There is nothing unusual in the conclusions drawn by the American researcher Prof. Robert A. Pape that Islam or religious fundamental ism has nothing to do with suicide bombers that are messing up the Pentagon’s dreams in various parts of the world. The study may amuse the naïve Americans but fails to cause any surprise in the world of Islam. Undoubtedly, the Americans may have vast amount of intellectual and material resources to squander on projects like ‘Suicide Terrorism’, the conclusions do not rise beyond the level of popular perceptions in Cairo, Damascus, Kabul, Sana’a or Tashkent.
Even a wasp stings, if stirred. The jingoistic US president Geroge W. Bush was only stretching credulity when he declared on May 1, 2003 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln that major combat operations in Iraq were over. Bush’s words still ring in the ears: ‘Now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country…. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement.’ In reality, only a battle had ended in Baghdad. War had begun to oust the new enslavers.
Now the same Americans are realizing that Iraqis are fighting against their ‘liberators’ and American forces and the puppet regime is busy constructing walls to secure the Green Zone. And as concluded by the Pape study, terrorism is proving to be the weapon of the weak and the task of resisting the occupiers has been solely assigned to the youth who dare to die for the land.
The organized Israeli and US vandalism against innocent folk in the Middle East needed no leviathan study. It was apparent that it was not faith, but land which the people were defending. Elements of faith did provide the fuel, battle cry of jihad or trigger whenever holy books came in for desecration or simply clad womanhood was paraded on the ramp. But ‘taproot of terrorism was nationalism, not Islamic fundamentalism’ as has been very rightly observed by the study. In fact, the study shows that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and any of the world religions. Evidence is marshaled from Sri Lanka where the study finds that all suicide bombers-76 of the total 462 instances studied-were from Hindu community but were adamantly opposed to religion. Lebanon provided similar results, 38 of the 41 attackers being opposed to Islamic fundamentalism. In Israel, although Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out 110 attacks between 1994 and 2003, but Islamic fundamentalism could not be found to be the driving force in 79 instances.
Americans must realize that the primary target of the lust of their rulers is oil and protection of their stooge Israel, rather than liberty for Iraqis. Bushspeak should not delude them because White House, State Department and Pentagon have largely turned into hostages in the hands of strong Israeli lobby whose bloodlust is never satiated.
American jingoism is pivotal to the suicide terrorism in the Muslim world. Few would agree with Pape’s policy prescription of ‘offshore stationing of US troops’ with a strategy of ‘fast redeployment for combat’. America needs to put peace and justice at the core of its policy and should abandon the ‘holy task’ of redesigning the Middle East to permanently secure Israel and sea lanes for oil tankers.
The study must however be interpreted as some headway in retrieving Americans from delusions, deceptions and dreams.