Poverty Does NOT Breed Terrorism - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-08-2004, 05:49 PM   #1
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Poverty Does NOT Breed Terrorism

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Freedom squelches terrorist violence
KSG associate professor researches freedom-terrorism link
By Alvin Powell
Harvard News Office

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.
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Alberto Abadie: 'In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but ... when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism ... but ... also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin.'
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...05-terror.html

hopefully that can help destroy this meme about terrorism being the wests fault because of the inequality in the world. I am not saying that the west is not responsible for inequality but I am saying that attempting to lump terrorism with that problem is dishonest. An interesting conclusion of Abadie’s study is that terrorism reaches its highest levels in states that are making the transition to democratic governments.
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: Poverty Does NOT Breed Terrorism

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Originally posted by A_Wanderer

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...05-terror.html

hopefully that can help destroy this meme about terrorism being the wests fault because of the inequality in the world. I am not saying that the west is not responsible for inequality but I am saying that attempting to lump terrorism with that problem is dishonest. An interesting conclusion of Abadie’s study is that terrorism reaches its highest levels in states that are making the transition to democratic governments.
*gasp* are you saying that Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists?? I never would have guessed!

(PS-that sarcasm wasn't meant as a swipe at you, A_Wanderer)
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:02 PM   #3
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None taken, if Saddam was in power there would be fewer terrorists in Iraq - so if one were to take the paleocon realist position then we should just screw everybody else and put more bloodthirsty dictators in power. The other school of thought could be that increasing the levels of political freedom reduces terrorism but during the transition there will be an increase in terrorism. Or we could attempt to use economic measures to open up societies, we could have rewarded Saddam Hussein to liberalise in exchange for lifting sanctions and within the framework of the multilateral UN an Iraq with a benign dictator could exist and less people would die and everything would be great.I disagree strongly with option III, there is no way that Saddam would be willing to surrender power willingly, assassination would have been a good option though.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:06 PM   #4
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Damn this world is difficult. I hate to see my niece being born in a time like this. I can only hope things will get better, and I'll do anything in my power to make things better.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:06 PM   #5
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If poverty bred terrorists, everyone in my neighborhood would be wearing suicide belts. I don't see any.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:13 PM   #6
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
If poverty bred terrorists, everyone in my neighborhood would be wearing suicide belts. I don't see any.
Well that's good...sort of....

However you don't normally see well-off people blowing themselves to bits.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:14 PM   #7
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Poverty doesn't breed terrorism, it breeds despair.

The first world has a whole lot to answer for, IMO, because it is collectively responsible for sowing the seeds of poverty throughout the world. I don't believe that Communism was the greatest evil that killed the most people, I believe it is clear that Colonialism did that, and that the effects of colonialism throughout the second and third world are debilitating to this day, with people languishing and do we give enough of a damn?
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:16 PM   #8
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The notion that dictatorship causes terrorism does make sense. You're squelching peaceful political expression, a right we in the U.S. and other democracies take for granted. I might not like the government, but guess what? I don't *have* to. In a free society you're under no obligation to *like* the government. Of course you have to obey certain laws, but opposition political parties and such are not illegal. I'm allowed to talk about the government without having to worry about getting busted for illegal political activities. In a political environment where you get killed or imprisoned based on your opposition to the government, you get extremism and terrorism. I would argue that poverty *can* create terrorism in that some guy with money, like bin Laden, can wave paychecks in their faces if they come along for the ride. But if you have hope and can work to make your life better, you're not likely to join the local terror squad out of sheer desperation. But that's not the only scenario. If you have hope you have a light at the end of the tunnel. When you give up hope, that's when you're going to think about becoming a terrorist.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:18 PM   #9
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We don't; but Israeli's do - suicide bombers have higher than average family incomes for Palestinians, the 9/11 hijackers were all well off individuals who had the money to spend time in the west and recieve education, Khalid Sheik Mohammed lived a lavish lifestyle all over the Asia in the 1990's. Being an international terrorist costs money, those that can afford to travel to Afghanistan or Iraq for training and run operations are neither poor nor ignorant.
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat



However you don't normally see well-off people blowing themselves to bits.
Muhammad Atta who flew a plane into the WTC was the son a very wealthy doctor. Also Osama himself is a billionaire, but he's not blowing himself up, he gets others to do that for him. Maybe one day they'll catch on and tell him to practice what he preaches!
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:01 PM   #11
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you're right, it's not poverty, but it is another single word: humiliation.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:39 PM   #12
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Why does it always have to be one way ir the other?

There are MANY reasons for terrorism and many different breeding grounds for it.

In some parts of the world it may be dictatorial regimes, in others the despair and anger that comes from extreme poverty.

Why do we always have to be so narrow-minded in looking at the complex issues in our world?

I think it would do us well to look at a wide variety of options since human nature is complex.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:35 AM   #13
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I would say that there are some psychological pre-dispositions for becoming a terrorist. The person can indeed come from a wealthy family and have all sorts of privileges. In some cases, unfortunately, it's the Wahhabist brand of Islam that is taught in too many schools across the Middle East and around the world, with its emphasis on jihad as holy war. In some cases it is a case of being poor *and* having a certain mindset about poverty and its causes, and being willing to accept paychecks from people like bin Laden. There's nothing simple about the reasons why people become terrorists. There's no one reason why this happens. It's complex.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
Why does it always have to be one way ir the other?

There are MANY reasons for terrorism and many different breeding grounds for it.

In some parts of the world it may be dictatorial regimes, in others the despair and anger that comes from extreme poverty.

Why do we always have to be so narrow-minded in looking at the complex issues in our world?

I think it would do us well to look at a wide variety of options since human nature is complex.
This isn't a matter of being narrow-minded. Study was done to look at the contributing factors to terrorism. This is specifically the result of looking at a wide variety of options.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:55 AM   #15
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If it were poverty, why are all those poor sick starving Africans Bono helps not terrorists? If it's only caused by hatred for the rich, why are the terrorists not targeting the royal family of Saudi Arabia? It's not money, it's cultural and religious reasons.
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