Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marjorie Cohn: Explaining Why ‘They Hate Us’

The big question that President George W. Bush posed after the 9/11 attacks was “why do they hate us?” followed by his ridiculous answer, “they hate our freedoms.” A new book by BBC correspondent Deepak Tripathi offers a more realistic analysis, writes Marjorie Cohn.
By Marjorie Cohn, Consortium News, Aug. 23, 2011

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration rolled out its “Global War on Terror.” Although the Obama White House doesn’t use that moniker, many of its policies are indistinguishable from those of its predecessor.

Both administrations have focused on combating the symptoms of terrorism rather than grappling with its root causes.

Longtime BBC correspondent Deepak Tripathi was based in Kabul, Afghanistan for 15 months in the early 1990s, where he gained a unique perspective about the genesis of terrorism from his access to Afghan leaders and citizens during the civil war following the expulsion of the communist regime there.

His book Breeding Ground makes a significant contribution toward understanding the origins and triggers of terrorism. Tripathi traces the development of a “culture of violence” in Afghanistan — largely due to resistance against foreign invasion — from the “U.S.-led proxy war” against the USSR to the current U.S. war. Without such historical insight, efforts to make us safe from acts of terror will prove futile.

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