T Nation

Blaming the West: a Question


#1

There are a lot of folks that still posit the theory that Western foreign policy - especially American - is the primary 'root cause' of Islamic fundamentalism and terror. This debate continues to go back and forth in the media after the attacks in London and Egypt.

But a question. Start with would-be terrorist, someone who would qualify as 'at-risk' to become a jihadist in the Arab world by whatever your preferred criteria. Again, this revolves around not just an angry Muslim, but a true 'potential terrorist'.

How many of these would-be terrorists were not moved to join the cause because of the war in Afghanistan but were moved to join the cause only after the war in Iraq?

I don't expect mathematical figures, of course, but I'm curious to hear from those that think the war in Iraq created more terrorists (and anyone else): how many terrorists are out there now solely on the basis of the Iraq War??


#2

Probably not more than we went out and beat down. If I remember correctly most of these terrorists that cause these current problems are sleeper cells that have been in place for over a decade. So I think its kinda a moot point.


#3

Western foreign policy pisses me off, and not just a little. But there is no way that it is the primary cause of terrorism. Stupid fucking kids listnening to bitter old men, that's the primary cause. Western policies aren't helping, but like I've said in the past, killing innocents in protest is inexcusable.

The partisan bs on tv is ridiculous. You have democrats saying it's all bush's fault, and republicans saying everything is going perfectly, and no mistakes have been made (ever). Both sides need to grow up, and figure out what to do now, instead of bickering like little kids.


#4

It might give more arguments to those asshole mullahs that do the endoctrinations.

If the Afghanistan war wasn't enough to mobilise the young, still moderate muslims; maybe the added argument of "See, the Great Satan moved against one of our Nations! That's what happens when you stand on the sidelines. Will you wait until they have soldiers standing inside Mecca, or will you join our jihad now? Will you fight with Allah's people, or will you cowardly wait until the infidels have plundered all that Allah has given us?"


#5

True enough. It also doesn't help when you have retards saying "yeah, if they nuke us we'll nuke mecca until it's a wasteland" and other idiotic bs like that.


#6

Yeah, it does get annoying when the answer to everything is "nuke it 'till it glows..."

Going nuclear is pretty much the last resort. ie, you've already lost and you wish to take as many people with you as possible.

In WW2, when the US was the only country with nuclears weapons (and weak ones at that), using them brought no risk of retaliation in kind.

Nowadays, they have to be used as deterrents; running the risk of a nuclear escalation is much too great to take.

Anyway, from terrorrists, attacks using chemical or biological agents are much more likely. Making "real" nukes requires a lot of technology and pretty extensive installations; viruses can be cultivated in a small lab. Same thing with chemicals such as sarin...

Dirty bombs (using standard explosives to disseminate radioactive material) could also be a possibility...

Luckily for us, most of their cells seem to be moronically retarded when it comes to planning and implementing bombings.

As technology evolves, it becomes easier and easier for a small group of people to cause harm to a large group of people. If they ever take their noses out of the Quran and start reading chemistry and biology books, things might get ugly.


#7

The United States foreign policy has nothing to do with terrorism today. Our country has been getting attacked for decades by so-called Islamist fundamentalists. Our military personnel have been getting attacked for decades outside our country by so-called Islamic fundamentalist. The entire Middle East has been a violent sess-pool for centuries. Islam is anything but peaceful. The koran advocates killing nonbelievers. Why hasn't one Islamic (Cleric) leader denounced 911 or any other attacks? Because they agree with the killing of inocent people in the name of Islam. Peaceful my ass. Take the bleeding heart Democrat view with a grain of salt. Read the Koran for yourself. The United States is the best thing to happen to the men and especially women of the Middle East. Our attack is long over due. We can no longer be called a "paper tiger"


#8

Because they hate you because of your freedom, right?

Why are you being attacked and targeted so much? If foreign policy has no role in it, then what is it? Why don't they target Sweden or Norway instead?

Actually, it advocates killing lapsed muslims who have left the faith.

On the subject of infidels, it says to treat them the same way they treat you.

It recommends "respect" for "People of the Book", meaning believers from Judaism and Christianity (as all three religions share many prophets and patriarchs). Of course, stuff like Crusades mean the gloves come off.

Actually, some have. But one of the problems (or advantages, depending on your point of view) with Islam is that there is no central leader figure. They have no equivalent of a Pope or Patriarch that speaks for the whole (or very large parts of the) faith.

So while some mullahs have denounced terrorist attacks, the radical ones that celebrate them get a lot more media coverage and appear as being "the majority."

When you see moron Grand Wizards of the Ku Klux Klan (a Christian organisation) speaking on TV, do you feel that they represent the majority of Christians?

All religions can be used to justify wars and atrocities; Christians had their Crusades and Inquisitions. In fact, during the reing of the Ottoman empire, the worst duress other faiths had to endure (officially, at least) was being taxed more heavily.

As for reading for yourself, you don't appear to have followed your own advice. The Quran itself does not advocate violence; at least no more than the Bible does. What is often used by extremists to justify violence and killing are the "Hadiths", which are collections of the sayings of Muhammad. They aren't viewed on the same level as the Quran (which is the literal word of God); but are important enough.

Well, maybe that would be true if the US actually wished for men of the middle east to share in its way of life. Maybe if you toppled the House of Saud and allowed Saudi Arabia (or just Arabia after the toppling...) to have a democratic rule, things could be different. As it is, you back oppressive regimes if they are pro-U.S. and have ressources you need.

Another view could be that "giving" people a democratic government cannot be done. Maybe they have to revolt and win it for themselves. How would you feel if your independance had been set up for you by, say, France?

Maybe they want a theocracy based on the Quran. You sure have enough people in the U.S. who would like to get rid of the separation between Church and State... why should they want the same thing you want for them?

As for the attack, what are you proposing? Should the U.S. build camps and slaughter 1 billion muslims? Nuke vast tracts of land and make whole countries uninhabitable for a few thousands years? How should the Paper Tiger roar?


#9

Well, the main point I was getting at was that I have a hard time thinking that someone that has the potential to become a terrorist - psyhcological/religious/cultural aptitude - would have shrugged off becoming a terrorist because of Afghanistan but found the urge under the war in Iraq.

I say this because radical Muslims don't see the war in Afghanistan the way many Western critics of the Iraq war see it - as the 'legitimate' war between the two. Islamists see the destruction of the Taliban by American forces as the same kind of intervention and occupation that they believe they see in Iraq.

Therefore, I have a difficult time believing a would-be terrorist would say "well, the situation in Afghanistan isn't worth strapping a bomb to my chest over" but "the Zionist crusaders have invaded holy land in Iraw and must be repelled, God willing, and I shall therefore go kill some innocent civilians."

See my quandary? If Iraq was truly the 'tipping point' for a terrorist, he was already 'tipped' by Afghanistan. No way anyone that radical could be nonplussed by action in Afghanistan but enraged at the action in Iraq.

Thoughts?


#10

It might be from the accumulation effect. Let me explain:

A "potential" disgruntled muslim might understand that Afghanistan was in retaliation for 9/11... The Taliban where harboring Bin Laden and you wanted him "Dead or Alive" as the cover story went...

They might buy that and understand your anger.

Then Iraq happened; they might believe that you wanted to topple Saddam because he was a "bad man". Hell, I'm sure many where glad to see him go; although he might have been a kind of hero figure for others who saw him as "standing up to the U.S."

But now, Saddam is gone and you're still there. And either you had no plan about what to do after the war, in which case you have very stupid leaders; OR the plan all along was to leave an occupying force in place for decades, while setting up some "puppet government", giving fat contracts to a few megacorporations and claim you're liberating them and giving them "freedom" and democracy.

I'm sure any extremist mullah worth his salt can spin all that as an ongoing escalation by the West to destroy their way of life and grab their oil rich land. Stuff like Abu-Graib and Gitmo is simply gravy; showing the US has not being above using the same tactics they denounced in Saddam...

Add to that the mounting death toll among civilians (they probably don't care much for your troops...), daily exploding cars, etc. Eventually, you get to the point where you've got a distant cousin who died or some closer family member, etc. You can't see the end of it and you decide to join the insurgents or, if you're outside the country, some sleeper cell somewhere.

All that mixed in with a good religious brain washing should leave you with a lot of disposable soldiers ready to die to strike out against the West.


#11

Thunder, I think you are trying to rationalize your position in a simplistic black and white manner.

"Because of Afghanistan they were gonna be terrorists anyway, so that renders Iraq inconsequential on whether or not any terrorist recruits would or could be formed there because of the invasion."

I don't agree with your logic.


#12

I think we create the same air of fundamentalist, BS, hatred with our codgy, old, racist, bastards in this country as they do in other countries. Anyone who preaches hatred for any reason is intolerable.

Lets start with this. We must learn to live and tolerate others on this planet before we have any credibility to change anything. I'm not talking about the fake credibility we've gained through our actions in any war. I don't count those actions as necessary as they may have been. I am more concerned with the social values that we promote throughout the world.

To try my hand at an analogy: Sometimes I feel that the US is that neighbor that no one wants to live next to. You know that guy that parks his Hemi in your grass and doesn't care because his truck is big and he needs the space in his driveway for his big ass bass-boat. He constantly has loud parties until all hours of the night with the most unsavory of his kin. All his cousins get drunk and pee in your yard and then pass out in your lawn where you awake the next morning to find they stole your newspaper (and you get real pissed because it's Friday and you were going to go to the movies with your wife and now you have to go online to read the reviews). His kids are bullies and constantly pick on Rutherford Jr. and little Estelle--though for the life of you, you can't figure out why. His dogs always bark and jump the fence because their yard is a mess and there's no clean spot on the lawn left to go on. Meanwhile you can't figure out why you ever moved out of the city--after all the Wal-Mart in this suburb isn't a Super Wal-Mart and it's not open 24hrs--and anyway you got better produce at the little stand on the corner of your old neighborhood back in the city. But on the other hand he?s a big guy and nobody in the neighborhood messes with him--come to think of it everyone is just afraid of him and doesn?t really respect him.

We are those stuffy, rude, arrogant, suburbanite neighbors that care only of our own backyard and possessions. We plaster flags and banners all over our yard and cars because that?s what Pastor Mike told us was the Godly and patriotic thing to do. We have no thoughts of our own unless they come off the television or previously out of the mouth of one of the many "educated" literati cable news networks--or worse the mouth of the administration it's self--because we want to be good and supportive of our Gov't.


#13

Liftus: That was a pretty cool analogy. If anybody has ever had a neighbor like that, they will understand where you're coming from. Thing is, I don't think that the analogy is correct. Ask a Mexican immigrant (legal or not) what kind of neighbor we are to Mexico. Ask a Canadian how much it sucks that they don't need to fund an armed forces to the extent that they should need to due to living next door and being friends with the biggest dog on the block.

Although I know you don't see us this way, I would like to posit an analogy of my own. Our nation is more similar to an outspoken red-blooded T-man than anything else. Remember that thread when we were talking about some guy getting his ass kicked in that pizzeria for no reason? How many of us said they would have stepped in and gave that fat asshole a beat-down instead of just standing there in stunned and quiet fearfulness and watching him literally smack that dude into next week? What about that thread when some guy was on the Subway and saw some cockneyed asswipe beat the shit out of his girlfriend? What I'm getting at is that we are a nation that, like a T-man, does not sit idly by and let shit go down. We are men of action.

That is why I am proud of us. We have not sat on our laurels as the world's lone superpower. We are not coasting by. We are doing something with our power. Those of us can quibble about whether or not we are morally right about HOW we use it, but goddammit at least we are not just watching.

Do any of you cite Iraq as how we have erred? Are we not rebuilding it? Are we not freeing the downtrodden from their misery? Check out the Cheesetastics Anonymous thread. We did not descend on Iraq like a plague of locusts and rape and pillage, dammit!

So back to the thread subject, I will repeat myself from the "Terrorism Apologists" thread, and say that the idea that we "create terrorism" is BS. We may ruffle some feathers while we are squaring shit away, but I think that we are going to see a whole hell of a lot of law-abiding, freedom-loving Iraqis thanking us for what we have done for them.


#14

That assumes that the amount the US spends is the "right" amount; many would consider your defense budget excessive.

The smell of bullshit is almost overpowering...

Oddly, before the war, there wasn't that much support in favor of it. Where were all those T-Men asking the administration to do something about the injustices in Iraq? Why had your administration to lie about WMDs, links between Saddam and OBL, etc. to drum up some modicum of public support for the war?

And if your course of action was so just and true, why couldn't you convince more countries than those in your "coalition of the willing"? The first Desert Storm managed to bring together the largest coalition in the history of man; why was it so hard to do it again? Could it be the complete absence of justification for it?

There's a lot of worse shit going down in a lot of places in the world... I don't see many of you clamoring for the deposition of Kim Jong Il and the freeing of the North Korean people. Howabout Darfour? Or human rights in China? There's lots and lots of shit going on all around about which you simply do nothing...

Saying "We, as a Nation, can't simply stand on the sidelines while injustice is being done" is a load of crap. Not only can you stand by; you actually support it when it suits you.

15 of the 19 hijackers in 9/11 where Saudi Nationals. No Iraqis. Ya think you might have gone after the wrong country? But the brutal, oppressive Saudi regime are your "allies" of course. So just stand by and watch. Worse, support them. Hold your girlfriend while the other guys whacks on her; then ask "Why do you hate me, honey?"

So, it's better to do anything, whether it be bad or good? Whether that alienates a bunch of your allies, drums up record deficits, etc is of no importance? That big military costs and arm and a leg; by God, we better invade somewhere and put it to good use!

No, but your post-war plan appears to have been non-existant. The insurgency does not appear to be dwindling in numbers; how long did you plan on keeping Iraq in such a state before coming home? Or was that not in the plans?

How many deads on both sides since Dubya the chimp declared "Mission Accomplished?" It used to be that when a war was over, you'd sign some treaties, exchange prisoners and get on with the rebuilding part. Declaring a war over while the other side is still fighting you doesn't seem to work too well.

Ruffle some feathers? That's a mild way of putting it. How would you feel if some occupying nation killed a few of your family members or humiliated and raped them in some Abu-Graib while they were here? Would you say "Well, that's life; can make omelets without breaking a few eggs...?" or "I love you mom and sis, but your vaginas will heal, stop whining."

As I've asked somewhere else, getting no answer: If your foreign policy and actions have no bearing on terrorism, then what's the cause of it in your view? Why are they targeting you and your allies? If they hate freedom, they should be blowing up places like Sweden or Monaco, no?


#15

This is right. I don't think poverty has much to do with it, although I feel it is the wests responsibilty to help with poverty.

Of all the things we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as building roads, schools, treatment plants, power plants, etc. there appear to be only a couple things that will actually work.

First, better education is a must to help these people fight the brainwashing they get by some the mullahs. Of course most of the terrorist attacks on the west appear to be done by college graduates.

The second thing we must do is find a way to shut these extremist mullahs up.
I don't know if we are doing a good job of this.

The whole concept of blaming the west is just more of the same blame the victim BS.


#16

pookie, great post! Lothario likes to see things in a very knight in shining armor kind of way. Its cute but kinda naive. Again, great post.


#17

The CIA has done some studies and has some thoughts on the subject of what Iraq is providing for Islamic terrorists:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0623/dailyUpdate.html


#18

Sounds just like my neighbors.


#19

How many times do we have to prove there WERE links between Saddam and al Qaeda? Even the Dems poster boy said so.

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040624-112921-3401r.htm


#20

Oh golly gee wizzers, why didn't you tell us the dems poster boy said it (who is the dems posterboy) Now I believe it!!! You have changed my mind!