The canard that “crushing” poverty does cause it just won’t die.
The canard that poverty causes terrorism just won’t die. It was one thing when Nation writer David Corn and others connected the two back in 2002. The liberal default position is that poverty causes crime. It was an instant knee-jerk reaction after 9/11. But by now we all ought to know better. Except, the theory is still being peddled despite the lack of evidence to support it.
On Monday the Times of London, citing analysts, reported: “‘Orchard of fighters’ grows out of poverty and mistrust in Yemen.”
Last week, President Obama said of the Christmas bomber, “We know that he traveled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies.”
Yemen’s crushing poverty? Abdul Mutallab isn’t even Yemeni; he is Nigerian, and an affluent one, at that. Apparently, the president is suggesting that poor, unsuspecting Abdul Mutallab wound up in Yemen and was radicalized by Muslims there who were themselves radicalized by Yemen’s “crushing poverty.” Why mention it if that is not the general theory he is putting forth?
Yet there is a little problem with that theory. According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe is 11 times poorer than Yemen. Yet no Zimbabwean national has been caught trying to blow up U.S. airliners. There’s a simple reason for that. Less than 1 percent of the population of Zimbabwe is Muslim.
Despite Zimbabwe’s crushing poverty, al Qaeda has almost no one to radicalize and recruit there. In Yemen, an almost entirely Muslim nation, al Qaeda’s pickings are easier.
The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and continue to do so today are not the radical poor. They’re radical Muslims.
Consider this list of known al-Qaeda terrorists, and find what links all of them:
• Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed was a mechanical engineer
• Mohammed Atta grew up in a middle class household; his father was an attorney.
• Ramzi Binalshibh was a bank clerk.
• Mohammed Atef was an Egyptian police officer.
• Marwan al-Shehhi was a soldier studying in Germany on an Army scholarship.
• Ziad Jarrah came from a wealthy Lebanese family and attended private, Christian schools.
• Abdulaziz Alomari graduated with honors from his Saudi high school and went on to graduate from college.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?