Sunday, May 15, 2005

Foreign Iraqi Fighters and the Complexities of Hate

While foreign fighters make up just 10% of the insurgency in Iraq, according to military estimates, these jihadists are responsible for a high percentage of suicide bombings. The The Washington Post reports:

Who are the suicide bombers of Iraq? By the radicals' account, they are an internationalist brigade of Arabs, with the largest share in the online lists from Saudi Arabia and a significant minority from other countries on Iraq's borders, such as Syria and Kuwait. The roster of the dead on just one extremist Web site reviewed by The Washington Post runs to nearly 250 names, ranging from a 13-year-old Syrian boy said to have died fighting the Americans in Fallujah to the reigning kung fu champion of Jordan, who sneaked off to wage war by telling his family he was going to a tournament.

Among the dead are students of engineering and English, the son of a Moroccan restaurateur and a smattering of Europeanized Arabs. There are also long lists of names about whom nothing more is recorded than a country of origin and the word "martyr."…

Many of the bombers were married, well educated and in their late twenties, according to postings.

What makes this story so disturbing is that, from the Post’s research, it seems that many of these jihadists turned to radical Islam right after September, 11th. Iraq didn’t inspire them to violence, it has just given them an easy outlet. What inspired them were the images of America being brought low as the Twin Towers fell.

The ideology that fuels violent Muslim extremism is incredibly alien to our culture. No one explanation can possibly encompass all the reasons why they want to destroy us. It’s not just our foreign policies or military actions. It’s not just our freedoms they hate. In fact, it’s not just us. Ending violent extremism will require a host of changes, not just on our part, but also on the part of Arab and Muslim culture itself.


At 2:05 AM, Blogger Sean said...

let me know when they tookt he poll, that they make such unprovable claims as 10% of the "insurgency" being foreign.
Also, what the hell is an "insurgency"? why is it so hard for the media to call the terrorists, what they are. These people have no poltical operation or goal. There is nothign political they are seeking. Would the US leaving Iraq, actually stop their behavior? Probably not.
Call them what they are. terrorists and murdererd. Doe sit matter where they are from?


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