Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hate Momentum

An excellent article on the perpetuality of oppression, hate, violence, insurgency, counterviolence, hate, violence, ... and so on. The author is a self-confessed war nerd. He talks about the hate momentum, which once it is built up, is impossible to subside.

eXile - Issue #246 - War Nerd - Sri Lanka: The Big Hate Mo' - By Gary Brecher

    "There's another reason these treaties don't last: hate momentum. That's what I call it
anyway. See, people have the wrong idea; they think "violence" starts when the insurgents
set off their first bomb. It doesn't work that way. That's just when the violence first
makes the press. There was ALWAYS violence in these places, lots of violence. But as long
as the government is strong enough to dish it out, nobody notices. When the people getting
zapped non-stop suddenly start zapping back, suddenly it's a "man bites dog" story, a big
turnaround, and every TV channel in the world is on the story."

    "The Tamils' hate boiled over in the 1980s when the LTTE started up its suicide bombings
and ambushes. Naturally the Sinhalese responded with artillery and air attacks, and
naturally most of the casualties were civvies. They always are. The kill-radius of a 155mm
shell is huge, and it's kids and old folks who are the worst at dodging, so they die
sooner. And picking up the shredded remains of your sister or cousin makes you an easy mark
for the next guerrilla recruiter who comes a-knockin at your door. So you walk into a bank
in Colombo, blow yourself up and kill somebody's uncle, and he orders an air strike on your
home village, and so on and so on. That's momentum. In fact, you could say tribal hate is
the only real perpetual motion machine that works."

    "It's always the same story: it's not "violence" until somebody hits you back. Till then
you don't notice your guys hitting the other tribe. That's just normal background noise. It
takes blood, buckets of it, to get a person's attention. And not just anybody's blood --
it's gotta be your own, or that of a close relative. Otherwise it's just spots on the

So true.


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