Dying to Win : The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape
What if the whole concept of Bush's "Crusade" against Islamic fundamentalists is flawed? What if the motivation of terrorists, particularly suicide bombers, is political and not religious in terms of goals?
Well, then, Lucy, "We've got a problem here!"
This book is based on a thorough study of suicide bombings and reveals that the Bush "war on terrorism" is fundamentally flawed because it does not deal with the political strategic goals of the terrorists. Among the books findings is that "Every suicide terrorist campaign has had a clear goal that is secular and political: to compel a modern democracy to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland."
Among the other interesting findings of note is this fact: "With data from more than 460 such attackers -- including the names of 333 -- we know that these individuals are not mainly poor, desperate criminals or uneducated religious fanatics, but are often well-educated, middle-class political activists."
Although we don't agree with all of the conclusions by the author, Robert Pape, an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago, we agree with most of them, and highly value this book because its conclusions are based on research and science, not the radical ideological beliefs of the Busheviks.
Pape concludes that "the idea that all Muslims around the world are quietly anti-American because Islam encourages hatred for American values for democracy and free markets does not square with the facts. Indeed, robust evidence shows that American military policies, not revulsion against Western political and economic values, are driving anti-Americanism among Muslims."
Ah, there's the Bushevik rub. The more we try to conquer Islamic countries militarily, the more we increase terrorist attacks.
That's quite a pickle the Busheviks have got us into.
Of course, a permanent war that results in more terrorism means more attacks for Americans to fear, which means that the Republicans say the GOP is stronger in fighting terrorism, when their tactics only increase it. (This is BuzzFlash speaking, not Pape.)
"Dying to Win" is a vital book because it factually lays out the case that we are adopting the essentially wrong strategy in preventing future terrorism.
It's the work of a scholar, so it doesn't engage in a partisan debate; it just lays out the evidence and draws the logical conclusions.
But, we can say this. Although many wishy-washy D.C. Democratic leaders keep saying that Bush is strong on national security, this book undercuts that entire premise. In fact, he is leading us into a terrorist cul-de-sac.
The DNC followers should stop worrying about the perceptions that some Americans have of Bush as strong on national security. Instead, they should be working to change that perception into how weak and misguided Bush is in protecting us.
This is not just a partisan debate. All our lives are at stake.