90% Innocent: How America Is Creating Terrorists Faster Than We Can Kill Them

90% Innocent: How America Is Creating Terrorists Faster Than We Can Kill Them October 19, 2015

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People aren’t born terrorists.

No one crawls out of their mother’s womb, finishes weaning and learning how to walk, and then finds their first words to be words of hatred. No one is predestined to become a terrorist, and terrorism isn’t some genetic issue.

Rather, terrorists are created out of otherwise beautiful image bearers of the true and living God. To create a terrorist, there are ultimately three factors that need to be cultivated inside the heart of an individual: fear, hatred, and the desire to get even. If one were to dissect the heart of any given terrorist from any given time period in history, from any given religion or any given culture, my bet is that you would find a potent combination of these three things in each one of them.

Often we use the term “growing terrorists” to refer to those who have already given into fear, hatred, and retaliation who seek to cultivate these emotions in others. This process of growing or creating terrorists is usually seen as something other terrorists do, but the reality is that it’s not always this way.

Sometimes, we are the ones who grow terrorists.

Sadly, the United States is poised to become the victim of their own unintended terrorist growing operation– one that will likely come back to haunt the nation perhaps as quickly as one generation. And when it happens, it will be a terrorism we will be able to blame on no one but ourselves.

In what has become America’s longest war, we responded to a handful of Saudi’s enacting a day of terror on the United States by invading two completely different countries: Iraq and Afghanistan (even though Iraq had zero connection with 9-11). During that war, we have come to rely heavily on drone warfare where Airmen stationed comfortably in the United States sit behind a video-game like screen, and kill people a world away. At first it was hailed as a brilliant way to fight warfare without putting people unnecessarily in harms way, but a newly leaked documents reveal a shocking truth:

The people we have been killing have most often been innocent people. In fact, the documents show that over a 5 month period, 90% of the people we executed with drones were completely innocent. During our drone war, we’ve executed untold numbers of innocent children, we’ve blown up entire weddings, and as we saw just a few weeks ago, we’ve blown up hospitals with our own doctors in them.

It’s time we wrestle with the truth folks. America has been systematically executing innocent people and children, and has spent years creating terror in people who have done us no wrong. This should be outrageous to all of us, regardless of political or religious persuasion. Even conservatives who embrace Augustine’s just war theory should be morally appalled– Augustine would be.

While I am a Christian opposed to all hatred and violence, let me ask you to use some empathy and imagination for a few moments: would it not be understandable and expected for the people who have endured years of watching innocent loved ones killed by American drones to develop fear, hatred, and a desire to retaliate against us?

What if you grew up the son of a simple farmer and several times a day, for your entire childhood, you had to run for cover because you heard a noise in the sky that you thought could be a drone? What if you were celebrating at your older sister’s wedding and witnessed almost your entire family being blown apart or set on fire? What if you saw your uncle blown in half and crawling without legs until he bled to death? What if you were playing in the street with your friends after school one day, and in a flash looked around to only see bloody limbs?

And what if you spent your entire life seeing these gruesome deaths, and knew all of them were just innocent people– people like you?

Who in this situation would be the terrorists?

Jesus promised that those who “live by the sword will die by the sword” because violence is a never ending cycle. America has chosen to ignore Jesus, and as such we’ve spent many, many years slaughtering innocent people in the name of “justice.” Of course, those on the ground far away from the drone operators know that when 90% of the people killed are innocent, that’s not justice at all. This, quite naturally, has planted fear, hatred, and an understandable desire for retaliation in the hearts of children all across the Middle East– the precise outcome Jesus promised it would have.

One day, these children be adults and they will quite naturally seek justice for the thousands they saw slaughtered as they were growing up. They will see themselves as justice-seekers or freedom fighters (and rightfully so) but we’ll just see them as terrorists.

When that day comes, we’ll most likely respond to their aggression in kind– and we’ll grow terrorists from their children, too. Terrorists aren’t born, they’re grown when you water the seeds of fear, hatred, and a desire for retaliation. For some reason, that’s what we keep doing– and yet, we wonder why the cycle continues. It’s time for a culture change, because with a 90% innocent kill rate we’re creating terrorists faster than we can kill them.

For those of us who profess to follow Jesus, we are invited to show the world a new way– the way of love, the way of forgiveness, and the way of non-retaliation. We are invited to be a shinning city on a hill, casting the light of his nonviolent example on the world around us in hopes that one-by-one, more and more people will sign onto this better way of living.

If we as Americans don’t want to continue creating endless generations of people dedicated to annihilating each other, living differently– living the way Jesus invites us to live– is our only hope.


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  • Herm

    Oh, come on Ben, are you actually asking me to empathize to feel the painful grief of others, as though they were me, so I am compelled to stop doing to them what I would not have them do to me, in everything?

    On a side note: I get the message from a “shinning city on a hill” that my city’s light might just be missing the mark. I, too, will try to influence a refocus that our merciful neighbors might be attracted rather than repulsed by us. Thanks!

  • gimpi1

    This is called “blowback” and it’s a well-known affect of the kind of warfare we tend to wage — keeping ourselves as safe as possible while not really worrying about the “targets” we hit. Drones, high-altitude air-strikes, “shock and awe” overwhelming numbers, we really don’t want to wage any sort of war where we could face real losses.

    Now, that desire to not take losses can be good. It can make you very reluctant to wage war in the first place. Unfortunately, we’ve used our technology to insulate us from the costs of war, and that’s made us both reckless (war should be a last resort) and brutal (we don’t seem to give a damn about ‘enemy’ losses, including innocent civilian losses).

    The people we’re attacking will strike back. It’s only a matter of where and when. And, just as we felt justified in attacking Iraq after 911, they’ll feel justified in what actions they take. And the whole bloody mess will go on.

    I’m frankly undecided about some of what you teach, but you’re right about this:
    “If we as Americans don’t want to continue creating endless generations of people dedicated to annihilating each other, living differently– living the way Jesus invites us to live– is our only hope.”

  • Don Lowery

    Something not pointed out in this article…what about the outstanding examples in our own cities where the police have no problem killing/maiming those they supposedly are supposed to protect? I would propose that the ones doing the killing and supporting these murderers now will be the ones who will have the most to fear in the future. They won’t even need drones or other technology to get their revenge…since the victims are already among us.

  • Fulgentian

    Great blog (because unlike the others on this channel it’s not simply the Anti-GOP Christian Society), but Ben’s opinions about the causes of terror are misguided.
    1. The fact that US drones kill innocent people might explain terrorism but it does not excuse it. Articles like this seem to shift the blame away from the individual who decides to kill innocent people as a terrorist, which is not right.
    2. I don’t think the fact that US drones kill innocent people does explain terrorism, there are many factors, central to which is the teaching of Islam. Do we really think this jihad thing is just a front which no terrorist really believes? Do we really think that if the West had never been involved in the Middle East there would be no Islamic terrorism? Look at the history of Islam – it was and always will be an expansionist religion which seeks to create a political world-state.

  • Bones

    Well Islamic terrorism is a new thing in the west. I dont remember Islamic terrorism at all growing up.

    I do remember Arab nationalists susch as the PLO creating terror.

    The US was quite happy to use Islamic extremists to bring down secular Arab governments.

    Btw Israel supported Hamas in its civil war with fatah.

    Sometimes the chickens come home to roost.

  • Stevie D

    Great post, Ben. Sometimes it is important to say unpopular things.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    As I understand your argument, what you are saying is that because terrorists are bad people we are not allowed to question tactics to defeat them that are counterproductive, stupid, only create more terrorists and kills lots of innocent people because questioning the use of such tactics is excusing terrorism?

  • RandyBarge

    I confess that I don’t know much about Islam. But it is certainly not unique in producing terrorist. After the Civil War there arose a group of Christian terrorist in the South called the Ku Klux Klan. They explicitly used the symbol of the Cross in their campaign of murder and terror. And just as ISIS today uses social media to show the world their gruesome deeds, the Christian terrorist often recorded their lynchings, mutilations and other murderous acts as a way of fomenting terror and fear.

  • RandyBarge

    Exactly. Radical Islam is something that was fomented in order to check Arab nationalism. Guess who helped to foment it.

  • A predator drone cost about $4 million dollars plus about $3,000 an hour to operate. The cost of the entire program is over $3 billion. If even a small portion of this was used for food and medical aid it would be far more effective in ending terrorism had what we are doing now.

  • seashell

    Articles like this seem to shift the blame away from the individual who decides to kill innocent people as a terrorist, which is not right… Look at the history of Islam – it was and always will be an expansionist religion…

    Wars, fought militarily, are usually about expansion, at least by one of the sides. But for the militarily and politically helpless with grievances, terrorism is a rational choice when viable alternatives are lacking. (see Bounding the Global War on Terrorism, Dr. Jeffrey Record, US Air Force War College.) And I’m unclear as to why being killed by a drone is any different than being killed by a terrorist. Dead is dead.

    Israel and the US consistently call the Palestinians ‘terrorists’ as the Palestinians fight for their former homeland and independence, but we call our revolutionaries “Patriots” for fighting the British and killing the natives. Throughout history, each of the three major religions has reliably produced terrorists for whatever reason. We all need to look at our biases to see why we think Muslim terrorists are so much “worse” than our own, when there’s no proof at all that any one is worse than the other.

  • JenellYB

    We are bringing a terrible judgement down upon our country in what our military and government is doing to other nations and peoples. And some think God is going to bring judgement upon is for gays???

  • MLK would be proud of you

    right right 76 year old Jewish woman minding her own business gets stabbed to death at a bus stop for being a Jew. stop it with the moral equivalency bullshit. Every time a mass beheading in Iraq happens you self hating apologist blame it on colonialism or social economic evils of capitalism or when it is an illiterate immigrant Muslim from the hindu kush and he rapes an 11 yr old swedish girl for wearing a dress you preach cultural understanding.Or my favorite a second gen muslim immigrant born of wealth in a western country and graduates with a college degree decides he’d rather be crucifying yazidis then live in the western world you blame it on the failing of multiculturalism or whatever else is popular certainly not …….”whisper” “Islam”

  • Bones

    My Palestinian friend was minding his own business when he was forced out of his home at gunpoint and the house given to settlers because Bible.

    People do stupid shit in every religion.

  • Bones

    Now you guys are pissed off with the Chinese because they have claimed some islands so youre going to send warships to show how tough you are.

    Hey if you want to get in these stupid wars can you stop dragging us along.

    You really havent won much since WW2.

  • Bones

    Are we aware the Nazis called partisans ‘terrorists’ in WW2?

    My uncle served in z special force working with the natives behind enemy lines.

    The natives used to collect Jap heads as souvenirs.

  • Matthew

    While I agree that U.S. foreign policy over the years has contributed to the rise in terrorism against the west, extreme religious belief and ideology also contributes to global terrorism. Simply Google Jurgen Todenhöfer (a German journalist who spent 10 days in ISIS territory speaking with members of the group) and see if you can find an excellent interview he did with the BBC World Service. According to Todenhöfer´s report, ISIS seems to be motivated by more than simply being angry at drone strikes against their brethren.

    My point is, we need to look at the entire picture when attempting to find reasons for the madness that is currently happening in our world as it pertains to terrorism of all shapes and sizes.

  • Yes!

  • yah! swierd! IMO it’s a way of being in denial via deflecting w a pawn issue, like homosexuality, for a real mother/father issue like genocide.

  • IMO the true terrorists & traitors are the dealers that engeneer a culture of death & distruction & an arms industry that co-opts US tax dollars making US citizens complicit in funding crimes against humanity.

  • Bones

    ” ISIS seems to be motivated by more than simply being angry at drone strikes against their brethren.”

    ISIS is part of a larger power play between Sunnis and Shia.

    Once Iraq was democratised the elected majority Shia government (surprisingly – like dolp!) allied itself with Shia Iran and settled some old scores against the Sunnis.

    ISIS is a reaction against that, spurred on by Saudi Arabia whom it’s theology is closest aligned to (though the Saudis are now aware that the monster may well turn on them).

    Why is the US providing support to the Saudi’s invasion of Yemen?

    This is another part of the Sunni/Shia powerplay.

    The US need Shia militia to battle ISIS in Iraq while the US helps Saudi Arabia destroy them (houthis) in Yemen. The motivation of the houthi uprising was more about petrol prices and corruption than religion. But that’s beside the point.

    The houthis in Yemen would wipe out Al Qaeda in a week instead of the nonsense under the previous regime where Al Qaeda basically roamed free in the countryside..

    What we have there now is the perfect storm of Saudi Arabia and it’s proxies, Al Qaeda and ISIS, all attacking the houthis in Yemen with US support.

    So you have Shia (Lebanon/Iraq/Syria/Iran) v Sunni (Gulf States and Arab Coalition/ISIS/Al Qaeda (El Nusra)) with the US on both sides.

  • Widge Widge

    The evil and immoral war in Iraq based on lies by Christians has recruited more terrorists than Bin Ladin ever could have done!

  • Widge Widge

    Good points so much is spent on killing machines yet so little on real true aid

  • Bones

    That was actually Bin Laden’s plan.

    In essence, he won, even though he is feeding the fishes.

  • Bones
  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Bones. Over the months since the ISIS madness began I´ve been from time to time attempting to ascertain both the political and sociological aspects of the Middle East conflict(s). I thank you for even more information to consider on that front.

    That said, based on Todenhöfer´s report either ISIS is lying about the religious and ideological motivations behind their actions or they are not. I can accept that their is indeed a larger story going on as you describe, but I think we would be a little naive to dismiss other motives.

    Also … isn´t the primary conflict between Shia and Sunni basically a religious one?

  • Matthew

    Ironically enough, I think the jumbled diagram does tend to explain the Middle East confusion rather clearly.

  • Bones

    “Also … isn´t the primary conflict between Shia and Sunni basically a religious one?”

    Yes it is.

    ISIS does not take shia converts or prisoners.

    They are executed forthwith as apostates. Even Christians are given the chance to repent. ISIS and the Wahabbists of Saudi Arabia are actually the reformation of Islam purifying itself from outside influences. They are the Islamic version of the puritans and it’s ironic when you hear commentators say Islam needs a reformation. It’s happening. Now. And it’s hideous.

    For ISIS, it’s religious but there are other factors in the Sunni/Shia powerplay. Oil is a big factor. So is revenge…Regional power is another. ISIS is one pawn in that.

  • Bones

    It does….

    And quite frankly I want my country to have nothing to do with it outside of peacekeeping or humanitarian actions.

  • Matthew

    I think I tend to agree. If the west (primarily the U.S.) did completely withdraw from the region politically and militarily, what do you think the consequences would be?

  • Bones

    Btw when you look at the ideology of Islamic terrorists they nearly all are Wahabbist in theology eg Al Qaeda, 9/11 hijackers, Bin Laden, Chechen rebels, ISIS, Jamaah Islamia, Taliban, Boko Haram, El Nusra, Al Shabab, even individiuals like the shooter at Fort Hood.

    Virtually none are Shiite, Sufist or Alawite.

  • Matthew

    Interesting …….

  • Bones

    It’s hard to say, but Russia’s intervention now makes things very complicated for the Americans because they look like they’re doing nothing. Which they probably aren’t.

    Saudi Arabia is now openly supplying Syrian rebels with the latest antitank weaponry and anti-aircraft weapons will be next.

    Many of the Syrian rebels’ weapons tend to end up in ISIS’s hands. That will worry the Americans.

  • Matthew

    It´s all such a big mess. Thanks so much for your input.

  • What about Hezbollah? As I recall they were behind the bombing of U.S. Marines in Lebanon years ago.

    But it is true that HAMAS is also based in Sunni Islam.

  • RandyBarge

    Yes, I agree. “Stop it with the moral equivalency bullshit.” Let’s acknowledge that Islam still has a long way to go to become equal with “Christians” in the use of terror, violence, murder, rape and genocide.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Salafists, which are not specifically Wahabbists, are basically what ISIS claims to be… rather like a Reformation-era or Ulsterist Protestant iconoclast’s wet dream, to be blunt.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Using Sunni Islam as a term is rather like saying Protestant as it currently is here in the US… Within Sunni Islam are many, many subgroups that don’t like to apply the word “denomination” to themselves, although that is exactly what they are.

    ISIS considers itself Salafi, Saudi-influenced radicals are Wahhabi, there are a few radical Sufi groups, the Muslim Brotherhood looks to the teachings of Qutb and Maududi, which are not like the others, and so forth.and each considers the others as misguided at best, heretical, at worst, yet they are all within the umbrella of Sunni Islam. Shi’a Islam, equally, is not a monolithic entity… the Assad family are Alawite, Yusuf Ali, translator of the most popular English translation of the Qur’an was from Dawudi ancestry and there are many other subgroups as well.

    It’s as useless for anything other than polemics to say “These Muslims are bad, therefore all Islam sucks” as it is to blame Christians as a whole for the clinic and church bombings.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And, no, I’m not a Muslim, either… I just get impatient seeing half-read ideas and blanket statements being applied to any faith group from anyone’s triumphalist viewpoint.

  • Bones

    Wahabbism is a Salafist movement.

    Saudi Arabia has been exporting its brand of Islam to other countries through embassies, mosques, ‘charities’ and schools.

    The US has been putting pressure on the Saudis to close some of its ‘charities’.

  • Bones

    Hezbollah is Shiite Lebanese militia who are mainly involved in their region.

  • seashell

    You idiot. I said none of those things.

  • Robert Conner

    Well, in point of fact it’s not “America” creating terrorists. Specific individuals have sold particular policies based on particular narratives, largely it turns out by LYING (Bush, Rice, Cheney) to start wars for profit (Cheney). Then they actually have to gall to claim they’ve “kept us safe” will flushing thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars down the drain and ignoring intelligence briefings and red lights leading up to 9/11. I don’t believe Bush/Cheney had an active part in 9/11 as claimed by conspiracy theorists, but they were accessories by virtue of their incompetence.

    If and when the American public decides to hold these liars, profiteers and war criminals responsible (as in “trials” and “prison”), some of this madness may eventually abate. In the meantime these dishonest and hypocritical policies have turned the Middle East into a killing zone much like Southeast Asia some decades back and our drone strike capabilities are a magnet for sociopaths who will kill from a distance without a twinge of conscience.

  • Robert Conner

    How about 39.5 billion reasons? That’s how much Halliburton made off the Iraq war.

    http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/308-12/16561-focus-cheneys-halliburton-made-395-billion-on-iraq-war

  • I’ve lived in the Middle East, have encountered and dialogued with Muslims for many years, and just recently talked with two Muslim leaders in the U.S. I also have read many books on Islam and agree that variations in Islam are as complex and as those in Christianity.

    But it is true that a large percentage of Muslims, especially the Sunni branch, do advocate killing those Muslims who reject Islam, and do advocate jihad–and the killing of heretics and enemies. The polls, news, etc. show this.

    Then you wrote, “And, no, I’m not a Muslim, either… I just get impatient seeing half-read ideas and blanket statements being applied to any faith group from anyone’s triumphalist viewpoint.”

    ? I am fairly well read in Islam, have read scholarly biographies of Muhammad, have read the Qur’an 1 1/2 times, as well as passages many times, etc.

    And I don’t understand why you think I have a “triumphalist viewpoint” of Islam.

  • Bones

    You cant deny that what is happening in the Middle East is a powerplay between Shiites and Sunnis.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Nope, and wasn’t arguing with you… Just issues with the other commenter using Sunni Islam as a blanket term as though it by itself is some sort of accusation.

    I rather think you’re correct, except it’s between some types of Shi’a and some type of Sunni, and that the distinction is very much like Protestant vs. Roman Catholic… What sort of Protestant? In Ireland, the “troubles” were between high- and low-church Anglican and Roman Catholics… Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, American Episcopalians, and the rest, while also Protestants, had no part in it.

    It’s just that it’s my view that the reality is a lot more nuanced than can be explained using blanket labels.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    If I’m mistaken, please accept my apology… But if you are an Evangelical of any persuasion, triumphalism is not a bug in the system, but a well-documented feature.

    It’s not as large a percentage as you seem to think… No more than it’s a large percentage of American-style Evangelical Protestants who act like Huckabee and Ted Cruz.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    If you are convinced that your expression of faith is going to send you to heaven, but that a Muslim is on her/his way to hell, then that’s triumphalism. Not an insult, at least not intentionally, but an observation of the mindset.

  • ?
    I don’t even think there is life after death!

    Furthermore, even if there were life after death, I don’t think Muslims are going to hell!

    Have you confused me with some other commentor?

  • I’m not an Evangelical, wasn’t one most of my life, but was a very liberal Christian Quaker for a long time.

    As for Huckabee and Cruz, no friends of mine by any stretch of the imagination. The last time I took a political survey, I came out left-leaning anarcho-libertarian; another time leftist. I’m to the left of Bernie Sanders.

  • Bones

    Yeah the Irish troubles though were more about nationalism into which the various camps were described by their religion.

    Tone Wolff was a protestant for crying out loud.

    But while the IRA weren’t killing people for not being Catholic the same cant be said of the Protestant side which was crrtainly fueled by the like of Rev Paisley. Also my ancestors left Ireland during the Great Famine. Many evangelicals rejoiced at that as it was a sign of Gods judgement on Catholicism. They even sang hymns in praise of the famine. They also used food as a leverage for Catholics to recant their Catholicism.

    There is definitely an overt religious tone certainly in ISIS as demonstrated by the massacres of shia which are now happening in Yemen.. Not quite sure about the shia as to whether they see it more of a war of power and survival as against apostates like ISIS do.

    I wouldn’t classify the Palestinian-Israel conflict as a religious conflict.
    I’d say its a political conflict that religion has been brought into. Eg Arafat wasnt overtly Muslim.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Glad to hear it, and depending on the individual subject, I also make Bernie look like Attila the Hun at times. And again, apologies for my presupposition.

    And perhaps I misread your comment… one reason I’m given to hefty essays as commentary, as, although I don’t tweet, I still recognize the limitations of a text based communications medium especially when I have no idea who the person on the other side is. And it’s part of some of my quirks that I seem to be really anal regarding making myself understood as clearly as possible, and I get weirdly frustrated when I find I can’t.

    As an aside. I’ve never understood why or who the hell can discuss the universal truths in 140 characters… 140 is pretty short for me. *smile*

    Peace, Daniel.

  • Yeah, sometimes I think about the incongruity–all of us hastily typing short comments trying to explain the nature of the cosmos;-)
    Thanks for the dialog, Paul.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    Jesus did not exactly say that those who ““live by the sword will die by the sword.” A more literal translation of what he said is “all who accept the sword shall destroy themselves in the sword.”

  • gimpi1

    Actually, that’s not true. In their early days, they were very expansionist, as was Christianity. They had more-or-less settled down by the 18th century, however. The current terrorism is largely fueled by problems in middle-eastern society and grievances with the west. And, we in the U.S, have often fed those grievances, when it suited us. Remember the Mujahideen? We funded them when the then Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. We used them in one of our proxy-wars against the Soviet Union, then left them to their own devices when the Soviet Union withdrew. They morphed into the Taliban and took over Afghanistan, with a powerful presence in Pakistan.

    We both gave them money and weapons and fed their anger at “Godless” Russia when it suited us. Other nations have done the same thing, most notably Great Britain. We’ll never know how expansionist those things hadn’t been done, since you can’t re-wind the clock and do things differently this time. But pretending that blow-back isn’t a thing, and that we have no hand in this is both mistaken and makes it more likely that we’ll make mistakes in our future dealings.

  • gimpi1

    I know that our overthrowing of the democratically elected government in Iran and bringing in the Shaw as a monarch created a huge amount of anger. They rightly resented our (the CIA’s) interference in their country. As I recall, we took that action both because of fears of “communist” influences in the region, and more importantly, because the elected government was considering nationalizing the oil-feilds and booting out some American and European oil speculators.

    Oil. It’s amazing how often it comes down to oil, isn’t it?

  • gimpi1

    Good point, Randy. The KKK was the most active terrorist organization of the 20th century, yet they are so often forgotten. Another Christian organization, the IRA is also in the running. I don’t know why we don’t remember them.

  • Fulgentian

    “as was Christianity.”
    Really? When, in the first 200 years of its existence, did Christianity conduct a massive military campaign, sanctioned by its founder?

    The rest of your post is simply repeating what Corey originally said, so I have the same beef with it.

  • Fulgentian

    “terrorism is a rational choice when viable alternatives are lacking”
    I can’t believe you really think that. You’re excusing terrorism. That’s morally disgusting. So blinded by your disdain for the US and Israel, you’re willing to excuse terrorism.
    God help us.

  • Bones

    You guys did the same in Latin America. It was universal policy.

    I’m concerned about who you guys are supporting in Honduras.

  • Fulgentian

    How has this post got 10 upvotes? It doesn’t even make sense!

  • Bones

    English must be a second language for you.

    Or you have trouble reading.

  • Bones

    The WW2 resistance says hi.

  • Fulgentian

    “and the house given to settlers because Bible.”

    I don’t quite understand that bit.

  • Fulgentian

    That was killing Nazi soldiers. We’re talking about killing innocent people. Such moral equivalence is utterly reprehensible.

  • Bones

    Btw Israel didnt mind a bit of terrorism to get its political demands.

    If this was the 1940s we’d be talking about the horrors of Israeli terrorism by groups like the Stern Gang.

  • Fulgentian

    For heaven’s sake, that’s a toddler’s excuse!
    “He’s doing it too!”

  • Bones

    Because the Bible says that God gave Israel the land and the Jews shall return to Israel before Messiah returns.

    Basically using the Bible to cause misery.

  • Bones

    I give you the bombing of the King David Hotel.

    Those guys are heroes in Israel and would do it again.

  • Fulgentian

    Are you a first language English speaker?
    Normally it’s THE Messiah, and ‘because’ is a subordinating conjunction, and so needs to be followed by a subordinate clause, whereas in your post above is is followed only by a proper noun, hence my saying it does not even make sense.

  • Bones

    You do know Likud is a direct descendent from Jewish terrorist groups.

    You seem to be excusing terrorism.

  • Fulgentian

    Right, I can see that you have a massive problem with Israel, from which I doubt I will be able to extracate you, so I’m not sure what I can say in response to that, other that I find it odd that you would excuse terrorism for one group of people but not for another.

  • Bones

    Messiah doesnt need an article as in we can say Christ or THE Christ.

  • Fulgentian

    What about the conjunction thing?

  • Bones

    You have a very blinkered view of history.

    What we see as terrorism was first used by Jews.

    You dont think the US has been involved in terrorism?

  • Fulgentian

    My point is proven.

  • seashell

    “terrorism is a rational choice when viable alternatives are lacking”

    That is the opinion of terrorism experts. You may not like it and you may think it’s immoral and disgusting, but unless you know something the experts don’t, it needs to be understood by policy makers, and the people voting for them, in order to combat it.

    Second, there is no proof that Christian and Jewish terrorists are any better than Muslim terrorists.

  • seashell

    Because Internet speak. Because is now a preposition or a because-noun. Because efficiency.

    Or as Bones said, …because Bible.

  • Bones

    Do some research on Lehi and the Stern Gang.

    You can’t hide from facts behind victimisation.

  • Bones

    What about it?

    How about you look up Irgun instead of being a grammar nazi.

  • Widge Widge

    It makes perfect sense

  • Bones

    Hey. I’m up to 12.

    Thanks.

  • gimpi1

    You’re right, Christianity was not expansive during it’s first 700-800 years or so, principally due to the chaos caused by the collapse of Roman civilization and the climatic disruption apparently caused by a huge volcanic eruption in the 6th century, most likely Krakatoa. However, as society stabilized in the early middle ages, Christianity became quite expansionist, occasionally using military means. That continued right up to and through the colonization of the New World. These expansions were sanctioned by the highest levels of the Christian church, mostly a largely still-unified Roman Catholic Church.

    Islam became expansionist earlier in it’s history probably principally because it is about 600 years younger, and the chaos caused by the Roman collapse and climatic disruption was largely over as they began to grow. But I’m sure you know all this.

    You seem to be saying that terrorism is unique to Islam. It’s not. Right now, at this point in time, they are the most active terrorists. However, if you looked at the world in, oh, say 1920, you would say southern Christianity was strongly terrorist, based on the actions of the KKK, one of the most active terrorist organizations of the early 20th century. If you looked at the world in 1970, you might conclude that the Catholic Church was strongly terrorist, due to the IRA, another strong terrorist player.

    It’s not sanctioning terrorism to look for its causes, any more than it’s sanctioning any other crime by looking for causal factors. Finding root causes allows you to prevent crimes, terrorism included. It’s also much cheaper, in both lives and treasure. Ben is talking about not acting in ways that can generate blowback. I’m not sure what your objection is to that.

  • gimpi1

    That’s true. So did the French, to a lesser degree. France, Germany and Great Britain did this all over Africa. No one ever seems to really learn from past mistakes…

  • Nimblewill

    You act as if there wouldn’t be a problem of terrorism without the US. This isn’t new and wasn’t started by Bush.

  • DennyMD

    That holds true for the extreme religious beliefs and ideology of the Extremist Christians in this country as well! The crap spewing from the mindless mouth of a certain Mike Huckabee is one example!

  • Bones

    Btw you guys blew up a hospital last week staffed by MSF volunteers. I bet nothing comes of that except a few promotions.

  • Matthew

    Extremism of any sort from any side is dangerous.

  • DennyMD

    Agreed!

  • Lori Anne James

    Ben. Keep up well-written articles like this, and I may actually be tempted to return to Christianity. You seem to be one of the very few that actually “get it”.

  • Phil Torres

    A thought-provoking article. You make good points in a convincing manner. As it happens, I recently wrote an article on Sam Harris, Noam Chomsky, and the connection between Islam and terrorism that conveys a similar message: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2015/10/why-harris-and-chomsky-are-both-right.html. As I note, consistent with your thesis, terrorism is often a “demand-driven phenomenon” rather than a “supply-limited one,” and the sooner we recognize this, the better off we’ll be in the future.

  • Phil Torres

    Of course not. It goes all the way back to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which is an explicit complaint of organizations like the Islamic State. (No, it goes back to the Crusades, which is why the Islamic State calls Coalition forces “crusaders.”)

  • Stephen

    Why do we leave out the “cause” or “actions”, that is fundamental. We ignore them, and go onto “effect” and “consequences” in discussions and this article. What is our responsibility in the cause, action that “cultivates in the heart with the result being fear, hatred and revenge”? So we mislead people, when we don’t talk about our responsibility in religious persecution, tribal warfare and misguided governments in the oppression of their people and others…yes, oppression in all it’s ugliness. Plenty of things to discuss, from forced religious thought, people living to their “books” and creating their own Armageddon and marching others to it.
    We go about our lives, never knowing we are actually at times, even oppressing others or having to win at all costs….man fights the battle to be “the chosen”, yet in daily life, we totally ignore what is right, what is just and what am I doing and doing about it. Man is not a humble human as he constantly has the need to seek his own pedestal, his own god like being, thus nullifying Corey’s last statement…”living the way Jesus invites us to live”…..to busy justifying our own power, and rationalizing our behaviors through denials. Eden all over again….seek power, deny, blame and constantly defining “sin and righteousness” on others.
    Oppression, repressing people…..not seeing them as brothers or sisters….always seeing an enemy, their sins, ignoring our responsibility….just maybe we should look at what we are doing, and quit buying into the fear, hate and revenge….seeking change through voting, seeking change through charity, seeking change in how I treat my brothers/sister’s each day….quit buying into the snake oil charlatans of governments, religious extremes and the status quo.

  • Arthur Rimbaud

    religion is a cancer and no monotheist is better than another. in a perfect world we could ship all the god/allah/etc bots to their own island (along with all politicians who will be sentenced to the island for using monotheist ideals as a platform regardless of their personal beliefs)where they could murder one another and the problem would solve itself not to mention reducing the population and ridding the world of all extremists in one fell swoop.there will never be a perfect world but without the fractured fairytale freaks spawning and spewing their perverted blood thirsty doctrine – we could in fact live in an actualized age of reason,something society has never experienced since its inception.