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The W - Current Events & Politics - Less than shocking new study on the root causes of terrorism....
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Yes Virginia, terrorism's rout cause is associated more with lack of freedom than lack of money.
    Originally posted by Alvin Powell in the Harvard Gazette
    A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.

    Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.

    Abadie, whose work was published in the Kennedy School's Faculty Research Working Paper Series, included both acts of international and domestic terrorism in his analysis.

    Though after the 9/11 attacks most of the work in this area has focused on international terrorism, Abadie said terrorism originating within the country where the attacks occur actually makes up the bulk of terrorist acts each year. According to statistics from the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base for 2003, which Abadie cites in his analysis, there were 1,536 reports of domestic terrorism worldwide, compared with just 240 incidents of international terrorism.

    Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.

    "In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism, as previous studies have shown, but perhaps more surprisingly also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin," Abadie said.

    Instead, Abadie detected a peculiar relationship between the levels of political freedom a nation affords and the severity of terrorism. Though terrorism declined among nations with high levels of political freedom, it was the intermediate nations that seemed most vulnerable.

    Like those with much political freedom, nations at the other extreme - with tightly controlled autocratic governments - also experienced low levels of terrorism.
Maybe the administration knows what it's doing....



The Left, the base of the Democratic Party, hail the virtues of tolerance and consider themselves to be the tolerant citizens of America. In their touting of tolerance they express their obvious disdain for those whose views run contrary to that of enlightened Liberalism.

Dare to make a statement of conviction of any kind, and one of these Leftists will set down his cheese and wine, pause his lecture on the virtues of plurality and the absurdity of the belief in absolute Truth, and tell you your convictions -- everything you believe and hold dear -- are absolutely wrong. Where does he get his understanding that what you claim is "right" is actually not? Against what standard is this wrongness measured? He can't say. All he knows is that you're a bigot, you're intolerant, you're not worthy of being an American. In fact, you're not smart enough to understand what it means to be an American.

And not only are you dumb, you're dangerous. Fanatics like you don't belong in a "tolerant" culture like ours. You and your beliefs and the people who share them should not be allowed in our civilized society . . . or, at the very least, you should be denied the right to vote. Because when you vote, when you're politically active, you screw everything up.
-Chris Field, Human Events, 11/5/04
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FurryHippie
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Since: 29.10.02
From: New York

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.82
So then it is our righteous duty to find these countries, crush everything in sight, "kinda almost" set up governments, and "kinda sorta" leave.

I wish that one of these "oppressed, terror-housing" countries didn't have oil. I wonder how quick we'd go into THAT liberation cause. Just sayin', that's all.
GRL
Frankfurter








Since: 13.7.02
From: Austin

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.38
    Originally posted by FurryHippie


    I wish that one of these "oppressed, terror-housing" countries didn't have oil. I wonder how quick we'd go into THAT liberation cause. Just sayin', that's all.


Exactly. If we were interested in spreading democracy so much, there are a number of other places that we could have 'liberated' first. Especially in Africa.





"Maybe I'm getting off topic, but this thread already sucks, so I don't feel bad about it. " -LotusMegami


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Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Except I was not referring to Iraq or Afghanistan at all.

It is chic among some of the left to say that terrorism is caused by poverty, and we must redistribute income to those countries in order to ensure we can end terrorism....which of course ignores the fact that Iraq under Hussein was semi-propserous, or that Saudi Arabia is rich.



The Left, the base of the Democratic Party, hail the virtues of tolerance and consider themselves to be the tolerant citizens of America. In their touting of tolerance they express their obvious disdain for those whose views run contrary to that of enlightened Liberalism.

Dare to make a statement of conviction of any kind, and one of these Leftists will set down his cheese and wine, pause his lecture on the virtues of plurality and the absurdity of the belief in absolute Truth, and tell you your convictions -- everything you believe and hold dear -- are absolutely wrong. Where does he get his understanding that what you claim is "right" is actually not? Against what standard is this wrongness measured? He can't say. All he knows is that you're a bigot, you're intolerant, you're not worthy of being an American. In fact, you're not smart enough to understand what it means to be an American.

And not only are you dumb, you're dangerous. Fanatics like you don't belong in a "tolerant" culture like ours. You and your beliefs and the people who share them should not be allowed in our civilized society . . . or, at the very least, you should be denied the right to vote. Because when you vote, when you're politically active, you screw everything up.
-Chris Field, Human Events, 11/5/04
PalpatineW
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by FurryHippie
    So then it is our righteous duty to find these countries, crush everything in sight, "kinda almost" set up governments, and "kinda sorta" leave.

    I wish that one of these "oppressed, terror-housing" countries didn't have oil. I wonder how quick we'd go into THAT liberation cause. Just sayin', that's all.


a.) We haven't "crushed everything in sight," anywhere.

b.) We haven't "kinda almost" set up governments anywhere. In case you haven't noticed, there are people dying in Iraq ad Afghanistan to ensure foreigners the right to vote.

c.) Thus far, we've "liberated" two countires: Iraq and Afghanistan. Which one was for oil?

d.) 17 of the 9-11 hijackers came from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Why haven't we gone in there, yet? And, if we did, would you still be carping about oil?



"You know what I'm happiest for? I'm happiest for Bill Buckner, Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, all of the Red Sox that played before us will now be remembered for the great players and great people they were instead of all the other crap."
Curt Schilling
Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.51
I am not going to disagree with you that there are a ton of other nations NOT in the Middle East that need to be liberated. Personally, I would be in favor of it, given the right circumstances.

However, it is a matter of national will. We happened to be attacked by Islamo-fascists, so there is a national will to go after nations that sponsor terrorists from that group. Afghanistan had direct ties to the people who attacked us, and 9/11 itself. Iraq had more shady ties - but it was enough for many people.

Some of those African nations may have brutal regimes, but there is little political will to go in there. On a moral ground, as I said, I would support it given the right circumstances, but I am in a big-time minority there.

I do think it is a little ridiculous to argue against a war by asking why we aren't invading somewhere else, too. Iraq was an oppressive dictatorship, but there were many other factors beyond "liberating the people" that came into play there. And I think we are smart enough to realize that liberating the Iraqis was not the goal of the operation, but a welcome byproduct of it (despite the political spin). The war was always more about treaty violation, the flouting of UN resolutions, and the terrorist aspect.

Liberating an oppressed nation is all well and good, but if there isn't any mitigating factors to make the American people want to put soldiers on the line for the cause, it isn't going to happen. If you think there are a lot of people against Iraq, imagine the backlash if we were to try and go into Rwanda right now...

That whole "War for Oil" argument does get tiring, though. It is brought up in almost every war, and it has never once proven to be true.



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rockstar
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Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.56

A link to Abadie's paper.

In terms of what types of terrorism Americans care about, Americans are only concerned with international terrorism, i.e. foreigners coming here to kill us. Domestic terrorism isn't a concern, i.e. we don't give a shit if the PLO wipes Israel off the face of the earth or if the IRA blows Buckingham Palace to rubble. Yeah, if those things happen we'll play pretend for a week or two, but until someone convinces us that the PLO or the IRA are coming here next, everyone will forget about it when the next episode of Survivor airs.

Abadie's work combines both domestic and international terrorism for the purposes of this paper, so the line is blurred.

Here's the largest mention I could find of international terrorism in Abadie's paper:

"Much of modern-day transnational terrorism seems to generate from grievances against rich countries. In addition, in some cases terrorist groups may decide to attack property or nationals of rich countries in order
to gain international publicity. As a result, transnational terrorism may predominantly affect rich countries."

So if someone is crossing borders to kill you, it *may* be because you have more money than they do.

Also, an interesting point on terrorism relative to reasons:

"Over most of the range of the political rights index,
lower levels of political rights are associated with higher levels of terrorism. However, highly authoritarian countries (political rights index equal to 7) experience lower terrorist risk than countries in some intermediate range of political rights (political rights index equal to 4-6). The non-monotonic nature of the relationship between political rights and terrorism can be interpreted in diŽerent ways. On the one hand, the repressive practices commonly adopted by autocratic regimes to eliminate political dissent may help keeping terrorism at bay.
On the other hand, intermediate levels of political freedom are often experienced during times of political transitions, when governments are weak, political instability is elevated, so conditions are favorable for the appearance of terrorism."

So the problem may not be a matter of freedom or economics, but of opportunity.

While this paper does dispell the Liberal myth that poor people will kill you for having more money than they do, it still doesn't address the social reasons. Why is it acceptable in some societies to do such things? Obviously we know that fundamental Islam (or "Islamo-facists" if you prefer) can be twisted to encourage death in the name of Allah, but we also know that fundamental Christianity (can I say "Southern Baptists" just to balance the ignorance out?) can be twisted to encourage killing in the name of God.

Now, I'm not disagreeing with Mr. Abadie, seeing as how Harvard is paying his salary and I'm just a college dropout, but the majority of Christians live in the West, fat and happy with the TVs and the Internets and DVDs and whatnot, while the majority of Muslims live in the East, skinny and pissed with the desert sands and the rotting corpses. And the key to a peaceful society seems to have something to do with being fat and happy, which is just as much an economic issue as a political freedom issue.



fuelinjected
Banger








Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.70
    Originally posted by the article
    Like those with much political freedom, nations at the other extreme - with tightly controlled autocratic governments - also experienced low levels of terrorism.


So based on this - the liberation of Iraq did not make the world safer because they'll be muddled in the middle for centuries.

I don't think you can pin down a couple root causes of terrorism because there's so many different forms that result from so many different political actions. Its like saying, "List the 3 causes that led to Hitler gaining power in Germany." There's just a multitude of perspectives and angles that you can take. One could argue that Hitler was a product of the environment created after WW1 by the "winners". And that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda are the results of decades of US foreign policy in the Middle East.



"When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been?" - George Carlin
ShotGunShep
Frankfurter








Since: 20.2.03

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.23
Why couldn't you give several concrete reasons that Hitler rose to power?

Germans were impoverished by the treaty of Versaille and resented the countries that put them into debt. The Great Depression only furthered their misery.

They also felt humiliated at their defeat. Hitler's message of racial superiority gave them something to believe in.

The leaders of the Weimar republic feared Communism and therefore gave their favor to Hitler which allowed him to gain power.

If you say we can't explain history, why even learn it?
Mr. Heat Miser
Blutwurst








Since: 27.1.02

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.98
    Originally posted by Grimis
    ....which of course ignores the fact that Iraq under Hussein was semi-propserous....


From the CIA world factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html):

Iraq's GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2003 est.)

Is that semi-prosperous? Let's see! The following is also from the CIA world factbook:

GDP - per capita:

1 Luxembourg $ 55,100 2003 est.
2 Norway $ 37,800 2003 est.
3 United States $ 37,800 2003 est.
4 Bermuda $ 36,000 2003 est.
5 Cayman Islands $ 35,000 2002 est.
6 San Marino $ 34,600 2001 est.
7 Switzerland $ 32,700 2003 est.
8 Denmark $ 31,100 2003 est.
9 Iceland $ 30,900 2003 est.
10 Austria $ 30,000 2003 est.

skip a few...

185 Haiti $ 1,600 2003 est.
186 Kyrgyzstan $ 1,600 2003 est.
187 Marshall Islands $ 1,600 2001 est.
188 Senegal $ 1,600 2003 est.
189 Iraq $ 1,500 2003 est.
190 Togo $ 1,500 2003 est.
191 Cape Verde $ 1,400 2002 est.
192 Uganda $ 1,400 2003 est.
193 Nepal $ 1,400 2003 est.
194 Cote d'Ivoire $ 1,400 2003 est.
195 Bhutan $ 1,300 2002 est.
196 Rwanda $ 1,300 2003 est.
197 Korea, North $ 1,300 2003 est.
198 Djibouti $ 1,300 2002 est.
199 Chad $ 1,200 2003 est.
200 Sao Tome and Principe $ 1,200 2003 est.

I'd like to draw particular attention to Haiti @ 185, Rwanda @ 196, and North Korea @ 197, compared to Iraq @ 189. I never thought of those as semi-prosperous countries, myself.

Now, I know that Grimis said "under Saddam", which would mean Iraq's 2003 numbers aren't precisely what he meant. Our friends at the CIA let us know that Iraq's GDP declined by 21.8% from 2002. Doing a little math, I come up with an Iraqi 2002 per capita GDP of $1918. THAT figure would have been good for 171st place on the world list, just behind Micronesia, and just ahead of Angola. MUCH more prosperous.

Also, I'm not so sure Iraq under Saddam had much in the way of terrorist activity. Still haven't seen any proof on that one.

Simply asserting that something is a fact doesn't make it true.




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Since: 1.8.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.51
    Originally posted by Mr. Heat Miser
    Also, I'm not so sure Iraq under Saddam had much in the way of terrorist activity. Still haven't seen any proof on that one.

    Simply asserting that something is a fact doesn't make it true.



    Originally posted by Useless Knowlege
    One of the primary reasons for removing Saddam Hussein from power was that he did the same -- in addition to paying the families of Hezbullah suicide bombers, providing sanctuary to Abu Abbas of the PLF (Palestine Liberation Front), and supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (which appears to have heeded President Bush's post-9/11 message and given up terrorism according to this April 2003 profile: http://library.nps.navy.mil/home/tgp/kurds.htm ), he had solid links to Ansar Al-Islam. According to one source who worked for Saddam's Mukhabarat intelligence service for twenty years, Qassem Hussein Mohamed, Iraq was supporting terrorism. "My information is that the Iraqi government was directly supporting [Al Qaeda] with weapons and explosives," he was quoted as saying in April 2002. "[Ansar] was part of Al Qaeda, and given support with training and money." Those quotes can be found at http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0402/p01s03-wome.html. In addition, in the 1990's the Salman Pak facility trained terrorists how to hijack planes on small groups (4 or 5) using small knives, according to 'Abu Zeinab', a former Mukhabarat colonel, and Captain Sabah Khodad, who worked at Salman Pak until 1995 and said right after 9/11 "When I saw the twin towers attack, the first thought that came into my head was, 'this has been done by graduates of Salman Pak'." The story was reported by The Guardian at http://politics.guardian.co.uk/archive/article/0,,4296646,00.html.


Continuing to ignore presented evidence just because you don't agree with the conclusion it forces doesn't make a fact "untrue" either.



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Banger








Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.70
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    Why couldn't you give several concrete reasons that Hitler rose to power?

    Germans were impoverished by the treaty of Versaille and resented the countries that put them into debt. The Great Depression only furthered their misery.

    They also felt humiliated at their defeat. Hitler's message of racial superiority gave them something to believe in.

    The leaders of the Weimar republic feared Communism and therefore gave their favor to Hitler which allowed him to gain power.

    If you say we can't explain history, why even learn it?


I misspoke. I didn't mean that you can't give concrete reasons or learn from history. What I'm trying to say is that I'm skeptical when someone says this is *THE* reason why this event happened. There are the big reasons, like you listed for Hitler, but there may have been many micro-reasons that contributed to each of those bigger reasons.

For example, Hitler's message of racial superiority. Why did that stick with the Germans? There's plenty of past issues that led to the general anti-semitism throughout Germany. Did Hitler spread the message or was he simply telling them what they wanted to hear?

I'm just saying that there's so many reasons as to why history happened that I'm leary of the author's argument that took a very superficial look at one form of terrorism.



"When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been?" - George Carlin
FurryHippie
Frankfurter








Since: 29.10.02
From: New York

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.82
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
      Originally posted by FurryHippie
      So then it is our righteous duty to find these countries, crush everything in sight, "kinda almost" set up governments, and "kinda sorta" leave.

      I wish that one of these "oppressed, terror-housing" countries didn't have oil. I wonder how quick we'd go into THAT liberation cause. Just sayin', that's all.


    a.) We haven't "crushed everything in sight," anywhere.

    b.) We haven't "kinda almost" set up governments anywhere. In case you haven't noticed, there are people dying in Iraq ad Afghanistan to ensure foreigners the right to vote.

    c.) Thus far, we've "liberated" two countires: Iraq and Afghanistan. Which one was for oil?

    d.) 17 of the 9-11 hijackers came from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Why haven't we gone in there, yet? And, if we did, would you still be carping about oil?


A) Arite, 'crushed everything in sight' was just my wording for the fact that we go in and take over, with very limited results in actually stabilizing it.

B) Which was for oil? You tell me. And Afghanistan is doing great today, isn't it?

C) I've always said we should've looked more closely at the Saudis on account of this fact (the terrorists, not the oil.) I'm sure the US wouldn't be too opposed to drillin' a bit too. The reason they don't? There is proof of all sorts of Bush/Saudi business links. He's already profited without having to "take over". We're already allied over there. Can't say the same for other countries.

    Originally posted by GRL
    Exactly. If we were interested in spreading democracy so much, there are a number of other places that we could have 'liberated' first. Especially in Africa.


Bingo. Anybody ever hear of that place?

Oh, and Grimis, I wasn't directly speaking at you about that point. I wasn't implying that YOU were implying anything, just making a comment about it on my own. Now my head hurts.
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