Terrorism - Fueled by Poverty ? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-26-2005, 07:31 AM   #1
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Terrorism - Fueled by Poverty ?

Not according to this guy, interesting article though.

http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD85305

"These people who hold sway over the minds of the youth have deceived them into thinking that what they are doing is an act of Jihad that will bring them to paradise. These youth should ask themselves why it is that these people prefer them [i.e., the youth] to themselves, and give up for their sake [the merit of carrying out] the 'honorable' deed that would bring them to paradise.
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:34 AM   #2
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I think poverty is part of the issue -- paying a family with a "martyr" -- but this is a valid point. Does bin Laden think he is so great that he can't die or his cause will die? and what does that say about the true point of his cause? Same with Arafat -- in the end, he never tried to stop the suicide bombers in Israel and yet died in a hospital in Paris for some undisclosed thing.
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:38 AM   #3
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it's all about humiliation.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:34 AM   #4
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Could it be spiritual poverty? The risk/reward picture painted by some of the extremists make life after death pretty damn appealing by worldly standards.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
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Well, the biggest problem is that "poverty," in general, is highly politicized. Talk to groups that really support supply-side economics. They'll blame all the world's ills on everything *except* poverty.

However, it cannot be ignored. I think it is a part of the equation. People want one thing, really, and that's dignity. Most of these Arab governments, though, are barely functional. If the government cannot provide basic needs, such as education and employment, religion (and, by extension, terrorist groups that use religion) will take their place. Has anyone ever bothered to ask why Hamas is so powerful? It may be designated as a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States, but in the Arab world, it is highly respected even by the Palestinian Authority, because it, for years, has provided an infrastructure where government has failed. Of course, this is why Hamas is successful as a terrorist organization, and until the Palestinian Authority can provide stability, education, and jobs (for reference, something like 70% of Gaza/West Bank is unemployed), Hamas will remain respected. And I hate to say it, but the Bush Doctrine will do little to stop extremism in the long run. Iraq has devolved into extremism, because its infrastructure is demolished.

On the flip side, Iran, for all the bad press, is a relatively stable nation that happens to have horrid clerics running the show. For comparison, though, 70% of Iranians polled have a favorable view of Americans. I would strongly suggest that Bush not provoke a war with Iran lightly, because destroying their infrastructure to topple their government will breed extremism, and I tend to think that that 70% approval rating will drop immensely.

But, really, if the people of the Arab world have a reason to be alive, they will be less focused on the afterlife. As it stands, rampant unemployment and weak, corrupt governments do not make "being alive" seem that appealing.

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Old 01-26-2005, 08:50 AM   #6
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He raises some really good points. Why do these kids from affluent families go off and become terrorists? It's obviously not a matter of poverty in this case. It's brainwashing with an extreme interpretation of Islam, as some big shots, like the guy who's in charge of the mosque in Mecca have pointed out.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:55 AM   #7
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Great post melon. 70% unemployment is not something anyone looks forward to. It's true, these leaders haven't really delivered for their people. This is so confusing and complex. There aren't any simple answers.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:02 AM   #8
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People resort to extremism when they have grievances that go unaddressed. It can be poverty, or it might be something else.

The thing is, extremists are typically pretty straightforward about their goals and their motivations. I've been a bit puzzled for some time as to all the head-scratching, by those throughout the political spectrum.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:23 AM   #9
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This was a great thread on the same issue. My thoughts are there, no need to bore folks by repeating myself.


http://forum.interference.com/showth...hreadid=101827


Melon, good to see you back 'round these parts.

Irvine, you'd enjoy a book called Violence by James Giligan--it contains quite a bit of proof that, indeed, shame is the trigger for violent acts. Right on.

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Old 01-26-2005, 09:35 AM   #10
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No, I think it's caused by religious and cultural factors. Muhammad Atta was the son of a wealthy doctor. Osama Bin Laden's family are billionaires.

On the other side of the coin, how many terrorists do you see coming from subsaharan Africa, or the hillside slums of Mexico City, or the coal fields of Appalachia where poverty is very high? NONE! Why? Because they do not have that mentality in their culture and mindset. It's not the poverty, it's religion and culture.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:37 AM   #11
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sense of humiliation. sense of humiliation. senese of humiliation.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:42 AM   #12
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If it were all about humiliation, everyone in my neighborhood would be suicide bombers.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
No, I think it's caused by religious and cultural factors. Muhammad Atta was the son of a wealthy doctor. Osama Bin Laden's family are billionaires.
But all leaders need followers; otherwise, there is no terrorist organization. Likewise, Bush is president, because we, as "followers," give him the authority. If we ignored him, he'd be nothing. In what I said, I was mostly focusing on the followers.

The leadership does tend to be the most ideologically driven, but they recruit followers by providing infrastructure and stability that their governments cannot provide. The principle is that "you don't bite the hand that feeds you."

Quote:
On the other side of the coin, how many terrorists do you see coming from subsaharan Africa, or the hillside slums of Mexico City, or the coal fields of Appalachia where poverty is very high? NONE! Why? Because they do not have that mentality in their culture and mindset. It's not the poverty, it's religion and culture.
I think it's a logical stretch. There are terrorists in subsaharan Africa, actually. The illicit diamond trade is said to partly fund Al Qaeda. There have also been bombings on embassies in Africa, and Sudan was the target of a precision strike against terrorists during the Clinton Administration. So, yes, there are terrorism concerns in subsaharan Africa.

Using Mexico City and Appalachia as examples operates under the assumption that "poverty=crime." No, not all poor people are criminals, and we see that every day. But, conversely, a lot of criminals suffer from poverty; not all poor people are criminals, but a lot of criminals are poor and desperate. It is on such poverty and desperation that Al Qaeda feeds on. If we ignore this, then I believe we will miss a key tool in truly preventing terrorism.

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Old 01-26-2005, 09:44 AM   #14
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but they live in the most optimistic society on earth.

i agree with you -- it's not about poverty, and religious/cultural factors play a large role.

but the most important factor is humiliation.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:49 AM   #15
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World War II was said to come from the widespread humiliation thrust upon Germany after World War I. Hitler's rise to power was mainly based on him giving Germans pride and confidence.

At least following World War II, we learned our lesson. Rather than severely punishing Germany, Italy, and Japan, we rebuilt them. All three are stable now. Of course, I know this is why Bush is trying to rebuild Iraq, but he failed on one key point: he brought in all the American multinational corporations to rebuild Iraq, fuelling the perception that we invaded Iraq not to "liberate," but to make money off of Iraq. We should have tried to give Iraqis the tools to rebuild their nation themselves. Of course, I'm going to admit that Iraq is more complicated than that.

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