In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies": specifically, "American direct intervention in the Muslim world"
through our "one sided support in favor of Israel"; support for Islamic
tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, "the
American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan" (the full report is here).
Now, a new, comprehensive study from Robert Pape, a University of
Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer,
substantiates what is (a) already bleedingly obvious and (b) known to
the U.S. Government for many years: namely, that the prime cause of
suicide bombings is not Hatred of Our Freedoms or Inherent Violence in
Islamic Culture or a Desire for Worldwide Sharia Rule by Caliphate, but
rather. . . . foreign military occupations. As summarized by Politico's Laura Rozen:
Pape. . . will present findings on Capitol Hill Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.
Pape and his team of researchers draw on data
produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the
world that was partially funded by the Defense Department's Defense
Threat Reduction Agency. They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a
publicly available database comprised of some 10,000 records on some
2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times - the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 U.S. Marines.
"We have lots of evidence now that when you put the
foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns,
... and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of
the terrorist campaign," Pape said in an interview last week on his findings.
Pape said there has been a dramatic spike in suicide
bombings in Afghanistan since U.S. forces began to expand their presence
to the south and east of the country in 2006. . . . Deaths due
to suicide attacks in Afghanistan have gone up by a third in the year
since President Obama added another 30,000 U.S. troops. "It is not
making it any better," Pape said.
Pape believes his findings have important implications even for
countries where the U.S. does not have a significant direct military
presence, but is perceived by the population to be indirectly occupying.
For instance, across the border from Afghanistan, suicide
terrorism exploded in Pakistan in 2006 as the U.S. put pressure on then
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf "to divert 100,000 Pakistani
army troops from their [perceived] main threat [India] to western
Pakistan," Pape said.
Imagine that. Isn't Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and
inscrutable? As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it
when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and
Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children,
and arming their enemies. Therefore (of course), the solution to
Terrorism is to interfere more in their countries by continuing to
occupy, bomb, invade, assassinate, lawlessly imprison and control them,
because that's the only way we can Stay Safe. There are people over
there who are angry at us for what we're doing in their world, so we
need to do much more of it to eradicate the anger. That's the core
logic of the War on Terror. How is that working out?