[Vision2020] What Suicide Bombers Really Want

nickgier at adelphia.net nickgier at adelphia.net
Thu Sep 28 15:49:44 PDT 2006

Hail to the Vision:

Today NPR proved once again that it is best source for high quality news. I just heard an interview with Prof. Robert Pape of the University of Chicago, who has studied 462 suicide bombings world-wide.  You can tune in at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6161034

He offered expert testimony to the intell agencies that put together the recent leaked report.  He says that he spends up to three hours at a time with these people, carefully going over the data and conclusions of his research.  He said he likes these sessions because they are totally non-partisan. After the interview he was on his way to talk to Special Forces at Fort Brag.

The results of his research are stunning.  First, over half the suicide bombers are Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka.  These are Hindus and Christians who want more autonomy in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country.  Their motivations are socio-economic not religious.  You can read my own assessment of this crisis at www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/slrv.htm.  The Tamil Tigers have been vicious, but militant Buddhists are just as bad.

Second, 95 percent of the bombers have the political goal of removing an occupying army.  This is the case in Lebanon, Chechnya, Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and US-occupied Iraq.  In 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombers rammed a Marine barracks in Beruit, killing 283 soldiers.  That really tough US president, I think it was Ronald Reagan, immediately pulled our troops out.  Prof. Pape claims that this victory proved to Hezbollah that this tactic could work against an occupying power, even the most powerful in the world.

Third, anti-American suicide attacks are "off the chart" because of our invasion of Iraq.  Pape warned the Bush administration that they were wrong in assuming that since Iraq was a secular state there would be no motivations for insurgents.  Bush and his neocons were wrong.  

What the Sunnis and Shias are fighting for is control of their country.  Since American troops are so well protected, the insurgents attack police stations and army recruiting and training sites.  I've always thought that if an alien force took over the US, it would be only a matter of time before our own suicide bombers would start their attacks.

Nick Gier, Supporting the Troops but Rejecting the Phony War on Terror

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