That may be a simplistic way of looking at things, but the fact of the matter is it’s a far better explanation than any complicated one a sociologist would ever come up with.
Although people who said this in the days after “9-11,” were roundly criticized, I believe that American foreign policy has invited terrorism to the U.S. And now, the CATO institute has actually studied the issue, and is coming to similar conclusions.
“Historical data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States.”
Who wrote that? According to CATO, it was The Defense Science Board’s 1997 Summer Study Task Force on DoD Responses to Transnational Threats.
But of course, the Task Force went on to say,
“Americans are targets of terrorism in part because we have unique leadership responsibilities in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, and because we stand united against terrorism.”
In other words, expect terrorist acts because we’re just the most moral people in the entire world, and it’s our job to force our values on everyone else in the world.
If you really look hard at that paragraph, all you find are fluffy words that “sound good” and might have some appeal to Americans that feel patriotic. As the CATO report suggests, many have been fooled into believing that the U.S. is a victim of terrorist attacks “for what it is, and not for what it does.”
That’s an important distinction.
Again, many of my right wing friends are not going to like my stance on this. But if you really want to prevent terrorism, it would behoove you to study terrorism and the psychology of those who engage in terrorism. But don’t bother with all the complex crap that most sociologists come up with. Just think about how you would feel, or your 16 year old sons, when stopped at a checkpoint by a Russian on your way to the grocery store, who doesn’t know where he is, and wants to search your trunk. Even if the Russian soldier lad is mannerly.
It’s bad enough being stopped by someone who is from the next county and is simply abusing their powers as a law enforcement official. How much angrier would you be if it was a Russian or a Palestinian, who was also engaged in forcing their values upon you? You think your full of testosterone sons woudn’t be thinking of terrorist acts?
Anyhow – you can read the entire CATO report here. It’s in PDF format.