I continued ploughing through, and came to the book reviews. There was one there on a book by Robert Pape about Suicide Terrorism. Now, I've not read the book as it's only just being released, and I still have Robert Spencer, Stuart Robinson and Serge Trifkovic to get through first.
That's okay, but I thought the title looked intriguing, so I've had a bit of a squiz into his book.
According to the review of his book at Amazon.com:
FACT: Suicide terrorism is not primarily a product of Islamic fundamentalism.
FACT: The world’s leading practitioners of suicide terrorism are the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka–a secular, Marxist-Leninist group drawn from Hindu families.
FACT: Ninety-five percent of suicide terrorist attacks occur as part of coherent campaigns organized by large militant organizations with significant public support.
FACT: Every suicide terrorist campaign has had a clear goal that is secular and political: to compel a modern democracy to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland.
FACT: Al-Qaeda fits the above pattern. Although Saudi Arabia is not under American military occupation per se, one major objective of al-Qaeda is the expulsion of U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf region, and as a result there have been repeated attacks by terrorists loyal to Osama bin Laden against American troops in Saudi Arabia and the region as a whole.
FACT: Despite their rhetoric, democracies–including the United States–have routinely made concessions to suicide terrorists. Suicide terrorism is on the rise because terrorists have learned that it’s effective.
These are pretty definitive factoids. I am the last person to stand up and be counted as an expert or scholar, and there looks to be something in what he says.
(You saw that coming, didn't you?)
What about the London bombers? None of those were members of the bourgoisie, and they were not from countries with a US military presence.
Regarding the Tamils, I don't see any of those flying planes into buildings, ramming dinghies into battleships, blowing up commuters or shooting children in the backs as they flee. Okay, Beslan wasn't strictly a suicide operation, but from where I'm sitting in my comfy suburban home, those actions that are most visible and taking the greatest toll in terms of civilians, both living and dead, are being carried out by muslims.
He is right when he talks about its effectiveness, though.
"American military occupation" is just another excuse to hide the real reasons for the jihad. Even as I am writing this, there was a newsflash on the teev: A bomb went off at Kuta Beach in Bali, and apparently 3 people were injured. Odds on it wasn't the local buddhists or christians setting it off. I don't see any military occupation in Thailand, either, or in China, which is getting concerned about muslim activism in one of its remote provinces.
The common thread through most suicide and other terrorist activism seems to be islam.
I've got this book on my wishlist, and I have one hope for it.
That it doesn't turn out to be yet another straw for the moonbats to clutch at in their denial of the dangers of Islamism.