Monday, February 20, 2006

US policy, not poverty, "is cause of terrorism" :: Sunday Herald

A leading US academic will challenge the establishment this week when he makes the controversial claim that poverty is not the root cause of inter national terrorism.

Alan Krueger, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, will say suicide bombers tend to come from middle-class families. He will also argue that terrorism is directly motivated by US policy decisions.
Is there much new here? I thought the poverty argument folded years ago - and Krueger was among those who convincingly demolished it.

And does anyone dispute that US policy that supported corrupt and/or totalitarian regimes contributed to the growth of a reactionary, totalitarian and abhorrent utopianism advocating violent overthrow of those regimes and the US? Those policies did contribute to the growth of this beast.

Current US policy is not to be confused with those policies. Current policy is two pronged: (1) defense of the homeland against terrorism - that defense includes preemption, and (2) the promotion of democracy in regions where totalitarian regimes prevail and the gradual withdrawal of what ever props the US has provided that contributes to the survival of those regimes.

Is Krueger saying those policies are also impediments to the removal of terrorism? I can't tell, at least not from the Sunday Herald. But if you're inclined to believe that they are, then you'll be quick to agree with this spin:
SNP leader Alex Salmond said he agreed with the academic’s analysis of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies. “Krueger is undoubtedly correct. The war on terror has been disastrously counterproductive ,” he said.
I don't agree.


Blogger Papadose said...

You can't conduct a war on terror without pissing off somebody/ This war is going to create short term problems but in the really really long run, i think it'll be one the best decisions made this century. I guess this also depends on how strong and commited the UN remains over supporting this war. The US is not going to win it alone nor should it. Till then we'll need to think of some damn way to keep those danish cartoonists locked up.

12:12 AM  

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