Tag Archive | Robert Pape

Understanding the Root Cause of Suicide Terrorism

Professor Robert Pape has thoroughly researched suicide terrorism and summarizes his research in the videos below, in a lecture called Dying to Win.  We are involved in at least 3 very expensive wars; therefore, it’s imperative that we understand the root cause of suicide terrorism.  All Americans should watch these 4 videos to gain knowledge about the problem and hopefully develop the wisdom to stop suicide terrorism and end these wars.

Why does Professor Pape focus on suicide terrorism?  He states that suicide terrorism kills an average of 12 times more people than terrorism where the terrorist is not committing suicide. 

Suicide terrorism began in the early 1980′s.  According to Pape, suicide terrorism is a recent phenomenon that didn’t exist prior to 1980.  Interestingly and importantly, no Hezbollah suicide attacks have occurred since May 2000, when the Israeli army left southern Lebanon.

The majority of terrorism is not religiously motivated.  Professor Pape’s research shows that the world leader of suicide terrorism is the Tamils in Sri Lanka, not a Muslim group.  The Tamils are a Marxist secular group, of which some are Hindu.  Furthermore, he states that 1/3 of terrorist attacks by Muslims are done through secular groups.  Over 50% are not associated with Islamic fundamentalism. 

How do suicide terrorist attacks prior to 2003 compare to attacks after the Iraqi war?  From 1980 to 2003, there were 343 completed suicide terrorist attacks.  During this time the Tamil’s committed the most suicide attacks.  About 10% of suicide terrorist attacks prior to the American invasion of Iraq were against Americans or American interest.  After the 2003 invasion, 91% are aimed at us.  Some of this increase is due to decreases elsewhere, but not all.

What is driving suicide attacks?  Pape says that what over 95% of all suicide terrorist have in common is that they are trying to compel a democratic state to withdraw their occupation or control of territory that terrorists consider to be there homeland or land they prize greatly.  In other words, most terrorist feel they have been invaded by another nation and hope that the violent acts will get the occupiers to leave.

Conclusion: While religion may be mixed in, the primary cause/motivation of over 95% of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation, not religion.  Mosques provide a network for demagoguery, but the religion is not the origin of motivation.  Muslims do not hate us because we’re free, but because we occupy their land, just as other terrorist groups are attacking those that occupy their land.  This coincides with the extensive research done by Gallup.  Michael Scheuer, CIA Analyst for the Bin Laden Unit, agrees that foreign occupation is causing the attacks to increase.  Invasion and occupation are not without consequences.  Blowback is a serious problem.   Presidential candidate Ron Paul is right when he tries to explain why we’re being attacked by suicide terrorists.  He is not blaming you and me but our foreign policy, which research shows is creating more terrorists, not less, and needs to be critically evaluated if we are serious about stopping terrorism and respecting our troops by bringing them home.  Our military people know these wars need to end, which is why Dr. Ron Paul receives more active duty military donations than any other Presidential candidate.  Ron Paul was right and is still right.

Coming soon:  A Suggested Reading List on the Subject.