Yes, that’s harsh. Unfortunately, it’s justified.
The New Yorker has an article about Obama that shows him, in his own words, to be a complete idiot. The following is from Obama’s response to the 9/11 attacks, published on September 19th in the Hyde Park Herald:
Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction.
We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.
We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.
Read that bolded part again. No, Senator, terrorism does not come from “poverty and ignorance.” The 9/11 attackers were middle class, and college educated. As Alan Krueger points out in his article “What Makes a Terrorist”
the available evidence is nearly unanimous in rejecting either material deprivation or inadequate education as important causes of support for terrorism or participation in terrorist activities. Such explanations have been embraced almost entirely on faith, not scientific evidence.
The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducted public opinion surveys in February 2004 in Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey, involving about 1,000 respondents in each country. One of the questions asked was, “What about suicide bombing carried out against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq? Do you personally believe that this is justifiable or not justifiable?” Pew kindly provided me with tabulations of these data by respondents’ personal characteristics.
The clear finding was that people with a higher level of education are in general more likely to say that suicide attacks against Westerners in Iraq are justified. I have also broken this pattern down by income level. There is no indication that people with higher incomes are less likely to say that suicide-bombing attacks are justified.
Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) case officer, has written a book titled Understanding Terror Networks. He found that a high proportion of members of al-Qaeda were college educated (close to 35 percent) and drawn from skilled professions (almost 45 percent). Research on members of the Israeli extremist group, Gush Emunim, that Malecková and I conducted, also pointed in the same direction. Perhaps most definitively, the Library of Congress produced a summary report for an advisory group to the CIA titled, “The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?” which also reached this conclusion—two years before 9/11.
One set of factors that I examined did consistently raise the likelihood that people from a given country will participate in terrorism—namely, the suppression of civil liberties and political rights, including freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, and democratic rights. Using data from the Freedom House Index, for example, I found that countries with low levels of civil liberties are more likely to be the countries of origin of the perpetrators of terrorist attacks.
In short: living in a dictatorship makes you more likely to be a terrorist. Especially if you’re a Muslim.
Yes, Obama made these comments in 2001, and this article was published in 2007. However, we knew the backgrounds of the 9/11 attackers by then, and they weren’t backgrounds of poverty. Obama’s comments were the babbling of a left-wing zombie. “Someone attacked us, we must engage in global social work.”
If he’s retracted these claims, and since then admitted that the problem is “lack of freedom in the Middle East”, rather than “poverty”, I’ll take back my claim of him being an idiot.
But I’d bet I’m not going to have to take back that claim.
Hat Tip: Ace
Al Qaeda’s new recruits come from Africa and Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Many come from disaffected communities and disconnected corners of our interconnected world. And it makes you stop and wonder: when those faces look up at an American helicopter, do they feel hope, or do they feel hate?
We know where extremists thrive. In conflict zones that are incubators of resentment and anarchy. In weak states that cannot control their borders or territory, or meet the basic needs of their people. From Africa to central Asia to the Pacific Rim – nearly 60 countries stand on the brink of conflict or collapse. The extremists encourage the exploitation of these hopeless places on their hate-filled websites.
Freedom must also mean freedom from want, not freedom lost to an empty
stomach. So I will make poverty reduction a key part of helping other nations reduce
This is more of the same. he’s just too dumb to be able to learn. At least, not when learning would require him to grow up and give up a left-wing fantasy.