Another 9/11?

June 13, 2012 | By | 8 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald pushes back against those who think we are safer in light of the past decade of American aggression, including military aggression provoked by the Obama administration:

“Far from believing that another 9/11 can’t happen, I’m amazed that it hasn’t already, and am quite confident that at some point it will. How could any rational person expect their government to spend a full decade (and counting) invading, droning, cluster-bombing, occupying, detaining without charges, and indiscriminately shooting huge numbers of innocent children, women and men in multiple countries and not have its victims and their compatriots be increasingly eager to return the violence?”

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Category: Warmongering

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (8)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    Or, the conventional wisdom about terrorism that became so popular in the post-9/11 era was wrong. It takes more than hate to motivate people to terrorism. We’re unpopular in an awful lot of places, we’ve interfered in an awful lot of places. So how come the foreign terrorist threat is made up entirely of an ideology within a religion? In order for people to risk their lives to avenge their hate, they have to believe they are going to paradise. THey also have to have the ability, something your average poor shmuck in the Third World doesn’t have. That’s why all the 9/11 attackers were well off middle class people. It also takes intelligent leadership to come up with a sound plan, then the discipline to carry out the plan.

    It’s not shocking that we haven’t had a second 9/11. It’s shocking that we had a 1st 9/11. What those guys pulled off was incredibly unlikely. And it’s not like the ranks of al Qaeda are teeming with educated fellows who can blend in in the West.

  2. Adam Herman says:

    I’d also add that everything very serious, smart people said about crime ended up being completely wrong as well. There ended up being zero relationship between crime rates and poverty rates. And crime continued to drop during the worst recession since the Great Depression.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Adam, I’m not sure what you mean by conventional wisdom.

    Terrorism is not really motivated by hate, nor is vengeance. What motivates terrorists are political ideologues, charismatic leaders who can convince their followers that there is no alternative to acts of symbolic violence. Terrorism is all about political empowerment.

    Terrorism is not limited to a single religion or ideology in foreign countries. In fact, if you study the lists of terrorists attacks (which can be found here) you will find terrorism incidents are political in nature. The attempted murder of Gabrielle Giffords was a terrorist act. Brevik’s killing spree was a terrorist action motivated by politics. However, religion can often be used to recruit followers.

    “In order for people to risk their lives to avenge their hate, they have to believe they are going to paradise.”

    This is not rally the case. In any suicide attack, the attacker will fall into one or both of two categories: Those with nothing left to live for, and those with everything to die for. The first group is seen often when a suicide bomber is a woman in the middle east. In a society where women are literally treated as property, when one loses her family to indiscriminate killing, her home to enemy destruction and winds up on the street having no other choice but to prostitute herself for food to survive, she wants to die, and is pissed off enough to want to take a few of those she blames with her. The second group may include the occasional fanatic, but more often, the bomber is coerced through the kidnapping of immediate family members, or the terrorists offer protection and providence for the family in return for the bomber’s cooperation. Just in case the bomber changes his mind, the vest can be remotely detonated either by cell phone, or more often the vest is triggered by a dead man switch and the bomber is killed by a sniper bullet through the head.

    After the 911 attacks, investigations indicated that most of the hijackers had no knowledge of the suicide plan, they thought they were only taking hostages. The pilots knew.

  4. Mike M. says:

    Adam,

    Your language seems highly imprecise to me. You state, “everything very serious, smart people said about crime ended up being completely wrong.”

    Who are these serious smart people you are referring to? And are you sure EVERYTHING they said was COMPLETELY wrong?

    You said – “zero relationship between crime rates and poverty rates”.

    Are you sure about that?

    Inaccurate linguistics and clumsy logic like that lead to all sorts or trouble and deeper confusions.

  5. Adam Herman says:

    Just referring to the conventional wisdom that crime is caused by poverty. If that were true, crime rates and poverty rates would show a correlation. But there is none and the worst recession since 1929 hasn’t caused an increase in crime. In fact, crime has continued to fall.

    Nicholas, I was only referring to the terrorism that threatens America, not worldwide terrorism. And religious terrorism differs from purely political terrorism. Al qaeda doesn’t have an immediate political goal, nor do they have demands that are possible to meet like your average terrorist group like the IRA or some Marxist group. Their goal is a worldwide caliphate, something so wildly unrealistic that there’s no way to deal with them other than with violence. Also, their tactics are unlimited. They will do anything to kill as many people as possible, whereas more politically motivated terrorist groups calibrate the violence level to create public pressure to accede to their demands. Going too far creates the opposite effect they want to achieve, it creates public pressure for an extreme crackdown. That’s why the Basques were so eager to distance themselves from the Madrid train bombings. It’s not that the Basques couldn’t have pulled off such an attack themselves, it’s that such an attack didn’t serve their purpose.

  6. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    There is no such thing as religious terrorism. All terrorism is political even when committed in the name of a religion. Of course the conservative media in America have developed a major case of tunnel vision. Terrorist activities real and imagined are amplified in the media when the alleged perps are from the Middle East, and the media is always quick to blame any incident on Al Qaeda(which is the new bogeyman). Since 2001, there have been more than 32 terrorist attacks on US soil. Only 5 (counting the 9/11 attacks as a single coordinated campaign ) were perpetrate by Islamist groups. There have been 12 unsolved terrorist attacks, mostly against US government offices, Christian terrorists are known responsible for 11 attacks in the US since 2001 and the Jewish Defense League is suspected of two attacks. In the US alone, terrorist attacks are carried out by groups claiming Christian values about twice as often as Islamist terrorism acts since 2001.

    More recently, there has been a trend in anti government terrorist activity in the US, The acts are often perpetrated by individual incited by hate speech from neo-conservative pundits.

    One of the major events in world war II that boosted military recruitment was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The civilians deaths on 9/11 2001 became a major military recruitment booster. The indiscriminate killing of non-combatants and the retention and torture of Muslim civilians by American soldiers and American “security Consultants” (mercenaries) are a major recruiting incentive for Islamist militant groups.

  7. Adam Herman says:

    Outrages increase recruitment. So does victory. 9/11 itself increased recruitment on both their side and our side. Getting their heads handed to them for the last ten years hasn’t done them any favors though. And it’s not like you can just use warm bodies in leadership positions. I’m sure Al Qaeda’s got more ignorant footsoldiers than they know what to do with. But without leadership, they are just a mob. Occasionally one of them will try to make a bomb and fail.

  8. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I think you may be “getting there”. (“I can’t make you feel, but I may make you think” -Jethro Tull)

    With lots and lots of minions to choose from, the suicidal attackers are easy enough to find. But, on the other hand, if we are to truly believe that all Muslims are of the belief they will get their reward in the hereafter, then why wouldn’t Bin Laden make the supreme sacrifice?

    One facet of pro war propaganda is the mass indoctrination of the population to view the enemy as either less than human, or alternatively, somehow deserving of being slaughtered. This is made much easier when the enemy speaks a different language, writes and reads a different alphabet, and follows traditions and customs which seem strange to us. Furthermore, when our only understanding of the enemy is heavily filtered through the censorship of the propagandists, we become more vulnerable.

    Pundits claim fear of people in what they consider Arab garb as possible terrorists, but the reality is that the terrorists are not stupid enough to draw attention to themselves by standing out. While the authorities are concentrating their searches on people who “look” middle eastern, terrorists with a more European appearance can easily slip through.

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