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Poverty and Terrorism, not Synonymous

02 September 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

After the bombing of the Baghdad United Nations headquarters, the #2 bus in Jerusalem and the Imam Ali mosque (in Najaf, Iraq) it is time once again to debunk the pseudo-economic theories concerning terrorism.  The extreme Left and anti-globalization advocates blame everything on poverty and the fact that the First World uses most of the planet’s resources and leaves most of the southern hemisphere and Third world fairly destitute.  Although this may be true, it does not lead to terrorism. 

As for the bombings themselves, the UN is trying to rebuild Iraq and Jerusalem’s #2 bus was carrying a fairly poor, ultra-orthodox Jewish population, many of whom do not identify with the State of Israel.  The hundreds of killed and wounded at the Imam Ali mosque were Islamic Shi’ites, supporters of the Ayatolah Bakr Al Hakim, a moderate prepared to rebuild Iraq after Saddam’s regime.  What all three have in common is their existence represented an orderly lifestyle and the opposite of chaos. 

Going back to the 1970’s one is reminded of the US home grown Weathermen an almost lunatic left wing fringe group having split from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigades, the Bader-Meinhoff Gang and the Irish Republican Army.  None of these groups were formed by poverty stricken oppressed people.  All were led by elements having sprung in general from the middle class, yet in rebellion.  Most had some sort of Marxist ideology and sought to wreak havoc in their home western capitalist society in the hope of a law and order breakdown.  Then they were to implement the “new order.”

On the other hand by stretching back another generation Nazi Germany comes to mind as does Imperial Japan.  Both were terrorist states, exterminating civilian populations wherever they went.  Stalinist Russian and Maoist China may be added to the list.

All of the above, Left, Right or whatever, used wanton violence against civilian populations either to bring fear and eventual chaos to the existing order or massacred and enslaved huge populations (either those of their supposed cross border enemies or their own) to ensure their continued control over the state apparatus.   In all cases civilians were purposely victimized and often murdered with full intent and not through a mistake or what Americans call “collateral damage” when battling terrorism.

If poverty was really the cause then India, Bangladesh and much of sub-Saharan Africa should lead the terror hit parade.   Instead we find wealthy Saudis such as bin Laden financing a terror campaign against civilian populations in New York, Bali or possibly at the Imam Ali mosque.

Radical, militant, extremist Islam works on the pandemonium factor no less than the extreme Left in the hope of becoming the answer to an existing order forced into collapse.  Just that here the leaders are beyond middle class and they have no interest in the worldly well being of the industrial worker or peasant.  Just take a look at the “successful” Iranian Revolution.

The bombers (suicide or hit and run) are looking towards the heavenly next world, figuring the amount of infidels they kill is directly proportional to the rewards they will receive.  Any Moslems killed by mistake will be considered martyrs (shaheeds).  They do not care how many are killed, their ends justify the means.

World poverty will be fought through the redistribution of resources, family planning, liberal open-minded education and in general altruism and good will between all peoples and not through the victory of a homicidal, martyr driven Islam sacrificing its “brethren” so a supposedly “religious” power elite can rule in the name of Allah.