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Why Terrorists Hate Us

By Tim Shoemaker

Many C4L members are well aware of the consequences of the government’s military intervention overseas.  For those readers who may not yet be familiar with “blowback,” frequent C4L contributor Doug Bandow has an excellent article explaining exactly why they want to blow us up in The Huffington Post today.

Terrorism is not new. It was used against Russian Tsars, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and British colonial officials. Algerians employed terrorism against the French and later Algerian governments. Basque and Irish separatists freely relied on terrorism. Until Iraq, the most promiscuous suicide bombers were Tamils in Sri Lanka. In none of these cases did the killing occur in response to freedom, whether in America or elsewhere.

Robert Pape of the University of Chicago studied the most recent cases: “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.”

Pape, along with Lindsey O’Rourke and Jenna McDermit, also of the University of Chicago, studied 63 Chechen suicide terrorists and found that few had religious motives. Rather: “As we have discovered in our research on Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, suicide terrorist campaigns are almost always a last resort against foreign military occupation. Chechnya is a powerful demonstration of this phenomenon at work.”

As for America, the Defense Science Board Task Force reported in 2004: “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies.” What might those be? Unseating democratically elected leaders, supporting dictatorships, backing Israel’s Apartheid-like treatment of the Palestinians, and promiscuously waging war in Muslim lands. America is constantly “over there,” as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) put it.  Read the rest.

In murder investigations here in America, police and lawyers seek to establish motives for why an individual would commit such a heinous act.  Nevertheless, since 9/11, many American politicians have simply shrugged and said, “Huh, they must just hate us because we’re so free…,” and it continues to be the narrative they feed the American people anytime there is an attempted bombing.  They never seek to establish motive even when it’s staring them right in the face. 

Since 9/11, there has been a clear erosion of our civil liberties and freedom in this country, yet there are still people trying to blow us up.  As Glenn Greenwald asked, are we just extra free now and I somehow missed the memo?

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