Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What Do The Terrorists Want?

This essay was printed in the Times-News Monday, October 9 2006

In this War on Terror it is interesting to note the demands made by the other side. We know what terrorist want because they have consistently stated their demands and grievances in videos, audio tapes, letters, declarations, and websites.

A consistent theme is their demand that the US stop “meddling” in the Middle East, and to end our support for Israel. The United States' consistent support of a free society in Israel and efforts to give liberty to Iraqis, after decades of brutal dictatorship, stands in the way of the terrorist agenda. Liberty and freedom are the enemies of terrorists.

If we were to end our support of these free nations, as the radicals demand, terrorists will use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments.

This terrorist victory, and the control of a nation, will, the radicals believe, enable them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region.

The former terrorist leader in Iraq, Al Zarqawi, vowed, “we will either achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life.” Fortunately for Iraq, the Middle East, and the world, he achieved only one of his goals.


Charles D said...

The US support for Israel, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, has nothing whatever to do with freedom, liberty or democracy.

US support for Israel exists because we see Israel as a valuable partner in order effort to keep the Middle East unstable. Israel is "free" for it's chosen population, but it has occupied Palestinian lands for 40 years and denied that population the same freedoms and liberty the US claims to support. When the Palestinians held a free election and exercised their liberty to democratically elect leaders, the US and Israel promptly declared them anathema and Israel has been busy arresting and murdering them. Of course, the Palestinian people were silly enough to think that they could freely and democratically elect Hamas instead of some group acceptable to their occupiers.

As for Iraq, it is quite clear that the US has never had any interest in creating democracy, freedom or liberty in that beleagured nation. If that had been our goal, our troops would have been ordered home immediately after the "Mission Accomplished" speech and the UN, which has a history of restoring democracy in conquered nations, could have overseen a return to freedom and liberty. Instead, the US rewrote the Iraqi Constitution to favor American corporate interests, depleted the Iraqi treasury into the pockets of US multinationals, failed to rebuild the infrastructure they had destroyed, and in the process caused a violent resistance movement that has devolved into civil war.

You need to look beyond the mythology of America and the propaganda of the Republican Party and listen to the people of the world. While there are crazy people everywhere, ordinary human beings do not fly planes into buildings or strap bombs to themselves because they hate freedom and liberty. They resort to these extremes because they feel there is no other way for their grievances to be taken seriously.

The United States has no business "meddling" in the Middle East and gains nothing by doing so. Instead of manufacturing a myth about our love of freedom, why not listen to the voices of the people who live there?

Cameron said...

why not listen to the voices of the people who live there?

Here's a "voice" for you:

“we will either achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life.”

None said...

Quoting Zarqawi are we? Thats it? Thats the comeback?

Charles D said...

Good quote. Al Zarqawi is hardly representative of the people who live in the Middle East.

The Al Zarqawi's of the world exist and flourish because a significant portion of the population is sympathetic to the cause of eliminating US domination of their nations. They are able to operate because the man on the street sees them as striking out against Israeli expansionism, US domination of Mideast resources, US support for oppressive Arab regimes, and US interference in the affairs of Arab nations. Those grievances of the ordinary Arab are real, not imagined.

To use those grievances to engage in terrorism is never warranted or excusable, but the rage people feel is legitimate. If we want to decrease terrorism, why not address those grievances? That would diminish if not eliminate popular support for the terrorists and make their apprehension and conviction possible.

What is the average American gaining from US support for the Saudi royal family, or US collusion with Pakistani intelligence, or US support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine? Is it worth the lives of our young men and women? How many young Americans should have to die or be maimed in order to support US foreign policy in the Middle East?

Cameron said...

Parklife- Welcome!

None said...

Gracias me amigo!

I've got a quote for you:

The first thing is that we pull back out of Baghdad, and we position along the Syrian, Jordan and Iranian borders...

Cameron said...


Osama bin Laden apparently shares your view of the situation.

Cameron said...

From Iran:

AHMADINEJAD: "And you, for your part, if you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, recognize the Iranian nation's right. Recognize the Iranian nation's greatness. And bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don't accept [to do this], the Iranian nation will later force you to surrender and bow down."

From Hezbollah:

NASRALLAH: "Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan is absolute. … I conclude my speech with the slogan that will continue to reverberate on all occasions so that nobody will think that we have weakened. Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, Death to America will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America."

From al Zawahiri:

ZAWAHIRI: "So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate – over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq … The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity."

Charles D said...

Gee, you have quoted several people that are telling you the answer to the question you asked in the beginning - "What Do The Terrorists Want?". So let's see....

Iran was us to recognize them as a great nation and respect their rights as a nation as equal to our own. Nasrallah recognizes that he cannot fight for the rights of his people, the Palestinians, without fighting the nation whose support is enabling Israel's occupation and repression of them. Al Zawahiri realizes that getting the US out of Iraq is Job 1, and he wants to establish Islamic states throughout the Middle East - a bit megalomanic, but predictable.

Again, I ask the question: Why is the continued Israeli occupation of Palestine worth a single American life? Why is US hegemony in the Middle East worth a single American life? Why should our sons and daughters be asked to sacrifice life and limb to support this foreign policy? Can you answer that question?

None said...

Close.. but no cigar...

"The first thing is that we pull back out of Baghdad, and we position along the Syrian, Jordan and Iranian borders..."

was said by non other than Rush Limbaugh.. Peace out Hombre

Cameron said...


You listen to Rush?! I never would have guessed it...

Cameron said...


You forgot the whole, "bow down and surrender or we'll make you surrender" part from Mr. Iran.

Cameron said...

We know what the terrorists want because they have told us. They want to destroy Israel, the US, and the West. They want a world where Islamic Justice rules. They are resorting to terrorism to see that it happens.

This much, it seems, is not under debate

Charles D said...

They want to destroy Israel, that much is true. They hate the US because the US supports Israel and meddles so much in Mideast affairs.

I don't suggest giving the terrorists what they want, but I do question why we don't undercut the terrorist's support by getting out of Iraq, calling for Israel to return to its original borders and for a UN peacemaking force in the region, and bringing our troops back to America where they can do their real job of defending us instead of meddling in other people's affairs.

If the terrorists had no support for their anti-US, anti-Israel rhetoric where they live, they would then be merely a gang of thugs trying to overthrow local governments and replace them with Islamic regimes. I doubt that would gain much support once they can no longer blame their problems on "the great Satan".

Cameron said...

Is destroying Israel really all that they want?

Cameron said...

"I don't suggest giving the terrorists what they want"

But your solution to the problem is giving the terrorists what they want.

They want us to stop supporting Israel- so do you.

They want us to leave Iraq- so do you.

They want us to stop "meddling" in the Middle East- so do you.

None said...

"You listen to Rush?!"

I know. Shocking. I'm in the car a bit to much. Besides, he's like Jerry Springer (sp?). Just a freak show.

"They want us to.."
I think your generalizations are off the point. US policy in the past had been for peace in the middle east. Now, it seems war is the answer.

Why are we even in that part of the world? If we really want to help people... there are millions of people dying each year in Africa. Dollar for dollar, saving a life there would be much cheaper (really, how much does a moquito net cost?).

Focusing attention to alternative fuels and actually helping the most number of people as possible would do wonders for this country. Aside from nuclear proliferation, I'm not sure what the Republicans have acomplished in the past 6 years.

Cameron said...

It's not a generalization if it's taken word for word from the terrorist demands.

Democracy Lover doesn't like our past policies in the Middle East, peaceful or not. The terrorist haven't appreciated our policies in the past either.

Terrorism isn't a new thing over there. President Clinton spent enormous amounts of energy trying to broker peace, and was responded to with terrorist attacks throughout the 90's. In fact, the terrorists cite our avoidance of conflict in the 90's as proof of our weakness. They even bring up Beirut from 1983.

The region has been embroiled in terrorism for decades, surviving numerous administrations here and in Israel. The West has bent over backwards trying to bring peace to the Middle East.

I don't think doing what the terrorists demand is going to fix anything.

Charles D said...


Listen to yourself. The "West has bent over backwards trying to bring peace to the Middle East." By the West, you basically mean the United States, which has always supported the Israeli government vis-a-vis the Palestinian people. Even the ballyhooed Clinton peace plan was tilted toward Israel and the corrupt Arafat knew he would be destroyed politically if he agreed to it. (I know you will have to read outside the US right-wing media to find out why.)

The US under Bush has given up any pretense of trying to broker peace and just gone whole hog for the most extreme factions in the Israeli government. No one in the Arab world believes for one moment that the US has been, is or ever will be an honest broker of Middle East peace.

Anonymous said...

What would Jesus have us do? :o)

None said...

"What would Jesus have us do?"

I would guess he would have us drop bombs all over the mid-east and kill as many people as possible. Then take any rights away from those captured in the conflict and do unspeakable things to them... But, thats just a guess.