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Suicide bombers as political tacticians, not religious fanatics

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 22, 2003

Robert Pape, a U. of Chicago political scientist, has an interesting and somewhat disturbing op-ed column in today's New York Times.

His contention-- based on a careful study of nearly 200 incidents over 12 years-- is that suicide bombing is not usually the work of religious fanatics.

Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist campaigns have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel liberal democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.

I don't know whether or not Pape is right. But the argument is worth considering.

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 22, 2003 11:49 PM ET USA

    Sorry to plug another publication, but *all* thinking folks need to reread Daniel Pipes' excellent essay in a 1994/1995 issue of First Things called The Western Mind of Radical Islam. Chilling. Demonstrates convincingly that its the addition of Western European Continental Enlightenment Nihilism that is the lethal additive to the mixture, giving us suicidial/homicidal Radical Islam.

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