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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How many people have to say it before conservatives believe it?

Posted by: Jambo / 12:03 PM

In true blog fashion here is a link to a link and an excerpt of an excerpt:

WHY THEY HATE US....Via Preemptive Karma, The American Conservative has a fascinating interview this month with Robert Pape, a University of Chicago professor who has constructed a database of every suicide terrorist attack since 1980. Some excerpts:

RP: This wealth of information creates a new picture about what is motivating suicide terrorism. Islamic fundamentalism is not as closely associated with suicide terrorism as many people think. The world leader in suicide terrorism is a group that you may not be familiar with: the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

....TAC: So if Islamic fundamentalism is not necessarily a key variable behind these groups, what is?

RP: The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign — over 95 percent of all the incidents — has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.

....TAC: If you were to break down causal factors, how much weight would you put on a cultural rejection of the West and how much weight on the presence of American troops on Muslim territory?

RP: The evidence shows that the presence of American troops is clearly the pivotal factor driving suicide terrorism.

If Islamic fundamentalism were the pivotal factor, then we should see some of the largest Islamic fundamentalist countries in the world, like Iran, which has 70 million people — three times the population of Iraq and three times the population of Saudi Arabia — with some of the most active groups in suicide terrorism against the United States. However, there has never been an al-Qaeda suicide terrorist from Iran, and we have no evidence that there are any suicide terrorists in Iraq from Iran.

....TAC: Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders also talked about the “Crusaders-Zionist alliance,” and I wonder if that, even if we weren’t in Iraq, would not foster suicide terrorism. Even if the policy had helped bring about a Palestinian state, I don’t think that would appease the more hardcore opponents of Israel.

RP: I not only study the patterns of where suicide terrorism has occurred but also where it hasn’t occurred. Not every foreign occupation has produced suicide terrorism. Why do some and not others? Here is where religion matters, but not quite in the way most people think. In virtually every instance where an occupation has produced a suicide-terrorist campaign, there has been a religious difference between the occupier and the occupied community.

....TAC: Has the next generation of anti-American suicide terrorists already been created? Is it too late to wind this down, even assuming your analysis is correct and we could de-occupy Iraq?

RP: Many people worry that once a large number of suicide terrorists have acted that it is impossible to wind it down. The history of the last 20 years, however, shows the opposite. Once the occupying forces withdraw from the homeland territory of the terrorists, they often stop — and often on a dime.

There you have it, from a conservative source no less--they don't hate our freedom, they hate our policies. I have long contended this without the figures to back it up just based on the fact that places like Canada or New Zealand or Sweden are just as free as we are (maybe more-so these days) and no one seems to be attacking them. I don't know why Kevin left this out of the excerpt, it's my favorite part:

TAC: That would seem to run contrary to a view that one heard during the American election campaign, put forth by people who favor Bush’s policy. That is, we need to fight the terrorists over there, so we don’t have to fight them here.

RP: Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism, the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies over there, if you would, is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us (emphasis added).

3 Comments:

This is a good follow up to this earlier post where Joseph tears me a new one. I think it's safe to say that terrorists target America for many reasons, but chief among them is force America to withdraw from the Middle East.

By Blogger Hammer, at 2:28 PM  

Here's my favorite part that Drum, Preemptive Karma, and Jambo all left out:

"[Osama bin Laden] went on to say that there was a grand plan by the United States—that the Americans were going to use combat forces to conquer Iraq, break it into three pieces, give a piece of it to Israel so that Israel could enlarge its country, and then do the same thing to Saudi Arabia. As you can see, we are fulfilling his prediction, which is of tremendous help in his mobilization appeals.

"Conquer Iraq." Check.

"Break it into three pieces." Hmmm.

"Give a piece of it to Israel." Huh?

"Do the same thing to Saudi Arabia." Hey, now!

"We are fulfilling his prediction." Ohhhh kaaaaaaaaaay...

This guy has convincing data, but he went off the deep end a little there. He also seems to sidestep the “Crusaders-Zionist alliance” question.

By Blogger Joseph, at 3:53 PM  

Consider, if you would, Joseph, the difference between "fulfilling his prediction" and "will fulfill his prediction". So far bin Laden's prediction has been 100% true. No one expects Bush to hand a piece of Iraq to Israel. To borrow from the once-funny Dennis Miller, that's about as likely as Reagan handing Nancy over to a group of Hell's Angels. (Or was it Springsteen roadies? I forget.) But so long as we have troops in Iraq, some will believe bin Laden's prediction. That belief helps his recruitment.

By Blogger Hammer, at 6:06 PM  

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