T Nation

How To Make a Terrorist


Chalmers Johnson. Odd name, smart guy. Take a look at his take on creating terrorists, don't worry rednecks out there, its not too long:


His books are good too, great combinations of his own extensive experiences and huge volumes of research.


Finally, a sane American.



Your empty condescension notwithstanding, much like your attempts to cite your own unoriginal material, this is simply a Leftist rehash of the hackneyed 'American foreign policy caused all this' stuff.

The article discussed that the terrorists did not 'attack America, but attacked American foreign policy'. Nonsense. The civilians targeted in the twin towers had nothing to do with foreign policy. Terrorists want a high body count and as much carnage as possible. A terrorist attack isn't a protest.

Moreover, conveniently the author - as well as the terrorists that he panders to - make no mention of the American foreign policy that has protected Muslims over the years. Such lazy propaganda ignores the blood and treasure spilled in Bosnia or of the protection of Kuwait.

The other unexplained part of the Left's tired thesis is how a terrorist - apparently exhausted by having 'tyranny' foisted on him by mean ole American foreign policy -actually fights not for liberation from tyranny, but for an opportunity to create a tyranny even greater than the one they have apparently been victimized by. A desire to replace the authoritarian regimes of, say, Saudi Arabia with Islamist Sharia law is - repeat, not - a desire to experience liberal institutions and freedom. They want a more authoritarian regime - more cruel, more brutal, and more vicious than the one they are being oppressed by.

Only a Leftist - drunk on abstraction, relativism, and nothing short of nihilism - can find a way to be sympathetic to these so-called freedom fighters.

And, while I believe our overseas commitments are too high, the Left needs to do a survey and see just how many of the countries where the US has a military presence actually want us out. Certainly not Europe, whose fantastic social welfare net - and its concomitant high costs - exists only because of the American subsidy of defense in its European bases. Saudi Arabia asked us to be there. I'd love to see a reduction in the American presence abroad, but are the armchair critics prepared to do the heavy lifting all by themselves? What, with all the UN approved humanitarian missions?

I agree with the author to the extent that we need to reduce American presence, but not because of 'blowback'. The mention of the anti-globalist movement is nonsense. What terrorist has targeted innocent civilians because he doesn't like the McDonald's in his neighborhood?

Nope, the terrorists are not poor, oppressed, downtrodden natives of a foreign land. They are educated, leisured, and not hurting for a meal. OBL has millions - why doesn't he plow his money into an Afghan infrastructure if he is so concerned about the plight of Arabs? Why did the Taliban take an anti-American hardline and shelter terrorists when they had no economic relationship with America and therefore no excuse that American capitalists were exploiting innocent Afghans?

Plight of the Muslim world, my ass. These grievances are self-inlflicted wounds.

But the complicity of the Left is odd, given that terrorists and Leftists hold opposite views of how the world should be. Oh well - the sad part is that the Left - the self-appointed stewards of the Enlightenment - have thrown empiricism out the window and have had their reactionary attitude completely played by the Islamists like a tune. The Islamists must cackle till their stomach hurts at how easily they have gotten the Left to be unwitting volunteer troops in their march to fascism. And to think - they didn't even have to purchase these silly Leftists with promises of 47 virgins in the afterlife for their work.

As is, John Gullick - this article is nothing new. Same blathering as always. Does the Left have any new ideas, or just more shibboleths? I suspect I already know the answer.


How to make a terrorist? oh i dunno, why not overthrow their leader and destroy this country's infrastructure, any sense of business commerce, say the word " crusade " a few times in a speech and generally be an ass.


thunderbolt23 is the man.


  • That's all it is. Body count doesn't have much to do it at all. They seek the spectacle of it. The attack on the WTC wasn't even intended to take them down. If it hadn't, the body count would not have been nearly what it was. Though, I doubt that would have blunted our outrage. The desired result would have been achieved either way.

Besides, if you consider the total worldwide Islamic terror body count over the last 30 or so years, you'd find that they're walking an awfully long road towards global domination. That's not what they're after.

-Are you serious about the "protection" of Kuwait? You honestly believe that had anything to do protecting Muslims? Interesting.

  • Who cares if they have a desire to experience freedom as we do? It's not our business. Self-appointing ourselves as the world's freedom police IS why so many dislike us. Besides, their have been, and are, plenty of authoritarian regimes that exsist around the globe without our interference, and some with our support.So, is our desicion to "liberate" an arbitrary one? I doubt it. We should always be looking for the true motive.

-It's not being sympathetic. Understanding what motivates our enemy is a critical step in fighting them. To have your head so deep in the sand as to believe that America was just innocently sitting around minding our own business when 9/11 happened is ignorant beyond words.

  • That may not be the sole reason, but the ever-expanding western culture certainly plays a part in the general dissatisfaction with America. Again, our ideals and values are being forced on the world, whether they want it or not.

-just stop, please, my side hurts. Why would the poor natives of a foreign land attack us? How many millions does it take to rebuild an entire country's infrastructure? One? Two? Fifty?

-Glib, but wrong. America's knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 is just what they wanted. Few would argue that our current tactics in the "war on terror" have reduced recruitment among Islamic extremists. In fact, most media reports that recruitment is up.

I guess the sympathetic Left is to blame for that too.


For a nuanced view on this, see Stern's "Terror in the Name of God." She goes into a lot of detail about the recruiting tactics for suicide bombers, and the mentality of the terrorist leaders pulling the strings. Hint: Not necessarily the same outlook on the situation.

She has some great information on marginalized cultural groups, including fundamentalist Christians in the US, some of whom feel that they require increasingly more drastic measures to prevent secular liberalism from taking over their lives.

She also goes into depth about the situation in the Gaza strip and the corruption of the PLO. Interesting reading, without all the rhetoric from our "sane American."



The reviews on Amazon have good things to say as well. I'll have to check it out.

It seems to me, anytime the word "fundementalist" is attached to a belief system, somebody's gonna die. Ironic, since it's usually attached to a religious belief. Religions as rule, don't advocate killing your fellow man. I guess most fundementalists skip over that part.


:Ahem: The motive behind the attack was American foreign policy. No the left does not have anymore answers and the reason they keep blabbering on is because the truth is STARTLING. YES THEY ARE TALKING THE TRUTH. George bush is the greatest danger to world peace, that you cannot deny. The blokes in 2 wars right now, with a 3rd possibly on its way. ROFL.


And only a Conservative - drunk with American propaganda, denial, nothing short of idiotic, irrational idealism - can find a way to think that our foreign policy had nothing to do with 9/11.

It ain't just a river in Egypt.

Open your damn eyes. Question the government (even though you may not like what you find).

Ignorance is never bliss. It's just ignorance.


Yikes. My God, how cheesy. An English major, right? Consider switching.

My point about foreign policy as an excuse is that it doesn't add up. How can the terrorists be legitimately mad at the oppression we apparently cause when what they want is, in reality, more oppressive? They aren't fighting to liberate the poor, the oppressed, and the unfortunate, per the romance of the Left. They fight because they want Muslims to be poorer, more oppressed, and essentially enslaved under Sharia rule.

I don't like our support for, say, the Saudi regime. But we technically support a more liberal regime than the terrorists would - that is a bad foreign policy? Since we don't support Sharia law, when are we not a target for purposes of our foreign policy?

But instead of an argument or a thought, you keep squeezing the trigger on a gun that isn't loaded - and you sound like a fool.

Question the government? Nice bumper sticker, but you ever gonna sit at the big kids' table?

Cheap and unoriginal quips aren't going to get you anywhere. You parrot my language and then you back it up with nothing. Will you make an argument? Or, perhaps the better question - can you?


Because this is largely about a religious view point, not about what you personally view as logical. If logic alone was the guiding force in even this country's policies, there wouldn't even be a discussion about gay marriages.


Nonsense. It is based in the concept of mostly human rights philosophy, which does find its roots in Western thinking.

In your position, though, these 'morals' relating to oppression - things like women's rights, property rights,and religious freedom - are up for grabs, and are not universal.

Fine, let's do it your way - in your culturally relative world, apartheid is perfectly justified. Don't go telling other societies they can't treat blacks as subhuman - you wouldn't want to be imposing your 'religious views' on them. After all, they can do whatever they want free of our judgment, right?

Nice job.

Further, don't bring up the gay marriage debate here. I've seen your arguments, and they suck. If you follow logic - and for the record, you lecturing me on logic is the logical equivalent of me lecturing you on duvet covers - then your logic must essentially do away with marriage, because changing one criterion of traditional marriage - heterosexuality - requires, [/i]logically[/i] that the other criteria are equally manipulable - ie, number of spouses. Therefore, under your logic, or whatever you were taught at the medical school you apparently attended, marriage is a meaningless institution - any boundary you set, whether it be number of spouses, sexuality, etc., is purely arbitrary. You do away with one, you do away with the other. So why recognize it at all?

Maybe that is your position, but I doubt it. Frankly, I doubt if you know - you don't seemt to have given it much thought. And, btw, trying to make an analogy between the human rights questions of Sharia law and the infallible 'logic' of permitting gay marriage is, without questionm the silliest thing I have read on T-Nation.



tbolt23, You're dead on with the gay marriage commentary and I'll leave it at that.

Also, you do have a valid point (your examples were a little overboard), any article/post that's titled "How To Make A Terrorist" and doesn't mention Jihad is either biased, incomplete, or both. There are plenty of regions of the world with plenty of political reasons to hate us (As the Mr. Johnson himself points out.) but the source of our terror seems unusually regionalistic and religious for just "It's our foreign policy!" to be a complete answer.


Tbolt23, you're dead on with the gay marriage commentary and I'll leave it at that.

Also, you do have a valid point (your examples were a little overboard), any article/post that's titled "How To Make A Terrorist" and doesn't mention Jihad is either biased, incomplete, or both. There are plenty of regions of the world with plenty of political reasons to hate us (As Mr. Johnson himself points out.) but the source of our terror seems fantastically regionalistic and religious for just "It's our foreign policy!" to be a complete answer.


What the hell are you talking about? You asked why they are against what they believe to be oppression by western society. The answer is found in their religious beliefs for the most part. I am not sure what you are arguing but it isn't even what I stated. You are acting as if I agree with bombing the WTC tower. I don't know whose ass your head is up, but you may want to remove it.

What again? I have pretty much stayed OUT of the gay marriage debate as my only point is that the bible shouldn't the basis of enacting laws for this society. That is the ONLY point I made in the many pages that debate has become. So again, what the hell are you talking about? I could care less about two gay people getting married. It affects me none at all and I also stated this in that thread...that I could care less either way. That means your little rant here is baseless. You are so full of contempt for anything I write that you couldn't even see that I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with anything in this thread. You asked a question. I gave a reason, period. Nothing else you wrote has shit to do with that.


How did a thread about terrorists turn into a gay marriage debate?


I mentioned it once in reference to why religion can sometimes lead to debates not based in logic and it blew up from there because a certain poster above is looking for fault in absolutely anything that I type.


Just more leftist bullshit! When will we ever, for the love of God, start to take responsibility for our own actions? When will we require others to take responsibility for their own actions, not just the USA? WTF!

New flash idiots, you can't "make" anyone anything! Their actions are based on their own choices and free will. A Terrorist is one because he chooses to be so. No one can make him a terrorist.


They almost always turn to gay marraige, abortion, evolution v. creationism, or racism.

I wouldn;t say it's one side any more than it is the other. For instance, ProfX lobbed the first gay marraige grenade here.

I fired off my racism cannon in another thread.

It happens all the time.