Audio Dynamite: The Robert Pape Interview

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Scott Horton’s interview with Robert Pape is really outstanding. Even though it has been out there a month, I just recently finished listening to it and want to urge y’all to give this a listen if you haven’t already. In addition to the familiar main thesis of his book Dying To Win, he mentions at least two additional items that caught my attention. First, he says that he began his research with the assumption that something like the Neocon line was correct… Suicide terrorism is motivated by a hatred of Western values and Islamic Fundamentalism. The facts changed Pape’s mind, especially the fact that Muslims are involved in only about half of all suicide attacks.

Secondly, to further support his point that suicide terrorism is primarily motivated by military occupation, he notes that terrorist organizations have been unable to maintain a campaign of suicide bombing once an occupation is ended, even if they want to to accomplish other goals such as establishing fundamentalist Islam in political power. I found this very strong confirmation of his thesis. While the occupation is present, the suicide bombing continues. Once the occupation is ended, it comes to a close. Something can be done about suicide terrorism, then, by democratic countries. They can withdraw their troops from other people’s territory!

7:59 am on August 18, 2005