October 25, 2010

Terrorists oppose foreign occupation

What triggers the suicide bomber

Foreign occupation, not religious fervor, is the primary motivation behind this form of terrorism.

By Robert Pape
It has become a common refrain over the last several decades that religion, and Islam in particular, is the primary cause of suicide bombings. This is an easy, convenient and clear argument that fits with the United States' approach to the war on terror over the last decade.

There is just one problem with this argument: It's wrong.

Research I and my colleagues conducted at the University of Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, in which we analyzed each of the more than 2,200 suicide attacks that have taken place throughout the world since 1980, shows that though other factors matter, the primary driver of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation.

In Lebanon, for example, of the 32 successful suicide attackers from 1982 through 1989 whose ideology was identifiable, 22 were communists and socialists with no commitment to religious extremism; five were Christian. Religion served as an auxiliary recruiting tool, but the root cause of the attacks was foreign occupation, and the attacks were designed to coerce the occupying forces—Israel, France and the United States—to withdraw.
What the bomber said

Michael Moore takes the recently fired Juan Williams to task for misquoting Faisal Shazad, the Pakistani immigrant who wanted to bomb Times Square. Moore challenges Williams, who has denounced his firing as "political correctness," to report Shazad's motives for the planned bombing. Moore quotes Shazad:

Juan Williams Is Right:  Political Correctness About Terrorists Must End![Saladin] liberated Muslim lands... And that's what we Muslims are trying do, because you're occupying Iraq and Afghanistan... So, the past nine years the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam. We are only Muslims trying to defend our people, honor, and land. But if you call us terrorists for doing that, then we are proud terrorists, and we will keep on terrorizing until you leave our land and people at peace.And:I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over, because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.And:Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World... Friends with peaceful protest! Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and else where.Comment:  We hear constantly from right-leaning Americans that terrorists "hate our freedom." These know-nothings generally have no basis for their claims. They make them up out of thin air.

The terrorists' motives are actually specific and clear. We know this because we've interviewed many of them and know what they think. What they're fighting against is the occupation of Muslim territory: by the United States, Israel, and repressive Muslim regimes.

This American propaganda process is extremely similar to the one employed against Indians. We also demonized them as savages and barbarians who had no concept of culture, religion, or government. People refused to believe that Indians might have an understandable desire to protect their homelands from foreign occupation. To us they were predatory animals with no goals except raping, pillaging, and killing.

In particular, we demonized Indians whenever they attacked "innocent" settlers. We treated these attacks as the equivalent of terrorist bombings. And they were equivalent, in a sense. Indians were not trying to destroy the Euro-Americans' freedom or way of life. They were trying to end the foreign occupation--to force the invaders to leave.

If we had captured and interviewed the Indians who committed "massacres," I wouldn't be surprised if they said the same thing. "The white man takes our land and resources. They kill us with their guns and invisible bullets [disease]. Their god will allow them no rest until they have conquered us. Therefore, we will keep on 'terrorizing' them until they leave our land and people at peace."

For more on the subject, see Inside the Terrorists' Minds and Understanding Islam.


ziontruth said...

The indigenous people of Palestine are the Jews. The people calling themselves "Palestinians" are in fact Arabs. Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, and are settler-colonist invaders outside it.

The Hebrew language is local to Palestine. Arabic is not local to Palestine. The signs on "Palestinian" shops are the same as those found on shops in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Morocco.

The Jews have a calendar that is specially attuned to the climate of Palestine, complete with festivals that make sense only in Palestine. The Arabs use either the Gregorian or Islamic calendar.

The Jews have always sung and prayed about Palestine as their homeland, even from afar. The Arabs began to attach value to Palestine only when the Jews began to return; until then, it had been a neglected backwater under all Islamic empires. The Arabs' love of Palestine is the love a miser has to his gold.

A Jew is a Palestinian by nature. A Palestinian Arab is an Arab who happens to be in Palestine, much as the Greeks came to Bactria and settled there in the advances of Alexander of Macedon.

The Jews are the only true Palestinians. The Arabs have plenty, and well beyond their indigenous entitlement--the Arabian Peninsula--and therefore have no legitimate grievances.

I don't care a lot about American Indian issues. You see, I believe in not poking my nose into affairs that don't concern me. I'm writing this comment here only because you don't believe in the same.

dmarks said...

Z said:

"The people calling themselves "Palestinians" are in fact Arabs"

Duh. There are many Arab nationalities, just as there are many Slavic nationalities. What is your point?

"Arabic is not local to Palestine"

Arabic has been spoken in that area for many centuries. Again, what is your point? It was spoken there for a longer period than English or Spanish was spoken in the New World. Do you want to ban these languages too?

I detest the ideology of Hamas. But I recognize the legitimate nationalist aspirations of the Palestinians. I do not condemn them or deny them nationhood because their government is bad. To do so is a form of racism.

"The Jews are the only true Palestinians"

You are sounding like a version of the KKK. Your view is very racist toward the native citizens of the area.... people whose roots go back over a thousand years, but aren't Jewish. More to the topic of this blog, your ideology could easily be used to justify ethnic cleansing of all non-American Indians from the New World.

"I believe in not poking my nose into affairs that don't concern me."

The affairs are called human affairs. They effect us all. During World War II, however, there were many who thought exactly as you do, and thought that the Holocaust was an internal German matter. None of our concern...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why this isn't more obvious to other people. Think about it...if someone came and invaded your country, wouldn't you fight for it? It has so little to do with religion...


Rob said...

World peace concerns everyone, Ziontruth. And with US taxpayers subsidizing Israel to the tune of several billion dollars a year, everything Israel does is my business. If you don't like it, stop accepting US aid like the proverbial welfare queen.

I addressed claims like yours in Educating Stephen About Israel's Occupation and Educating Stephen About Palestinians. Read 'em and educate yourself so I don't have to do it.

I'm glad to see you couldn't dispute my claim that terrorists act to oppose foreign occupation, including Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank. It was smart of you not to debate this point since you'd inevitably lose.

dmarks said...

I don't begrudge the aid to Israel. With several neighboring nations having a foreign policy commited to exterminating its people, it is necessary to prevent a human rights catastrophe.

And I do agree for roughly the same reasons that what they do is our business.

I doubt we will hear from Ziontruth again. He's probably one of those "throw genocidal garbage and leave" types. If he is not an outright troll.