It's common to hear that there's nothing we can do about terrorism except increase our security and limit some of the freedoms that we've grown accustomed to since the country was founded.
I've referenced Linda McQuaig from the Toronto Star a number of times, and her article today, "Terror attacks are response to military actions," is another good example of looking at a problem from a different perspective.
One of the few systematic studies of terrorism provides evidence that refutes the "irrational hatred" theory.
Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, has put together a comprehensive data bank of every suicide terrorist attack (315) in the world since 1980.
"(W)hat nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common," notes Pape in his book, Dying to Win, "is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland." Pape also observes that once a military occupation ends, the suicide terrorism tends to stop.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair went to great lengths last week to suggest that the recent London bombings weren't connected to Britain's role in the occupation of Iraq, but rather to irrational hatred of western culture.
If anyone thinks we can bomb terrorists out of existence, they haven't paid much attention to history. Of course as much as I hate to admit it, the US doesn't exactly have a perfect record in trying to solve problems without force even in our own country.
Having just watched much of the TNT mini-series "Into the West," I was embarrassed once again at the history our government's policies regarding native Americans.
Somehow our outposts in the Middle East look a little like the forts we put in the American west except I don't think the odds are nearly as favorable to us that far from our home shores.
As they say "might makes right," but somehow I don't think it stops terrorists all that well.