Fareed Zakaria at PostGlobal

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanapoulos" as well as an analyst for ABC News. And he is the host of a new weekly PBS show, "Foreign Exchange" which focuses on international affairs. His most recent book, "The Future of Freedom," was published in the spring of 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into eighteen languages. He is also the author of "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role" (Princeton University Press), and co-editor of "The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World" (Basic Books). Close.

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. more »

Main Page | Fareed Zakaria Archives | PostGlobal Archives


The Only Thing We Have to Fear ...

You know that we are living in scary times. Terrorist groups are metastasizing all over the globe. Al Qaeda has re-established its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hizbullah, Hamas and other radical Islamic groups are gaining strength. You hear this stuff all the time, on television and on the campaign trail. Amid the din, it's hard to figure out the facts. Well, finally we have a well-researched, independent analysis of the data relating to terrorism, released last week by Canada's Simon Fraser University. Its findings will surprise you.

It explains that there is a reason you're scared. The U.S. government agency charged with tracking terrorist attacks, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), reported a 41 percent increase from 2005 to 2006 and then equally high levels in 2007. Another major, government-funded database of terrorism, the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terror (MIPT), says that the annual toll of fatalities from terrorism grew 450 percent (!) between 1998 and 2006. A third report, the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), also government-funded, recorded a 75 percent jump in 2004, the most recent year available for the data it uses.

The Simon Fraser study points out that all three of these data sets have a common problem. They count civilian casualties from the war in Iraq as deaths caused by terrorism. This makes no sense. Iraq is a war zone, and as in other war zones around the world, many of those killed are civilians. Study director Prof. Andrew Mack notes, "Over the past 30 years, civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Bosnia, Guatemala, and elsewhere have, like Iraq, been notorious for the number of civilians killed. But although the slaughter in these cases was intentional, politically motivated, and perpetrated by non-state groups-and thus constituted terrorism as conceived by MIPT, NCTC, and START-it was almost never described as such." To take just two examples, Mack pointed out that in 2004, the Janjaweed militia killed at least 723 civilians in Sudan (as documented by independent studies). The MIPT recorded zero deaths in Sudan from terrorism that year; START counted only 17. In Congo in 1999, independent studies identified hundreds killed by militia actions. The MIPT notes zero deaths that year from terrorism; and START, seven.

Including Iraq massively skews the analysis. In the NCTC and MIPT data, Iraq accounts for 80 percent of all deaths counted. But if you set aside the war there, terrorism has in fact gone way down over the past five years. In both the START and MIPT data, non-Iraq deaths from terrorism have declined by more than 40 percent since 2001. (The NCTC says the number has stayed roughly the same, but that too is because of a peculiar method of counting.) In the only other independent analysis of terrorism data, the U.S.-based IntelCenter published a study in mid-2007 that examined "significant" attacks launched by Al Qaeda over the past 10 years. It came to the conclusion that the number of Islam-ist attacks had declined 65 percent from a high point in 2004, and fatalities from such attacks had declined by 90 percent.

The Simon Fraser study notes that the decline in terrorism appears to be caused by many factors, among them successful counterterrorism operations in dozens of countries and infighting among terror groups. But the most significant, in the study's view, is the "extraordinary drop in support for Islamist terror organizations in the Muslim world over the past five years." These are largely self-inflicted wounds. The more people are exposed to the jihadists' tactics and world view, the less they support them. An ABC/BBC poll in Afghanistan in 2007 showed support for the jihadist militants in the country to be 1 percent. In Pakistan's North-West Frontier province, where Al Qaeda has bases, support for Osama bin Laden plummeted from 70 percent in August 2007 to 4 percent in January 2008. That dramatic drop was probably a reaction to the assassination of Bena-zir Bhutto, but it points to a general trend in Pakistan over the past five years. With every new terrorist attack, public support for jihad falls. "This pattern is repeated in country after country in the Muslim world," writes Mack. "Its strategic implications are critically important because historical evidence suggests that terrorist campaigns that lose public support will sooner or later be abandoned or defeated."

The University of Maryland's Center for International Development and Conflict Management (I wish academic centers would come up with shorter names!) has released another revealing study, documenting a 54 percent decline in the number of organizations using violence across the Middle East and North Africa between 1985 and 2004. The real rise, it points out, is in the number of groups employing nonviolent means of protest, which increased threefold during the same period.

Why have you not heard about studies like this or the one from Simon Fraser, which was done by highly regarded scholars, released at the United Nations and widely discussed in many countries around the world-from Canada to Australia? Because it does not fit into the narrative of fear that we have all accepted far too easily.

Editor's Note: Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International, and co-moderator of PostGlobal. His "World View" column and recent pieces for Newsweek can be found here.

Comments (195)

Dear Zakaria
In IE i use to gulp down your articles.
I am proud of your bolness and honesty.
Have you maried the girl, you are sharing your toilet with.


May your tribe increase

Pawan
Yamunanagar,India

Observer.:

Khokar says:
"And if these myths happen to be religious myths like in Judaic and Christianity [3];...."

It is truly astounding to hear a Muslim speak of Christian and Jewish myths when an even casual reader of the Muslims bible, the Quran, would learn that it is, besides encouraging sedition against those who do not believe in Muhammad as a prophet, is but a compilation of myths gathered from many other pagan religions. The sorry state of affairs of Muslim societies today did not happen by simple chance but the result of their believing in those myths.

Joseph Herring:

"One side is talking the language of freedoms and rights. The other side is talking the language of respect for the sacred."

Unless you are using them for some alterior motive other than creating positive interaction among peoples, aren't these the same thing?

Apostate:

Khokar ends his long boring babbling by stating what he really wants conveyed, which is summarized by his last sentence .
“The absurdity, to monopolize the deity of God to remain confined to the bounds marked by Myths of Christianity; Jesus is found elevated to the status of God hence, the salvation of all the people rests with Jesus only.”

His Quran states that Jesus is the Word of Allah and of His Spirit. In another place it states that Jesus will be the judge on Judgment Day. This is the description of Allah or has this been abrogated also?

A Khokar:

It is the Enigma of Fear at work

For last about a decade or so we all find our self putting up against a phoney Global War against Terrorism, where Western Forces with their might and savagery are all out and in action in Muslim World to conquer an unspecified imaginary enemy. After wandering for several years and with no achievements at hand; the act of western oppression forces has become a matter of contention. The masses in the west as well as in the Muslim world are ghastly deluded as the so called atmosphere of fear and terrorism has since been breeding in their cultures all the times. Western media remains very busy in creating division of cultures and is starkly putting ‘us’ against ‘them’.

‘Beneath the myriad reasons for these appears to be a fundamental inability of people whose beliefs vary to understand how the other side thinks and feels. ‘We have here a dialogue of the deaf, although paradoxically both sides share the same motivation: fear.’

Western culture and public discourse has become so secularized in recent generations that there is little comprehension of people whose religion holds a central place in their lives and identity. European nation-states were constructed through centuries of struggle and conflict in which religious differences and oppression were often explosive. People today fear that they are in danger of losing what was won with so much suffering: their freedoms and their collective sense of identity.

Behind these fears lie the rapid changes of globalization, the uncertainties of geopolitics and seeing the failure of re-run of old colonial type schemes by the west to subjugate the defenceless in Middle East and grab their economic resources through ‘fallacy and deceit’ that these plans now lay exposed and frustrated. At home in Europe the fears focus on immigrants and ethnic minorities - which in many places mean Muslims and unfounded fear of ‘expected retaliatory reprisal’ from them.

Any demand from Muslims to have their right of religion recognised is seriously interpreted as a threat to the hard-won rights of freedom of expression. Those who feel threatened fear not just the small Muslim minorities in Europe - in most countries less than three percent of the population - but also the hundreds of millions of Muslims beyond their borders in the broader Muslim world, where the so-called "new enemy" is to be found.

Many parts of the Muslim world also fear uncertainties such as globalization, international instability and, closer to home, unemployment and arbitrary governments - not to mention random violence. But there the fear is focused on the heirs of the old imperial powers: the West, which is again seen as wishing to dominate and thus undermine Islam. In response, respect for the religion and its symbols becomes a central focus.

One side is talking the language of freedoms and rights. The other side is talking the language of respect for the sacred.
--------------------------
Love for all, Hatred for None

A Khokar:

Dear All,

We need to under stand Islam. The first and foremost will be that we should bear in mind that Islam has not come as rival of other religions. Rather Islam confirms and validates the previous divinely teachings [1] and offers higher degree guidance in accordance with the universal divinely plans of God Almighty which has been destined for the future of the mankind. A higher education is never against the basic or primary educations [2]; rather they are interdependent in bringing the improvement and enlightenment in the society.

It has always been difficult for the humans to shed and shake the adopted myths because humans by nature love and relishes to remain restrained and bound by mysteries and illusions. And if these myths happen to be religious myths like in Judaic and Christianity [3]; it is more so difficult in leaving those self imposed mythical confinements because these myths are also influenced and rightly or wrongly, very strongly guarded by the religious zealots and their other supporting groups pursuing the vested interests.

The preset mind and preconceived ideas eventually result in creating more distances and keep us bound to the old ruts.

Let’s build the bridges; not the barriers and find the common grounds to work upon; and be watch full for the few hirelings media organisations, who are paid heftily in order to create gulfs and spread hatred between peoples.
-----------------------------
Love for all, Hatred for None

[1] Primary Teachings contained in the books of Torah, the Bible and other Holy Books of former religions.
[2] As imparted by Judaic and Christianity previously being the predecessors of Islam.
[3]The absurdity, to monopolize the deity of God to remain confined to the bounds marked by Myths of Christianity; Jesus is found elevated to the status of God hence, the salvation of all the people rests with Jesus only.

Anonymous:

Joseph Herring,

isn't the way Mahfouz thinks very dysfunctional?

Joseph Herring:

Sheez, look at me. I gotta quit writing on this stupid blog. Sorry guys for just crapping all over this page. I gotta get a job.
Have a Hoot!

Joseph Herring:

Ah Wonderful Mahfouz! You're beautiful even if you are a hopeless intellectual! May you find a bit of paradise in this vastly diverse life.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:


Asim advises me to
"read the Holy Quran with honesty ,objectivity and an open mind-then you shall find the Truth, the only truth."
I did many times and found a book that is riddled with contradictions, false information about history, natural phenomena , human biology and theology. A book full of stories about talking ants and birds, about demons, devils, jinn and angels with thousands of wings. A book that is a compilation of legends and rituals from Persian Zoroaster ,Sabaens and Arabian pagans religions with embellished stories from the Old Testament, the Talmud and some from the New Testament. I found every page in to be an assault on human rationality and an insult to any person's intelligence.

Joseph Herring:

Anonymous,
Heck don't worry about it!

Anonymous:

Unveiled truth:
'We have lost our ability to judge between good and evil because we have bought the lie of relativism.'

Why be so negative to relativism! It could have saved your ancestors from a certain death. I am not saying they were evil, some contemporary of theirs could have.

Much like your structure of thinking, Muslim extremists vociferously oppose relativism. Relativism and individuality are the two sides of the same coin. Could it be that you do not believe in the powers of each individual! It is scary that you and the Islamists share a common thought patterns: only me is right. Nazis did too, Communists did too.

Jihadists are abominable; extremists of any stripe are jihadists

Joseph Herring:

I should stop, but I have had enough. You know what? You know who you are. Don't use my name as an excuse to get what you want. Don't be such a coward as to not admit what is your real agenda. Forget claiming you are a Muslim or Christian or Democrat or Buddhist or Chinese or Canadian or Liberal or Conservative whatever BS you call yourself. I don't care. I see you all squat and crap in a hole in the ground. I don't care what religion you think everybody should be, what political agenda you think they should have, what way they should pray, what form of ridiculous government they should use, how they should cut their hair, nor what color skin you think they should be wearing. I don't care whether you have a big nasty sword or a stupid little book on your pulpit. I NEVER WILL. Shackles and Chains can not settle me. I don't care what you think, what you wear, where you shop, who you are screwing, which bleeding desert you live in, if you pray on rug, in a church, or on a mountain. You will frustrate yourselves silly trying to change what can not be changed. I am here to stay and I will keep coming back until you are all in heaven. I AM NOT ALONE THERE ARE MILLIONS OF ME. My compatriots issue forth from the gate wielding fiery swords that cut through everything. Nothing can withstand us. Your useless beliefs can not stop us from exposing your true nakedness. It is how God,Allah,Yahweh, the nameless has made us. Hear me out! We are all around you. We are washing you in the blood. Your time is running out, we are almost finished here.

Anonymous:

Joseph Herring,

Sorry the last post was not meant for you it was meant for all those who cannot see the truth about Islam.

Anonymous:

Joseph Herring,

Which on of the propaganda institutions educated you? You sound like a mind numbed robot regurgitating the garbage you have been fed. Do you know anything about Islam or just the version you have been given by our PC schools, media, and politicians.

Joseph Herring:

Do you think Jesus wants you to go about killing your enemies? If he did, don't you think he would have been a soldier? You haven't changed a bit since the first time through. Try just once to let someone criticize you without lashing back. Jesus is a muslim you deceitful little devils. While some practice the art of bowing down daily upon a carpet, Jesus is always submitting through the pain of a cross. He would love to just bow on a carpet, but he is nailed to a dogwood tree.

Joseph Herring:

Ignorance in the form of greed and avarice is your real enemy. You don't need terrorists or Islam or Communists or Westerners to commit spiritual and physical suicide. I say you can wipe out all of the muslim or western world and still you will be left with the enemy. Until you learn how to fight stupidity and selfishness and banish the demon that resides in your own mind, you will be forever wandering in the dark. You act like you know the solution, and cast blame wherever your fear dictates. Your master is fear, his servant is your ignorance, and you are whipped about like a dry leaf in the wind. You wander from bleakness to darkness in the seven hells always fearful of shadows. It has been said that you are like a donkey being driven by the cart. You suffer because your mind is not yours, but is driven by the wind, the sand, the rain, your things, and some shadows on the wall. No sir, Islam is not your threat. You are scared and lashing out all around you. You feel separated and look at the world like a butterfly box, you are afraid to dance, love, and simply be with people. Put you on stage to recite a simple three line poem and your armpits ooze sweat and you tremble like a lamb. All it takes is someone with brown skin and suddenly your mind does a backflip. This is a sign of incredible confusion and weakness. You sweat at the armpits and temples when a real man confronts you. Your eyes can barely look even on your own neighbors. "It's cold and their are wolves outside!", you exclaim.
You think Muslims are the enemy? Name me one Muslim whose name you didn't learn from your TV. TV is just a flashing light in a box. You are so incredibly terrified of the real enemy you choose poor scapegoats in far off lands to release your confusion upon. No sir, Islam is not your enemy. You want something to be afraid of? Look in the mirror.

Unveiled Truth:

The Simon Fraser study ignores the nature and mandate of Islam to conquer the world by all means necessary as laid out in the Qur'an, the Hadith, and demonstrated in the example of Muhammad. Yes there have been lulls in terrorism but those lulls are for the purpose of strengthening all true Muslims to fight more overtly on another day. The report also ignores all the terrorism that led up to 911 in the Muslim world's attack on the West. The Muslim mandate is clear as Muhammad said:

"I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me that I am the Messenger and in all that I have brought."

Muslims will say anything to get us dummies in the West to believe that there is no threat. They use our pluralistic values against us and tell us, "Islam is a religion of peace" when in reality they only peace they see is when the whole world is conquered for Allah. They will "fight against the people" (the non Islamic world) through politics, lying about their religion, and all out war when they gain a stronghold. Blood is in the water and leadership is lacking in the West and the USA. This is seen in the ignorance of politicians, news media reporting, and our educational systems. Most of which are filled blind guides who run around repeating the mantra that "Islam is a religion of peace." They also undermine our president and military any chance they get because they love the left wing so much that they will say anything to undermine the president and in so doing they embolden our enemies. We are in serious trouble.

The Muslim world is making its move in economic jihad right now as the economic center of the world shifts away from the West to the Muslim world in Dubai (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/520110-dubai-picking-up-mantle-of-world-financial-capital?ln=en.) One day we will awaken from our slumber but it will probably be too late. We have lost our ability to judge between good and evil because we have bought the lie of relativism. We have bought the lie that says we should not judge another culture or religion even though the evidence all around us is screaming that Islam is not a religion of peace and that Muslims all over the world are bent on our destruction.

Joseph Herring:

Wow, some truth to this. Americans are plain angry. They are angry when the Macdonalds line run five seconds over the estimated wait time, angry when they don't get their milk and cookies, angry when its cold in the winter and hot in the summer, angry for standing in line, downright road raging all the time..., angry at mexicans crossing the border, angry at liberals, angry at conservatives, angry at anybody that makes more money than them, angry at a lack of cell phone reception, angry at George Bush, angry at Bin Laden, angry at their children for crying, angry at their husbands for working all the time. It's a mad mad world they tell you.

Anonymous:

No really I'm not scared of terrorists. Despite what happened on 911 it is still 1000 times more likely that I will be killed by cancer or heart disease than from a terrorist attack, 100 times more likely that I will be killed by a drunk driver or a random act of crime... and I'm probably being conservative in those numbers. I don't know any of these people who keep clamoring to ban toenail clippers and baby formula from airplanes, maybe they all work for companies that build metal detectors.

norbert:

How dare you ... just when we let our guard down because of drivel like this, that's when they will hit us. Don't believe it people........we must remain ever vigilant and we need to screen MORE 100 year old white-haired grandmas at the airports.

Kim:

Sir,
You confuse fear with anger. Our government may be fearful but the American public is just plain angry.

Anonymous:

you can't reveal this information! the people must remain scared, its easier to control us that way

Tom Brucia:

Am I the only person on the planet who thinks it takes two parties to create a terrorist? To wit: (1) A killer who hopes his acts will create fear (i.e. terror), and (2) a person without so little guts that he allows himself to be terrorized (i.e. frightened). Isn't courage the simple refusal to allow sociopaths to control one? Terrrorism is as much about folks who choose to let fear run their lives as it is about folks who try to control others by inspiring fear. We live in an age of cowards as well as sociopaths. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it best when the world was threatened by two sociopaths (Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin), as well as a collapsing economic order: 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself!'

looking_deep_inside:

"Narrative of fear".

This article is no news to me. I know Mr. Zakaria
has good intentions.

The problem is: you have being part of that narrative of fear.

I have watched you on your tv programs. You abide to the MSM's rules of not providing COMPLETE information, and by not asking the questions and follow up questions that would expose the truth about these political issues.

The reason for that is that you are part of the MSM, you would not endanger your salary and "prestige": you can only go so far.

At the end, you can't sound the "alarm" bells, you can only whisper...when they let you.

rd:

The Bush Administration strategy and tactics are straight out of George Orwell's "1984." If you are constantly at war with something, then the goernment must be empowered to save you. In order to save you, civil rights must then be relinquished so that the government can spy on everyone in order to save them.

The reality is that, with the exception of 9/11, there have been virtually no terrorist attacks in North America that weren't completely homegrown with white Caucasion nutcases in the last 20 years.

A typical day's violence and crime in the inner cities kills more people than Islamic terrorism. The US Constitution doesn't allow itslef to be suspended for that situation. It shouldn't be suspended for an Orwellian "Global War on Terror" either.

looking_deep_inside:

"Why have you not heard about studies like this or the one from Simon Fraser,...? Because it does not fit into the narrative of fear that we have all accepted far too easily."

That's right, but it's nothing new to me. Interestingly enough, you have being part of that "narrative of fear".

I have watched you in your tv programs. You abide to the MSM's "rules" of not providing COMPLETE information, or by refusing to ask the necessary questions to expose the truth.

You have good intentions. But you also know money and prestige lies in MSM. At the end, you can't sound the "alarm" bell. You can only whisper, when they let you.

Dave:

Mr. Zakaria's second paragraph starts:

"It explains why there is a reason you're scared (about the topics contained in Mr. Zakaria's first paragraph)."

Scared? Nope.

Concerned? Moderately.

There is much more of a chance those reading this, myself included, will be hurt or killed in a car accident this week than be attacked by a terrorist/s.

Joseph Herring:

"Where is the spiritual form of the mind, body, spirit combinations in all of this discussion?" This is a good question it seems to me. I think there must be some reason we think along the lines that we have been talking about though. I'll give up whatever it takes that people can be happy. Just let me know eh? I'll quit driving and never eat doritos again as long you folks in the mideast or middle colorado or wherever you are can just enjoy your lifes. I'll believe in muhammed or jesus or nothing for that matter. Whatever. Play music and celebrate maybe?
Peace folks and may no bombs fall on your heads tonight.

tarquinis:

It should be obvious by now, if not long before, that the straight Zionist elements and rationalizers, have lost forever the rational observers of the Zionist experiment. Israel is a total horror commited by those who find infinite excusal in the Nazi holocaust. So they forgot nothing, and learned nothing. Great.

If they are "dead set" against both a complete SC 242 settlement meaning a TOTAL evacuation from the West Bank of Palestine, and "dead set" against an alternative possible settlement being a non-sectarian, democratic, and unitary Palestine, then what is there but eventual disaster?

Wake up! Military superiority is fleeting. If you rely upon this and the ignorance of the stupid, in time history will have its way.

Yes, you maintain the simple minded adherents, Sharonist Zionists, and the Christian Armageddonist, but what victory is this if it can only lead to the eventual collapse of America?

Can anyone believe that an unending militarized war with Islam leads to anything but exhaustion, bankruptcy, and eventual collapse?

Fareed Zakaria

Problem did not start with last illegal invasion of Iraq with genocidein 2003 as it started with first invasion of Iraq in 1914.

Please google The Election of Caliph/Khalifah and World Peace and know the thruth.

jack sprat:

There is a vested interest in keeping the fear of terrorism going.It funds the Pentagon and the Mossad and MI5 etc.People are afraid of the economic conditions not terrorism.The writer of this article is someone who has a vested interest in the terror "industry",he gets paid to write about this crap and try to stir people up.$4 gasoline,losing your home or job are the real terrors today.

center:


Mahfouz,
It seems that your heroes are people like Ataturk and whateverhisname in Tunisia. While both men did some good(!), they failed to let education lead the change:::bottom-up. I have read that the social structure of old in Turkey which was outlawed by Ataturk and made dormant during the era of Ataturk till now is coming to life? It is coming to life becasue social structure change was not a bottom up change; it was a typical macho ME act...THOSE PEOPLE!!!!...... Do not miss understand what I am saying: I fully support secularism, however there is an appropriate way and there is a (short cut..).wrong way of getting to a desisred stage of intellectual/societal development. You appear to favor authoritarian approach, much like Ataturk and Saddam. What is disagreeable whether one examines Attaturk or Saddam behaviors is their 'know it all' approach and practicing: ends justify the means.

Mahfouz, the way you look at power is very consistent with how middle east people approach power and the powerless: THOSE PEOPLE!!!! THOSE KUWAITYS ...THOSE PALESTINIANS...ETC (ssssssst....what it is that makes them people do it!)
Help!!! I do not know how to explain your outdated ME political views (Ends justify the means) with your seemingly enlightened perspective on some issues.

My guess is that you are a closet believer of Islam (without you knowing about it). Anyone holding beliefs like yours has to be a believer in Islam. Backwardness of Islam shows itself in multitude of ways! This is the only way I could explain your ways of thinking.

zqll:

I find it difficult to believe that "development," social, economic, civil, etc. is more important than "forced" democracy. I find it difficult to believe that miliaristic, highly cultured Imperial Japan and militaristic, materialistically developed, technologically advanced, scientifically superior, highly cultured nazi Germany can be better than the "forced" democracy imposed on Japan and Germany after WWII.
For the poor and powerless, democracy, (republican democracy, imo) is the best equalizer, not the perfect equalizer, but the best equalizer and the best protection there is against the wealthy and powerful. I am not saying that the wealthy and powerful are intrinsically the enemy of the people, but democracy insures that political power is spread as equally as possible.
Strict and fundamentalist Islam, like any other fundamentalist religious sect, or even atheistic communism for that matter, is intrinsically intolerant, anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian and at its worst terroristic.
Imo, "forced" democracy as was foisted on Japan and Germany post WWII is no longer feasible nor productive. At this time, imo, people must be given a chance to choose. But in the atmosphere of tyranny and fear that existed in Saddam's Iraq, Taliban Afghanistan and exists in Iran today, the opportunity, the chance and the freedom for a people to choose between a fascistic tyrant and a free democracy, or to choose between a theocracy and a free democracy are not available. For a people to choose their own government freely tyranny must be removed, preferably from the inside, but if not, then from the outside.
That is the way that tyranny like fundamentalist Islam today has always been removed. Revolution or war.
Tyrannical government always threatens and subjugates it own people first and then it threatens others. But it never lets things just be.

If the O man becomes the President and has things his own way (appeasement to terrorism) he will find out these things the hard way but by then our losses will not run into the tens of thousands but into the hundreds of millions. It's happened before. Check it out!

agapian:

Hopefully, Fareed Zakaria’s comments on fear include these two definitions. Where is the spiritual form of the mind, body, spirit combinations in all of this discussion?

From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, also known as DSM-IV-TR:
A phobia (from Greek: φόβος, phobos, "fear"), is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.
A Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by paranoia characterized by a pervasive and long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. (DSM-IV) For a person's personality to be considered a personality disorder, an enduring pattern of characteristic maladaptive behaviors, thinking and personality traits must be present from the onset of adolescence or early adulthood. Additionally, these behaviors, traits and thinking must be present to the extent that they cause significant difficulties in relationships, employment and other facets of functioning. Those with paranoid personality disorder are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience.

Seems like the Human Race has a long way to go to evolve into spiritual beings. Too long a way, perhaps?

Marcus4:

Remember, a Muslim's definition of progress may differ fundamentally from that ascribed in the Western; since, we have have pursued secular development.
I recall reading Muslim's central life-focus to be moving closer to God. They are theocratic bound nations. Coinflict and distortion occurs; although, as the rational for Jihad "violent means for solution" the former being rather oxymoronic as reflex response.

Marcus4:

Remember, a Muslim's definition of progress may differ fundamentally from that ascribed in the Western; since, we have have pursued secular development.
I recall reading Muslim's central life-focus to be moving closer to God. They are theocratic bound nations. Coinflict and distortion occurs; although, as the rational for Jihad "violent means for solution" the former being rather oxymoronic as reflex response.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:


Center says:
“It is the peoples and the ideology they believe in (that) hold progress back“,
I agree. Where do Muslims get their ideology? Mostly from the Quran, which is believed by most Muslims to be the literal words of Allah, the Creator. When that book, says every aspect of human life is predestined (written before creation), why bother strive toward any goal? You ask a beggar on the streets of Cairo why not look for a job, the instant reply would be “It is Allah’s will“. You ask a poor woman why she gives birth to a new baby every year, she replies “it is Allah’s will“. You ask a man who barely can support his family why is he looking to add another wife, he will tell you “the Sharia allows it and it is written(predestined) .
Tunis and Turkey, abolished polygamy and the latter separated Mosque and State. When the rest of the Muslims follow suite we will begin to see some progress. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, once remarked " As long as those people(Muslims) use this book(Quran) as a manual for life, they are not going to amount to anything." Time is proving him right.

I got this message after posting.

Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

If you do not allow to post all of us then why do you invite us to spoil our time?

Anonymous:


Did these various terrorist organizations count

the killers of Palestinians in Palestine?

For that is SURELY more terrorism than their
description of the Iraq war as such...

though I agree with them on Iraq, too.

But the Israeli terrorism has, for example,
no "coalition" and is done in secret, as the MSM in America is jewish operated and muzzles it.

Joseph Herring:

Mahfouz,
Take a look at this link, it shows a timeline of science, philosophy, inventions, and the work of muslim peoples.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_science_and_technology_in_the_Islamic_world


Center:

Mahfouz responding to Herring says: Yes this predicament,meaning Muslim backwardness, has everything to do with Islam.
Mahfouz, I found reading about the intellectual era in which Luther lived to be very helpful. I also would think that reading on ideology and the stuff it is made up of would shed much light on why we think the way we do.

You also state that 'emperical evidence'.....supports your contention that Islam is the culprit in why Muslims are 'backward'. I repeat my suggest that you read the works of Luther. If you did, you would find that Christians (People) and not Christianity were corrupt and backward. The same could be said about Islam or Hinduism etc. Luther had to fight Christian contemporaries to 'save' Christianity from contemporary Christians. This is what many Muslims are trying to do with state power standing in their way. It is the peoples and the ideology they believe in hold progress back. Christianity has been with us since Christ. It is ridiculous to say that 20th century Christianity is better than 16th century Christianity. It is the people reading the Bible (then and now) who should be praised or condemned for setting the social pace in their communities.

The same could be said about Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.

center:

Robert,
Your comments on the 'Beduins' as primitive and your judgmental comment on Saudi were unnecessary.

These comments reflect an ethnocentric mind-set.

Calling others 'primitive' is more a reflection of the 'caller's' state of (in)tolerance.

There are more acceptable ways to praise Kuwaitys than to cast aspersions on groups of people or countries.

I would have the same resentment toward comments like yours if they were directed toward the native American, Ebos in Nigeria or any group.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Robert says:
“You (meaning Palestinians) were all evicted because most of you, not all, but most of you living in Kuwait were celebrating and openly embracing the Iraqis when they took over Kuwait."
Moi:
Neither I nor anyone I know celebrated Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait even though we have every reason to do so; Kuwait is a province of Iraq and was stripped away by the British to raid its oil wealth. Very much like what the same British did to our Palestine, except for a different reason. We shall dance in the streets, along with all justice loving people, when Kuwait is united back with its motherland just like when Palestine is liberated.

Robert:

Mr. Ibrahim Mahfouz, you and your family and fellow palestinians were not evicted from Kuwait because of a kiss between Arafat (the ultimate hustler), and Saddam (the ultimate thug).

You were all evicted because most of you, not all, but most of you living in Kuwait were celebrating and openly embracing the Iraqis when they took over Kuwait.

Kuwait did what most societies do in such circumstances: they felt deeply betrayed and took retaliatory steps against all palestinians. Just be happy that these primitive Bedouins did not slaughter you in the streets.

If it were Saudi Arabia, they most certainly would have chopped some heads in public squares.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Joseph Herring addresses me and Center by saying:
"I have to agree with Center, that this predicament has relatively little to do with Muslims or Christians."
Moi: Yes this predicament,meaning Muslim backwardness, has everything to do with Islam. Empirical data conclusively prove that Muslims, despite the many differences that divide them, are clustered toward the bottom of the totem pole in all facets of human endeavor; science, technology, industry, economics, politics, human rights, equality of the sexes, plurality etc. That alone should be enough proof. Name me one scientific discovery or technological innovation done by a Muslim in the past 500 years.

You say:
“More something to do with stuff, recourses, land, or some sort of tangible power like oil.”
Moi: Excuses, excuses and more excuses. Sudan has one million square miles of the most fertile land in the world as is the poorest in Africa. The Gulf states have most of the world’s oil reserves, and all what they are doing with this wealth is building few tall office buildings, build madrassas and mosques mostly in the West and funding terrorists. Such “arguments” as yours expose the box within which Muslims’s mentality is trapped.

You say;
But there must be some reason why you feel so strongly? Could you please clarify why you are surprised that there are any Christians living today in the Arab world?
Moi: All what you have to do is read the so-called "Omar Pact" and you too will be surprised that there are any Christians living in Muslim lands.
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-pact-of-umar.htm

Joseph Herring:

Fareed Zakaria,
I wanted to let you know I appreciate the research, and for letting us know what the findings were in the Simon Fraser study. This kind of knowledge is useful for cutting through some of the fear that is so thick in my part of the world. It seems like the article you wrote has led to some discussion about the causes of terrorism. Many are lead to believe that it has roots in Islam. I can't believe this? It just doesn't make sense in the big picture. In your studies, have you found any scientific research that elucidates the true causes of this activity?

Anon:

To Joseph Herring 9.02 am post: Are you referring to Muhammad?

Anonymous:

Mahfouz,
Sorry, I failed to notice in your previous blog that you are talking about strict fundamentalist state sponsored Islam and not Islam in a pure or practical sense. It is clear to me now that you respect the difference, which leaves me no further cause to try to enlighten you.

Anonymous:

Vkguptan,
"If Islam is a religion of peace we are yet to see that benign face of it."
Look harder VKguptan, There has been considerable beauty flow forth from this rich and ancient tradition. Mathematics, Architecture, and rich poetry and story archive, to name but a few.

Joseph Herring:

Mahfouz and Center,
I have to agree with Center, that this predicament has relatively little to do with Muslims or Christians. More something to do with stuff, recources, land, or some sort of tangible power like oil. But there must be some reason why you feel so strongly? Could you please clarify why you are surprised that their are any Christians living today in the Arab world? I can't see any harm in living devoutly muslim so long as you aren't a hatemongering fearmaking murderer, which really is deserving of its own religious namesake.

Anonymous:

Shafiq Rahman,

I do not hate Muslims but only want them to know the truth that will set them free. Sometimes doctors have to tell patients that they have a life threatening disease. The doctor is not unloving if they tell the truth. In fact he has to tell the truth so that the patient will see the need for the operation that will fix the problem. Jesus the Son of God is the doctor and He says that all other ways (religions) except for His death burial and resurrection are sinful diseases of death. Faith towards the true God and faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross is the operating table on which all sin is taken away and nailed to the cross. It is the table were new life is attained by faith.

vkguptan:

I do not like to comment on somebody elses comments. Reading the comment by Mr. Shafiq Rahman I am tempted to put in few words.
I fully agree with him when he says that many of the comments are not relevant to the topic and that Mr.Zacharia has posted his article in the wrong place. It would have been much suited for a panel discussion with experts in the field. Once he posts in this column every Tom, Dick and Harry including myself will give their opinions. If Washington post had a system of reviewing the comments before they are posted many could have been weeded out. This one also will not see the light of the day as topic is basically about whether terrorism has decreased during the past few years which I fail to agree.
I cannot agree that reports coming in the papers are as per the briefing from White House. It is posted from the very place where the terrorist attacks has taken place.
He has told that Bangladesh has dealt with terrorists there successfully. But a week or so back terrorisst attack has killed more than sixty people in Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan a state in North India and the intelligent agencies are of the opinion that it is the handiwork of Bangladesh based terrorists.
In Kashmir when the army or other agencies kill any civilian by mistake there will be big protests with closing of the markets and offices. On the other hand when the terrorist kill many innocents there is hardly any such protests. I am not condoning the killing of the civilians. Only comparing the attitude of the people to both heinious acts.
I don't think really any moderate muslims are coming out and condemning such acts except a few here and there. Could be that the religion has such a powerful hold on the individuals and they are afraid of being ostracised if they speak out publically against it.
And finally something entirely different. If Islam is a religion of peace we are yet to see that benign face of it.

Joseph Herring:

I don't so much feel above it all as at the bottom of a latrine, stairing up at the peephole.
I do think this arguement that "terrorists will always exist as long as their are devout muslisms" is some of the crap I am sitting upon. The turds in the latrine are all different colors. Hatred is born out of resentment and separation. All the turds are in the same latrine whether we like it or not? Anybody that thinks devout muslims are some sort of enemy is a terrorist in hiding, waiting for their own situation to become desperate enough as to warrant action. Me? I am starting to enjoy the smell. I happen to love Allah for what he is, which happens to be allah you ignoramuses.
Peace brothers, and may your minds find some peace in accepting who you are; turds in a latrine, stairing up at a peephole.

Shafiq Rahman:

It seems that you have posted your article in the wrong place, Mr. Zakaria. Most of the people who make postings are intellectually challenged and analytically bankrupt. They are so obsessed with their “knowledge” about Islam and the Muslims that they would give you the final word: As long as there will be Muslims, there will be terrorisms. You guys are totally incompatible in the globalized world. Please use this forum to discuss, analyze and learn something. Don’t just vent your anger and spew hates.

Shafiq Rahman:

I would like to begin where Mr. Zakaria ended: Why we do not see critical analysis of the threat emanating from terrorism (Islamic or otherwise). Zakaria is absolutely right: The stories that deconstruct the “Islamic threat” do not fit into the narratives favored by political and cultural elites in this country. Although the clash of civilization theory has been widely discredited in academia, media still cling to it and use it in reporting events and issues that relate to so-called Muslim world and its relations with so-called West. This framework, along with media’s mantra “conflict” (if it bleeds then it leads), creates a deadly combination. Also, US media’s heavy reliance on the White House for reporting international affairs is responsible for this. Research has consistently showed that US media people do not have the resource and knowledge to report intelligently on foreign affairs. They usually amplify the talking points of the White House. They become critical only when the government fail, like they are being critical now about Iraq War.
In the case of post-9/11 threat reporting media propagated the Bush assertion that Islamists are there to create a Caliphate. A scary situation in deed! Media miserably failed to deconstruct this notion by providing more contexts. They rarely mention that the global terrorism by Al-Qaeda began in Afghanistan, in the battleground of Mujahedeens against the Soviets, in which the US, Saudi and Pakistan governments played huge roles. Media rarely report on how other countries fight terrorism, and rather successfully. I would give just one example from Bangladesh, where I lived most of my life and have followed the political situations closely. Bangladeshi government quickly cracked down the terrorists responsible for the recent country wide bombing campaign. Two of the masterminds were apprehended and were sentenced to death. These terrorists used the bombing campaign to “establish Islamic law” in the country. According to media reports, those terrorists were successful because of the poor security situations in the country. Also, some government officials used those terrorists to achieve their political goals, which were not Islamic, by the way. So, the idea that terrorism, which is done in the name of Islam, is tantamount of establishing an Islamic Caliphate is just non-sense. Terrorist activities that have been going on throughout the world have specific contexts and those should be highlighted. And the fight against terrorism should continue; not globally but locally.

vkguptan:

It is really very confusing. Mr.Zacharia has quoted undisputable statistics and has proved that terrorism is very much on the decline. But practically every day one reads of suicide attacks which kills a lot of innocent ones. Of course such reports are not from US or Europe. It is in Iraq, Afghanistan and here in India. It was happening in Pakistan as well till the present Government was rather forced to surrender to the terrorists. It is also surprising to note that Bin Laden's support base has gone down from 70 percent to 7 percent. I feel that the statisticians can do some jugglery and project whatever thay want to.

center:

the post signed Anonymous below is not; it is by Center.

sorry for not typing the name.

Anonymous:

Mahfouz,
you present a list of dos and don'ts as if these dos and don'ts were in the Muslim holy book. You fail to appreciate that these dos/don'ts are explicated from Islam as well as from theology. Mind you, these dos and don'ts are those of certain school of thought. Since you lived in Kuwait, I hazer a guess that you felt the differences between the dos/don'ts of the Sunni vs Shia. This fact trumps your assumption that Islam would always be backward due to the many rules that stifle scientific creativity. You call these dos/don'ts rules when in actuality they are (social) expectations rather than religious rules. Let's also remember that Islam did not hinder progress of early Muslims. Likewise, the Protestant Reformation was a revolt against these 'Kind' of rules some Muslim adhere to. Granted, different Muslims support/enforce these rules depending on what school of thought a Muslim state one talks about. Sharia is nothing but rules that vary from school of thought/state to another. Islam is a construct, however, neither Sharia nor Muslims are a monolith.

What Kuwaitys did to you and many others is reprehensible. Kuwait is ruled by tribal ethos, not Islamic ideas and ideals as I understand Islam to be.

Sorry that our exchange has veered away from the main topic of the post.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Center tells me:
“It is also a wrong assumption to think that any peoples are backward/progressive due to a(ny) religion.”
Moi:
Generally speaking this maybe true but not in the special case of Islam where it is both a religion and a state constitution that deals with the minutest details of everyday living. There are strict rules as to with what foot to enter the bathroom and with what foot to leave it and with what hand to eat , and what direction to face while defecating and how many times to do the ritual worship and how many times to kneel etc. This along with the many threatening verses of Hell and brimstone for those who deviate in their practices and beliefs are designed to control and manipulate and not encourage creativity and free thinking. Muslims are told by their Sharia what to think and not how to think, and that is hardly condusive to scientific discoveries.

daniel:

Zakaria's piece seems to have four major problems.

1) The blame for a narrative of fear is being placed on America when it is precisely terrorism which has as its mission to create as much fear as possible with as little means. It should be terrorism which is blamed for the climate of fear. This is not to say victims of terrorism should not strive to be objective and determine the exact level of danger before them, but they should be given the benefit of the doubt as to climates of fear.

2) Zakaria's piece argues that terrorism has been declining exactly during the time that the U.S. has been "unnecessarily fearful". Zakaria must explain this contradiction. Has terrorism been declining because the U.S. has been fearful and taking action or has terrorism been declining for other reasons? Zakaria seems to favor the latter. But...

3) In arguing for the decline of terrorism Zakaria says we should exclude Iraq, precisely one of the places the war on terrorism HAS BEEN TAKEN TO THE TERRORISTS. IN FACT THE MORE THE WAR IS TAKEN TO THE TERRORISTS THE MORE ACTS OF TERRORISM ARE CONFINED TO THE HOME COUNTRIES OF TERRORISTS AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM BECOMES INTERMINGLED WITH GUERRILLA WARFARE AND CONVENTIONAL WAR.

4) This brings us to the last observation of Zakaria, that Muslims are supposedly becoming more and more against terrorism. Why is that the case? Could it possibly be because the war on terrorism is mostly on their ground now and they (the Muslim civilians) are too often the victims? Or is there another reason? Zakaria does not state a reason, but over the whole of his piece is the air that the U.S. has been unnecessarily fearful and that terrorism is declining of its own accord or something. Is it true that the terrorists were only too successful and scared the U.S. beyond all proportion to the threat? Oh, but wait, I forgot: for Zakaria the U.S. should be blamed for the climate of fear, not the terrorists. In conclusion Zakaria's piece is a confused piece of writing and quite apologetic of radical Islam. Cause and effect are confused in his piece. Confusion between possible sources of fear. Confusion between exactly when and how a terrorist act should be defined. The gross error of removing Iraq from the terrorist body count when precisely the U.S. troops have been the most attractive magnet for the metal of the terrorists. But Zakaria does seem committed to the thesis that the world is getting better. Maybe he is just a hopeful sort of person. Hard to tell about anybody these days.

Unveiled Truth:

The Simon Fraser study ignores the nature and mandate of Islam to conquer the world by all means necessary as laid out in the Qur'an, the Hadith, and demonstrated in the example of Muhammad. Yes there have been lulls in terrorism but those lulls are for the purpose of strengthening all true Muslims to fight more overtly on another day. The report also ignores all the terrorism that led up to 911 in the Muslim world's attack on the West. The Muslim mandate is clear as Muhammad said:

"I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me that I am the Messenger and in all that I have brought."

Muslims will say anything to get us dummies in the West to believe that there is no threat. They use our pluralistic values against us and tell us, "Islam is a religion of peace" when in reality they only peace they see is when the whole world is conquered for Allah. They will "fight against the people" (the non Islamic world) through politics, lying about their religion, and all out war when they gain a stronghold. Blood is in the water and leadership is lacking in the West and the USA. This is seen in the ignorance of politicians, news media reporting, and our educational systems. Most of which are filled blind guides who run around repeating the mantra that "Islam is a religion of peace." They also undermine our president and military any chance they get because they love the left wing so much that they will say anything to undermine the president and in so doing they embolden our enemies. We are in serious trouble.

The Muslim world is making its move in economic jihad right now as the economic center of the world shifts away from the West to the Muslim world in Dubai (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/520110-dubai-picking-up-mantle-of-world-financial-capital?ln=en.) One day we will awaken from our slumber but it will probably be too late. We have lost our ability to judge between good and evil because we have bought the lie of relativism. We have bought the lie that says we should not judge another culture or religion even though the evidence all around us is screaming that Islam is not a religion of peace and that Muslims all over the world are bent on our destruction.

Anonymous:

Joseph Herring,

You are so above it all.

center:

Mahfouz,

sorry that you and others got punished for Arafat and Sadam exchanging hugs and kisses.

As to your statement: the adherents of Islam are the most backward in every facet of life....

My reaction to that is: no opinion is wrong.

coreligionists, you say!! quite an assumption. It is also a wrong assumption to think that any peoples are backward/progressive due to a(ny) religion.

Joseph Herring:

Wow, the sheer number of differing explanations and opinions in this blog alone seem to indicate that noone knows what the hell is going on. How can any action be taken amidst such confusion? When I look, all I see is ignorance justifying ignorance.

Muhammad that Prophet:

I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me that I am the Messenger and in all that I have brought.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Center:
You wonder why the Kuwaitis expelled me from their country.

The Kuwaitis evicted me along with all the other Palestinians simply because Arafat hugged Saddam Hussein, as if we had something to do with that.
As for science having no religion, I agree but it is a fact that the adherents of Islam are the most backward in every facet of of life; scientific, cultural, economic, industrial and cultural. It is a fact that should be obvious to even you that while the rest of the world is moving forward, your coreligionists, especially among the Arabs, are marching backwards with full speed. Should n't that make you pause and wonder?

kackermann:

Good morning, Jacob:

You said: "and overall what's really needed is education, both here in the US and over there. with proper non-islamist education, everyone will start to see the problem for what it is. these jihadist apology groups that we have here in the US and overseas are only confusing ppl and making them think that it's our fault for what is happening. it's their fault."

Education would be great. Personally, I think the US should stop turning a blind eye, and stop propping up governments like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. who fund many of the extremist elements in exchange for security.

Which country is more democratic: Saudi Arabia or Iran?

Why is Jordan peaceful?

That we have isolated Iran, who is nearly on the brink of being democratic, is beyond me.

You want to solve the Iran issue? Tell them we will run their nuclear program, sign a non-aggression treaty, normalize relations, and sign a trade agreement for their energy products.

This could be followed up with an announcement to the world that the state of Israel will always exist and will be defended with the full might of the USA, and that Israel will unconditionally hand over the West Bank and change its charter to be a nation of its citizens with equal rights for all.

Instead of cluster bombs, just once I would like to see us or Israel drop digital cable TV, reclining chairs, and bags of Doritos on the heads of the little brown people and turn them into a bunch of fat, lazy, and stupid people like we strive to be.

Somali:

The Terrorist They Call "president" Is The Enemy Of Humanity!!

The current Terrorist "president" who resides at the so-called white house has killed More people in the world than any leader or president ALIVE. The number of INNOCENT CIVILIANS he has mass murdered in Iraq is said to be over a MILLION!!!

Who but Pol Pot could come close to this grissly record of mass killing human beings?

But Pol Pot is dead. The current mass murderer, Torturer, killer of children and women who resides in the so-called white house CONTINUES TO KILL MORE PEOPLE in countries such as Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan (Tens of THIOUSANDS of civilians, children, women, old, mass killed again at his orders and direction,) Somalia (10,000 civilians, children , women, old people all died in the Terrorist's so called "war on terror.")

The list of the evidence of Genocide caused by the American Terrorist is long and all across the Globe!!!

In light of these known FACTS, I have only one question.

When will Americans capture, shackle, hood and hand over to the World Court for trial on charges of Terrorism, Mass Mass Murder and causing Holocausts and genocides across the world the Terrorist they call "president??????

When will their media stop the LIES and HYPOCRICY and start talking about this Terrorist's record around the world?????

center:


Mahfouz,

I repeat! You do not know what you are talking about. Had you known what you are talking about, you would have known that there are ingigenous folks, Kuwaits, who believe in Christianity. I say that simply to refute your argument. Let me say here that allowing other religions in an area is not a panacea. I care less if some Kuwaits are Christians, Muslims, Hindo or believers in the wawa toto. The point is not to have your belief blinders cover the truth.

May I suggest that you stop confusing the value of science with the value of religion, including Christianity. Oil explorations and refining of oil is a product of pure science....Jesus, Allah or Yahweh (the oldest and the most authentic) have nothing to do with extracting oil or refining it. The scientists from Texas did...those guys were looking for money; they were not missionaries.

It would be nice to know why you have been evicted from Kuwait.

You say you evicted from Kuwait! Would that explain why you are nursing a grudge?

You are not a Mahfouz, are you?

Jeff:

Mr. Zakaria is giving the facts a lot of spin and even drawing conclusions not justified by the facts he cites. People lie when they answer polls. Many in the Arab and Persian worlds are still donating to hate and terror groups, even as they say they do not support them.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Duderino repeats,with minor variation, what Asim had been repeating. Below is my reply to Asim which apply to the above mentioned who might be the same person.
He claims the following:

1. Islam is Peace.
Moi:
The Quran, Hadith (tradition of their prophet) and Sira (history of their prophet) prove conclusively that “ Islam a religion of fear and terror and not a religion of peace by any means. There will be continuous war in the world as long as some fanatics will believe in Muhammad, his example and his teachings. The Islamic concept of peace meaning making the whole world Muslim is undoubtedly a mandate for war. After that peace will prevail in the earth of Allah. That is the ultimate exegesis of the Arabic word “Islam”.
2. Muslims did not commit the Crusades.
Moi:
The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions had some European Christians fought back.
3.The Muslims did not commit the Inquisition:
Moi
The Muslim Berbers invaded and occupied Spain for 800 years. The Spaniards finally united and defeated the colonizers. They gave them a choice to accept the religion of the Spaniards or to go back from where they came. Had they allowed those people to keep their religion, Spain would be today another Sudan or Afghanistan. The whole of North Africa and the Middle East were Christians before the Arab invasion of that area. The Arabs did not evict the indigenous population but gave them three choices, to convert or be treated as third class in their own countries or be slain.
4. Islam did not enslave the Africans.
Moi:
Slave trade is ongoing till this day in many Muslim countries. Besides it was the Muslim
Arab tribes of North Africa that were specialized in the art of human hunting and who were familiar with the interior of the Black continent. Some of those slave traders gave their hunted the choice to convert to Islam or be sold as slaves. That is why many negroes in Africa have Muslim names and yet know nothing about that religion.
5. Muslims did not nuke hundred of thousands of Japanese.
Moi:
That is because Muslims do not have nukes. Ahmadinajad is threatening to wipe out a whole country even before he built a single bomb. Besides the Americans did not do that in the name of their religion but in self defense.
6. Islam did not “force convert to Christianity’ the whole of South America.
Moi:
Nobody in the West forced anybody to do what they do not want to do because in this culture there is something called freedom of conscience; something you and your ilk would never comprehend

The full results of the poll referenced by Mr.Zakaria on Pakistan can be found at wwww.terrorfreetomorrow.org

Unveiled Truth:

Ibrahim Mahfouz,

You speak truth!

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Center says;
"It seems you do not know what you are talking about! Kuwait has Christians and churches.
Honesty demands that you get your facts (!) correct before you post."

Sir: I know what I am talking about. I worked in Kuwait until they evicted me along with over a million foreign workers. When I said there are no Christians in Kuwait it should have been understood that I was referring to indigenous population and not to transient expatriates. Off course there are and were Christians residing in Kuwait or how else would those oil fields be located or the refineries there built?

jacob:

Kackermann,

yes, whole world sharia is tough to believe, but THEY believe it is possible and worth fighting for. even though it does seem ridiculous to us, rational thinking westerners, to them it's the only way, the right way. granted, the majority of moderate muslims do not want this nor do they support this, however, if they sit back and do nothing it will/can happen. as you said, these folks have been around for much longer than we have and have ungodly patience ("One has survived much longer than the other. One can relate to events on a timescale that I find is barely comprehended here in America.") if we ignore this problem, as we have for years and years and years, things like 9/11 happen and will continue to happen. clinton is a classic example of america doing nothing over and over again to a very real threat which at the time we thought was just some silly arabs talking nonsense.

"The more the US meddles in the Mideast, the more problems we face. The hostages Iran took in the 70's were on the heels of a revolution where Iran cast off the yolk of the US imposed Shah. Go figure.

The US was not in Bin Laden's sights until we repeatedly ignored his calls to leave the region. That's all he wanted. We didn't and he did what he said."

i hate to say it like this, but thinking like this is just flat out wrong. these things have nothing to do with what's going on in the middle east now. the problems in the middle east, and the world, are not this black and white. bin laden wants the US to leave the middle east so he can run rampant and make taliban type situations everywhere. bin laden is not going to suddenly start sprining up democracy and freedoms for ppl all over the region is the US suddle says "yeah, your right, we messed up. we're gonna leave now. sorry for the troubles". this is just liberal american's way of explaining away the problems. i used to think ex-CIA folks like michael scheuer were on to something with this line of thinking. but it just goes to show our massive ignorance over something that is much older and greater than america. logical explanations like this do not apply. this is purely based on jihadists interpretation of islam and what has historically worked to strengthen the umma and what doesn't. unfortunately they believe that their form of jihad works, and there's no room for politics in jihad.

ok true, things in israel are not ideal, i'm sure the moderate muslims there would like equal rights and to have life similar to the jews, however thats where politics comes in. blowing yourself up in a bus to remove the zionist threat is not the way. just as israel firing rockets into Palestinian areas in not the way. we have to clarify and understand who we/they are fighting against. right now hamas, an iran backed jihadist group, is the big threat there. they are not a political group, no matter how much they say they are or pretend to be. they are jihadists with one goal. if we ignore that fact, then there are going to be serious problems...similar to what happened in lebenon. again, hamaz is an iranian backed jihadist organization, it's that simple. we can never ignore that simple fact when dealin with these groups. the muslim brotherhood which is gaining so much ground in egypt is another jihadist organization. if they win seats in egyptian government using the democracy to their advantage, expect to see egypt rapidly deteriorate.

iran may not be the ones to use any WMD's they deveople, but they have enough NGO's that they can give these weapons to. these NGO's will use these weapons without thinking twice, since they face no consequenes like a country like iran would. again, this is not a black and white issue that can simply be explained away using our western logic. we all need to keep that in mind when thinking about this problem.

and overall what's really needed is education, both here in the US and over there. with proper non-islamist education, everyone will start to see the problem for what it is. these jihadist apology groups that we have here in the US and overseas are only confusing ppl and making them think that it's our fault for what is happening. it's their fault.

kackermann:

JACOB:

I don't know what to say. When you talk about global Sharia law I have to ask you to draw a breath.

First, Iraq used to be secular before we fixed it. So that leaves Iran as a Shia threat. Don't tell me Syria is powerful, because they are not. Most of the Syrian government is educated in the US.

The US kept the great Red Bear at bay all those years through containment. They also had a hotline to ensure there was always a line of communication open.

It's not Iran that is running doomsday scenarios. It is the religious right here in America who have suddenly taken up a Zionist fancy. Iran knows exactly their fate should they do something. If they were suicidal then they would already be on boats headed for here.

The fact is, the touchstone for most of the gripes in the Mideast is the IP problem. We are supporting a near-apartheid system that is collectively punishing a population nearly as large as the Jewish population in Israel. Those people are eating dirt and stripped of dignity. If you happened to be born there, you would be pretty militant.

This country was founded to throw off the yolk of oppressive imperial rule at the time.

When you oppress people, they try and cast off the yolk. 36 of the 40 towns in Israel with the highest unemployment are Arab towns. They notice this. They also notice that it is nice to be able to vote, but it would be even nicer if they could go to a university like the Jews. Could you imagine that happening here in America? Do you think the black population would just accept a reversal of their rights, and be something less than equal?

The more the US meddles in the Mideast, the more problems we face. The hostages Iran took in the 70's were on the heels of a revolution where Iran cast off the yolk of the US imposed Shah. Go figure.

The US was not in Bin Laden's sights until we repeatedly ignored his calls to leave the region. That's all he wanted. We didn't and he did what he said.

I have heard on TV, chants of Death To America being shouted in the street of the Mideast. I have also seen every form of insult hurled by Americans the other way.

I don't know how you rationally can believe that Islamists are aiming to rule the world. They have to steal planes to reach us. If they wanted to take over here, they would have landed the planes and not crashed them into symbols.

The terrorists who struck us on 9/11 were Saudi nationals. George Bush holds hands and goes for walks with the Saudis. The Saudis can do anything they want as long as they keep the oil coming and keep buying our treasuries.

You want to know how they might take over? On a margin call.

Don't forget; if they manage to invade this country in their rowboats and demand our surrender, we have Trident subs sitting on the bottom of the ocean ready to destroy all life on earth.

Geez, we sound like madmen.

If you think Iran is going to be sending a nuke our way, talk to me in ten years. They don't have intercontinental missiles that can go 8000 miles, and they don't even have enough fissile material to put in a bomb, even if they had a bomb.

Do you really think they would send one our way knowing their fate about 11 minutes after? Or less.

Also, if I were a betting man, you have to look at the age of this country and the age of Iran. One has survived much longer than the other. One can relate to events on a timescale that I find is barely comprehended here in America. Like the Chinese, they take a long term view of things. If you ever hear them say they are going to take over America, make sure you ask a followup as to the estimated date, and then try and act worried when they say 500 years.

In the meantime, if what you want is for America to kill all Arabs and Persians, you have to realize we don't have enough bullets for that. Let someone else kill them all. I'm sick of paying for it.

kackermann:

R.I.P.

I know I should just leave this alone, but how do you justify torture here in America?

When some of the first reports began surfacing about our use of torture, a soldier on the other side of the range here in Oregon turned up missing along with a soldier from Mass, I believe.

You might remember it if you were following closely and connected the dots back a few years ago. If you were, then you must remember that nagging sense while they were missing that they would not be in great shape when found.

Sure enough, from this post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/20/AR2006062000242.html
According to residents of Yusufiya and a relative of one of the victims, the soldiers were beheaded. An Iraqi official said they had been brutally tortured before their death, but provided no further details.

Now, you should know something about torture before you just blindly advocate it.

First, the contrived ticking bomb scenario? Let's say the government is holding someone who they believe knows where an important government official is located who was kidnapped. Do you think they would risk in any way that person's death or brain damage by torturing him for info?

Also, by publishing the ticking bomb scenario, those fools exposed themselves to manipulation. I wonder how many captives volunteered that they knew were a ticking bomb was? How many goose chases did they go on wasting time that may actually have uncovered valuable data through investigation.

If a captive one day says he knows a place in Jordan that is a safe house used by ??? Would you dare ignore him, or would you pull an agent to check it out? What about the next day when he says a new address?

They have no idea what hind of info they are getting. If I was being tortured, I would make up anything they wanted to hear. How would that help? Most people with guns are grunts. They don't have a clue about operations beyond the one they got captured in.

If they had someone important that they wanted info from, a pro would try to locate any family the suspect has - especially children. They would parade his children out in front of him, and if he has already played hardball, then they would not even ask a question; they would just lop off an arm of one of the children, and then see if he wanted to talk.

Would you support that too?

It's funny our differences of opinions: I would rather die in a terrorist attack, or be shot for treason rather than sacrifice the only thing all our previous soldiers died defending. The Constitution is a statement about the value of mankind and is supposed to be immutable.

You didn't hear the groan of all the past soldiers whose sacrifice was diminished by our desecration of our sacred contracts and treaties?

The person above who was horribly tortured: that is the face of your beliefs. I would rather die than reduce humanity to your vision of what it means to be an American.

jacob:

Kackermann,

i believe the underlining issue when dealing with the jihadists in their current form is that there is not 1 honest bone in their body. egypt is being run by political groups, not jihadist groups (at least at this time), which is why they can work with israel. the other countries of interest in that region are all supported heavily, or being run by, radical islamists or jihadists. there is no way to negotiate with radicals/jihadists as they do not believe in politics and treaties or any other type of non-islamic way to settle disputes. you are either with them or against them. this is why someone must must fight back or else suffer the consequences....which is eventual world wide sharia law. again, i used to not believe this was possible. i've read endless blogs from both sides, lots of literature, etc, and i really now believe that in fact they are after us for our freedoms and non-islamic ways of life (that was the hardest thing for me to understand initially), and they will not stop...unless they are all defeated or seriously repressed, which this article points out is happening. however, the article is flawed, as numerous ppl have pointed out, in that it gives 0 credit to bush43 for all the efforts he and our troops have made in creating this lull in terrorist activities world wide. this did not magically happen on it's own because after 9/11 they all felt bad for us, or whatever reason he might attribute to this. it's because bush43 and america are leading a necessary, and unfortunately quite destructive war, on their turf. if we don't act preemptively and try and stop them their, they we will eventually be fighting that war here. recent world events have shown that these characters must be stopped (what's going on in holland comes to mind), and the sooner the better. we've waited too long to deal with this problem (over 70 years lets say) and i'm am so thankful bush43 has stepped up to the threats. by leaving them alone in the middle east to run their own affairs is not the solution, it will only make things worse. they do not hate us because we are their, they hate us for who we are. keep in mind, i'm only refering to islamits/jihadists. i've traveled quite a bit through the muslim world and have NEVER met anyone that hates me for be america. actually, they are some of the most hospitable ppl i've ever met. so this is definitely a minority we are up against, but an extremely resilient minority, which is what makes this so scary.

Center:

Mahfouz talking about Christians says: Some like Saudi Arabia ,Gulf States and Yemen there are none at all.

It seems you do not know what you are talking about! Kuwait has Christians and churches.

Honesty demands that you get your facts (!) correct before you post.

You come hard on the 'arab nomads'. Have not the arab nomads provided with an identity, Herr Mahfouz!

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Duderino asks:
"If Muslims were so bloodthirsty and violent, why is that in the vast majority of countries where Muslims live, there are large non-Muslim minorities with an active religious and a rich history, even in the main centers of the Arab world? Help me with that one too Ted."
Moi:
For all Arab countries except Lebanon, the percentage of Christians now are less than 10%.Some like Saudi Arabia ,Gulf States and Yemen there are none at all.All the Arab speaking countries outside the Arabian Peninsulla were 100% Christians before the nomads of Arabia swept throughout the Middle East and North Africa, burning pillaging and raping. Considering the methods they employed in treating the indigenous population as institutionalized by the "Omar Pact" cited below, it is truly a miracle that there is today a single Christian living in ”the main centers of the Arab world”.


http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-pact-of-umar.htm

Editor?:

How do you become an editor at Newsweek? There are daily massacres of civilians in Islamic world (mostly Iraq, Afghan, Palestine). People are blown up in market places, funerals, mosques....

That is not terrorism?

Comparison of the ACTUAL violent and non-violent deaths due to UK-Israeli-US state terrorism and from Muslim non-state terrorism is even more surprising.

The actual annual risk to Western civilians of death from Muslim-origin non-state terrorists is of the same order as the annual risk of death from shark attack or lightning strike (1 in 4 million). The actual current annual risk to Jewish Israelis of death from Palestinian attack (2 in 100,000) is similar to the risk of death at the hands of a Jewish Israeli acquaintance or family member (1 in 100,000).

In contrast, the “annual risk of avoidable death” in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories is 130 per 100,000 (Occupied Palestine), 890-1,190 per 100,000 (Occupied Iraq) and 2,100-4,200 per 100,000 (Occupied Afghanistan).

Yet Mainstream media and politicians continue the big lie and beat the drum of obscene anti-Arab anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and War. In Western countries civil liberties have been grossly violated as a result of this utterly false Zionist, and Bush-ite neo-con “terror hysteria” (for documenation and details see "The Big Lie. Falsity of Zionist, neo-con & US administration terror hysteria" via the link provided).

R.I.P.:

Now indeed, Kackermann is a profound reader of human hearts, and he even writes essays to demonstrate this point on a multiplicity of topics. He fashions himself an intellectual but he is only a poor, bitter fool impotently watching his friends die. Kackermann, I have no fear of Muslims or Islam, only a desire to speak to the religion of peace and its followers uncompromisingly in their own language. By the way, can you believe that torture actually occurs in war? Incredible, no?

Unveiled Truth:

kackermann,

Islam really is the problem and I am not talking about a misinterpretation of Islam but real Islam. Muslims will say Islam is peaceful when they are in the minority but as soon as they start growing in number they will start pushing for heir own laws and privileges in a society which includes sharia law (Note: I do realize that many Muslims do not live by the Quran or even know what it really teaches). As soon as they get around 10% they will start becoming violent in a society and when they get around 50% all hell breaks loose. Look at Lebanon the onetime Paris of the Middle East. As soon as the population of Muslims grew to a formidable number the festering problem manifest itself in all out unrest. Now Muslims have destroyed the one time great nation of Lebanon. Now if it were Christians that were doing the same we could point to the Bible and say that such actions are out of step with the words and actions of Jesus. But when Muslims act in this way they act according to the example of Mohammad as recorded in the Hadith and they are in perfect concert with the Quran. I do not hate Muslims in fact I pray that Muslims everywhere would see the truth so that they would be set free from the bondage of Islam.

Rocky:

Why haven't we heard more about these studies? A good question to ask the Post's editors. Why not run a few stories on this? What questions could be more important than 'are we safer?' and 'what are our biggest threats?'.

I don't think you can leave it up to the candidates or political parties to address this in a factual manner. Especially the one whose idea of foreign policy 'discussion' consists of pointing at pictures of Ahmadinejad and seeing who can grunt and pound the table the loudest.

daniel:

Perhaps the most laughable contradiction about Zakaria's piece is that he claims we have needlessly been made fearful and then goes on to explain that precisely during the years we have been made fearful terrorist attacks have gone way down! As if the decline of terrorist attacks has not been due to our fears and actions but for some other reason and we have been needlessly fearful all along. I say we should continue being fearful until the problem goes away completely. Or perhaps Zakaria can explain why terrorist attacks would have gone down anyway (supposing they have gone down) without our fears and actions. Again I could be wrong, but Zakaria's piece just sounds like another piece of politically motivated confusion. It seems in the thick of it as we are that we will never get an honest assessment. Too many people trying to define and redefine from this or that perspective

kackermann:

unveiled Truth: First, I apologise for addressing you in my last comment. It was meant for R.I.P.

My point to you was you can post incidences all day long, but the primary response from them is hatred.

The way not to change the system that you do not like there is by eliciting hatred.

First, the Saudi government is completely backed by the US. The US is very happy with the system of government there, and in fact doesn't seem to be particularly upset that Saudis smash airplanes into our buildings. Saudis even got an escort out of here with FBI being allowed to question them.

Next, I don't know what your race or nationality is, but I take it that it is the religion you are claiming as oppressive. If that is the case, how many more a like you?

They don't behead here, but one of our candidates sought an endorsement from a an influential Christian Zionist who explained to the Jews how lucky they were that Hitler happened along when he did because it drove them all to the Holy Land.

He believes that is a requirement for God to walk on earth in Israel and somehow convey favor on certain Americans that don't include Catholic ho's.

He also appears to be anxious to get on with nuclear war in the Mid-East so the Rapture can start. I think what he will end up with is a bunch of angry and radioactive Jews on his hands, and a big mess to clean up.

How do you feel about nuclear war in the mid-east?
Is that an acceptable replacement for a religion?

What does us staying in Iraq have to do with wiping out a religion? We don't have enough bullets, even if they all stand still. You can't say that you wish the US to invade Saudi Arabia, could you?

That is how the garbage started with Iraq. A few dissenting voices were selected for their stories to reinforce a decision made long ago.

We are going to do so much for the Iraqi's. Do you know how many refugees we have allowed in this country? Please don't confuse the US of 10, 20, 30 years ago with the US of today. We are rudderless and no longer honor the document that promised us our unalienable rights.

We torture now.

We wrote laws in Iraq exempting us from civilized behavior.

Citizens are spied on by the government.

The free market pressures of capitalism only apply to those not connected for no-bid contracts.

Our department of justice is a political arm of the right wing neocons.

Members of Bush's cabinet have defied congressional contempt citations and are still walking around because Justice refuses to comply with congress.

Underprivileged children are too expensive to insure, because they would cost as much as two months of war.

One of our presidential candidates (the one who looks like Elmer Fudd) thinks it would be a bad idea to restore the education benefits for soldiers.

The administration alters scientific findings to fit their politics.

We are among the top 1 generators of greenhouse gasses but refuse to lift a finger to help what may become your big problem.

My fingers are tired.

Jeff Crocket:

We have sucked in radicals from all over the world and killed them in Iraq. Terrorism is the building of fear through random attacks against civilian innocents. This is occurring all over Iraq. Al Qaeda
pushed much of the random bombing including the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarah. This singular act of terrorism caused much of the ethnic cleansing as well. If these acts are not world terrorism, what are they? Religious teaching?
Attacks in other places have gone down, because the radicals are dead and buried in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was the intent of our mission.

daniel:

It sounds as if we have a definition problem here. Zakaria claims Iraq is a war zone, therefore casualties there should not be attributed to terrorism. But Iraq is not and never was meant to be according to U.S. intentions a war zone in the conventional sense. Iraq was one of the places the war on terrorism was to be taken to the terrorists. In other words, instead of having terrorists focus on Europe or the U.S. they would be drawn to Iraq. Therefore Iraq is not properly defined as a war zone but a zone of unconventional war against terrorists. It seems to me a trick of words to call Iraq a war zone as if no terrorists are there and none of the civilian causulties have anything to do with terrorist attacks. In fact precisely by taking the war to the terrorists we enter an ambiguous ground where we do not know if a terrorist attack is a terrorist attack or an act to be defined as war. I would say the Simon Fraser study is misleading. According to that study it seems the closer an act of Islamic violence occurs to the middle east the more it should be defined as a war act and therefore not to be considered a terrorist act. Or to put it another way, the further from the middle east an act of Islamic violence occurs the more it should be considered a terrorist act. But things are not so simple. The truth is we do not know how many terrorists have been drawn to Iraq or whether to consider the ground there a terrorist operation or conventional war zone. And this goes for all the middle east. Furthermore that so much of the violence is occurring in Iraq rather than elsewhere seems to support those who said terrorists would be drawn to Iraq. But perhaps the best criticism I can make is this: HOW IRONIC IT IS THAT THE MORE TERRORISM IS ON THE RUN AND CONFINED TO THE MIDDLE EAST THE MORE PEOPLE SAY WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR, EVEN IF THE MIDDLE EAST BECOMES MORE VIOLENT THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN BEFORE. WE HAVE PEOPLE TELLING US NOT TO FEAR AND THAT TERRORISM IS WAY DOWN EVEN AS IRAQ RAGES, HEZBOLLAH AND HAMAS RAGE, AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN GO TO CRAP, ETC. HOW SILLY THE SIMON FRASER STUDY LOOKS SAYING TERRORISM HAS GONE WAY DOWN WHEN IT HAS GONE DOWN IN ONE PLACE (THE WEST) BUT EXPLODED TO THE POINT OF CONVENTIONAL WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

OF COURSE I MIGHT BE TOTALLY WRONG IF INDEED ISLAMIC COUNTRIES ARE SUPPORTING TERRORISM LESS AND LESS, BUT I FIND IT DIFFICULT TO ENTERTAIN THAT DATA AFTER THE OBVIOUS SIMON FRASER SLIGHT OF HAND OF CONSIDERING IRAQ A WAR ZONE AND ELIMINATING FROM THEIR COUNT OF TERRORIST ACTS THE WAR IN IRAQ.

kackermann:

Fareed Zakaria,

Good article. I was busy trying to use logic here on this board, but I finally read your article.

There have been a scattering of reports along these lines but not all of them completely sound.

Here is one article from a while back:
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/02/07/1284596-official-al-qaida-near-tipping-point

This article is a real mixed bag, as you can imagine since it is mostly statements by Michael Hayden over at CIA, and Mike McConnel - not exactly a model of objectivity.

First, he offers something approaching proof:

"In the last year to 18 months, al-Qaida has had difficulty in fundraising and sustaining themselves," McConnell said.

He offers no source, but that's OK. This next statement is a bit curious:

CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said there seems to be increasing willingness in the Islamic world to question al-Qaida's vision. As evidence, he pointed to the fact that al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, now has a Web site to which readers can submit questions.

"I think it is a remarkable step and I don't think reflective of overconfidence on the part of al-Qaida leadership," Hayden said.

It's kind of a non-sequitur. Still, the first paragraph is positive, if true.

Now this next statement is a mind-bender because I don't know if it's a swipe at Bush and the Iraq war:

McConnell said he would like the United States to play a more direct counterterrorism role in the lawless tribal area of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan but Pakistan has not agreed.

"I would like to see us have much more aggressive activity, but what that connotes is a potential to invade a sovereign country. So that becomes a very problematic issue," he said.


Kind of weird, huh?

Still, it makes sense in a way. How long can they keep up a recruitment effort? They are not doing charitable work like Hez, and they are minus a national identity. Their primary target has to be the angry, disaffected youth, and there are so many alternatives these days, including blogging, that much of the anger can get dissipated. It's still there, but as long as it stays below the willingness to strap up...

The thing is, a sense of fairness has to be displayed at some time. The Israeli's are still building settlements, and now using dirt poor Palestinians for labor. At some point, dignity has to be restored because nobody will act as dog for long.

After all this time, something different is needed. I suggested Israel and the US offer each Palestinian man, woman, and child $100,000 in cash. It would be cheap in the long run, and would make neighboring countries much more open to taking in a large influx of people if they were coming to buy houses and start businesses.

But, "I'm a fool."


unveiled Truth:

kackermann,

I see you have been indoctrinated by the PC police. You are doing what you accuse me of by saying I am a hater because I disagree with you. Again take your message of tolerance to the Muslim world and then you will know what I am talking about. You will lose your head if you do what I suggest. BTW, I do not hate anyone I simply love truth.

Anonymous:

We should lay in very clear terms the cost of the next terrorist act in the USA.

1) Mecca and Medina will not exist anymore.

2) Muslim immigration to the West will be halted permanently.

kackermann:

unveiled Truth:

How predicable: if I call you out on your hate, you try and label me as an enemy.

It's so funny that I just wrote an essay about you. It had nothing to do with the mideast or anything, it is about our pattern-matching facilities and our ability to abstract.

I specifically mention first the use of fear and hate by those who are not strong enough to deal in facts or smart enough to talk in truths. They attempt to gain allies in others who are shunned by society and seek to inflict harm from a safe place.

Then, with numbers multiplying, they attempt to isolate others that threaten them and begin the process of pseudospeciation because they are not strong enough to kill a man.

Debate on merit is forbidden by them, because they are not equipped for battle using reason.

Fear is what they know and love. They teach their children to hate, and their wives are sorry they met them. They are quietly loathed by all and often ridiculed.

Fear is what they love.

You are wasting your hate on me pal, I have you summed up.

Hillman:

"yes, 911 did happen on Bush's watch, but it is the ONLY terrorist attack that has."

Quite a selective memory you have there, Paul.

The first big attack was against US Marines in Beirut. 200 plus killed in their barracks.

And the US did nothing in response. In fact, we withdrew.

Who was President? Ronald Reagan.

Luca Brasi:

You know Osama misses the god 'ol days. Him and Ayman strutting around Afghanistan. Mohammad Atta and Co. bragging about being pilots and enjoying a few lap dances. The Caliphate was in his grasp. But now, he's an also ran. His latest video mumbling about the Palestinians (I don't even think they cared what he had to say). This country has a standing order to kill him, no matter who gets elected. So much for the glory. What a friggin' failure.

Hillman:

"Remember, it is the angry bitter leftists -- people like me who read firedoglake and are secure in their gender identity "

Methinks thou doth protest too much about your 'security' in your gender identity, whatever that is.

Are you saying you are happy to report that you aren't a big old homosexual?

How on earth is that related to the topic at hand?

sgmorr:

Why and how did the media and the U.S. populace accept without question all the Bush talk of "a post 911 world", "everything has changed", "global war on terror", etc.? Sure the U.S. sustained a horrible attack on Sept. 11 but was this really the beginning of a "war"? There was no offshore flotilla of bin Ladens waiting to launch a followup. Was the first attack on the WTC the beginning of a war back in the early '90s?

Yes, the attack on Afghanistan and the Taliban was warranted, but the Bush people let bin Laden off the hook and decided to invade Iraq, fulfilling a longtime neocon obsession and using 911 as the excuse. Iraq, of course, was not involved in the 911 attack.

And for the Bushies to tout that they have gotten rid of many training grounds for terrorists, well, the 911 "flight crews" could have trained in the backyard of a suburban U.S. home to practice their hand to hand knife fighting. And they certainly got their flight training on simulators right here in the U.S.

Bush and his ilk have milked 911 for all they could get out of it and will continue to do so until they are out of office.

However, they may just leave us with a new war in Iran in addition to the one in Iraq.

Daddio:

Center,

Regarding your questions: "is not the God of the Jews the same as the God of the Muslims?".

You weren't very clear in making a point to this, but the basic answer is yes. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in the same god which derived from the same basic old testimate. Muslims modified this to arrive at the Koran and Christians modified it and wrote the new testimate (Jesus, etc...).

grappler:

I think the following definition (not mine but I can't recall who said it) sums up the fallacies in this whole debate:

A terrorist: someone with a bomb but without an air force.

J.D.Solano:

Let's take a look at some headline news:

- Thirty students killed in Virginia Tech
- Teenagers shot dead at a mall
- NFL superstar killed inside his home
- Dozens killed as the Minneapolis bridge collapsed
- Poisonous lead discovered in Mattel toys
- Oil may pass $200 a barrel within one year

All this is fact. Which is scary enough.

But, since we are big-time masochists, we keep watching TV... for example CNN's Situation Room, or Anderson Coopers' 360, or Dr. Phill, where pundits dig very deep into our fears. They help us get a very dark picture:

- Are you a compulsive shopper? Look how these ladies destroyed their lives doing exactly that!!
- Millions of homes at risk of foreclosure... you could be next!!!
- You better get ready for $8 or $10 per gallon of gasoline!!!
- Watch out... you could be the next victim of identity theft!!!
- Your child could be the next victim of internet pedophiles!!!

Yes, we live in constant fear. But not necessarily of muslim terrorists.

A. Pismo Clam:

Fear is McCains hope!

/surprised:

I had always assumed that "terrorism is on the rise!!!' stats were excessively hyperbolic. Really what I learned from reading this article is how many lunatics read the washingtonpost.

DoTheRightThing:

Fareed Zakaria wrote, "Why have you not heard about studies like this or the one from Simon Fraser, which was done by highly regarded scholars, released at the United Nations and widely discussed in many countries around the world-from Canada to Australia?" Answer: because it does not gather the advertising revenue dollars or liberal political capital for the media (that media we have all accepted as authoritative and the servant of society-at-large far too easily.)

Tom3:

Why you're scared?

Because Chimpy, Cheney and the rest of those Repuke thugs have been LYING to you.

They LIED 935 times to start the Iraq war.

They started a Pentagon Propaganda department to hire ex-military "pundits" to spread their LIES.

They have been caught at this. Several times.

I'm a lot less afraid of a few terrorists than I am afraid of a FASCIST POLICE STATE that uses our tax dollars to brainwash us with propaganda.

THAT scares the hell out of me.

Jarhead:

Somali,

Do you love this country? Would you pledge intelligence to our flag or are you an enemy of the USA? George Bush has made mistakes but he is no terrorist. It was Muslims who flew airplanes into the WTC and murdered my Marine brothers in Lebanon. I suggest you respect our land and its people. I know you have been emboldened by the growing anti-American spirit in our press and among the hate America radicals in the left wing. But if you think those radicals reflect the heartland of this country you are mistaken.

grant marlier, boston:

Wow, the only thing more frightening than the institutionalization of fear implemented by the mainstream media and US government are some of the hateful posts on this blog. Fear truly drives madness.

unveiled Truth:

kackermann,

Do you hate this country? If so I suggest you go and practice the freedom you have here in Saudi Arabia and see what that gets you. The Quran condones and encourages behavior like recorded in the articles I posted. Somebody has to tell the truth about islam our press is only going to give us the PC version. They could not see the truth if it slapped them in the face.

Somali:

The Terrorist They Call "president" Is The Enemy Of HUmanity!!


The so-called Fraser Instutite is a neo-con, mass murder promoting, RACISt, FASCIST organization. The "data" that this organization produces IS NOT reliable. That's because it is ALL POLITICAL, RIGHT WING B.S!!!


According to this ZIONIST garbage group, EVERYONe else is a TERRORISt except, of course, The terrorist, Mass Murderer, genocidal maniac, Hollocaust causer, the so-called "president" of America, WHO HAS KILLED MORE PEOLE IN IRAQ, SOMALIA, AFGHANISTAN, LEBANON, PALESTINE ETC. THAN ANYONE ALIVE!!

No one has killed MORE people than That Terrorist Americans call "presiddent" currently!!!

When will the white man's media start talking about this FACT???????????

When Zakaria?

The world is waiting!!!!!!

R.I.P.:

Poor Kackermann, his Muslim friends are having a hard time of it lately. Of course, they can always attack their favorite targets: pensioners; schools; mosques (imagine that?), bus stops; funeral processions; soccer players; women; and cafes serving alcohol, to name but a few. Since you like to "toy around" with ideas old boy, if Anthrax arrives in great quantities in the US or Europe why not imagine nuclear bombers bombing in relays until the crews collapse from exhaustion and a lack of further targets to bomb? In any case, Iraq is a much better place than Saudi Arabia dear Kackermann, since it borders two of your good friends, Syria and Iran.

Anonymous:

Center,

The god is islam is no god at all he is an impostor. He is the antichrist and his destruction will come when Jesus the Son of God returns to judge all unrighteousness which includes the false murderous prophet muhammad.

kackermann:

unveiled Truth: Why would you post something like that? You you really think that is the worst event by a country or armed group?

Let's see, US drops napalm over villiges in ViewNam. Children report that having their skin slide off is painful.

In Iraq, Kevin Green raped a 14 year old girl, and then killed her and her parents. I might be wrong, but I thought I remembered something about burning them alive.

Do you want me to go on?

JR:

So if a car bomb goes off in the middle of a Baghdad market killing scores of innocents is that considered a terrorist attack?, or not because it is in a war zone?

unveiled Truth:

This is islam:

On May 12, the police rescued two Christian girls, Mary Chikwodi Okoye (15) and Uche Edward (14), kidnapped by Muslim militants three weeks earlier in Bauchi state, Nigeria. According to Compass Direct News, "The kidnappers initially took the girls to the house of a Muslim leader in the town of Wudil. Okoye's foster father and a group of believers heard where the girls were being held. When they arrived at the home, however, the girls had been relocated to the residence of a Muslim leader in Ningi. When the team went to this home they were told by the leader that the girls had converted to Islam and could not be released. The police then stepped in and evacuated the girls to eastern Nigeria where they were reunited with their biological parents." Compass added that the following day, Muslims associated with a paramilitary arm of Kano state's Sharia Commission went on a rampage, attacking Christians and setting fire to local churches, in protest of the girls' release. Six church buildings, the Deeper Life Bible Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, All Souls Anglican Church, Church of Christ in Nigeria, Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Redeemed Peoples Mission, were destroyed in the attack. The Muslims also attacked shops belonging to Okoye's foster father, looting and destroying goods worth over 50 million naira (US $430,198). Thank the Lord that Mary and Uche were found safe.

Anti-Muslim:

Zafar:

This will not be an army of elephants attacking Mecca and Medina but rather something much more powerful and deadly. You can defend those pigsties all you want but the outcome will still be their destruction...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Anonymous:

This is the true nature of islam:

Iranian Police Arrest 12 Christian Converts, Four Remain in Prison - Compass Direct News

On May 12, Iranian police arrested 12 known Muslim converts to Christianity and confiscated their books, computers and printers in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. According to Compass Direct News, "The arrests began at 5 a.m. on May 11, when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport and sent directly to jail. All four were subjected to hours of interrogation, questioning them solely 'just about their faith and house church activities.'" Compass Direct News added the detained Christians had been identified as: Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh, 48; his wife, Fariba Nazemiyan Pur, 40; Amir Hussein Bab Anari, 25; and his wife, Fatemeh Shenasa, 25. Although the two wives were released the same day, Anari was detained until May 14, and Gholamzadeh remains jailed. "Two hours after the early arrests of May 11, police authorities invaded the home of Hamid Allaedin Hussein, 58, arresting him and his three adult children: Fatemah, 28; Muhammed Ali, 27; and Mojtaba, 21. All the family's books, CDs and computers were hauled off as well. Hussein, his daughter and one son were released later the same day, but [his] son Mojtaba remains in prison," Compass Direct added. On May 13, local police also arrested two more former Muslims involved in a separate house church in Shiraz as the Christian converts were talking together in a city park. Both men, Mahmood Matin and a second man identified only as Arash, are still in jail. Yet another arrest incident was reported last month in the northern city of Amol, in Mazandaran province near the Caspian Sea. Two of the arrested converts to Christianity, one a pregnant woman, are still imprisoned with no news of their whereabouts.

kackermann:

Paul, the didn't attack us for our freedoms, they attacked us because of people like you.

First, if we want to play rough, how shocked can we be when they hit back? Given our history there, Bush should have been looking out very carefully.

Going back to '56, the people of Iran democratically elected a socialist government, only to have it toppled with the planning and aid of the USA. We installed a nasty little puppet who only cared about his bank accounts and nothing else - much like Dick Cheney.

We provided overt and covert support for Israel but also brokered the peace accord between Israel and Egypt. It involved that nasty business of talking and negotiating.
Iran rises up and deposes our puppet and installs a hard-liner whose fiery rhetoric reflected very well the appreciation Iran had for the US government. They kidnap a handful of hostages and milk it for all that it's worth.

Regan takes power and the hostages were released, and Regan looks very good. He also treated the area with kidd gloves for a while.

Regan flirted with the idea of gaining a toehold in the region and concocted the idea of a peacekeeping force in Lebanon. He had the sense to read the tea leaves when one of their human cruise missiles snuck through and killed a bunch of Marines. He, unlike the idiots in charge here and now, understood the nature of the slog, and realized we really didn't have a good reason to be there. Things like aggressively invading a sovereign nation and the Geneva Conventions actually meant something to him and the credibility of the US.

In the meantime, Mr. Wrong himself shows up on Saddam's doorstep offering Acme chemical weapons technology and conventional munitions. We gave him the chemical weapons technology, I'm sure, because we didn't want him to use it. Makes sense, right?

In the meantime, even though Regan seemed to respect international law, he was a little looser with domestic laws and funneled weapons to Iran through Israel with all profits being donated to his savory friends in South America (not to mention the CIA planes moving tons of cocaine too).

So, Iran is a bit upset because a portion of their million dead happened from weapons that said Made In America on them. Saddam was probably scratching his head too, because here are the weapons of his new buddy, the USA, falling on the heads of his soldiers too.

I'm not sure they ever figured this out, but a person could almost conclude that our arming both sides of that war could be interpreted as we wanted both sides to lose. Call me crazy...

No matter how much we hated somebody, nothing made us happier than an opportunity kill a few commies, so off to Afghanistan went the CIA, where they found a great friend in someone named Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden didn't exactly say he was our friend; it was more like he said that yes, indeed he liked our money and stinger missiles.

I'm getting bored...

Kuwait screams like a girl because everyone there is so fat and rich that they forgot how to do anything for themselves. Kuwait may have once toyed with the idea of a democracy but you can be sure the US quickly dissuaded them from doing anything stupid. Into the desert we go, kicked butt, and got out like any person with even a hint of a brain would do. Just ask Cheney, he is on tape telling what a mess owning Iraq would have been.

Always the last to leave the party, we wore out our welcome in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden specifically instructed the infidels to leave the kingdom. He actually warned several times. It was interesting to see after 9/11 just how fast the great appeaser Bush obeyed Bin Laden's wishes and got out fast.

We do the right thing in Afghanistan except let Bin Laden walk away. That sneaky devil.

There is no proof at all for this, but I like toying anyway: about the time we were dropping Daisy Cutters along the Af/Pak border, small envelopes starting showing up in the US that contained "weaponized" anthrax. In case you didn't know, weaponized anthrax is not made in lots of 4 or 5 tiny envelopes. I would not be the least surprised if another envelope arrived at the White House with a simple message that said:

Dear Pig,
Please call off the dogs. Your popularity is very high right now, but that would change very fast when the other 4 1/2 tons of anthrax start showing up in your schools and office buildings. Your popularity would diminish quite rapidly. Do what you want in Iraq, it will bleed you dry. I wish you good luck there, I never liked your old friend Saddam anyway.
Hugs and kisses, OBL.

P.S. Thanks for scooting out of Saudi Arabia so fast. Good boy.

The Palestinians democratically elect a government that we didn't like, and we have imposed collective punishment on the entire population in a Bush-like attempt at winning influence.

A few dead-enders put up a fight and we start to conquer life in Iraq. For sport, we show the world what a bunch of homo-obsessed people we are and make geometrical shapes out of naked and shackled Iraqis. Photos for mom showing what liberation and democracy looks like.

blackspeak,DC,USA:

When the words "government funded" is used, bullsh!t filters go up instantly.

Garak:

Fried said: "True all Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Moslems."

What about the Tamil Tigers? Hindu. They invented suicide bombing and, according to the US Army, are the "pre-eminent practitioners" of this technique.

What about the Irgun, the Haganah, the Stern Gang, and the rest of the Zionist terrorist? Jewish. Wiped out entire villages. Assassinated UN peace mediators. And still go on their busy way, now through the state mechanism of Israel.

What about the KKK? Christian. Biggest terrorist organization ever to hit the US. Killed more Americans than al Qaeda. And the foundation of the modern GOP.

Libertarian/Anarchists? Christian. Timothy McVeigh was no Muslim. But a true conservative.

ZZIM: Spare us your discredited disinformation about Saddam Hussein harboring terrorists. Dittoheads may believe this garbage, but not the normal Americans. The 9-11 Commission debunked this bit of conservative propaganda. Hey, did you know Saddam had WMD hidden in his pants?

ZZim:

Steve Boyington says: "I love this one: "Since 2004 there has not been a terrorist attack on US soil or against any US interests in the whole world." Except, of course, the dozens of attacks each month against Americans and American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why go out searching for targets when they can shoot fish in a barrel in Iraq?"

I say: Good fact, bad point Steve. American troops are not "fish in a barrel". Civilians are fish in a barrel. American troops are armed and ready men and women who have volunteered to defend you. Terrorists can kill 20 civilians for every casualty they sustain - when they choose to kill civilians. However, American troops kill 20 terrorists for every casualty they take themselves. Which do you prefer? Twenty dead terrorists and 400 dead civilians? Or twenty dead terrorists (they're going to kill themselves anyway) and 1 dead American service member?

Fortunately for the 400 random civilians it's not up to you.

As a random civilian myself, I appreciate that those men and women are prepared to defend me in this fashion. Very much. As a veteran with several family members in the service (one currently in Iraq), I don't like it much, but there it is.

Jim Chaney:

There is another set of statistics which will cast light on this discussion: stats regarding illegal immigration and the smuggling of narcotics. To abbreviate the argument, the ease with which people (millions since 2001) and contraband (hundreds of tons since 2001) can be brought into this country is stunning; couple that with the fact that Islamist terror attacks on US soil simply haven't come to pass in the nearly eight years since 9/11, and you reach the inexorable conclusion that the threat, in real terms, is simply nonexistant. If there were really that many people wanting to do us harm who were at all competent, it would have happened by now. Getting the pieces of a plot into this country is just too easy.

Shiveh:

Terrorism is a tactic as old as written history. Overwhelming use of this tactic has been by governments against their own people or people of the neighboring countries. It is called tyranny and aggression respectively and is usually confronted by revolt and war. When it is not by governments but is done by individuals or small groups, it is called a crime and is confronted by the police and other governmental policing establishments. The policing action plus changes in the sensitivities of societies have always caused surges in terrorism to be subdued. 1960’s US and 70’s Germany and Japan have a few examples of this terrorism.

The terrorism that we are confronted with, fits none of the above models. It is not local and it has governmental sponsorship. Therefore, we have used both war (Afghanistan) and police action to confront it. The resulting reduction in the number of terrorist activities is due to our success in confronting it. To make our success lasting, we need to correct the underlying reasons of their initial serge by bringing normalcy to the Middle East and an acceptable end to the Arab/Israeli conflict.

The present US government’s interest in keeping the statistics high is for domestic use. Our government is high jacked by corporate bosses that are only interested in last quarter’s profit margins. They are using fear of terrorism to subdue and quiet the American opposition to their thievery and prolong their stay. If by comparing statistics that include war zone violence with past statistics that did not include them they can produce an increase in terrorist activity, then that is the one they advertise.

Our main weakness and perhaps the defining value of our generation is that people who used to say “Give me liberty, or give me death.” are now acting as if to say “Take my liberty, I’m scared!” Terrorism will fail only when we refuse to sacrifice our basic values in any situation.

The challenge is that there are many ways to slice and dice the data. You can choose to exclude war zones or include them. START tries to split the difference by counting terrorist attacks on civilians in war zones, but not counting attacks on military personnel. NCTC is more inclusive, and hence more skewed by the Iraq war. There are also debates over the definition of Islamist and of al Qaeda-affiliated groups.

Finally, there is an open question about whether we ought to count attacks or fatalities. Attacks have increased -- even excluding Iraq, Afghanistan, and those related to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Is that less relevant than casualties? That is also an open question.

The Simon Fraser study is a useful piece of the puzzle, but not by any measure the last word on the debate.

I would urge interested parties to check out our findings at the American Security Project website -- www.americansecurityproject.org.

Jean-Pierre Koenig:

I am wondering about the following comment:

"non-Iraq deaths from terrorism have declined by more than 40 percent since 2001"

IF the numbers from 2001 include deaths from 9/11, this is a very skewed measure, as it involves a big "blip". A better comparison would be the average in 1999 or 2000.

MuslimsDressinFunnyRobes:

Muslims believe that if their wives go out in Public without them or their daughters appear with men outside of their immediate family, they can be put to death.

LOL. Stupid Religion. Bush has failed. He lest Bin Laden scheme for 7 years.

Zafar:

Media makes you believe almost anything like the cliche that all muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims, how naive can one get armed with sophisticated weapons a super power starts a wrong war in Iraq an unjust war in Afghanistan, terrorising the entire populations and the media makes us believe that it those poor ill equipped people armed only with a will that are a threat to global peace. As far as razing of Makkah and Medinah is considered I suggest you read history and see for your selves what fate befell he who launched an army of elephants against Kaaba even before Prophet Mohammad, it is God's house and he will protect it.

steve boyington:

I love this one: "Since 2004 there has not been a terrorist attack on US soil or against any US interests in the whole world."

Except, of course, the dozens of attacks each month against Americans and American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why go out searching for targets when they can shoot fish in a barrel in Iraq?

A lot of military families will argue the "free from attack since 2004" point.

I fear my own government....:

.... More than I fear Osama..... Isn't he on a "back burner" anyways?

Jerry Weltsch:

I agree with your analysis in this piece, but you set up those you criticize with more ammunition who would respond this way: "If we did not provide the battlefield for those terrorists who are engaged in the war in Iraq, where resulting civilian casualties may not be casualties of terrorism, but rather from war, then where would those terrorists be engaged? They would attack us here at home and make real terrorist casualties of U.S. civilians here in the homeland." This oversimplification feeds right back into the climate of fear that sustains the argument to continue the war in Iraq, and backs up one of the key arguents of the Bush administration and McCain campaign for maintaining the war effort until 'success' (undefined) is achieved. How would you address this conundrum?

Fried:

As long as ther is Islam in this world, there will be terrorism. Quran is the world's oldest terror manual and tell Moslems how to deal with (rape/murder/kill/victimize) Kuffars (non-believers). Things have come to such a stage that in countries like Australia, people do not want Moslems to come in. True all Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Moslems. In order to have ever lasting peace in this world, we need to raze and destroy Makah and Madinah, so that the evil of Islam does not exist

rm-rf:

So what is the probabilty of a U.S. citizen of being killed by a terrorist compared to being a victim of violent crime? I don't have to be a statistician to say that my chance of being shot going to the mall is a lot higher than my chance of being a victim of islamo-terrorism - yet we have spent 600 billion and counting for this near-non existant threat, also we have had our civil liberties curtailed and the good name of our country damaged. At least during the red-scare there was a real, well equiped nuclear armed adversary to worry about - the war on "terror" is all smoke and mirrors - also for those who screech "9/11" - 600 billion is 60 9/11's of self-inflicted damage (and the total cost is 3 trillion or 300 9/11's) - think about it.

kackermann:

jacob: Thank you very much for the advice and for being civil. This is always a hot-button issue.

We have totally different views on the matter. I have read, and continue to read volumes of information regarding the whole affair.

When reading the tone of individuals selling books, always remember the voice they use is intended to sell books. Fear is an awesome seller. I'm not saying that to discredit Walid Phares' work, I'm just saying that you can bet the editor didn't ask him to dial back on the sense of immediacy, fear, and suspense in the book. I tend to get much of my info from policy studies, and boots on the ground via blogs.

I am not oblivious to the threats or attitudes, just as I am not under any illusions about our own altruism. Our troops have done a great job under horrific leadership, and they deserve the best. The leadership deserves to swing.

People forget how much Israel and Egypt hated each other, but today they exist in peace brought about through dialog at the dogged insistence of Jimmy Carter.

If you have not done so, I recommend the Global Policy Forum's Iraq report. Check their credentials and affiliations too.

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/irqindx.htm

Liquid Plot:

Would Mr. Zakaria would still be saying that threat from terrorism has gone way down if all the terror plots were not uncovered by cops or Islamists' own stupidity? This includes the liquid bomb plot to bring down 10 airliners over the U.S.

linguist:

Fareed,

Great article, but what's with spelling Benazir Bhutto's name as "Bena-zir?" If you're going to put in the hyphen it should be, Be-nazir as the /be-/ is that is the equivalent of the Persian /bi-/ prefix meaning "without." The name altogether means, "without equal." But really, it should just be Benazir as it is essentially a compound.

map529:

Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the rest of the neocons needed "an attack like Pearl Harbor" to galvanize the national will to attack another country (and the attack on the WTC magically occurred for them). Now, they and their cronies, Blackwater, KBR, GM, GD, et.al. need fear to keep the war going. I find it gives me a headache of galactic proportions to reconcile the message that terrorism is increasing and we need to fight them over there so we don't fight them over here, but at the same time the "surge" is working and we are achieving success in Iraq. Is the success a failure, or is the failure a success--maybe a right-wing, conservative Christian Republican can explain it to me since they are used to living in happy-land where logic is a dirty word. . .like knowledge, or science.

warne:

iraq has cost us (U.S.) about $5000 an acre.
we should have just paid cash upfront.
we could have gotten a better deal.

wtmgeo:

I think one of the greatest misunderstandings of the events since 9/11 is that the American people were scared into invading Iraq and accepting limits on their liberties. Rather, the American people were extremely angry and wanted vengeance. Neither fear nor anger are good reasons for starting wars, but the media elite show how little they understand the rest of the country when they view Americans as cowering in fear. It may be an ugly reality, but the desire after 9/11 wasnt for placid calm. The desire was for heads on pikes.


Deb Chatterjee:

Usama,

What you have stated is a partial view, obviously thru' the tainted lens. India has Muslim presidents, wealthy citizens, artists, Bollywood luminiaries, and yes radical Muslim fanatics who have no support amongst the Muslim populace, but yet continue to survive well and good. That's been my experience complementary to yours.

Blaming Sangh Parivar's a joke. Now in New Delhi Sangh Parivar is non-existent. The center has the Muslim-friendly Congress Government who had once beaten the Supreme Court verdict over the Shah Bano case in 1985 (Muslim polygamy). With recent appeasement policies of quotas and etc., the "secular" Indian Govt. has bent over backwards to reach out. Jaipur carnage, caused by a few lunatic fringe Muslim minority has still occurred. And yet there is no real remorse from moderates like you; instead your present response apparently aims at exploiting the religious divide and blaming Sangh Parivar, which is representative of the majority (Hindus), and thus indirectly empowering the doctrine of carnage held by the minority Muslim radicals.

This blaming I find hilarious: can any presidential candidate (Republican or Democrat) blame Christian advocacy groups - majority Americans are Christians - and still hope to win elections ?

jacob:

kackermann and kj, you guys are so far off from what's really going on in the world it's scary. i used to think like this but have re-educated myself on world events and have no doubt that bush43 is a genius and we will all thank him endlessly someday. try reading anything by walid phares sometime. it'll really open your eyes.

Richard:

" Grant:

Oil at $200 per barrel will imperil our society and future far more then any Terrorist attack."


Our stupid energy policy during the last 30 years are the real threat to us. This is self inflicted, we knew it all, we decided to look the other way.

kackermann:

ZZIM, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes... the statistics you spout, I don't know if you are making them up or getting them from some propaganda rag.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If you think it was acceptable that we opened an arena in which to play with terrorists, and that all the terrorists obliged us and go there to fight, then you would have to agree that a much more effective country to invade for the purposes of baiting terrorists is Israel. If we gutted Tel Aviv, don't you think terrorists would be delighted to use that as a battleground?

Do you really think we are in the business of entertaining terrorists?


The tactics used by many of the insurgents in Iraq, who are fighting a foreign force, are very similar to the tactics used by the Minutemen during our revolutionary war when we fought the invading British army.

Does that mean the US owes its independence to the brave terrorists who repelled the British?

So actual facts for you: the US has used 200 Hellfire missiles this year to kill 250 people. At $60,000 a pop, that is a very expensive kill cost. On the other hand, those few dead-enders that have given us a good deal of trouble spend between $100 and $200 for an old howitzer shell. They turn that shell into a precision weapon by adding that ultra-sophisticated piece of equipment called an Electric Garage Door Opener. Without it even moving, and by using optical sensors called eyes, that shell often explodes with pinpoint accuracy on its intended target.

At $10 billion a month, and considering we attacked the wrong country, this war has been a disaster. It exposed the weakness of our leadership, and showed the world our limitations militarily. Iran is empowered and is happy to play cat and mouse to keep us there and bleed dollars and blood.

We are impotent to attack them other than maybe park some cruise missiles on them or carpet bomb them. Nothing was ever won that way, and don't forget: they have watched our tactics for nearly 6 years now, manufacture their own missiles, and know where everyone of our troops are. The first missiles most likely would go across the strait to slam into the main Saudi oil terminals and deprive the mainland USA the oil it needs to grease the economy. Meanwhile, Bin Laden is beaming us more news than our own networks.

tell me again how this illegal war of choice was a smart idea for the US. Israel must be seething: they have had 8 years of the USA doing basically anything it asks, and it is no better off than in 2000. In fact, I'd say worse. Nothing has bee accomplished except cementing attitudes for the worse.

P.S. Those Iranian weapons we keep griping about that are allegedly killing our troops? I would say they are about exactly like the weapons we used to give Saddam to kill Iranians with.

It's almost like they patiently waited for the right time to return the favor. I hope that the parents of all those dead and displaced Iraqi children don't harbor resentment too.

Fate:

Steve wrote: "My point was that our attacks in Afghanistan and/or Iraq (see any of the AQ's web pages calling it's AQ brothers to throw the infidels out of Iraq) have lessoned the opportunity for terrorist attacks. Had we not fought them where we did, when we did, what would they have done with there spare time?"

My point is about Iraq, not Afganistan. I fully supported the war against Afganistan and I wish we had won it more decisively. Bin Laden saw that a rag-tag greoup of Islamists could toss out the Russians, and that emboldened him to take on the US. A decisive defeat and his capture/death would have delt a blow to that train of thought. But we did not capture bin Laden and for that I blame Bush. I thought we went in with too little power and too much reliance on local warlords. But I do agree the war in Afganistan has weakened AQ, severely, and showed finally that the US would not stand by and be attacked without a response and Bush did after the Cole.

I'll check out those "terrorist targets" we bombed at the start of the Iraq war. Considering the now known misinformation spread by this administration, I would not be surprised that was more of the same fed to WaPo, but I'll check it out. I do remember the first bombs dropping, and they were dropped on a suspected hiding place of Saddam, but he had moved, only hitting the families in those homes.

I disagree that attacking Iraq has made us safer from terrorists. First, remember that this was never the purpose behind attacking Iraq. It was WMD and Saddam's expected giving of WMD to terrorists, not Iraqi terrorists mind you, but AQ, foreign terrorists. Saddam was no threat in any other way. And second, remember that the UN had inspectors on the ground before we attacked Iraq. They had been there just over a month and were finding nothing. Bush ignored them, their results and belittled the IAEA chief. What is sad is we, the American people, bought it without any questioning, and American newspapers, in spite of contrary reports, were spewing what the WH was saying word for word. The American new media really failed America these last eight years, and they do not seem to be doing much better now.

Grant:

Oil at $200 per barrel will imperil our society and future far more then any Terrorist attack.

Usama:

Deb, my knowledge of Muslims in India since the rise of the Sangh Parivar has been systematic pressure from ritewing Hindutva powers. Muslims have forced to close businesses, run out of neighborhoods, not to mention the rapes, murders, riots like the big lie of the Gujarat train fire.

KJ:

"Paul:

Thank you Fareed for pointing out what most America loving citizens already know! It is the crazy left wing wackos that are the fear mongers in this country."

Really? So it was those crazy Liberals that claimed that if we didn't attack Iraq, there would be a mushroom cloud over the U.S.? Or was it the crazy Liberals that would conveniently raise the terror alert every time negative news would hit the media in order to divert attention?

"Since 2004 there has not been one single terrorist attack against a US target in or out of the country."

I have a rock to sell you, gumshoe. It repels tigers. See, since I have acquired this rock, I have never been attacked by a tiger! It MUST WORK.

You do realize that 9/11 was planned for over ten years, right? The reason why we haven't been attacked again is because of the complexity of carrying out such an attack, and the amount of time and coordination it would take. 9/11 was a one-time shot. Carrying out a similar attack so soon afterwards would be next-to impossible.

Bin Laden had been planning out 9/11 since the Bush Sr. presidency. But don't let the facts get in the way of your dreams.

"We are safe and have no need to fear because we finally have a president who was tough enough to take the battle to the terrorists and the countries who sponsor them."

So why are we in Iraq and not in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia? Why did we pull out of Afghanistan while we had OBL on the run? We even gave the Taliban a chance to regroup before we sent NATO in there.

The only thing occupying Iraq did was strengthen Iran, as they now have a Shiite ally rather than a Sunni enemy. We did what Iran had always dreamed of doing and pretty much handed them the keys to Iraq.

Occupying Iraq and the rising civilian causalities there has also turned moderate Muslims against us. While you may not care, it certainly does not make us any safer.

"One minute of water boarding does wonders with terrorists who squeal like stuck pigs."

One minute of water boarding will make anyone say anything just to get their tormentors to stop. I'm certain your grandmother would confess to being a radical Muslim in the face of torture. Why do you think the FBI has washed their hands of this?

"Hopefully John McCain won't cave on this toughness when he is elected president this fall. We can't afford the U.N.-like appeasement and 3000 strikes-you're-out mentality in our leaders any longer."

Please, just go away. Your logic is full of holes and you've said nothing of substance. You've only succeeded in repeating every neo-Conservative war mongering line of the last eight years. It is because of people like why we're in this mess.

Al:

The public can play a useful role in defanging terrorists.
http://www.cyberinfowar.com/articles/TakeTheTerrorOutofTerrorism.html

Gandhi:

"If Muslims were so bloodthirsty and violent, why is that in the vast majority of countries where Muslims live, there are large non-Muslim minorities with an active religious and a rich history, even in the main centers of the Arab world?"- Duderino

How about Pakistan? Or the Sudan? or Saudi Arabia? Or Iran? Or Yemen? Or Indonesia? Or Syria? Or Algeria? Why is it Duderino that wherever Muslims and non-Muslims live in close proximity there is always conflict, whether they are Sikhs, Buddhists, Animists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc., and not all of them are white people?

"narrative of fear"

Population control tool of despots. Nothing new here, but people are coming to realize they can change the attitude in the world by removing the despots. What we are calling terrorism is frequently this kind of action. Only the despots need be afraid, unless they are working hand-in-hand with terrorists.

Anonymous:

Yeah, if one were to rely on the NCTC's numbers, any comparison would already be WAAAAAAY off if you try and compare numbers over the period of time from 2004-2006... they instituted a major change in methodology where they basically started systematically counting events on a scale much much more complete than they had before. For a good view of this, take a good look at their numbers for Columbia... if you don't know about the changes they made in how they count attacks, you would think that Colombia changed into a warzone overnight. I only know this because I had to study the NCTC's numbers over that period... what a mess. Basically, if you do the math, NCTC's numbers ammounted to about a 750% rise in terrorism in one year... but when I was doing work regarding terrorism stats, I found the "Terrorism Knowledge Base's" numbers to be much, much better (based on a number of databases, including MIPT). In any case, however, Iraq is of course a statistical outlier. Then again, so was 9/11. If I remember right, the number of terrorist attacks in North America from 2000-2006 minus 9/11 is only a fraction of how many people die from deer-car accidents in a single year.

Incidentally, the NCTC's database counts attacks on soldiers as terrorism too (if that attack happened to involve- even accidentally- a civilian)

So I bristle when I hear people talk about terrorism being the number one threat to American. The only reason it might be bad is if everytime we have an attack we go and invade a country... that's the only way you can lose billions and billions of dollars...

Steve:

Fate, The front page of the WP stated that the first targets of the initial bombing of Iraq were on Terrorist targets. But that really has nothing to do with my point. My point was that our attacks in Afghanistan and/or Iraq (see any of the AQ's web pages calling it's AQ brothers to throw the infidels out of Iraq) have lessoned the opportunity for terrorist attacks. Had we not fought them where we did, when we did, what would they have done with there spare time?

I doubt very much Gore would have done anything, had he been elected. Either choice in that election was a poor choice. The question we ought to be pondering is "why won't truly talented people run for office?" Instead we get the inventor of the Internet and gumby.

We ought to bring charges against whomever indicated that the Iraqi scientist that turned over the uranium enrichment equipment Saddam had him bury under his rose garden actually happened if it didn't. Providing false information intentionally is as treasonous as anything else.

Robert of Los Angeles:

I’m only a lowly BA in Political Science, a Neanderthal neocon compared to the really smart academic guys represented here, but I really don’t understand the methodology, though I can guess at the purpose.

Excluding Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist fronts, probably also the “civil wars” in Pakistan (Sorry Benazir your death was trivial internal politics), Somalia, or the Sudan / Darfur are not counted ! – no Islamic inspired terrorism going on there??? What are you thinking??

Oh, but wait, didn’t these same academic types excuse away the need for Cold War “containment” under the same theory that our main enemy or enemies were overrated by virtue that the various venues of their advance were somehow unrelated to their support and propaganda.


And yet when international sponsorship of terror and insurgency for ideological purposes (in this case religious/ political under the troglodyte description of Islamofascism both Sunni takfiri and Shia twelver / Persian revolution) is taking place, one should NOT be made complacent by analyzing it out of existence

But let's take the study at face value and notice the unspoken compliments to the Bush administration's anti-terror campaign and I concede, some infrastructure and baby steps taken by the Clinton team insofar as they were able to concentrate on future security. Amazing!

"The ... study notes that the decline in terrorism appears to be caused by many factors, among them successful counterterrorism operations in dozens of countries (these operations LED and coordinated BY WHO? - US SPECIAL FORCES - read "Imperial Grunts", Robert Kaplan) ...

".... and infighting among terror groups" (When did this happen? - after 2001!! When UNBREAKABLE operational and leadership cells were broken with many killed and captured. This was due to the by Afghan / Taliban defeats and worldwide full court press after 2001 which led to franchising of AQ to other takfiri elements that are sloppy, mixed level of passion to cause, tending toward criminal and other temporal power motives instead of fundamentalist nihilism.
Meanwhile Iran's Quds subsidiaries of Hezbollah, Hamas are doing better but Moqtada's Mahdi Army is now about ready for a corporate takeover.)

"But the most significant, in the study's view, is the "extraordinary drop in support for Islamist terror organizations in the Muslim world over the past five years." (EXCUSE ME - WASN'T THE US INVASION SUPPOSED TO HAVE CAUSED A WORLDWIDE JIHAD JOLT)

"These are largely self-inflicted wounds. The more people are exposed to the jihadists' tactics and world view, the less they support them" (DAMN RIGHT - the Anbar Sunni Awakening is only the most dramatic example of that....... )

ZZim:

Fate, you assert that there were no terrorists in Iraq before we invaded. Not true. There were approximately 30,000 known terrorists living comfortably and safely under Saddam's protection. The late and un-lamented Al Zawahiri, for example, had been wounded in Afghanistan and was resting and recuperating in Baghdad at the time of the invasion. The guy who pushed Leon Klinghoffer off the Achille Lauro was arrested in Baghdad after the invasion. Et cetera.

What is also true is that Al Qaeda had no organized presence and conducted no operations from there at that time. This is the kernel of truth at the heart of your dis-information.

After the invasion they did develop an organized presence, allied with surviving Saddamist elements, and began attacking US troops and Iraqi civilians. This predictable response is exactly why we went there.

Several positive results have come about because of this. The pool of trained terrorists has been depleted through casualties. The pool of un-trained wannabe terrorists has been depleted through casualties and discouragement at the lack of success. Al Qaeda's support and prestige in the Arab world has been substantially eroded. While they have been focusing their efforts on futile attacks on US troops, they haven't been focusing on killing civilians elsewhere. The terrorists' operational focus on Iraq has weakened them eslewhere, allowing local law enforcement authorities the opportunity to roll up many of their franchise operations.

BQ:

(In response to "left-wing wackos' fear mongering")

If you think that Mr. Zakaria was arguing that left-wing wackos were the ones who were fear-mongering, I'm afraid you've either misread his argument or you're severely out of touch with the Bush administration and its political affiliations.

Mr. Zakaria says that the reports that have been used for fear-mongering have come out of government-funded, terrorism tracking agencies. In other words, studies funded by the Bush administration's government.

(The Simon Fraser study is out of an independent group in Canada.)

I'm not sure if you're in touch with the Bush administration, but while some may describe them as "wackos," you will find few people who would describe the Bush administration as "left-wing" wackos.

Deb Chatterjee:

Dr. Fareed Zakaria,

You make excellent points. While both you & me are now naturalized US citizens, you may recall the recent blast in Jaipur, India that killed roughly 50 people, and wounded many scores more. The Govt. of India has focussed on HuJI (Harkat-ul-Islami-Jehadi) militant group that is based in neighboring Bangladesh, and infiltrators using the porous borders have moved into India. They get logistical support from India's home-grown Islamic militant group, SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India), who want to convert India to an Islamic State ruled by Shariah.

The issue is this: I admit that with the rise of Jihadi activities globally, support for such movements is waning. Most Muslims are like you, educated, rational and average guys. But, please tell me/us why the majority of the average, rational and peaceful Muslims are rather silent when it comes to protesting against Jihadi terrorism ? Why hasn't it been eliminated ? And when it strikes, it causes cataclysmic damage. (Please do not compare the IRA activities with Islamic terrorism. I have not seen IRA killing 3,000 people in one blow like the 9/11 scenario.)
Just mere poll numbers surely won't solve the problem. If the threat of being blown up in a random manner exists and is real, the issue of Islamic terrorism is real. That's what the Simon Fraser University (in British Columbia, Canada) states. While the numbers game in estimating body count, you cited the Sudan's Jinjaweed militias atrocities not figuring in the MPIT reports, has its own demerits the threat for a common man from Islamic terrortism does not evaporate just because a large majority of Muslims don't support it. We (non-Muslims) don't need the polls to educate ourselves.

If I agree, by all stretch of imagination, that only US policies are to blame, please tell us why countries like India, which never participated in this machismo of "War of Terror" (a slogan manafactured by US, and picked up by UK), are also victims ? In India most Muslims, as you have correctly stated, don't support terrorism. In the past recent months the Deoband Madrassa - the spiritual head of the Muslim ulema in India - had issued strict warning against acts of terror and justifying it by religion (Islam). This did not deter the small band of fanatics from carrying out the carnage in Jaipur. Muslims in India are NOT marginalized as many leftists/ bleeding-heart liberals state. India had Muslim presidents and liminiaries. The most wealthy Indian is a Muslim (Azim Premji). Recently Government had introduced quotas for Muslims in jobs/education and etc. (Of course, the Government cannot be seen to prioritize each and every Muslim's personal/spiritual/sexual problems. This inability by the Government maybe seen by some Muslim leaders, mainly Banatwala, as discrimination.) So, what is the reason for such disaster in Jaipur that is committed by some lunatic Muslim radical(s) ? I cannot fathom any immediate plausible reason other than the Gujarat riots following the demolition of Babri Masjid; and hence would simply conclude that Government of India's "reaching out to minorities" is just a joke that can be viewed as "appeasement" of Muslims for secure vote banks.

Given the emphasis you advocate on the results and conclusions of the "well respected" academics from Simon Fraser University, I am simply wondering why would we take a quixotic approach to Islamic terrorism ? Simply because there is factual evidence that majority Muslims don't support terrorism ? Is that a good reason to discount the threat ? And, finally what solutions did the critique by the well-respected academics of Simon Fraser University propose to eliminate this threat ? Or do you propose that we accept the nihilistic view that Islamic terrorism is real, and shall stay with us for perpetuity ?

Paul:

Jorge,
yes, 911 did happen on Bush's watch, but it is the ONLY terrorist attack that has. While I am not a card carrying Republican, (I voted for Al Gore), I did become converted to the Bush doctrine of strike back hard and often without remorse. It seems to be the only tactic the terrorists understand. We can't defeat terror by negotiating with or appeasing them as the United Nations seems to want to do. I will only vote for a president who I feel has the guts and strength to fight back, and fight back hard! Paul

Anti-Muslim:

Not everyone is afraid Fareed. Some of us want a less pacifistic approach to dealing with Islam and the followers of the religion of peace than the current president is willing to offer. Until the Salafists either lay down their weapons or we exterminate them, my preferred option, the only peace that will exist between the two camps is a phony one. No amount of sophistry by Muslims like you and your useful idiot allies will change that.

center:

Ted Baines,

is not the God of the Jews the same as the God of the Muslims?

Jorge:

Paul:
Thank you Fareed for pointing out what most America loving citizens already know! It is the crazy left wing wackos that are the fear mongers in this country. Since 2004 there has not been one single terrorist attack against a US target in or out of the country. We are safe and have no need to fear because we finally have a president who was tough enough to take the battle to the terrorists and the countries who sponsor them. One minute of water boarding does wonders with terrorists who squeal like stuck pigs. Hopefully John McCain won't cave on this toughness when he is elected president this fall. We can't afford the U.N.-like appeasement and 3000 strikes-you're-out mentality in our leaders any longer.

Paul, let me remind you that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch (let me also remind you that he was proclaimed president in 2000) and Osama Bin Laden is still alive and roaming free. Is that being fear-mongering or being crystal-clear realistic?, you tell me.

Dave:

We stay scared because fundamentalist Christians and Jews, aka Zionists, learned quite a while ago that we will not continue to support Israel's filthy Holy Wars unless we are all terrified. It's been a brilliantly successful propaganda campaign, as well. The truth is, though, that even Americans wise up, eventually. Where is it all headed? The Laws of Nature will decide.

Fate:

Steve wrote: "Well uh, one thing that is forgotten here is the fact that our attacks in Afganistan and Iraq and other places that have been chasing these criminals down HAS done is that they lessoned the opportunity for additional attacks. What we will never know is the direction that the terrorist attacks would have taken if we never addressed 9/11 and others. If there were no consequences to them, I would suspect they would have increased."

There is general agreement that 911 was encouraged because the US did not respond to the attack on the Cole. Clinton did not respond because his term was ending and responsibility had not been officially determined. Shortly after Bush took office the responsibility was determined by the CIA to have been al Qaida. Bush's adminisration determined that it had been a few months since the bombing and a response would have seemed more of an attack than a response, so they did nothing. Richard Clarke, Bush's counter terrorism chief tried for 9 months just to get a meeting with Bush officials to discuss terrorism, but Bush was not interested, nor was anyone else in that administration. Had Bush responded once AQ had been fingered for the Cole, 911 might not have happened. If Bush had met with Clarke to listen to just what the US was facing from AQ, instead of ignoring him for 9 months, Bush might have ordered an increase in surveillance and other counter terrorism measures before 911.

So, one wonders what type of world we would be living in if Bush had not taken office, but Gore had, and Gore had responded with force to AQ. But that rarely ever is mentioned, just the same republican line that we have not been attacked since 911, as though 911 was not Bush's responsibility or mistake.

And, just what terrorists were we chasing down in Iraq? I mean the terrorists there BEFORE we attacked on mistaken information? Trying to make Iraq a terrorist target is just wrong, plain wrong. But I guess if it is said enough then people will start to think it is true. But people like me will continue to remind you and others that there were no terrorists in Iraq before we invaded just as there were no WMD, nuclear weapons or the other imagined threats that Cheney, Rice and Feith did their best to imply using 911 and speaking of mushroom clouds when there was no evidence of such capability.


student:

Both liberals and conservatives make use of the bloated data points to prove points that they can't actually substantiate. Conservatives want to portray Islamic terrorism as more widespread and dangerous than it actually is, while liberals use the numbers to prove that the war and Bush's other policies have been counter-productive failures. I think that there is a little bit of truth, and a certain amount of lies, apparent in both positions, at their extremes.

Center:


McCain wants to continue to the president of fear policy, Gwb. Fear is McCain's only card.

What is laguhabale is that McCain thinks that Obama needs to 'learn' about foreign policy. I laugh every time I remember McCain NOT knowing the difference between Shia and Suni as well as his assertion that the 'market places' are safe.

He had to opologize for that..later,

He had to make around face to explain his mistake in idenfying shia and suni....

I do not see anytime soon the Republicans, ie, McCain et al wanting the country to be comfortable if having the country comfortable would mean McCain losing being elected president of the US....

and he is going to lose anyway.

The republican agenda is built on fear...even if it means ripping the country to pieces.


Paul:

Thank you Fareed for pointing out what most America loving citizens already know! It is the crazy left wing wackos that are the fear mongers in this country. Since 2004 there has not been one single terrorist attack against a US target in or out of the country. We are safe and have no need to fear because we finally have a president who was tough enough to take the battle to the terrorists and the countries who sponsor them. One minute of water boarding does wonders with terrorists who squeal like stuck pigs. Hopefully John McCain won't cave on this toughness when he is elected president this fall. We can't afford the U.N.-like appeasement and 3000 strikes-you're-out mentality in our leaders any longer.

Alan Browne:

Americans have always loved the "stats" and as ardent sports fans, the US media have trained Americans on percentages and numbers and so on.

That has become a potent marketing (okay propaganda) tool of the US admin to keep the fear factor high in support of the phony war in Iraq and the hilariously silly security procedures at airports (and other funny things).

Congrats to Simon Fraser U for separating the wheat from the chafe.

kackermann:

For those that are worried about terrorism, I have wonderful news for you:

You are about 700,000 times more likely to die from cancer, heart disease, or in a fiery car crash than a terrorist attack!

Stop worrying!

poorrichard:

What's the old saw. 'Figures don't lie. Liars figure'

In this administration's case, it is a well known but generally unacknowledged story.

Why are we a country in denial? Are we that embarrassed that a majority (plus or minus) elected Mr. Bush and Mr.Cheney?

Steve:

Well uh, one thing that is forgotten here is the fact that our attacks in Afganistan and Iraq and other places that have been chasing these criminals down HAS done is that they lessoned the opportunity for additional attacks. What we will never know is the direction that the terrorist attacks would have taken if we never addressed 9/11 and others. If there were no consequences to them, I would suspect they would have increased.

Ed Szewczyk:

I agree with Mr. Zakaria's analysis, which has actually been open and obvious, if unspoken, for several years. I ain't scared. I've never been scared; and I bitterly resent and oppose the efforts of Bush, Cheney, Addington and the rest of their henchmen to use the "war on terror" as an excuse to undermine our Constitution and civil rights and to accumulate unconstitutional power in the so-called "unitary executive." One of the first things President Obama should do is to revoke and rescind any and all "signing statements" issued by Bush proclaiming his "right" to ignore and break the law. He should then reaffirm our intentions to follow our own domestic and international law, disavowing the use of torture, warrantless eavesdropping and the rest of Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors.

ZZim:

Rance, 3,000 to 19 is a bit high. The correct figure is approximatley 20 terrorists die for every American service member. When terrorists attack civilians they kill about 20 people per terrorist's life expended. You can see why they prefer the latter. And as Fareed's article points out, it's this preference of theirs that is eroding their support and will ultimately lead to their destruction.

Your point is still valid though. You can see why it's far better (for us) for terrorists to attack our troops than civilians (ours or anyone else's).

blueball:

The problem with Ted-type thinkers is they are so indoctrinated in christian chauvinism that they cannot see above it. If they took a break from Fox news for a couple months, studied real history books, and suspended belief in their own superiority they might change.
All we can do is pray for them. And strive to keep them away from the helm of our precious nation. Let us be clear about the lesson Bush years and resolve to do better.

Ralph:

We're scared because Dick Cheney and Karl Rove told us to be scared. Fear controls the masses and evangelical neochristians are the best candidates for this manipulation.

Rance:

Why the terrorists should be scared. The preferred target of terrorism is unarmed and weaker civilian targets. Al Qaeda has made a choice to fight armed Americans who are prepared to defend themselves. They also have chosen to attack in Iraq, a place they too have to travel to willingly. They have found themselves facing our military, those who have volunteered to stand between our non-combatants and terrorists. We are fighting Al Qaeda on our terms not theirs and they seem to be losing 3,000 members to our 19 soldiers. I am not sure if that is the true figure but if it were it would be fitting. The recruitment for failure by the Al Qaeda could be the reason for such a low number. But all that will change if we decided to provide them the date our soldiers will consolidate to depart the country. They can then attack in multiple persistent attacks and claim to have chased us from Iraq. The recruiting then will increase greatly for Al Qaeda and they will have again the unseen force to attack American non-combatants. Should we stay and finish what is a war on our terms in Iraq they would become very discouraged to join the ranks of Al Qaeda and eventually it will dissipate.

Roy:

We're scared because Dick Cheney and Karl Rove told us to be scared. Fear controls the masses and evangelical neochristians are the best candidates for this manipulation.

lisa:

not everyone is afraid. its the neo-cons that are afraid and trying to make the rest of us afraid. most of us are smart enough to realize tha we are more likely to be killed in a car accident or from cancer then from a terrorist. the biggest proponent of fear is the current administration and that was so they could get a war that they wanted and to have an imperial presidency. fortunately many people are coming out of the fear fog finally!!
why don't you discuss the facts of that. that this administration used fear to manipulate the american population?

Concerned:

The narrative of fear always works on the US populace. in general we have short memories and little real understanding of what is happening in the world outside of what we are told. We may choose our sources (righty or leftist) but we buy into these ideas because we dont make the effort to learn for ourselves from as wide a pool of resources as possible. We bring it on ourselves. We support the same media that stokes our fears. All of us, myself included. Media is a market and sensationalism sells.

Additionally, equating strict Islam with terrorism is ridiculous. Islam is no more the engine of terrorism than fundamentalist christianity. It is all about timing. In many groups Islam is the current shroud terrorists use to cover their agendas. Terrorism brews from social trauma and dissatisfaction with life. One of the strongest weapons against terror we have is development. Not forced democracy, but assisting impoverished nations develop on their own terms. Their is a reason the vast majority of islamic terrorists are recruited using slums, disproportionate distribution of wealth, and war zones as selling points for jihad. It has universal appeal for anyone who cares about their people. The jobless and disenfranchised are easily lied to and persuaded of the opportunity of a better life for their families, while young intellectuals are given a chance at participating in the greatest cause of their life (akin to our civil rights or anti vietnam war movement).

You can all disagree with me, but take the war on Iraq as an example. The US was hurting bad from 9-11, emotionally and financially. In an instant everything had changed and the country needed direction. The war in Afghanistan didnt fill the void, it was fought through low density operations and didnt always possess that dramatic appeal that could bring people together. The country as a whole leapt into war with Iraq. There were some dissenters but the vote to fight was pretty much a landslide. When Bush offered the country a direction (albeit a bad one) and a chance at regaining the feeling or power, honor, and moral superiority, we took it. Now reverse the roles. What if you lived a lifetime of 9-11, why wouldnt you join in the fight against America for lack of other viable options. These people are like us, it may be hard to believe, but they are. They werent born into savagery, they were shaped by the world and people around them.

faithfulservant3:

After 9/11 our government and media fanned the flames of fear and said we have to strike the terrorists overseas before they strike here.

Although the US hasn't been hit yet, terrorist attacks worldwide went up--the policy was not working. Some heartless cynics believe that it is better for foreigners to be killed than Americans. Even worse, some try to claim, disingenuously, that this was the plan all along.

The US counterterrorism and Middle East policy now stand as abject failures. Zakaria and the authors of this study have simply rigged the numbers in a last gasp attempt to hide the true facts.

newageblues:

Much of the terrorist danger Americans face comes from drunk drivers. But it's still common for drunk driving killers to get a year or two for their trouble.

JR:

You wrote: Why have you not heard about studies like this or the one from Simon Fraser, which was done by highly regarded scholars, released at the United Nations and widely discussed in many countries around the world-from Canada to Australia?

The answer is because the once-vaunted Fourth Estate castrati are too beholden to their corporate handlers to investigate, much less utter, anything contrary to what their daily talking-points memos allow.

http://www.missionmeeting.org/spandau

T. Kimmel:

The narrative of fear used to work on the American public. Not anymore ... although, we do have short-term memory and fall into the soapy waters of brainwashing.

Duderino:

I'm still sometimes amazed when the wackier among us Americans babble on about devout Muslims being bloodthirsty and violent. There is a group of people that have been bloodthirsty and violent beyond any others in this world, and they ain't Muslims. Believe it or not, "Christian" white folks of European descent have colonized, exterminated, and slaughtered all who oppose their domination or just happened to be in the way of their plans. Don't believe me? Then what happened to the thousands of Native American groups in the Americas that are now extinct? Or how about the Inquisition? And these evil cold-blooded European killers even slaughter each other if it comes down to it (see World War II for details). Or drop nuclear weapons on people. What sort of evil murderers would exterminate millions of people and thousands of cultures and drop nuclear weapons on people, destroying entire cities? Maybe Ted Baines could answer that one for me. If Muslims were so bloodthirsty and violent, why is that in the vast majority of countries where Muslims live, there are large non-Muslim minorities with an active religious and a rich history, even in the main centers of the Arab world? Help me with that one too Ted. But look in the mirror first and get rid of the blood that's dripping from your evil white man fangs.

Bob Field:

GOERING Nazi Hermann Goering's famous formula for fascism: "All you have to do is to tell them (the people) they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Nonsense:

We hear of many Islamist plots being uncovered every week. In Iraq, Afghan, Palestine, Israel and Pak they are blowing up civilians every day. India suffers from Islamic terror every week in Kashmir where non-Muslims have been ethnically cleansed and elsewhere.

Most of the 50 Islamic nations practise a very non-inclusive and violent form of Islam where non-Muslims are openly discriminated. Why do we have a Muslim-American not talking about intolerance practised by his own co-religionists?

Claude:

Israel has been employing the tactic of hurting the Palestinians for every terrorist act. Then the Palestinians hit back for every bit of collateral damage. This has gone on for 60 years. We need a more intelligent response that using escalating violence that often produces collateral damage.

Bob:

Don't let it out that Bush has actually succeeded at something. People will panic.

Daniel Harris:

Thank you, Mr. Zakaria, for your report on something that should be on the front page of every newspaper and every news show. It won't be because as you said; "it does not fit into the the narrarative fear". It is not only our government, but the press also supports this narrative. The fear of terror sells and controls. I was glad to read this and I hope more reporting is done to expose the propaganda of fear.

ZZim:

Fareed:

Excellent article, thanks! We're finally beginning to see some of the benefits from the post-911 anti-terror policy changes.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever reads Sun Tzu anymore. One of the things he said was that when you are having difficulty bringing a weaker enemy to battle, you need to attack that which he must defend. The occupation of Iraq (in Al Qaedist ideology the heartland of their future global Caliphate) has done exactly that. Instead of remaining dispersed throughout the globe, striking civilians unexpectedly and effectively from the shadows, jihadists have gone to Iraq and poured out their rage (and their lives) in futile assaults on the US military. And in doing so they have also shown their supporters what they truly are - slaughterers of innocents in selfish pursuit of divine rewards solely for themselves.

Yeah, it was a war of choice, but it was a smart choice. Let's hope the next President is smart enough to stay the course and reap the benefits of current administration's policies. McCain says he will and I believe him. Hillary says she won't, but she's lying (I'd vote for her). Obama promises to throw it all away, so he's out. What I'd really like to see is a McCain/Leiberman or Clinton/Leiberman ticket.

PS - That's great news about the renewed popularity of non-violent protest. I'd like to see it get more attention in the press.

Anya:

It is very odd that the current administration in the United States appears to WANT us to live in constant fear. The print and television media are also fanning these flames without any context or hard numbers.

It is VERY interesting to know that if we discount the casualties in the Iraq war, terrorism deaths are actually down so far. Thank you for at least giving us some facts.

(In any event, bush's invisible friend can kick the ass of Osama's invisible friend any day.)

isupreme:

The numbers are accurate. The US government is an agent of terror worldwide.

Dave Knack:

Strange as it may sound, this article has an internal conflict - it argues that the truth about terrorism should be told and that the level of fear in society is uncalled for. His statistics, however show that there is success in the war on terror - possibly attributable to the very information he wants to change! If there was no reason to fear and no general consensus against terrorism and terrorist groups would the reductions in that violence have occurred?

Michael:

So, when we declare war on terrorism, terrorism is supposed to automatically stop wherever we take the war? As absurd as the notion of a war on terrorism is, the notion that terrorist acts committed in that "war zone" should not count towards the global numbers is equally absurd.

We need new models for analyzing the conflict overall, properly defining the enemy based on motivation, not tactics, and separating out each different terorist group (and related subsidiary) and monitoring for changes within those patterns. An index of just "terrorism" is now, and really always has been, worthless. Other than of cousre for lazy journalists and Americans with short attention spans, so gee, I wonder why it really gets the coverage it does...

twin_peaks_nikki:

I get so bitter and angry when I read how people are not accepting the fact that most civilian deaths in Iraq are indeed acts of terrorism.

When an Iraqi terrorist explodes a car bomb in a market crowded with civilians, it is a terrorist act.

Shame on Newsweek and the Post for allowing this editor with an agenda to spout his nonsense.

Remember, it is the angry bitter leftists -- people like me who read firedoglake and are secure in their gender identity -- who form the basis for the reality based community on the Internet.

gezelda:

And where is this "narrative of fear" coming from?
From the present Administration of US Government. And if Bush decides to attack Iran and go down in flames, it will be the same thing all over again -- and the WP will be no exception. It will peddle fear. Why? Because when power is all at the top, conformity is rewarded and nonconformity is punished.

gezelda:

And where is this "narrative of fear" coming from?
From the present Administration of US Government. And if Bush decides to attack Iran and go down in flames, it will be the same thing all over again -- and the WP will be no exception. It will peddle fear. Why? Because when power is all at the top, conformity is rewarded and nonconformity is punished.

George Bush:

Our village called, Ted. They want us to head on back.

Ted Baines:

Islamic terrorism will be there as long as there are devout Muslims, who believe that the Koran is the word of the Arabic god Allah, who the Muslims believe is the only god.

Our only response is to not be afraid to take some losses but give it back to them so that it hurts them real bad, even if we have to go into Mecca to do it.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.