An excerpt from Time to deal with real root cause of terrorism:
Terrorism is not caused by poverty. The terrorists of Sept. 11 did not attack America in order to make the Middle East richer. To the contrary, their stated goal was to repel any penetration of the prosperous culture of the industrialized “infidels” into their world.
The wealthy Osama bin Laden was not using his millions to build electric power plants or irrigation canals. If he and his terrorist minions wanted prosperity, they would seek to emulate the United States – not to destroy it.
More fundamental, poverty as such cannot determine anyone’s code of morality. It is the ideas that individuals choose to adopt which make them pursue certain goals and values. A desire to destroy wealth and to slaughter innocent, productive human beings cannot be explained by a lack of money or a poor quality of life – only by anti-wealth, anti-life ideas.
These terrorists are motivated by the ideology of Islamic Fundamentalism. This other-worldly, authoritarian doctrine views America’s freedom, prosperity, and pursuit of worldly pleasures as the height of depravity. Its adherents resent
America’s success and the appeal our culture has to many Middle Eastern youths.
To the fundamentalists, Americans are “infidels” who should be killed. As a former Taliban official said, “The Americans are fighting so they can live and enjoy the material things in life. But we are fighting so we can die in the cause of God.”
The terrorists hate us because of their ideology – a fact that filling up the coffers of Third World governments will do nothing to change. What, then, can our government do? It cannot directly eradicate the deepest, philosophical roots of terrorism; but by using military force, it can eliminate the only “root cause” relevant in a political context: state sponsorship of terrorism.
The fundamentalists’ hostility toward America can translate into international terrorism only via the governments that employ, finance, train, and provide refuge to terrorist networks. Such assistance is the cause of the terrorist threat–and America has the military might to remove that cause.