Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life. Neither is it our religion, or our wealth. Rather, it is primarily occupation. If you were to imagine for a moment how you would feel if another country forcibly occupied the United States, had military bases and armed soldiers present in our hometowns, you might begin to understand why foreign occupation upsets people so much. Robert Pape has extensively researched this issue and goes in depth in his book “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It”. In fact, of 2,200 incidents of suicide attacks he has studied worldwide since 1980, 95% were in response to foreign occupation.
Pape notes that before our invasion of Iraq, only about 10% of suicide terrorism was aimed at Americans or American interests. Since, then however, not only is suicide terrorism greatly on the rise, but 91% of it is now directed at us.
Why is Ron Paul the only candidate running for President that understands this problem and openly speaks about it? Most terrorist acts (95%) relate to hawkish foreign policy causing the overall percentage of terrorist attacks on Americans to increase from 10% to 91%. Will Americans realize that our foreign policy causes blowback, making us less safe, not more? Americans need to ask what motivates these people to attack. Don’t fall into the intellectual slothfulness of blaming Islam or saying that Muslims hate freedom. It is true that a small percentage of attacks are motivated by interpretation of religious doctrine (around 5%), and we should not tolerate such violence, but the vast majority (95%) of terrorist attacks are not. That necessitates that we look within and examine our foreign policy. Diplomacy clearly has it’s place.
Here are some important questions we need to be asking about our foreign policy.