Understanding Their Grievances

If the US pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan, will terrorism go away?

If Spain would've just kept their handful of soldiers home, will terrorism go away?

If Israel pulled behind the so-called 1967 borders, will terrorism go away?

If young men are unconvinced that the reward for killing innocents en masse is the services of 72 virgins and a luxury suite in Heaven, will terrorism go away?

When a terrorist's family and the sponsoring organisation stop "celebrating his martyrdom with festivities, as if it were a wedding", will terrorism go away?

If the US made a bigger deal about how American military personnel aided Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo from genocide, will terrorism go away?

If the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines, whose pastime includes kidnapping pesky peaceful missionaries, gets its wish of a strict Islamic state, will terrorism go away?

If the Jemaah Islamiya militant group in Indonesia reaches its goal of a strict pan-Islamic state covering Malaysia and Indonesia, will terrorism go away?

If the government of Sudan gets full Sharia law throughout the country, will terrorism go away?

If beauty pageants promise never to attempt to organize an event in Nigeria – or any other North African or Middle Eastern country – again, in which case Christian churches were burned down, will terrorism go away?

If politicians like Pim Fortuyn, journalists like Daniel Pearl, filmmakers like Theo Van Gogh, authors like Salman Rushdie, and TV entertainers like Shaima Rezayee are forbidden from using their freedom of expression, will terrorism go away?

Wow. Looks like we've got a lot of work to do to meet their "grievances".

UPDATE (12:15 EDT 7/23): My thoughts and sympathies go out to Egypt and Lebanon tonight.

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Note: Indeed, I realize that ill-advised US foreign policies have often inflammed the Muslim world, and have produced very legitimate complaints by those affected. I'm only expounding on the notion that we can't trivialize the threat of the real hard-cores - and there are plenty of them - who have intentions that go well beyond gripes of American meddling. In other words, we can't necessarily say with full confidence, "Oh, if Blair didn't send troops to Basra, the radical movement in London would be marginalized and pacified.

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I've always believed that if

I've always believed that if we agree to lock away and mistreat our womenfolk terrorism will stop overnight.

Of course, most people that

Of course, most people that make the blowback argument aren't trying to eradicate terrorism. They're trying to promote the national security of the US. If the question is "will terrorist attacks upon the US go away?" instead of "will terrorism go away," then statements about beauty pageants in Nigeria seem irrelevant.

You've got a ton of work to do when you declare war upon a tactic instead of an enemy.

David, The answers to all

David,

The answers to all your questions are "no", of course.
Can I assume by your line of questioning that you believe I think tackling countries militarily is the way to go?
I didn't even agree with Iraq.

Basically, I was addressing the belief some hold that "Iraq + West Bank = Terrorism". i.e. If we just removed the two variables on the left side of the equation, then the right side of the equation becomes nil (or close to it). I'm saying it goes well beyond that, and there are many reasons why Islamic radicals are a widespread global threat. I know, I know. This ain't exactly a newsflash, but I was just getting a bit tired of the 'It's Blair's Fault' crowd in response to the London subway/bus attacks.

BTW, this is certainly not a full endorsement of actions & policies enacted by the US/UK/Etc Governments. Far from it.

:grin:

I don’t claim everything

I don’t claim everything that the US and Israel has done is right. It is too easy to be critical with the benefit of hindsight. The US and other countries all have historical reasons for their goals and activities. If they have the unintended consequence of lending themselves to terrorist recruiting or propaganda, some people chime in that the policy is invalid by claiming it caused the terrorist activity. Responding that way is working with the terrorists and a good way to encourage more terror attacks. Another way is to over publicize or over react to them.

If you're gonna play this

If you're gonna play this sort of game, you can continue the list: If we invade and overthrow the government of Iran, will we finally scare off the terrorists? If we invade and overthrow the government of Syria, will we finally convince them they can't win? If we invade and overthrow the governments of Saudi Arabia, et cetera will they then understand that terrorism doesn't work?

Wow. Looks like we've got a lot of work ahead of us indeed...

Well, let's just give it

Well, let's just give it shot and see what happens.

Whadyasay?

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Dave: No terrorism would not

Dave:

No terrorism would not stop, just as crime would not stop because one chooses to stop one's own criminal activity. The question is, should one end one's criminal acts, regardless of the effect this may have on other criminals' activities?

Afghanistan and Iraq may not be the complete reason behind attacks in London. The official line, however, that Britain's involvement in the Middle East had nothing to do with the London bombings is as silly as saying "they hate us for our freedom."

"You've got a ton of work to

"You've got a ton of work to do when you declare war upon a tactic and not an enemy."

Amen. Describing something clearly means that it will be more clearly understood, which is usually considered a good thing.

The war on terrorism is not a real war. That was a politically motivated framing so that President Bush could declare himself a war president with all the attendant political advantages that go along with that status. It's disappointing that the press, and even the Democrats, have not been more analytical about this--even now, both routinely refer to the war on terrorism (or "on terror," which is an even sillier construction, because how can you have a war against an emotion?).

Wars involve disputes between nation states, or in the case of civil wars, between organized factions with nation states. The "war on terrorism" does not meet either of these criteria. And further, a "war on terrorism" would be a war without conceivable end (there will always be terrorists of some stripe somewhere), a perpetual state of war. And that doesn't make any sense, either.

What we do face is the task of eliminating the threat posed by perhaps thousands of politically motivated criminals who operate internationally. But it's important to see these folks as criminals, not "enemy combatants." Terrorism is primarily a law enforcement problem that requires the close cooperation of law enforcement, military, and intelligence resources for solution.

We do, however, have a real war in Iraq. I don't know why we started that war, but whatever the reason, I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that our actions in Iraq are not helping us find and dispose of the criminal fanatics who blow up highrise buildings and subway stations.

Utopia is not an option.

Utopia is not an option. There is absolutely no course of action that is guaranteed to make all terrorism go away everywhere for all time.

But if you change all those sentences ending "will terrorism go away" to instead ask "will terrorism be reduced", I'd be willing to answer a confident yes to quite a few of them.

Even more so if we made it "will terrorism against the offending country or institution be reduced?"