Cart before Horse
Prof William Reville's examination of suicide bombers in the May 12th edition of The Irish Times revealed a great deal about the nature of those that choose to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to kill others for the purpose of reprisal. In doing so, guaranteeing the desired side effect, drawing attention to a particular conflict.
Prof Reville makes particular reference to the media's role in this process, and recommends several ways by which the media can curb this behaviour. This being to basically report these events with as little detail as possible and therefore refraining from putting them in any context. This approach may reduce suicide bombings, however, as he explains, "research shows that most suicide bombers are psychologically normal and the phenomenon is most readily explained as a community response set in a background of violence, aggression and revenge." If one wishes not just to reduce the incidences of this terrible act, one must act to change this cycle of violence, aggression and revenge.
His advice concludes that "by reporting suicide bombings in an appropriate manner, the media can dampen the publicity effect and this should feed back to dampen the enthusiasm of the organising groups for using this terror tactic." While this is advice that the media should carefully consider, it should come as no surprize that the "background of violence and aggression" is not a product of suicide bombing, but exacly the opposite.
In the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict, would it also be possible for Prof Reville to provide guidelines as to how the media could act, so as to dampen Israel's enthusiasm for state terrorism?
Nearly half Middle East suicide bombers had third-level education
Under the Microscope: Prof William Reville One of the most disturbing aspects of war and terrorism is the suicide bomber. Suicide bombings are now regular occurrences in Iraq and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We commonly imagine that the typical suicide bomber is psychologically unlike the rest of us and, possibly, has a death wish.
However research shows that most suicide bombers are psychologically normal and the phenomenon is most readily explained as a community response set in a background of violence, aggression and revenge. Suicide bombing is examined from a psychological point of view by Paul Marsden and Sharon Attia in the March 2005 edition of the Psychologist.
Suicide terrorism is not new. From the 11th century on, Assassins invited almost certain death for themselves following their brazen public murder of rivals. More recently, in the Vietnam war, Vietcong supporters blew themselves up in order to kill American soldiers.
The Irish Times