Monday, July 25, 2005

The War on Terrorism Increases Terrorism

It's time for intelligent leaders to face facts--

"Suicide terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland."

"Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism, the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us."

"Since 1990, the United States has stationed tens of thousands of ground troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and that is the main mobilization appeal of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. People who make the argument that it is a good thing to have them attacking us over there are missing that suicide terrorism is not a supply-limited phenomenon where there are just a few hundred around the world willing to do it because they are religious fanatics. It is a demand driven phenomena. It is driven by the presence of foreign forces on the territory that terrorists view as their homeland. The operation in Iraq has stimulated suicide terrorism and given suicide terrorism a new lease on life."

"The evidence shows that the presence of American troops is clearly the pivotal factor driving suicide terrorism. The presence of combat troops in the Arabian Peninsula increases the threat of suicide terrorists ten times. There is no evidence there were any suicide-terrorist organizations laying in wait in Iraq before our invasion. What is happening is that the suicide terrorists have been produced by the invasion."

"Once invaders leave a country, the terror attacks tend to cease."

These are the findings of Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago who has the world's largest database on suicide terrorism. He discussed his findings on C-Span's Washington Journal (3rd hour) July 17, 2005 and in an interview with Scott McConnell in the July 18 issue of The American Conservative. His full report is presented in his new book Dying to Win.

Americans have been misled about the truth about terrorism since 9/11 when President Bush said, "They attacked us because they hate our freedoms." before he told us to 'go shopping'. The truth is that Osama bin Laden had clearly stated in 1998 the reasons America would be targeted in the coming years.

"For over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples." (Osama bin Laden in 1998 declaration of war to the United States.)

This information should have been headline news but it was hidden from the American people to protect the ongoing military incursion into the Middle East. As a student of the history of US military and covert actions into other countries, I can tell you that our government has a rap sheet that shows they have overturned democratically elected governments and suppressed popular citizen movements when the control of corporate interests were threatened.

Taking and keeping control of the resources of other nations has been the primary mover of military action by our government, not the 'spread of democracy'. We increase our danger when we fail to look at this. We must understand the feelings of the people in those countries who face the military might of the US which will drop bombs on them and destroy their way of life to gain control of their resources. Lacking a military, terrorism becomes their weapon of necessity. Knowing the truth, I believe most people in our nation would object to the use of our soldiers for corporate interests and understand how occupying forces are rejected by other nations.

Professor Pape is not alone in his findings. This from a U.S. Department of Defense study 1997 - "Historical data show a strong correlation between US involvement in international situations and an increase of terror attacks against the United States."

The President gave as a reason to invade Iraq : "Imagine a terrorist network with Iraq as a training ground..." Iraq had never experienced suicide terrorism until the US invasion. Now the President says, "Iraq is now the central front in the war on terror."

He is right according to a January 2005 CIA National Intelligence Council report which says- "Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training grounds for the next generation of 'professional' terrorists.

What do the numbers show? Are we safer since the onset of the War on Terrorism? Have terrorist attacks decreased?

Well, no. Prof. Pape's studies have shown that in Iraq suicide terrorism has doubled every year since the invasion with 20 attacks in 2003, 48 in 2004, and over 60 in the first six months of 2005. World wide suicide terrorism has increased since the 1980's with 3 per year in the 80's, 10 per year in the '90's, 25 in 2000, 50+ in 2003-05 and over 100 likely in Iraq in 2005 plus the likely blowback of suicide terror attacks in the US, UK and allied nations. The numbers of suicide terrorists parallel the occupation of their lands.

Prof. Pape reports that he met with fifteen senators, including Senators Waxman and Luger, to discuss his findings. He recommended to them that the US identify it's interests in the Persian Gulf, oil, and stop fueling the reasons for suicide Terrorism by removing the presence of military forces from the Persian Gulf and making alliances with the nations who have the oil. He suggests off-shore presence of the Navy to insure US interests. Thus US aims to obtain oil would be achieved and the main root cause for suicide terrorism would be eliminated.

If we really care about the safety of our people, we will insist our government stop acting to provoke the problem and do the intelligent thing by getting our military out of the homelands of other people. If our government does not do this, then we must realize that they do not have our safety at heart and are following another agenda that puts us in greater jeopardy.

Susan Dyer, Guest Bloggist