Defeat Terrorism: Abandon Oil. (Terrorism, Vengeance and the Clean Energy Alternative)

By Smith, Gar | Earth Island Journal, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Defeat Terrorism: Abandon Oil. (Terrorism, Vengeance and the Clean Energy Alternative)


Smith, Gar, Earth Island Journal


In the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, George W. Bush declared that America had been targeted "because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." Maybe there's another reason.

In his February 23, 1998 call for a "Jihad against the Crusaders," the wealthy Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden argued that it was a religious duty "to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military" to force US soldiers "out of all the lands of Islam." He cited "three facts that are known to everyone."

* Bin Laden wrote bitterly of King Fahd's decision to invite thousands of US soldiers to establish a stronghold inside Saudi Arabia, the homeland of the holy Islamic City of Mecca. "[F]or more than seven years," bin Laden wrote, "the US has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places..., plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases ... into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."

* Bin Laden also railed against the US's "continuing aggression against the Iraqi people ... despite the huge number of those killed, in excess of one million."

* Finally, he proclaimed that the real "aims behind these [US Middle East] wars are religious and economic," designed to "divert attention from [the] occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims [in Palestine]."

In the aftermath of the September attacks, Reuters, the BBC and the Associated Press monitored public reaction throughout the Middle East in search of an answer to the question "Why was the US attacked?" The same three points came up repeatedly -- Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel/Palestine. The consistency of these complaints should draw our attention.

A Government's First Duty

Writing in response to bin Laden's 1998 fatwa, Ivan Eland, the Cato Institute's director of defense-policy studies, argued that the first goal of any nation's security policy should be "to protect citizens and property."

Eland noted that, "One of three terrorist attacks worldwide is directed against a US target. And that's not because the US is a rich capitalist nation. No, terrorists attack the US primarily for what it does, not what it is.... Because terrorist attacks are extremely difficult to prevent," Eland concluded, "the administration needs to concentrate its efforts on minimizing the motivation for such attacks in the first place.... Americans should not have to live in fear of terrorism just so Washington's foreign policy elite can attempt to achieve amorphous and ephemeral gains on the world chessboard."

Instead of taking the civilized course of tracking down the guilty parties and trying them before a world tribunal (as was the case in the Lockerbie airline bombing, the first World Trade Center bombing and the Beirut Marine barracks bombing), the Bush administration launched a massive aerial bombardment against Afghanistan. Such a response threatens to unleash the kind of endless escalation that Eland feared.

The bombs, which initially were intended to destroy Afghan air defenses and assassinate the Taliban's leaders, soon wound up destroying Red Cross humanitarian warehouses, hospitals and homes. The sympathy that the world expressed for the US in September began to wane with the first photos of Afghan children whose bodies had been torn apart by cluster bombs. An investigation by University of New Hampshire Economics Professor Marc W Herold produced a shocking discovery: In the first 61 days of the US attacks, 3,767 Afghan civilians were reported killed by US bombs -- a death toll that exceeded the revised estimates of the 3,000 civilians killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. [For the latest civilian death toll in the Afghan war, see: http://pubpages.unh.edu/mwherold.]

The military tactic of "massive retaliation" may not be an effective response to acts of terrorism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Upgrade your membership to receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad‑free environment

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Defeat Terrorism: Abandon Oil. (Terrorism, Vengeance and the Clean Energy Alternative)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved in your active project from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.