I’ve written before about my admiration for the writer P. J. O’Rourke. It’s not just that he’s funny. It’s not just that, politically, he’s conservative-libertarian with libertine leanings (I think he was a “South Park Conservative” long before there was a “South Park). It’s not just because he’s a semi-regular on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” And it’s not just that he’s a fellow Cow Hampshirite (although I’m a native and he’s a Patty-come-lately). It’s because the man just NAILS some essential truths, in absolutely amazing fashion.
I just finished his latest book, “Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism,” and it is amazing. P. J. absolutely pounds the case for the war on terror, and captures the sentiments I so often struggle to express.
I’m going to put an excerpt from the first chapter, “Why Americans Hate Foreign Policy” in the extended section. And I defy ANYONE to argue with it.
Americans hate foreign policy. Americans hate foreign policy because Americans hate foreigners. Americans hate foreigners because Americans are foreigners. We all come from foreign parts, even if we came here ten thousand years ago on a land bridge across the Bering Strait. We didn’t want anything to do with those Ice Age Siberians, them with the itchy cave-bear-pelt underwear and mammoth meat on their breath. We were off to the Pacific Northwest — great salmon fishing, blowout potluck dinners, a whole new life.
America is not “globally conscious” or “multicultural.” Americans didn’t come to America to be Limey Poofters, Frog-Eaters, Bucket Heads, Micks, Spicks, SHeenies, or Wogs. If we’d watned foreign entanglements, we would have stayed home. Or — in the case of those of us who were shipped to America against our will, as slaves, exiles, or transported prisoners — we would have gone back. Events in Liberia and the type of American who lives in Paries tell us what to think of that.
Being foreigners ourselves, we Americans know what foreigners are up to with our foreign policy — their venomous convents, lying alliances, greedy agreements, and trick-or-treaties. America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don’t think that way. We don’t think at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you’ve got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags. A fundamental American question is “What’s the big idea?”
Americans would like to ignore foreign policy. Our previous attempts at isolationism were successful. Unfortunately, they were successful for Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan. Evil is an outreach program. A solitary bad person sitting alone, harboring genocidal thoughts, and wishing he ruled the world is not a problem unless he lives next to us in the trailer park. In the big geopolitical trailer park that is the world today, he does.
America has to act. But, when America acts, other nations accuse us of being “hegemonic,” of engaging in “unilateralism, of behaving as if we’re the only nation on earth that counts.
We are. Russia used to be a superpower but resigned “to spend more time with the family.” China is supposed to be mighty, but the Chinese leadership quakes when a couple of hundred Falun Gong members do tai chi for Jesus. The European Union looks impressive on paper, with a greater population and a larger economy than America’s. But the military spending of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy combined does not equal one third of the U.S. defense budget. The United States spends more on defense than the aforementioned countries — plus Russia plus China plus the next six top defense-spending nations. Any multilateral military or diplomatic effort that includes the United States is a crew team with Arnold Schwarzenegger as coxswain and Nadia Comenici on the oars. WHen other countries demand a role in the exercise of global power, America can ask another fundamental American question: “You and what army?”
I agree completely, Jay, great book – as all of his are. I read Peace Kills last year, and rush to get the hardcover of his books as soon as they’re available.
And, best of all, he’s also from New Hampshire.
“America has to act. But, when America acts, other nations accuse us of being “hegemonic,” of engaging in “unilateralism, of behaving as if we’re the only nation on earth that counts.
Frankly, not only is this particular stance sophomoric, it is exactly the stance of the Bush adminstration. There is no evidence at this point in the “war on terror” that it has made us a safer nation and I would argue strongly to the contrary. Try Googling “Iraq has made us less safe” and see how many hits you get. In fact, even pro-war factions have concluded same:
Not to mention the cost in lives and treasure.
The current state of international affairs is simply indefensible.
Just before Sept.11, I was talking to a Canadian friend. I said that the problem with America in the world is that everyone hates us. She laughed. I said, no, I’m serious. Everyone hates us, no matter what we do. If we ignore the Balkans, we’re not “leading” enough. If we talk about the Balkans but do nothing, we’re being undiplomatic and pushy. If we do something militarily, we’re hegemonic bullies. No matter what we do, the international press and vast portions of the international elites will hate us.
Surprisingly enough for a Castro-loving socialist, she agreed.
“Try Googling “Iraq has made us less safe” and see how many hits you get.“
Just because people now realize we are not as safe as we thought we were does not mean we are, in actuality, less safe.
That is like saying if no one had ever done studies showing the frequency of car accidents, and then when someone does do a study showing driving a car is inherently unsafe people begin to shout we are no longer as safe driving as before the study. It was always that dangerous, the difference is now we know it.
“iraq has made us less safe” – 6,300
“alien abduction” – 230,000
[“iraq has made us less safe” – 6,300
“alien abduction” – 230,000]
Bring em on!
Smoke em out!
Dead or alive!
Mission Accomplished……sort of.
Good job GWB and friends. It’s not that Americans ignore foreign policy, it’s that the policy-makers are fvcking killing with their decisions.
More excellent news from the front…why don’t the troops support the troops?
And the righties continue to spin and deny.
BTW, “excellent news from the front” is a sarcastic remark…I know sometimes it doesn’t translate that way in writing.
Google: “Iraq has made us less safe” = 2.97MM
Google: “Iraq has made us more safe” = 4.54MM
What’s your point? Google isn’t a soothsaying device.
Anyone who believes that we are less safe because of the action taken in Iraq is simply full of crap.
Besides there is a fact of physics that the time (part of our space-time continuum) moves continually forward and events in our past have created the reality we now experience. Because of this we have to deal with the world as it now exists. We can only speculate on what things might have been like if events were different however there is absolutely no way of knowing. For instance you may speculate that had we not gone to Iraq that the world would love us. But I could with equal probability speculate that had we not gone to Iraq that a terrorist attack using nukes killing 5 million people may have occured. The truth is, there is no way of knowing and it is a waste of time to spin your wheels guessing. Unless your a Fantasy writer I suppose.
I suggest coming back into the exiting space-time continuum and dealing with reality.
Jay – This is how I think of it: I may be a South Park Republican now, but I was a P.J. O’Rourke Republican (aka Republican Party Reptile) before that.
Just so long as you’re not a jack-ass or a RINO, which is the jack-ass of the Pachyderm order.
“More excellent news from the front…why don’t the troops support the troops?”
You mean why is the Nation Guard/Reserve upset about long deployments?
Well, duh. I’d be annoyed to leave my full time job for a year at a whack.
None of the questions had anything to do about performing the mission or the importance of the mission itself.
Yes, the troops are so upset over the situation in Iraq that they’re reenlisting at above-average rates…
Do you honestly believe if we stop fighting and give the terrorists what they want, they will stop blowing shit up to get what they want?
Nice excerpt. I love the ending:
“You and what army?” That’s so true.
I honestly believe that if we concentrate on the root causes of terrorism and we adjust our foreign policy so that we stop treating the Gulf OPEC nations like they’re US protectorates whose sole purpose is to subsidize our oil addiction and demilitarize in areas that we’ve militarized, it would be a start.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are very specific reasons for terrorism and rather than be smart about how to eradicate the root causes the current adminstration has opted for the “kick the hornet’s nest” option. I think it’s irresponsible and dangerous, but so is lying a country to war. C’est la vie.
Back to the subject of O’Rourke (he may live in New Hampshire now, but he’s a native of Toledo Ohio) as a South Park Conservative before there was such a thing — I agree, since I seem to recall that when O’Rourke was with the National Lampoon in the late 70s or early 80s he coined the term “pants-down Republican” to cover the same concept: pro-capitalism and pro-American like other Republicans, but libertarian on social issues.
Let’s do that as a link.
Help us out some JmaR – what are the root causes of terrorism?
I believe they are poverty, ignorance and a 12th century mindset. The only solution is to address the poverty & ignorance and with that help bring them into the 21st century. That’s going to take some time. In the meanwhile, the active cancer (the ones trying to kill us) needs to be dealt with. Since you seem to think that kicking he hornets nest is a bad idea, then perhaps we can simply send all the terrorists to live with you for a while. I suspect they’d just kill you as you are an infidel. So to protect you, and others, we draw them out and kill them instead. We’ll never kill enough, but hopefully we can keep them preoccupied long enough to educate and advance other would-be terrorists to the 21st century and thus teach them that killing serves no end.
Anyway – that’s my take on terrorism and it’s root cause – what do you think and how would you fix it?
While I agree with you in general, I question that poverty is a root cause. On the contrary, the terrorists are quite wealthy and well funded, which is why crushing them has been difficult. The presence of poverty may have aided these groups to move amongst these populations unharmed, but I don’t think resolving poverty would end terrorism. To be a root cause, by definition, means that correcting the root cause prevents the recurrence of the problem. That is not the case with poverty and terrorism.
I agree with you about poverty and ignorance as part of the root cause, but I think it goes deeper than that. Terrorism in its current employ is a means of war by desperate, ill-equipped, technologically-overmatched fundamentalist measures. The Western world (and to be fair the US most prominently) has propped up and protected these Arab dictatorships in exchange for cheap oil for deacdes. The shiekh’s rule with an iron fist, subjugate their people and the oil flows at bargain basement prices (at least until recently) as the lifeblood of the Arab people fills up the ever-growing fleet of gas-guzzlers on American highways. So they resent the hyposcrisy of us claiming to be “spreading freedom and democracy” when in fact we aid and abet if not downright force their desperation. I’m not taking any sides here, it is what it is, but this is at least a part of the reason that “they hate us”.
If we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, since the first Gulf War we’ve had a much more serious military presence in the Middle East. I also believe that much of Arab world’s political boundaries were imposed by Western powers (I’m sure someone here knows to what degree) and Muslims, specifically fundamentalists, aren’t concerned with those boundaries. They consider the Arab/Muslim world sacred land and as they taught us in Civics class, Mecca and Medina are the center of gravity for Muslims. Prior to the 1st Gulf War the Saudi royals gave us the OK to build bases in close enough proximity to these holy cities to enrage the fundamentalists further.
The other point is our failure to be an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’ve gone from attempting to draw a roadmap to kowtowing to Ariel Sharon’s wishes.
It all adds up.
The other point is our failure to be an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’ve gone from attempting to draw a roadmap to kowtowing to Ariel Sharon’s wishes.
honest broker (noun): term used by Europeans and American leftists to signify what America would be in their eyes if they sold Israel out and let the Arabs kill all those pesky Jews.
“If we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, since the first Gulf War we’ve had a much more serious military presence in the Middle East.“
Um, just when do you think terrorism began? I question this because there were incidents before the Gulf War. In fact, the 70’s had quite a few cases, including that really famous one involving hostages that were held for 444 days…
“They consider the Arab/Muslim world sacred land and as they taught us in Civics class, Mecca and Medina are the center of gravity for Muslims.“
Which happens to be why we are not attacking Saudi Arabia right this minute, or at the very least taking care of some key figures there. Not until the Middle East becomes a little more open to the idea anyways, which is not going to happen if we just go back to the old status quo or pull out en masse by the way.
As for Civics class… please tell me they were not teaching you about Muslim culture in Civics class, unless it was specifically a Muslim Civics class (and then it would still need to be about a specific Muslim country). Civics classes are prepared and capable of teaching only one thing properly, the governmental system of a specific country in question. They cannot teach religion, philisophy, or any of the other fascinating stuff, that is not their area.
“I also believe that much of Arab world’s political boundaries were imposed by Western powers (I’m sure someone here knows to what degree) and Muslims, specifically fundamentalists, aren’t concerned with those boundaries.“
You’re welcome to believe that. It would be more accurate, however, to say that the Arab world’s current political boundaries were imposed by fundamentalists in reaction to growing Western ideas among the Muslim people. Want an example? Iran in the 1970s. The clergy did not like the shah’s more Western outlook, so they started the Islamic Revolution, and we all know where Iran is today. Sure, it is more complicated than that, but in the end it is a bed entirely of their own making.
You can try to lay all the blame at the feet of the “big bad western imperialists” but at some point you really do have to look at the “bigger picture” you claim to see.
“The other point is our failure to be an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’ve gone from attempting to draw a roadmap to kowtowing to Ariel Sharon’s wishes.“
Enlighten us, please, how are we kowtowing to Ariel Sharon? Was it before or after we gave the Palestinians all that aid which will most likely be used to kill more Israelis?
Also, mere word of warning, your claim there skirts very closely to some of the common anti-Semitic screeds.
“I also believe that much of Arab world’s political boundaries were imposed by Western powers (I’m sure someone here knows to what degree) and Muslims, specifically fundamentalists, aren’t concerned with those boundaries.”
Starting at the Battle of Portiers in 732.
Why does no one on the left realize that the Arabs were Imperialists when the English were still living in caves and clubbing bears to death for food and clothing? The core believe of Islam is that they must rule the infidel if the world is to be just. They believe negotiation is a sign of weakness. Read the history of Israel/Palestine after WWI, the Arab/Muslim world absolutely refused to negotiate an Jewish homeland. The only thing they understand is violence. They have proven it time and time again. My only hope is if we kill enough of the savages, the reasonable folks over there cowering in fear will be able to take control of their own countries and we can negotiate with them. I am so tired of hearing this is all about oil I could fuggin scream. I wish the American oil companies had ripped the bastards off, they would be alot easier to kill if they were still armed with swords and muskets.
“Um, just when do you think terrorism began?”
Thankfully, the Iran hostage situation was a less explosive brand of terrorism, so to speak. The deadliest terrorist attacks that have targeted U.S. interests directly in the last generation or so have been:
1983 – US Marine barracks, Beirut
1988 – Pan Am Flt. 103, Lockerbie, pre Gulf War
1993 – World Tade Center
1996 – Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia
1998 – US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania
2000 – USS Cole
If I missed any major attacks I apologize, please add to the list. So 5 of those 7 major terrorist bombings in recent memory were post Desert Storm.
“Which happens to be why we are not attacking Saudi Arabia right this minute”
I completely disagree. George W Bush doesn’t hold hands and stroll through the garden with just anybody. The US governments ties to the Saudi Royal family runs deep. Without Saudi Arabian oil the American dream is over and barring an overthrow of the Saudi government, that is one invasion that just ain’t gonna happen.
As for the Civics class….you are correct, it may have been “Political Geography”…I was generalizing.
As for political boundaries, I know for sure that the British played a major role in carving up the current state’s of Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain. Not sure about Iran or Saudi Arabia.
“Also, mere word of warning, your claim there skirts very closely to some of the common anti-Semitic screeds.”
There is not an anti-semitic bone in my body. Criticism of Israel does not equate to anti-semitism and to say so is “can’t walk and chew gum” thinking. I know conservatives don’t really do nuance, but it helps when diplomacy is an option. If we can’t apply diplomacy as a first resort we should just eliminate the State Dept. (I’ll bite my toungue….it might happen!).
Going to address these in no particular order, just what is easiest for me to answer first.
“As for the Civics class….you are correct, it may have been “Political Geography”…I was generalizing.“
Glad you were generalizing. It is hard to tell nowadays.
“The US governments ties to the Saudi Royal family runs deep. Without Saudi Arabian oil the American dream is over and barring an overthrow of the Saudi government, that is one invasion that just ain’t gonna happen.“
I am not debating that our ties run deep, but if you think worry over them cutting off oil stops us from attacking them then you underestimate just about all US capabilities. We could attack Saudi, take it out, and pretty much only have a hiccup in the flow of oil. The problem is not that Saudi might be able to do something –they couldn’t, that is why they so dillegently try to stay in everyone’s good graces while feeding terrorists under the table– the problem is that Saudi is for all intents and purposes Mecca and Medina, and with current feelings in the Middle East any assault on Mecca/Medina will be the true call to arms that many are claiming Iraq is.
This of course leads to the whole ANWR thing, trying to marginalize Saudi’s political/economic hold and get them to be a bit less cozy with terrorists and a bit more cozy with us. Combine that with trying to bring democracy to as much of the Middle East as possible to end the corruption through neighboring pressure and you actually have a half-way decent plan to not go to war with over a billion people.
Ok, on to terrorist attacks, source is CACNP: Terrorism Project.
Sixty three people, including the CIA’s Middle East Director, are killed and 120 injured in a 400 lb. suicide truck bomb attack on the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The driver is killed. Responsibility is claimed by Islamic Jihad.
US Embassy in Kuwait targeted by Iraqi Shia terrorists who attempted to destroy the building with a truck bomb. The attack was foiled by guards and the device exploded in the Embassy fore-court killing five people.“
I am assuming you meant the Oct 23 attack on the Marine base.
CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, William Buckley, was kidnapped by the Iranian backed Islamic Jihad. He was tortured and then executed by his captors.
Suicide bomb attack on US Embassy in East Beirut kills twenty three people and injures twenty one others. The US and British ambassadors were slightly injured in the explosion which was attributed to the Iranian backed Hezbollah group.“
Two U.S. soldiers were killed, and 79 American servicemen were injured in a Libyan bomb attack on a nightclub in West Berlin, West Germany.“
US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel W. Higgens, kidnapped and murdered by the Iranian backed Hezbollah while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation in southern Lebanon.
The Organization of Jihad Brigades exploded a car bomb outside a USO Club in Naples, Italy, killing one U.S. sailor.”
Those are what I would consider major attacks, as they were aimed primarily at United States citizens or soldiers, and resulted in deaths. I skipped over about half a dozen other incidents of kidnappings in which the hostages were released safely. (I am not dealing with after the Gulf War as your presented argument was that the Gulf War’s after affects were the entire reason the terrorists became so hostile.)
This shows a continued pattern of hostility before the Gulf War. Not light attacks either. Also to note, the Soviet Union was involved with the invasion of Afghanistan during this period, which would see the last Soviet soldiers leave in 1989. Gulf War happened in 1991. Attacks begin to escalate even farther mid-90s. There is already a clearly established pattern of attack in the 80s, and now the Soviet Union is no longer a concern, allowing them to focus on the United States solely.
“There is not an anti-semitic bone in my body. Criticism of Israel does not equate to anti-semitism and to say so is “can’t walk and chew gum” thinking. I know conservatives don’t really do nuance, but it helps when diplomacy is an option. If we can’t apply diplomacy as a first resort we should just eliminate the State Dept. (I’ll bite my toungue….it might happen!).“
One, I did not say you were anti-Semitic, I said your claim skirts close to the exact same phrasing that many anti-Semites use. There is a difference between saying the US is being too friendly with Israel, not handling the situation well enough, and saying the US is being subservient to them, or especially to one particular Israeli (Sharon). You said, “kowtowing to Ariel Sharon’s wishes.” That is very close to saying, “the US is being controlled by that Jew who runs Israel.” Just pointing out you need to be careful with your rhetoric there. And you still did not answer my question about how we are “kowtowing” to Sharon.
Two, “I know conservatives don’t really do nuance, but it helps when diplomacy is an option.” I know ‘liberals’ think they are the only ones who can do nuance and use diplomacy, but it would help to recognize that the United States has followed a pattern of diplomacy with the Middle East, especially when it comes to the Israel and Palestinian conflict.
Here is something interesting about Diplomacy. It is the strongest, yet weakest weapon in the arsenal of foreign policy. It is the strongest because it can solve everything through only talk. It is the weakest because it is only talk. If only one party is actually willing to solve their issue through talk it becomes ineffective. If one party continues to try to use it after it has been shown to be ineffective it becomes shackles. A smart nation can play Ring Around the Rosie with diplomacy endlessly, never allowing headway to be made while continuing on their merry way. It takes a degree of courage to stand up and admit a favored tool is hindering more than helping.
There are so many articles out there that reference the ‘Bush-Sharon Doctrine’ that I have the luxury of linking you to a hard-core conservative newspaper to make the point. How “kowtowing to Ariel Sharon” has been distorted to “being controlled be that Jew from Israel” is beyond me. Those are your words. I think kowtowing is more compliance than control, anyway…I also find it interesting that the article references the exact same language that you used (anti-semitic screed)….that wouldn’t be a talking point would it? If you have a chance to look at this article, it’s the last few paragraphs that are germane to my point.
Since you seem to think that kicking he hornets nest is a bad idea, then perhaps we can simply send all the terrorists to live with you for a while. I auto parts suspect they’d just kill you as you are an infidel. So to protect you, and others, we draw them out and kill them instead. We’ll never kill enough, but hopefully we can keep them preoccupied long enough to educate and advance other would-be terrorists to the 21st century and thus teach them that killing serves no end.
We just refinished the basement a few months ago, we could probably fit a bunch of them down there, I’ll see what I can do.
How about approaching the hornet’s nest with caution, heavily protected and we rip it away from whatever it’s attached to, we isolate it from whatever it uses to thrive and it becomes obsolete. Kicking it just makes a mess of the entire thing and you wind up with welts and pain.
“How “kowtowing to Ariel Sharon” has been distorted to “being controlled be that Jew from Israel” is beyond me.“
I would suggest you look up the actual definition of kowtowing then, especially its etymology. Summary, it means showing total obeisance. Only those who take orders, or are controlled, by another kowtows to that entity. Fascinating, I know. It is also why I give a word of warning about rhetoric.
As for the Bush-Sharon Doctrine. Good good. Unfortunately given our behavior with the PLO, or whatever their acronymn is now, how does that square. Come on, you are the one making the argument, and you got a captive audience right here.
Also, no word on the other terrorist attacks I cited? Mean anything? Just down the memory hole? Any word at all?
2. An obsequious act.
Varying definitons, same word. You are choosing to apply the one that suits your argument and I’m applying the one that I intended in the first place.
Now that kowtowing has been beaten to death….
With all due respect, shove the warning up your ass.
“Unfortunately given our behavior with the PLO”
Looks like lip service to me.
“Also, no word on the other terrorist attacks I cited? Mean anything? Just down the memory hole? Any word at all?”
I admit that there was more there than I knew, but I stand by the argument that our policies starting with the first Gulf War right up through today have inflamed Islamic terrorism throughout the world and if you take a step back and look at it through a neutral lense, I think you would admit the same.
JmaR, the first Gulf War had a great deal of support from most of the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt, and a bunch of others were all on our side. In fact, the only ones who were vocally against it were the Palestinians and the Iraqis (as I recall, the Iranians said “a pox on both your houses” and sat it out).
To my thinking, the roots our current problems started November 4, 1979, when Iranian militants seized the United States Embassy (invading and occupying sovereign American territory) and took 66 Americans hostage — and the United States did virtually nothing. This established the precedent that nations and non-national organizations could commit flagrant acts of war against the United States without fear of significant reprisal.
And they did. Most particularly in New York in 1993, in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi in 1998, in Aden in 2000, and in New York again in 2001.
We’ve been paying the butcher’s bill for Jimmy Carter’s utter impotence for the last 25 years — and it’s only since 9/11/01 that we started telling the extortioners that their free ride is over. They aren’t quite ready to take “no” for an answer yet, but we aren’t done insisting.
Jay Tea, Inquiring,
The more that I think about this the more I feel the need to adjust my argument….sort of. American involvement in the Middle East, be it military or otherwise has been in direct proportion to our growing dependence on ME oil imports. As American oil production peaked in the late 70’s and we have continued our refusal to address the reality that alternatives to fossil fuels are essential, we have made it official US policy to ensure that oil flows from the Gulf commensurate to our consumption. This insurance of a cheap, steady supply of oil has been in no small part made possible by our growing military presence in the region and our intervention in ME affairs. Our experience with Islamic terrorism has grown in direct proportion to our dependence on oil from Arab states.
So while it may be inaccurate to argue that Bush41’s decision to drive Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait in the first Gulf War was the sole catalyst to increasing numbers of terrorist attacks against American interests, I’ll revise that assertion with the above claim.
No. No I would say I was applying kowtowing exactly as you meant it then.
Look up obsequious now.
Has kowtowing been beaten to death? Yeah, it sure has.
Don’t like my warning, fine then, sit and spin. Just do not whine when someone calls you an anti-semite.
“I admit that there was more there than I knew, but I stand by the argument that our policies starting with the first Gulf War right up through today have inflamed Islamic terrorism throughout the world and if you take a step back and look at it through a neutral lense, I think you would admit the same.“
Excuse me while I contain my mirth. You are telling me to observe the situation with a neutral lens? You actually have the audacity to say that when you immediately declared the Gulf War the cause of all our terrorism woes and only now do you beat a stealthy retreat by qualifying it against US oil consumption.
Nice neutral lens, you do not even examine what kind of impact the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 80s might have played on shaping how the Middle East deals with the rest of the world, or a possible lessening of terrorist acts against the US. Then you have absolutely no word on Islamic fundamentalism in general, as in its origins, its interests, etc. Apparently it is all the fault of US oil consumption and military presence and nothing else. Get out the lens wipes.
Terrorism was caused by wealth, not poverty. Specifically, it was caused by foreign aid. The United States and other nations kept pumping money into these countries. As these countries got fatter and fatter off of all this earned income, they had no incentive to modernize or actually provide anything for their people (although, as a libertarian, I don’t believe they should have done too much). Fareed Zakaria, the Newsweek columnist, has an excellent book on this called “The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad”.