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Wiley: Looking to ourselves to curb terrorism
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In an op-ed piece he published in the New York Times in May 2005, Pape wrote: "Before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, there was no Hezbollah suicide terrorist campaign against Israel; indeed, Hezbollah came into existence only after this event. And, true to form, there had never been a documented suicide attack in Iraq until after the American invasion in 2003."
    He goes on to say that the presence of American combat forces in the Arab peninsula since the early 1990s, as well as the war in Iraq is certainly a reason why new attacks have happened. "And the longer this suicide terrorist campaign continues, the greater the risk of new attacks in the United States," he wrote.

    A reader from Sweden left her enthusiastic impressions of Pape’s book on Amazon and added: "As Noam Chomsky once brilliantly pointed out: Unless we judge our own actions by the same standards we apply to others, we can never talk about justice. Unless we acknowledge the root causes of terrorism and unless we avoid making sensationalistic albeit incorrect and grossly oversimplified conclusions, then eradicating terrorism will be extremely difficult."
    I couldn’t agree more and I hope that all of us will go beyond our superficial conversations of our hand luggage discomforts to take a stand on what matters. Pape suggests the United States could go back to "offshore balancing" in the Persian Gulf. He wrote: "Keeping the peace from a discreet distance seems a better way to secure our interests in the world’s key oil-producing region without provoking more terrorism."
    (Miryam Wiley is a freelance columnist published on Saturdays in the Daily News. Her e-mail is [email protected])
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