Robert Wright claims that hawkish US policies in the Muslim world are the motivation of murderers like Nidal Hasan, the “Fort Hood shooter”, and would-be mass murderers like Faisal Shahzad of Times Square infamy ("'Jihadi intent' and the making of a terrorist", IHT, 13 May). It’s true that US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan may be proximate causes of such murderous intent, and of Jihadi recruiters’ “talking points”. But the opposite is not the case:....
... the opposite is not the case: that if the US were to withdraw fully from all Muslim lands that it could then live in peace with the Muslim world. Wright’s analysis ignores completely the motivation in Islamic doctrine. We know that Nidal and Shahzad were acolytes of Anwar al-Awlaki and that he promotes the killing of “infidels”, in the cause of converting the globe to Islam, a cause substantiated in Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence. Whatever one might think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , a withdrawal will not lead to peace, but only an invigorated effort by Islamists to carry out clear Koranic injunctions.
Wright claims “Jihadi intent” is “an uncaused cause” which people come to by some “magical process that defies comprehension”. Actually it’s easy to comprehend. Read the Koran.
The comments section of this article has "Highlights" which are "a selection of the most interesting and thoughtful comments that represent a range of views", chosen by the editors of the NYT. The range of views is a range only if you accept that the range is in discussing whether the US is fully at fault or only partly at fault for bringing terrorism on itself. They consider the "complicated" mental process that goes into making a terrorist, that US policies are the cause -- or one of the most important causes -- of someone turning into a terrorist, that that's "simple and obvious", and "let's get to the acceptance part" (ie, accept that it's the US that's at fault) or that Shahzad's just like a gang member, or that it really was the stress of losing his apartment (perhaps if he'd spent more time working rather than going to Jihad training camps he may have been a touch more successful in business), or -- quoting Sun Tzu, for goodness sake -- about "knowing the enemy" and then precisely NOT knowing the enemy, and that there are "two sides to every story", that there's terrorism and stupidity in all religions and fundamentalisms, and that there's so on and that there's so forth, wrapped in moral equivalence drivel. Clearly the only "range" that the editors like is the range of views that people can come up with that are nothing to do with the real issue -- Shahzad went to Pakistan to train with the Taliban, was mentored by al-Awlaki and that the latter teaches basic Islamic doctrine: "kill the infidels wherever you find them" (surah 9 et seq).
There was also a poster quoting the fraud Michael Scheuer (post no. 193 here), supposed Osama bin Laden "expert" in the CIA, who claims -- like these people posting at Wright's article -- that Islamic terrorism is simply a response to US actions, ("... we are at war with a steadily growing number of young men and women in the Muslim world because of what the U.S. government has done in that arena since 1945.") so those actions need be changed to bring peace to the world. This ignores totally the battles that Islam and the west have had since the inception of Islam in the 7th Century. Scheuer also ignores -- willfully and deceitfully -- the clear statements of al Qaeda and bin Laden that they will continue the war against the west until everyone is either (a) Muslim, or (b) pays to Muslim overlords the jizya tax or failing these (c) is killed. I wrote about Scheuer here.