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Monday, July 09, 2007

Terrorists can be wealthy too

Princeton economist Alan Krueger has written a book called What Makes a Terrorist. The book has been reviewed by Wall Street Journal columnist David Wessel and Debbie Schlussel reports that among the things that do not make a terrorist are poverty and lack of economic opportunity. On the other hand, lack of civil liberties (like in repressive Islamist countries) can lead to terrorism:
Wall Street Journal columnist David Wessel writes about Princeton economist Alan Krueger's in-depth research that proves what I've been saying like forever, and what most others seem to have just noticed with the Medical Doctor Terrorists involved in the foiled British bomb plots: that terrorists are not only NOT bred by poverty and lack of opportunity, but that they are actually better educated and wealthier than most. What distinguishes them--aside form ideology--is that they come from repressive Muslim countries.
Here are some of the sordid statistics for our part of the world:

• Backgrounds of 148 Palestinian suicide bombers show they were less likely to come from families living in poverty and were more likely to have finished high school than the general population. Biographies of 129 Hezbollah shahids (martyrs) reveal they, too, are less likely to be from poor families than the Lebanese population from which they come. . . .

• Terrorism doesn't increase in the Middle East when economic conditions worsen; indeed, there seems no link. One study finds the number of terrorist incidents is actually higher in countries that spend more on social-welfare programs. Slicing and dicing data finds no discernible pattern that countries that are poorer or more illiterate produce more terrorists. Examining 781 terrorist events classified by the U.S. State Department as "significant" reveals terrorists tend to come from countries distinguished by political oppression, not poverty or inequality.

• Public-opinion polls from Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey find people with more education are more likely to say suicide attacks against Westerners in Iraq are justified. Polls of Palestinians find no clear difference in support for terrorism as a means to achieve political ends between the most and least educated. . . .

But the conventional wisdom that poverty breeds terrorism is backed by surprisingly little hard evidence. "The evidence is nearly unanimous in rejecting either material deprivation or inadequate education as an important cause of support for terrorism or of participation in terrorist activities," Mr. Krueger asserts. The 9/11 Commission stated flatly: Terrorism is not caused by poverty.

Debbie points out that this does not explain terrorism in the United States where there are civil liberties (but how many born and bred American terrorists have there been anyway?).

Based on Krueger's findings, it seems that if it could be implemented, the neo-con drive for democracy has a much better chance of stunting terrorism than Shimon Peres' 'New Middle East' that claims that if only the 'Palestinians' had more economic opportunity, they would stop blowing up so quickly.

Read the whole thing.


At 3:08 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

"Debbie points out that this does not explain terrorism in the United States where there are civil liberties (but how many born and bred American terrorists have there been anyway?)."

The Wahhabi money flowing into the US for proselytizing is going in significant part into prison recruitment. They are cunningly recruiting what could be called underclass blacks with violent criminal propensities, who are what could be called anti-social timebombs.

How many born & bred Americans? To name just a few: the two Beltway Snipers; the 101st Airborne Division trooper who attacked his fellow troopers with grenades and rifle fire the night before they started the Iraq liberation campaign; the Muslim who attacked the synagogue in Seattle...

These are just a few, recalled off the top of my head. What deeply concerns me is the network of anti-American radical brainwashed American Muslim converts being built up by this Wahhabi money from America's "friends", the Saudis.

We're going to be hearing of more, and worse, in the future, I'm afraid.

The poison is being exported wholesale and globally from Saudi Arabia. Nobody in US or European politics is even willing to admit this huge problem exists. Instead, after each fresh Islamofascist atrocity, they rush to bloviate in front of cameras and microphones that "Islam is a religion of peace."-Yeah, right.


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