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The Roots of Terrorism and US Foreign Policy

  1. Sep 27, 2005 #1


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    In seeing various related topics in PF regarding the reasons for terrorism, solutions for terrorism, the effects of the Bush administration on our country and the world, and more recently nuclear proliferation via the Bush Doctrine, I thought I’d start this new thread, which also may provide more thoughts about our invasion of Iraq and future foreign policy.
    The Bush Administration Explanations of Terrorism

    President George W. Bush - White House News Release, September 20, 2001:

    At an October 11, 2001, press conference, President Bush was so intent on addressing the issue of why there is so much hate for America that he posed the question aloud himself: "How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic countries there is vitriolic hatred for America?" [He used the word vitriolic? Maybe he was just repeating back a question.]

    He then answered, "I'll tell you how I respond: I'm amazed. I'm amazed that there's such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am -- like most Americans, I just can't believe it because I know how good we are."
    Guardian/UK, September 12, 2001

    From Bill Maher -
    "They hate us because we don't know why they hate us."

    The Real Reasons for Terrorism

    Report by the Christian Science Monitor - September 27, 2001:
    · Most Arabs and Muslims knew the answer, even before they considered who was responsible.
    · And voices across the Muslim world are warning that if America doesn't wage its war on terrorism in a way that the Muslim world considers just, America risks creating even greater animosity.
    · Arabs do not share Mr. Bush's view that the perpetrators did what they did because "they hate our freedoms." Rather, they say, a mood of resentment toward America and its behavior around the world has become so commonplace in their countries that it was bound to breed hostility, and even hatred. And the buttons that Mr. bin Laden pushes in his statements and interviews win a good deal of popular sympathy. :
    o the injustice done to the Palestinians,
    o the cruelty of continued sanctions against Iraq,
    o the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia,
    o the repressive and corrupt nature of US-backed Gulf governments.


    80 Reasons, and More - Adam Young
    · The U.S. sends billions in financial and military aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan each year to prop up these regimes against "fundamentalist" popular Islamic movements (which are the only way dissent can be expressed in these regimes, since Islam is the only thing these rulers can't outlaw). The U.S. also gives political support to corrupt and oppressive dictatorships, such as exist in Algeria and Tunisia. Everywhere, the U.S. favors and aids the status quo of political repression and dictatorship. This hypocrisy is what fuels Arab and Muslim anger. (http://www.mises.org/fullarticle.asp?control=818)
    · "Before we celebrate the bombings of Afghanistan with hope of their expansion to other countries, let's pause and take a look back on the past fifty years of U.S. folly in the Middle East." November 9, 2001 (http://www.mises.org/fullarticle.asp?control=818).

    The article on "Why do they hate us?" provides a catalog of answers to that question, and links to articles of analysis.

    Harry Browne states the issue most succinctly:

    As Charley Reese has put it:

    Inescapable Perpetual Global War -
    George Bush, believes, and would have you believe, that there is absolutely no option to endless infinite warfare. On March 19, 2004, he proclaimed and declared that "The war on terror is not a figure of speech. It is an inescapable calling of our generation." http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040319-3.html This is only a fact if you/we make it into a fact, which he insists upon doing through provocation. http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0406-14.htm

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2005
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  3. Sep 27, 2005 #2
    "The greatest rule of safety is justice, and stopping injustice and aggression. ... What happened on 11 September and 11 March [the Madrid train bombings] is your commodity that was returned to you. ... we would like to inform you that labelling us and our acts as terrorism is also a description of you and of your acts. ... Our acts are reaction to your own acts, which are represented by the destruction and killing of our kinfolk in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. ... Which religion considers your killed ones innocent and our killed ones worthless? And which principle considers your blood real blood and our blood water? Reciprocal treatment is fair and the one who starts injustice bears greater blame. ... The killing of the Russians was after their invasion of Afghanistan and Chechnya; the killing of Europeans was after their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan; and the killing of Americans on the day of New York was after their support of the Jews in Palestine and their invasion of the Arabian Peninsula." -- OBL, BBC 2004
  4. Sep 28, 2005 #3
    "We sent Marines into Lebanon and you only have to go to Lebanon, to Syria or to Jordan to witness first-hand the intense hatred among many people for the United States because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent villagers -- women and children and farmers and housewives -- in those villages around Beirut. ... As a result of that ... we became kind of a Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful. That is what precipitated the taking of our hostages and that is what has precipitated some of the terrorist attacks." -- Jimmy Carter, NYT 1989
  5. Sep 28, 2005 #4


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    A good reminder that it began with the hostage crisis. The fourth reason for terrorism as stated by bin Laden is the repressive and corrupt nature of US-backed Gulf governments -- reiterated by Adam Young that "the U.S. favors and aids the status quo of political repression and dictatorship." Such was the case with the Shah of Iran.
  6. Sep 28, 2005 #5


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    Saudi Women Have Message for U.S. Envoy

    I heard the other day that Mr. Bush has two problems - perception and reality. :rolleyes: :biggrin:
  7. Sep 28, 2005 #6

    The man shaking hands with bush is President Karimov of Uzbekistan

    What do you think will do the 4 sons of Muzafar Avazov? would they hate american freedom? would they hate america way of life??

    War on terrorism is the terrorism
  8. Sep 28, 2005 #7


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    Any person who pursues a political career at the national level should have a good knowledge of the world. I'm sure many senators who do have these qualifications were skeptical about a relationship between Saddam and bin Laden, and though not completely sure about WMD, still questioned it in their minds. (BTW, communications I had on these topics with McCain as my senator were VERY disappointing, especially for someone who is a veteran.)

    That Bush does not like to read, and then makes remarks like "I'm amazed. I'm amazed that there's such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us" is inexcusable for a president. Also many of the things he condemns others for, such as rule of law, or freedom to disagree with each other, are the very things he has undermined in our own country.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  9. Sep 28, 2005 #8


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    With all that we did to undermine the Soviet Union, I'm wondering why the Russians never resorted to terrorism. Or how about South America: Burnsys loves to talk about all the wrongs we comitted against South American countries - why hasn't Argentina resorted to terrorism? Your link to that Harry Brown article, SOS, lists a number of them. Why do some resort to terrorism and some not? What is different about countries who do support terrorism from countries who don't?

    American foreign policy can explain why people hate us, but it cannot explain the response. It cannot explain why some people respond with terrorism and others do not.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  10. Sep 28, 2005 #9
    You're right, the response must be explained by cultural differences. It does not mean, however, that the terrorists "hate freedom."
  11. Sep 28, 2005 #10
    "countries" dont resort to terrorism, unless you classify fighting for your soverty against an occupying force as Terrorism. Thats why countries like USSR didnt resort to "terrorism" anyway why would they need to? They could have nucked every major city, and killed most of your population, just as you could have to them... Its like comparing apple and pears isnt it?
  12. Sep 28, 2005 #11
    I aggree in part, however the IRA were from the same cultured background as we are, and it didnt stop them blowing holes in London for umpteen years. I think it comes down to ecconomics and demographics. To terrorise a goverment, country, whatever costs far far less than a fully fledged war. Thus it is in reach ecconimcally by the people who comitte these acts.
    Also to terrorise a Large quanity of people only takes a small minority, so again it is more aligned with what these people can arrange.
  13. Sep 28, 2005 #12
    Actualy those who where against the Us backed military dictatorship of the 70' in my country where called Terrorists.
  14. Sep 28, 2005 #13
    Why not? It stands to reason that the local reaction fully depends upon the what it's reacting to in the first place. Argentina was never subject to foreign invasion and their government institutions dismantled. Iraq was. The very presence of foreign troops provides a plain target for anyone wishing to strike back. This is clearly the most feasible reason for any difference in tactics. If America had invaded Argentina I would expect an insurgency there as well.
    Utter nonsense. Do not try to shift blame from US actions towards the local culture. I challenge you to defend this statement in any way.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  15. Sep 28, 2005 #14
    Good point Burnsys - It also depends on your definition of terrorism. Government death squads and paramilitary organizations that exist for the purpose of suppressing dissent can also be considered terrorist.

    They come from the same "Culture" as anyone else in the country, the reason for resorting to "terrorism" is purely a matter of situation.
  16. Sep 28, 2005 #15
    Exaclty, may be diferences are like this:

    In argentina The US supported and helped a military dictatorship that killed 30.000, But in irak you suported a dictator (Saddam Housein) that killed like 100.000+ :rolleyes:

    Edit: And maybe now US is creating even more terrorist helping usbek president to boil his own people alive.. (Just to name one example)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  17. Sep 28, 2005 #16
    Well Smurf, he has a point... Someones culture could indeed help give them a nudge in the direction towards 'terrorist' acts be it positive terrorism (freedom fighting) or negative terrorism... A culture that praises warriors, and war, such as Sparta in acient Greece, would if occupied by oppressors resort to "terrorism" of the occupiers/surpressors... On the other hand a culture that praised and nurtured deplomacy and peaceful protest would nudge people to find other means to rise against the occupiers/surpressors.

    Anyway I understand what you are saying, Russ as per usual has posted a very good question, which seems to be more like a smoking mirror to give his party of choice the moral high ground
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2005
  18. Sep 28, 2005 #17


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    I've posted this before:


    Granted this research focuses on suicide terrorism, but this is linked to foreign occupation. Foreign occupation is not the only variable, but it is one of the most important. In the meantime, who is to say that the anger in regions such as South America won't evolve into terrorism in the future? The hostage crisis in Iran happened back around 1979, and we don't seem to learn anything from these things.
  19. Sep 28, 2005 #18
    I doubt it will. South America is finally getting a handle on it's self these days, one would hope that they don't find the need to.
  20. Sep 28, 2005 #19
    Well. you can bet i will be ready when they came for us....
  21. Sep 28, 2005 #20
    There are different variables for different areas of the world. The limited and highly desirable resource of oil, along with the blatant support of Israel no doubt has resulted in more anger in the Middle East than in other regions. There may well be some cultural and religious variables, but it certainly is not hatred of freedom and democracy. If there is any resentment of prosperity it would be when it is gained at their expense. Only Americans could fall for this simplistic projection of "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality on other cultures. That the Bush regime has fed this BS to the American public is a great disservice to all.
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