Thursday, June 10, 2004
Bill Christianson was in the CIA for a few decades and here's his exploration of some of the root causes. Here's a piece by T. Homer-Dixon that looks at the simplistic arguments addressed right after 911. The US Information Agency has its own report. Even Dick Clarke cheered on our Iraq war as the most important thing to combat the "root causes" of terrorism. I disagree with his premise, but he is at least trying to develop a thoughtful piece that transcends the good/evil argument. Terrorism is complex, we should treat it as such.
When the US gets involved in other parts of the world, we understand that sometimes we back evil guys (Saddam, Pinochet, Noriega) but allow ourselves the rationale in that our government is acting in our best interest and the actions it takes are more complex than merely backing a vile dictator. We should afford the same consideration when looking at terrorism.
Ultimately I believe its a combination of poverty and totalitiarian regimes which leave many susceptible to fanatical arguments -- though it is more complex than that.