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11.09.2004

Freedom as a cure for Terrorism? You don't say...

I came across this interesting article from the Harvard Gazette, via Instapundit, and it really confirmed my belief that what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq is right. The spread of freedom will directly counteract the international threat of Terrorism, and in our quest to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East we are addressing the cause of Terrorism more than the average man on the street thinks.

In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism, as previous studies have shown, but perhaps more surprisingly also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin"
Alberto Abadie
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
It is not the clear poverty of many parts of the Islamic world that generates the hatred with which these terrorist acts are being carried out, as evidenced by the recent murder of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh. Certainly no one can claim that the abject poverty of Holland was the cause of this senseless murder, because there is none. The cause of this heinous act was intolerance. Van Gogh was murdered because of his film, Submission, which is critical of the Islamic view of women. Many on the Left, both in America and abroad, call for tolerance and understanding of the Islamic militants views, and they advocate social outreach in the Middle East to battle the causes of Terrorism. That is simply nothing more than a fool's errand.

Instead, Abadie detected a peculiar relationship between the levels of political freedom a nation affords and the severity of terrorism. Though terrorism declined among nations with high levels of political freedom, it was the intermediate nations that seemed most vulnerable.
With the fight for freedom that is raging in Fallujah right now in mind, the spread of freedom and democracy is vital to the cause of anti-terrorism. We must fight and defeat them there, and bring freedom to the people that they themselves wish to oppress. Don't be fooled in a season of heated political rhetoric, America and her allies stand for freedom and democracy, which is sorely needed in that part of the world.

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