Chicago Tribune: Purple politics convolute the issue

Dennis Byrne’s assessment of the National Intelligence Estimate in his article, “Terror-report fight misses big picture” (Commentary, October 2), seeks to distort reality in an effort to maintain a failed policy.

“The data show that, [what] nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common 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,” and have little to do with “Islamic fundamentalism or any one of the world’s religions,” states Robert A. Pape, a well established terrorism expert.

His findings propose, that “suicide terrorism is a strategy for national liberation from foreign military occupation.” These resistance movements are direct responses to such occupation. This admission by no means justifies the reprehensible evil that is terrorism. But it does offer us a reality we seem reluctant to embrace; that when occupation ceases, so does terrorism.

If Byrne, and his like-minded counterparts in U.S. foreign policy, would exercise “intellectual honesty,” it would stand apparent that the current policy of sustained occupation has only spawned violent resistance, as the NIE suggests.

One would only need to read news reports of the escalating violence to ascertain the validity of that assertion.

Reductionist signifiers, like “Jihadist,” employed by Byrne indicate that he is more concerned with seeking to portray a monolithic foe, while taking moral supremacists stances to justify a two-front quagmire – Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rather than earnestly conveying the truth about matters to an audience that can do something about them – i.e. the American voters – he convolutes the issue and suggests that the forced establishment of microwave democracies through military might is “just and moral.”

He audaciously purports that we should “bring reason, justice and freedom to a part of the world” through these means as if we have perfected a patent brand on such ideals for export, because “it’s good for that part of the world.”

Byrne’s purple political rhetoric only confuses the issue and exposes a hawk in dove’s clothing.

Sultan Muhammad
Communications Coordinator
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago)

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