Middle East studies in the News
Professor Robert Pape's Research Into Suicide Attacks
by Gary Fouse
"Instead of poverty and extremist politics — or even Islamist fundamentalism — the primary motivation for suicide terrorists instead appeared to be a desire to force democratic countries to abandon occupation of what terrorists' consider to be their homeland."
It seems a political science professor at the University of Chicago, after painstaking research, has discovered that suicide bombings have nothing to do with Islam. It is all because of occupation by Israelis and Americans, you see, Professor Robert Pape took his exciting discovery to Emory University. He was invited by the Middle East Studies department as part of what is now a desperate national effort to disassociate Islam from ISIS.
If only gun powder and explosives had been around in Mohammad';s time. Of course, after the death of the Prophet, his successors went on to great heights of occupation in their own right. Their wars of conquest spread out from Arabia to Jerusalem, Turkey, South Asia, Africa, the gates of Vienna, Spain and, well, you get the message. Professor Pape might want to research the numbers of suicide attacks carried out by the victims of those occupations. Did Sub-Saharan Africans resort to suicide attacks to fight off the slave raiders from the Arab north? But no matter. He might also want to argue that sky-jackings (also instituted by the Palestinians) were also a result of occupation-or perhaps an inability to defeat the Israelis in head-to-head war).
Did Pape investigate other campaigns of suicide attacks by other occupied peoples over the course of history? How many of these peoples believed they would be going to Paradise to be met by 72 virgins once they killed some of their occupiers or innocent men, women, children, infants in addition to themselves?
"Terrorism attacks by al-Qaeda from 1995 to 2004 also fit that pattern, Pape said, with 69 recorded suicide attacks — the majority coming from Saudi Arabia, with "two-thirds from the Arabian Peninsula, where the U.S. was beginning to station combat forces."
In the case of Saudi Arabia, we do not now nor have we ever occupied Saudi Arabia. As Pape says, we stationed troops there, and that led to suicide attacks. We also have stationed troops in many countries, such as Germany and Japan (once as occupiers and later as protectors) In addition, we have troops in S Korea and other countries in cooperation with the respective countries. Have they resorted to suicide attacks? Even the once-fanatical Japanese ceased kamikaze attacks once they were defeated.
"After Pape played a terrorism recruitment video featuring American-born Adam Gadahn, who would join al-Qaeda as a media advisor, he told the audience, "There are no promises of 72 virgins — from beginning to end, this is a plea for help for a kindred population facing real atrocities. That's the argument that's winning over people."
I can only hope that Pape's comment there was taken out of context lest he be accused of defending that little creep, Adam Gadahn.
Suicide attacks that result in mass loss of innocent life is only one manifestation of militant Islam, as is ISIS itself. It can be argued that suicide attacks are unique to Islam today. It seems Pape is unwilling to assign blame to the ideology that produces such mayhem. ISIS doesn't have to resort to suicide attacks at this time because they are on offense. If they were to be defeated, would Pape find justification in their remnants carrying out suicide attacks against the victors and innocent civilians?
Robert Pape is nothing more than another apologist for militant Islam. He refuses to see that there is something deeper that is evil and which justifies such despicable tactics.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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