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The Real Cause of Terrorism

We, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," have a hunch. It's neither a particularly interesting nor daring hunch, but it's a hunch nevertheless. In short, it is this: Almost everyone who writes letters to the editor at The New York Times is a buffoon.

Not exactly earth-shattering, is it? We told you so. But a missive in the September 14 number of the Gray Lady offers some perfect anecdotal evidence that helps to demonstrate our point.

Penned by one Tom F. Driver, an emeritus professor of theology and culture at the Union Theological Seminary, the epistle reads as follows:

"America's Guardian Myths," by Susan Faludi (Op-Ed, Sept. 7), is very insightful. For a very brief time after 9/11 we North Americans had a chance to learn from our pain. One of its lessons might have been how much we are like others in our vulnerability, our suffering and our flawed leadership.

Since we were getting a flood of messages of sympathy and solidarity from around the world, we might have learned from them how to turn pain into compassion and wisdom. Then we could have begun to address the causes of the miseries that lead to terrorism.

We could have seen that terrorism is not simply born of evil but comes from histories of inferiority and the consequent desire for revenge. The way to counter terrorism is to advocate not for our own brand of "democracy" but for the just distribution of the world's resources.

Instead, we used 9/11 to bolster our own feelings of "us versus them," our illusory dream of invulnerability and our search for enemies rather than friends. This mentality, a blend of machismo and militarism, has given us bloody Iraq, tempts us to nuke Iran and requires us to look under every rock for dangerous foes.

Given this mentality, we will find them.

Tom F. Driver

Sheffield, Mass., Sept. 7, 2007

Oh, dear. According to the distinguished professor, America's pugnacious response to 9/11 was all wrong. We should have reveled in the "flood of messages of sympathy and solidarity around the world"--which, at least in the case of France, was very short-lived and, in the case of the Palestinians, was non-existent.

But that's not all we should have done. According to Tom F. Driver, there is one reason that terrorism occurs: It is a response to "histories of inferiority and the consequent desire for revenge." That an emeritus professor of theology can't fathom religious rationales lurking behind terrorism speaks volumes.

Yet it gets even worse. Mr. Driver opines: "The way to counter terrorism is to advocate not for our own brand of 'democracy' but for the just distribution of the world's resources." Oh, brother.

Put to one side, dear reader, the fact that the democratic government established in Iraq is of the English parliamentary variety and not "our own brand." Also set aside the irksome fact that Mr. Driver puts the word democracy in scare quotes, as if such a thing is ipso facto highly dubious.

Yep, to Mr. Driver the proper response to terrorism is worldwide Communism. Ah, yes: That should work. All we must do is assure "the just distribution of the world's resources," and presto: No more terrorism. And, of course, the history of the 20th century amply proves that attempts to enforce "the just distribution of the world's resources" all end in blissful happiness.

But, under the circumstances, wouldn't it also be important to assure equal levels of production for the world's resources and services? After all, the United States is a far more productive country than, say, Afghanistan or Zimbabwe. If Americans catch wind of the fact that they produce far more than other countries per capita and yet their share of the "distribution of the world's resources" doesn't reflect this fact, you know what this could lead to. That's right: Terrorism.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently advocating for a just distribution of the world's brain cells for retired theology professors.)


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Comments (40)

Another "masterful" "post".... (Below threshold)

Another "masterful" "post".

Yep, and universities today... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Yep, and universities today are filled with Tom F. Driver types. They are so enlightened, so much smarter than the rest of us simple folk. They take young people who barely graduate from government schools and continue the indoctrination.

Fortunately, many graduate, get jobs, start paying taxes, and then realize the government does not produce anything. It only confiscates and redistributes. Don't forget in this utopia of equality, the elites tend to be more equal than most other folks. Hypocrisy at its finest.

How pathetic.

Instead, we used 9... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Instead, we used 9/11 to bolster our own feelings of "us versus them," our illusory dream of invulnerability and our search for enemies rather than friends

It is "us versus them". And guess what, we're winning and jihad is losing. Why? Thank-you for asking...

Because we are fighting jihadists in their own back yard and Muslims are getting sick of these people. If we weren't there to stir the hornets' nest and root these goons out, then "they" would have gained in popularity across the region.

Scroll down the link for this poll:

Dwindling Muslim Support for Terrorism

Among the most striking trends in predominantly Muslim nations is the continuing decline in the number saying that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are justifiable in the defense of Islam

The trends are completely flip-flopped now compared to 2002.

And poor old Osama bin Laden is losing BIG time across the region.

The decreasing acceptance of extremism among Muslims also is reflected in declining support for Osama bin Laden. Since 2003, Muslim confidence in bin Laden to do the right thing in world affairs has fallen; in Jordan, just 20% express a lot or some confidence in bin Laden, down from 56% four years ago

This link is analyzes the results of this poll dated July 2007:

An NRO Symposium

What can we do -- as a government, as private entities -- to use the information constructively? National Review Online asked a group of experts -- here's what they came up with.

Here are a few teasers from the link......

The poll is certainly encouraging. In spite of all the criticism the U.S. government is facing in its war on terror
Treatises such as Ayman al-Zawahiri's "Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents," which offers all sorts of compelling proofs on behalf of suicide-attacks, must be addressed, dismantled, and refuted -- also through Islamic jurisprudence
Also, there is no denying that the carnal lure of paradise -- replete with 72 virgins -- is a compelling factor in winning suicidal recruits. This must be replaced with the "carnal" fear of the fires of hell; compelling -- and descriptive -- proofs of the severe and sure torments awaiting the suicide bomber must be elaborated
What does the significant decline in support for suicide bombing in "defense of Islam" mean? It means that the much maligned American hard power forward strategy is winning the ideological war on terror. Blowing up Westerners may have seemed like romantic justice to ideological radicals and empowering to the masses but blowing up fellow Muslims has not
Sympathy for the terrorist.... (Below threshold)
LAB:

Sympathy for the terrorist. Hm. That's a new one. And who said anything about nuking Iran?

If the professor had his wa... (Below threshold)
jeffiedog:

If the professor had his way, the middle east would be sending us thousands of barrels of oil for free in the name of 'just distribution of the world's resources.'
Sounds fair to me.

Some in Christian theology ... (Below threshold)

Some in Christian theology can cite some evidence from Scripture that terrorism may be a form of judgement for the sin's of modern society, while some who belive in the Koran use the passage 3.151 that states: " We shall cast terror into the hearts of those that disbelieve" to justify the promotion of violence against those who fail to convert to that faith, while secular politicians can find other reasons to understand terrorism. Regardlesss, terrorism is a modern problem where faith and values of two cultures are colliding, often deadly results, and with no easy answers to remedy.

Terrorists often view it as an act of pure faith in Allah to stand up to a far stronger opponent, regardless of whether one loses their own life or not. Not snce the Kamikaze pilots of WWII has the U.S. faced such radical rivals. Any such strongly moltivated person willing to lose their life for their cause is a diificult adversary to defeat. Living to see another day is the most respected value in the Western World by comparison.

There's some malfunction in... (Below threshold)

There's some malfunction in the comments posting. Perhaps not all of technical problems are entirely fixed as of yet. But good to see the Wizbang network back up.

Paul, c'mon now. You tryin... (Below threshold)
epador:

Paul, c'mon now. You trying to say terrorism is a modern problem? It's effectiveness is exponentiated by mass media, but it has been around since before the Old Testament.

epador, the effectiveness o... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

epador, the effectiveness of terrorism, without major military forces, is fairly modern. Paul Hooson got it right this time.

Also note that a lot of whats driving the fanatical terrorists is the visible moderation of many Islamic nations. Even Iran, terrorism sponsor and wannabe regional power, is far more liberal today than in the early days of their regime.

This is a different battle than the Cold War, but in many ways the winning strategy is going to be the same. Prevent the enemy from advancing on any major front, and let internal pressures erode the extremists' will to fight.

It'll still take a lot of effort, and there are still lots of places we're going to need the big stick of the U.S. armed forces, but despite everything we are still gaining ground.

Even Russians fed for years on a diet of Pravda learned that whatever else it was supposed to mean, Pravda meant bullshit. Potential jihadis are learning the same.

Epander, terrorists are ind... (Below threshold)

Epander, terrorists are indeed a small force of religious and/or political extremists, and certainly they like to cast a far greater shadow than they command. Their awful acts are all about getting media ratings and hence, creating "terror".

Terrorists are much like a small mouse that will stand in front of candle in a room to cast a shadow of a great and powerful beast.

Without all the oil money t... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Without all the oil money the petty regimes of the Middle East reap, there wouldn't be funding for terrorists or dictators to cause problem. So yes, the war is about oil. But it all depending on how you choose to look at it.

"Terrorists are much like a... (Below threshold)
yo:

"Terrorists are much like a small mouse that will stand in front of candle in a room to cast a shadow of a great and powerful beast."

Serious props for the most dead-on analogy I've seen from anyone on this in a long time.

Damn, Paul, you're on a roll, today.

Barney, of course, is on his never-ending roll of parroting talking points.

"the Iraq war is largely about oil,"

Well, duh. However, let's tighten the focus a bit, shall we? Oil, in modern times = energy.

Energy = power, both in a commodity stand, and in a political one.

Give the jihadis control of the oil resources, and the economy of the West goes into a spiral.

We've seen what islamic governments are capable with all of that wealth, as well. They repress their people.

Show me ANY islamic government, and I'll show you a repressive regime sitting their expanded asses on gold chairs while their people suffer in squalor, poverty and stupidity.

If you wanna' take the "blood for oil" meme, Barn, how 'bout you ask who's blood? So far, millions of muslims have been held under the gilded thumbs of their respective governments.

Terrorism is born of that repression.

You want to stop terrorism, you have to give the power back to the people.

That's what the Founding Fathers used to establish this nation and set up a beacon of hope throughout the world that better things are to be had.

And, as the last standing superpower, and apparently the only nation out there that's willing to put 'em on the glass and stand up for what IS RIGHT, it is beholden upon us to to stamp out the tyranny which is generating more terrorism than our foreign policies ever could.

And, if we're - as is a fun battle cry of the whacked left - stealing oil, I point to the $4+/gal prices at the pump and ask you, how are we stealing, anything?

Face it man, this war is about a lot of things that we can't just wish away or throw petruli-based pleasantries upon. Sure, there's some greed involved, but there's also a shot at making the world a better place - for everyone.

To quote Fred!, "Americans have spilled more blood in the defense of freedom than any other nation in the history of man" - and, we're still doing it, and we'll continue to do it. That's who we are.

Just because you can't grasp the concepts of "defending freedom" and "freedom isn't free" - that's no reason to be a jerg-off.


If you want to encapsulate it into easily digestible bites and walk around with an air of righteousness that doesn't pass the sniff test, knock yourself out.

I wouldn't call you anti-American Barney, nor do I consider you a traitor, one little bit.

I do, however, think that you are your ilk are a bunch of selfish pussies not willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the world.

You speak a lot about being liberal, or democrat or what have you, but you're not. You're all just a bunch of pussies trying to spin out of your hypocrisies.

Hence you can't generate your own ideas and/or cherry pick talking points which, as we've all seen, here, don't stand up to even a passing scrutiny.

FDR was a TRUE democrat. JFK was a TRUE democrat, and as I've stated many times before, the Democratic party was assassinated along with Kennedy.

Taking on terrorism never was going to be easy. Bush never said it was. But it's better to take on a task that isn't easy than to push it aside until such a time that it's impossible to ignore and much more bloody to correct.

"We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

The Modern Liberal would do well to listen to one their spiritual leaders.

And you would do well thinking like an American, not like a Frenchman, you pussy.

Sorry for the rant.

Modern terrorism targets la... (Below threshold)
epador:

Modern terrorism targets large swaths of society. Ancient terrorism targeted those in power, or the masses in ways that would spread the word. Its desired effect was the same - a relatively small force bringing its will against mighty masses.

Lazy pontificating above, and playing with my name reveals you are the one pandering to Leftist drivel.

For one view on Ancient Terrorism, if you are too lazy to Google the many links, is by someone who probably you might agree with more than disagree, Paul H.

http://www.globalcomplexity.org/terrorism.htm

Personally, I prefer this m... (Below threshold)
epador:
Penned by one Tom F. Driver... (Below threshold)
David:

Penned by one Tom F. Driver Drivel

Fixed it for you.

We need to send these stupi... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

We need to send these stupid MFers to do the negotiating with the killers. Maybe if enough of them got the Danial Pearl treatment they would understand Islam does not negotiate. The lefts main problem is they do not understand the problem. Infact they are the problem. How long will we allow these idiots to teach our children? Rome was defeated from within.

OK Mr. Driver, you first. S... (Below threshold)
ray:

OK Mr. Driver, you first. Show us how to distribute wealth with your assets and income...

The only dangerous foe lurk... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

The only dangerous foe lurking under Prof Drivers rock will be another moonbat who thinks the way he does.

It does not matter to me wh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It does not matter to me what the terrorists motivations are. It does not matter to me that they hate my lifestyle. They may think they are doing the greater good by killing themselves to kill us, I do not care. I want the US to work as hard as they can to dispatch as many muslims to Allah as possible. You cannot negotiate with anyone that believes in their heart that they will incur the blessings of God himself for killing. They are lost. ww

Baghdad barney... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney

Bush has wasted 7-years and a trillion and half dollars ($1,500,000,000) on the quagmire of Iraq instead of marshaling the best and brightest of the free market system to develop alternative energy sources so today we could have been saying F'you OPEC.

WOW I never knew we had been in Iraq for 7 years. When did that make the news headlines??!

Why does Bush have to "marshaling the best and brightest" in a free market system?

It's free, when there's a markets it WILL be filled by the best and brightest. You are seeing what "Marshalling" is doing. The increasing production of corn being diverted to alternate fuel use has risen the prices of all things made from corn and also that made from wheat because farmers are planting corn vice wheat and there is a shortage.

barney, you have gone from being a pesky troll who is proud to wear his Stupid Badge of [dis]honor to being mentally retarded.

And BTW Baghdad - your math... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW Baghdad - your math skills SUCK!

This - "$1,500,000,000" is not a "trillion and half dollars."

"Excuse me yo, but I care a... (Below threshold)
yo:

"Excuse me yo, but I care about the loss of almost 4,000 brave Americans for what? Oil! Why do you care about a bunch terrorist wannabees?"

Who says that anyone doesn't care about the 3776? But, again, you're quote sniping and missed the entire point.

How 'bout ya' think about the fact that with Saddam, nearly 350,000 people a year died, or disappeared. That number is down, and a lot more people have a chance to live free because of the sacrifice of those 3776.

The few sacrificing so the many can live free.

To look at it any other way is to reduce what our soldiers have given.

Still, you're a pussy.

"The real cause of terroris... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"The real cause of terrorism? How about how the muslims view our greed and love of oil?"

Posted by BarneyG2000

Great idea. Let's stop being the most prosperous nation on earth just to satisfy a few nutcases.

Also, why the hell should I care about what Greenspan thinks about the war? Was he in on the planning? For a guy who was fairly successful, you wouldn't think he would need to seek attention like that.

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

Why don't you go back to the transcripts from the Cheney energy commission and enlighten us with the wisdom of alternative energy solutions as proposed by Cheney's commission?

And this has to do with your plainly stated position that we have been in Iraq for 7 years? How so?

Even in your diminished state of logic I don't believe you believe it. It's just another of your patented ploys to post a "shiny object" hoping to find someone as stupid as you to be diverted from your lunacy.

I'm sure that you are proud to using mentally challenged persons as your choice of insult.

When the shoe fits ware it. And it fits you perfectly.

BTW I implied your were mentally retarded and no one else so the above statement appears to be an admission of guilt.

"yo, was that our goal to k... (Below threshold)
yo:

"yo, was that our goal to keep the number of murders "DOWN"?"

Is the point of your existence to generate the most inane and worthless responses?

Would you rather that number be UP?

Or is it just cool in your world to ignore the abject accomplishments of the troops you keep telling us that you support?

I just figured it out, you hate Iraqis. You don't care how many of them die. You're only concerned with the number of American troops (and, from what I gather, the number is too low for you).

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

marc, it is sad to see that you can't even apologize to the "retard" your slurred! You are a shallow man indeed.

And it's sad that you would slur Patreaus by virtue of your support of the MorOn.org ad.

When will you apologize for questioning is integrity, a Bronze Star winner?

Maybe I have you wrong, you demeaned me for questioning Kerry's honor by claiming he was a Bronze Star winner yet you do the same.

Here, I'll go first, sorry.

Now your turn.

And BTW Kerry is still a reluctant war hero who bugged out on his shipmates. Wanna debate that again?

Danger, Danger!War... (Below threshold)
epador:

Danger, Danger!

Warning Will Robinson!

Thread hijack in progress!

Now we really are getting lost in specious argument

epador:Thread ... (Below threshold)
marc:

epador:

Thread hijack in progress!

Well in a way your right. But you have to admit the topic is terrorism and Baghdad barney is a "Comment Thread Terrorist."

Not to mention a "Shiny Object" collector. A collection to be used when he gets totally hammered in a thread.

Ha! You piss on me, that's... (Below threshold)
yo:

Ha! You piss on me, that's a new one.

Let's put it this way: I served - what have you done?

ever.

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

Yo, you got me pegged. YES, I do care. That is why I piss-on ants like you. It is because of you 30 percenters that almost 4,000 American's have died for (in the words of Republican GOD Alan Greenspan) oil.

Well now, considering Greenspan was first appointed Fed chairman by President Ronald Reagan in August 1987, and was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until retiring after on January 31, 2006.

Lets be precise Baghdad. He was Clinton's GOD also, otherwise he would have been replaced.

And by Greenspan's own description he seemed to worship clinton. Well, that should be according to the NYT, that's how they are painting the picture of a book that hasn't been released as yet.

Of the presidents he worked with, Mr. Greenspan reserves his highest praise for Bill Clinton, whom he described in his book as a sponge for economic data who maintained "a consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth."
Ah... isn't LOVE grand?!


Ah... Baghdad barney... you... (Below threshold)
marc:

Ah... Baghdad barney... you should update your "30 percenter" talking point. It should now be 49 percenter.

"Do you think the recent increase in U.S. troops has led to major improvements in the situation in Iraq, minor improvements, or has the troop surge not made much of a difference at all?"

Major and minor improvements, 49%.

Not much difference, made things worse and unsure, 51%

With a margin of error of + or - 3.

Reads like a tie ballgame to me.

Your shallowness i... (Below threshold)
Your shallowness is just the latest sign of your right-wing betrayal of the American Way.

Wait, wait, I thought it was only us right-wingnut whackjob morons who attacked other people's patriotism and called them traitors!

Ack, my world view is crumbling!

barney.... OH barney... whe... (Below threshold)
marc:

barney.... OH barney... where fore art thou barney?

Praying at the Alter of media matters, MorOn.org and DKos hoping more talking points fall from the sky?

'Cause you're out. Stumped. Reduced to posting shiny objects.

BarneyG2000,Yeah,t... (Below threshold)
BFF:

BarneyG2000,

Yeah,that Greenspan quote really hurt,you know,cause I voted for him.

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

marc, I never questioned Petraues's honors won on the field of battle. Not like you that relished on pissing on Nam vets (like my dad).

No? Well no, you just whole-heartedly agreed with the MorOn.org ad, same thing asshat.In addition you never once called them out for printing the lie about who and what were counted as deaths by the U.S.

And despite what you WANT to believe, I pissed on a single Nam vet, Kerry, the guy you haven't clue #1 about his history so you make sh*t up.

Game on barney? No... to paraphrase the ever-despicable Reid, "the game is lost."

And you lost it many threads ago.

It surprises me less and le... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

It surprises me less and less that people do not try to understand the enemy. Just kill them. No thought on how to stop the recruitment of more jihadist than there were yesterday. Just kill them. We can keep killing people for the next 50 years but that won't stop them.

I am also not surprised that their tactics are working perfectly. Just like they have done in Iraq. Pit people against each other. Make it so that there is enough internal strife between factions that they will never be able to come together and present a unified front.

There has always been talk that it is not if but when they will strike again inside the United States. And when they do the bickering, left vs. right, will again keep us off balance and weak.

Here is to all you people that can't see your neighbor as your ally.

Killin em ALL is a good way... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Killin em ALL is a good way to stop recruitment. Once you get the liberal pussies out of the way (I prefer pushin em down by their faces) then carryin out my first sentence becomes MUCH easier.

Dear "Crack" [young staff],... (Below threshold)
Pesky academic:

Dear "Crack" [young staff],

Ah youth---you know so much (as I once did).

Why am I not informed by your rant against the "distinguished professor? Do I detect a hint of sarcasm or resentment at someone who has qualified through a long and arduous training process and experience (he is emeritus, after all) as a brain. Well, FYI, a just distribution of resources is not "communism." It has been proposed throughout history by some of our major thinkers, even capitalists. Imagine that!

Resentment of have nots against haves is human nature and will always be present. That said, I do agree--as does all the research I have done--that the issue is a rogue religion called jihadism by us and several other nasty names by other Muslims. We are caught up in a religious conflict we simply do not understand. I have spent six years parsing it and my forecasts about its behavior have been accurate.

However, as you age, you may find yourselves seeking the famed "middle way" between reflex polarities(common to young staffs) and the polythemic ruminations of an elderly sage.

One suggestion: try to get out and actually live among the people you "know" so well. Take some time in a country where distribution of resources is in the toilet. And for god's sake, read something besides Ayn Rand. Might start with Mark Twain, who actually observed and wrote some really neat stuff about human nature.
Best wishes on your cognitive and emotional maturation,
Pesky Academic

Ehh, what?!... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Ehh, what?!

Well... the "Pesky" is righ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Well... the "Pesky" is right.

Or is it misspelled? Should it read "Pesty?"




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