures.
2. Stimulate and encourage defection and conversion of free and imprisoned terrorists and find ways to alienate the terrorist organization from its constituency.
3. Maintain the moral high-ground in the struggle with terrorists by
defending and strengthening the rule of law, good governance, democracy and social justice.
4. Try to address the underlying conflict issues exploited by the
terrorists and work toward a peaceful solution while not making any
substantive concession to the terrorists themselves.
5. Establish an Early Detection and Early Warning system against terrorism and other violent crimes on the interface between organized crime and political conflict.
6. Deny terrorists access to arms, explosives, travel and identification documents, safe communication, safe travel and sanctuaries; disrupt their preparations and operations through infiltration, communication intercept, espionage and by limiting their criminal- and fund-raising potential.
7. Reduce low-risk/high-gain opportunities for terrorists to strike by enhancing transportation and communication security and by hardening critical infrastructures and potential sites where mass casualties could occur.
8. Prepare for crisis - and consequence-management for both “regular” and “catastrophic” acts of terrorism in coordinated simulation exercises and educate the public to cope with terrorism.
9. Enhance technical assistance against terrorism by strengthening the capacity of law enforcement, intelligence and the military of states which lack sufficient capacities while also enhancing internal and external coordination within and between states to deal more effectively with terrorist threats.
10. Since terrorism is a mix of violence and propaganda, counter not only the violence but also terrorist communiques, ideological writings and internet propaganda and respond to the language of hatred and violence by a well-argued counter-language of reason and humanity.
11. Since we all can become victims of terrorism and they bear no guilt for their fate, it is our obligation to acknowledge them, show solidarity with them and assist them, including through financial compensation. This will also contribute to strengthening the resilience of targetted societies.
Models for Promoting Democracy
1. The West must stop supporting autocrats in the Middle East and must support the democrats instead. Media attention in particular can play a key role. As said Saad Eddin Ibrahim " We democrats are only ever noticed when we are imprisoned"
2. There is a need to strengthen civil society as a means of
supporting the democrats
3. South/South cooperation can be far more effective than North/South
cooperation as a tool for monitoring the development of democracy in
the middle East
The laws of war do not need to be adjusted: current international law if properly interpreted is adequate to regulate conflict between states and terrorist groups. What is important to recognize is that the laws of war should not be stretched out of context to provide false authority for actions they do not really sanction; and also that fundamental human rights, including the right against prolonged arbitrary detention, and the right not to be tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, are binding at all times, whether during armed conflict or not.
March 20, 2005
The Right Way to Promote Arab Reform
There is a need for education reform to increase civil society participation. Empowerment of the people would come through education reform. Also, creative workshops/functions to create more interaction between peoples of different cultural backgrounds should be implemented.
Stopping the Proliferation of WMD
The proliferation of WMDs can be summed up with:
Representation, Connection, and Prevention.
The Representation of women and minorities are necessary in such debates, particularly of Muslims.
There is a Connection between WMD and Religion/Nationalism. There is a proliferation of WMD in communities who feel strongly about religion and nationalism. They apply exclusivist interpretations to these terms in order to rationalize and justify the use of WMD against innocent people, or those whom their religious beliefs would not view as innocent.
Prevention should be the greater focus on the ideology of terror. The practical step is the local prevention of local terrorist acts through community-based groups. These groups would work in cooperation with security agencies because many locals who commit the acts have local support.
Saudi Arabia: Democracy vs. Oil
“The Formation of International Committee to Implement Democracy within Saudi Arabia and Greater Middle East”
Democracy has demonstrative effects in giving a voice to the people of society.
Under the UN, this committee would accept applications by countries on a case-by-case basis in Saudi Arabia and GME. Governmental and non-governmental members would participate. There would be punishments, including sanctions, to protect the committee. The goal would be to create a culturally sensitive democratic framework for a 10-year development plan from the ground-up.
Pursuing Terror as an Open Society
Since terrorism is the last resort to express grievances, other forms to voice grievances are necessary. One forum could be a “Global SMS Network”, where one would have the ability to text message grievances to toll-free phone numbers. This idea is based on the fact that the number of cell phones in use today is passing one billion. These text messages would be collected at an independent global clearinghouse. From there, they would be sent to governments, journalists, etc. The messages could be acted on. The end result would be the spreading of information by providing direct access to those with grievances. It would be giving voices to the voiceless.
Mobilizing Civil Society
1)Independent institution that would organize/aggregate/provide the sources (knowledge, skills, tools, resources, etc.) to support local and indigenous groups and to provide for opportunities for independent development.
2)Create globalization on a global level to monitor and promote civil society around the world and work to give them space. The media would be focused on them so more people would know about them and would be less likely to be targets of aggression.
3) Create an organization that fosters promotion of civil society through interaction between corporate and civil society sectors by providing greater opportunities for equipment, materials, etc.
4) Develop workshops to explore and promote the opportunity for people to work in home countries and to work across communities to promote more democratic responses to problems.
5) A global town hall meeting using all available technological resources to provide the opportunity to expose and share the best grass roots practices. It would be based on the participation of the global civil society organizations sharing with the indigenous populations throughout world.
March 08, 2005
Creative Debate Sessions:
The making of the Policy Proposals
Fresh insights are discovered and refined through the brainstorming and challenging generally accepted assumptions. The goal of the Atocha Workshop is to bring together diverse opinions and backgrounds to develop viable policy initiatives. The Atocha Workshop is not about consensus as each participant is asked to shape and strengthen their own policy opinions. All ideas will be published, in real time, on this weblog you are reading now.
February 22, 2005
The Proposals: how they will be made
Policy Proposals will be presented after the Creative Debate Sessions.
Structure of the Policy Forum
The innovative ideas and proposals developed in the Creative Debates will be presented to the public in a unique format. Each Creative Debate group will be assigned to a designated area of the conference hall. As the public walks among these groups, the policy sponsors from the Creative Debate groups will present their ideas to the public, trying to gain their support through brief presentations. Members of the public will then evaluate the proposed policies on a grading system, using the following criteria:
• Is the idea persuasive?
• Are the components logical?
• Is the idea relevant?
• Can the idea be implemented?
The results of these evaluations will be posted on the Atocha Workshop Blog. This exercise will serve two purposes. It will give feedback to policy sponsors as to the general acceptance of their ideas, and it will give the public a way to transform concern into action.