Suicide Bombers as Freedom Fighters?

Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients From: Jude Wanniski Re: Secular Suicides

From the dawn of civilization, the man of the house has been the protector of hearth and home from outside enemies; women were responsible for maintaining the household. Donald Rumsfeld, on the Sunday talk shows yesterday, clearly indicated he does not understand that the “insurgents” in Iraq are fighting and dieing, even willing to commit suicide if need be to protect hearth and home from the American invaders and occupiers. Rumsfeld still insists the suicide bombers are outside religious fanatics from Syria or Saudi Arabia and that Iraqis themselves wouldn’t blow themselves up.

Rumsfeld has been wrong about a great many things as Defense Secretary and he is so again. Several months before the “war” began in 2003, I’d been advised by Iraqi dissidents in exile in London that young men were being trained as suicide bombers. This week’s chilling cover story in Time magazine, an interview with a young Iraqi who is preparing for his own suicidal attack on “the Americans,” makes it clear there is much more going that our troops are facing. But to complete the picture I’m also appending an article that ran in on June 10 by Michael Scheuer. It’s a review of a book by an academic who has studied “suicide terrorism” and has concluded that it is secular in origin, not religious. And it goes to my point about the role of the male in defending the “home,” or the “homeland” in this case. Of the many thousands of young men who died in the army of the American Revolution behind George Washington’s leadership, how many knew their attacks against the British – to expel them from our homeland – were suicidal? In this light, Rumsfeld may finally be right on something when he says it may take a dozen years to subdue the insurgents. If not more?