by John Hawkins | April 10, 2002 6:54 am
The Real Root Cause Of Terrorism: People come up with every tired cliche in the book to explain the “root cause” of terrorism. They claim poverty causes it. Well if that’s the case, why is it that Africa isn’t the world’s largest hotbed of terrorism? How is it that the world’s best known terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Yasser Arafat are not poor men? Other people claim “ignorance” is the cause of terrorism and that educating more people will take care of the problem. Well the world is full of ignorant people who aren’t terrorists. Then there are people who claim “Islam” is responsible for terrorism. They’re missing the boat here as well. While there is a level of tolerance for terrorism in the Islamic world, the overwhelming majority of Islam’s 1 billion + members are not terrorists.
So what is the root cause of terrorism? It’s very simple. It works. Terrorism changes the policies of nations. It drove the US out of Lebanon and Somalia. Britain negotiates deals with IRA terrorists. Israel has consistently given Yasser Arafat better and better offers due to terrorism.
Before Sept. 11th the terrorists in Afghanistan were able to strike at US interests without any significant retaliation other than Reagan’s 1986 strike on Lebanon. Could they have built a military that could do that? No way. Could the Palestinians in the occupied territories defeat the Israeli military in a straight up fight? Not even close. But they could use terrorism to kill Israelis. Not only has that wrung concessions out of the Israelis over the years, but the world takes the side of the Palestinians when the Israelis retaliate. So you can see that terrorism is a way of letting a nation get away with “acts of war” by claiming they’re not responsible for the terrorists actions.
So how do you stop terrorism? Pursue the terrorists and destroy them at every opportunity. If a nation shelters and supports these terrorists, facilitate a regime change in a few of these nations and the rest will fall in line. Once you change the equation and hold nations responsible for trying to stop terrorists within their borders, you will in large part stop terrorism.
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