to Terrorism Symposium
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Lustick is Merriam Term Professor of Political Science at Penn and
a key figure in Penn's Asch Center for the study of ethnopolitical
conflict. His expertise lies in comparative politics, international
politics, organizational theory, the expansion and contraction of
states, and Middle East affairs. His present research focuses on
the future of Jerusalem and great power rivalries in the Middle
East. Professor Lustick is therecipient of many fellowship awards,
has held leadership positions both in the School of Arts and Sciences
and professionalorganizations, and is currently a member of the
Council on Foreign Relations.
function of professional intellectuals, in a free society, is to
stand with that society and yet also always, even when it is uncomfortable,
to apply critical faculties to popular notions.
want to talk briefly about several such notions:
I do identify with one popular notion: It was Osama bin Laden's
one head of German intelligence: The type of motivation, the
choice of targets, the military approach, the apparent motive,
the professional preparation, the extent of financial resources
involved and the repeat attacks indicate that the culprits can
be found in the entourage of Osama bin Laden. (Frank-Walter Steinmeier)
this has to do directly with Israel and the Palestinians.
who destroyed the twin towers in New York or blow up train stations
and pizza parlors in Israel do not do so because of specific outrages
or policy mistakes by the American or the Israeli government. Personal
history or deep emotional or ideological reasons drove them to do
such things regardless of particular circumstances. What can inhibit
them, however, is the presence of real hope for the future by masses
of ordinary people, a condition which they can imagine would lead
the masses to reject them and their acts of terrorism, rather than
celebrate their martyrdom.
the one hand, while there is no question that U.S. ties to Israel,
including Washington's failure to distance itself from the aggravating
anti-Palestinian policies of the Israeli government, is the single
biggest red-flag for Muslims and the single most useful wedge issue
for the wild Islamists in their appeals to the masses. But I believe
this particular attack and its timing is related more to events
in Afghanistan and the Muslim world as a whole than in Israel or
me suggest one possibility.
Shah Massoud was defense minister in the previous Afghan government--a
brilliant and charismatic commander who has led the Northern Alliance
opposition to the Taliban. The Northern Alliance controls between
5 and 30% of Afghanistan. In the spring he conducted a very successful
tour of Europe and received great support from European countries
and the EU. He was planning to visit the United States. On Sunday
he was the victim of two Arab suicide bombers. It appears he was
killed. I see this as a contract hit by bin Laden for a Taliban
government that feared Massoud and who will protect bin Laden--protection
he knew he would need to survive the repercussions of the spectacular
acts of terrorism his operatives have been planning against American
targets here and in Europe.
actions by some give evidence about all.
Americans cheering, looting, and murdering while Los Angeles neighborhoods
burn tell us nothing about tens of millions of African Americans
struggling to build an America of justice, freedom, and equality.
young Palestinians dancing and enjoying "sweets from bin Laden"
tell us nothing about the heartfelt sorrow and shock
of Beit Sahour, ordinary Palestinians, or even Arafat himself (giving
Muslim fundamentalist killers tell us nothing about Muslim
children in an Australian bus under attack or about millions of
Muslim and Arab Americans.
settlers with yarmulkes and Israeli soldiers bulldozing Palestinian
homes tell us nothing about masses of Israeli and other Jews
yearning for a just, secure, and fair peace in the Middle East.
we have had a massive intelligence failure caused by the abandonment
impossible to infiltrate these organizations. We must rely heavily
on electronic and other remote means, but what can and must change
is the relationship between the externally directed reconnaissance
apparatus in the CIA, DIA, and NSA, and the internally directed
law enforcement apparatus: FBI. Absence of arrests and action following
information from Ahmed Ressam in U.S. compared to Europe strongly
suggests that organizational rivalries combined with understandable
concerns about civil liberties are interfering with the effective
coordination of our own capabilities.
our indulgence in the dreams of complete immunity, old thinking
about threats ICBM threats, spending hundreds of billions on bizarre
schemes of unworkable missile defense, and wasting comparable resources
on the so-called war on drugs, have distracted our leaders from
the new, distributed, low intensity, but fundamentally dangerous
threats we really face in our post-cold war globalizing shrunken
world. Sam Nunn and others have warned repeatedly of this kind of
popular and wrong belief: That this is the result of a blind irrational
force of evil and not in part a consequence of our own behavior
of the terrorists associated with bin Laden, and the whole arrangement
of well-funded, dispersed, autonomous, extremely well trained, confident,
and fanatical cells he has created, originated with our "brilliant"
adventure in Afghanistan using Saudi money, Pakistani bases, and
Islamic fundamentalist martyrs to fight the Soviets. Algerians,
Egyptians, Tunisians, Muslims from everywhere came to Afghanistan
to train with our weapons under the tutelage of bin Laden and others
is indeed a small world, a delicate world. We're the rich and visible
elephant within it. We're so big that when we move, even when we
don't move, we affect others, but we also massively affect the world
we live in as well. In our Rambo like adventure in Afghanistan,
in our callous attitude toward the slaughter of Muslims in Algeria,
as in Vietnam, and elsewhere, we sowed the wind, and we are reaping
war, and I agree this is a war, we must do all we can to be sure
that our sword is sharp and wielded smartly, not broad and wielded
furiously. We need to fight so as to plant the seeds of justice,
equity, mutual recognition, and peace, not causeless hatred and
an arrogance of temporary power.
to SAS Symposium on Terrorism Introduction
(click on names below)
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 4, September 18, 2001