Wednesday, October 13, 2010

'Bleedingly obvious'

Researcher: Suicide terrorism linked to military occupation
Laura Rozen, Politico: Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer... present[s] findings... that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.

Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the [US] Defense Department's Threat Reduction Agency... in publicly available database comprised of some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times -- the 1983 truck bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 US Marines.

'We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it trigger suicide terrorism campaigns,... and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign,' Pape said in an interview... Deaths due to suicide attacks in Afghanistan have gone up by a third in the year since President Obama added another 30,000 US troops. 'It is not making it any better,' Pape said. [The complete report is here. (.pdf)]

Glenn Greenwald, Salon: In 2004 [US] Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies," specifically "American direct intervention in the Muslim world."... Now, a new, comprehensive study from Robert Pape... substantiates what is (a) already bleedingly obvious and (b) known to the US Government for many years: namely, that the prime cause of suicide bombings is not Hatred of Our Freedoms or Inherent Violence in Islamic Culture or a Desire for Worldwide Sharia Rule by Caliphate, but rather... foreign military occupations...

Imagine that. Isn't Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable? As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies. Therefore (of course), the solution to Terrorism is to interfere more in their countries by continuing to occupy, bomb, invade, assassinate, lawlessly imprison and control them, because that's the only way we can Stay Safe. There are people over there who are angry at us for what we're doing in their world, so we need to do much more of it to eradicate the anger. That's the core logic of the War on Terror. How is that working out?...

A desire to exact vengeance for foreign killings on your soil is hardly a unique attribute... It's fairly universal. See, for instance, the furious American response to the one-day attack on 9/11 -- still going strong even after 9 years... It hardly takes a genius to figure out the most effective way of reducing anti-American Terrorism; the only question is whether that's the actual goal of those in power.
Image source here.