For the Global Thinker

Friday, April 23, 2010

Social Scientists On What Motivates Terrorists

A girl looks out from the roof. The house in Beit Lahita is situated on a hilltop, and was occupied by Israeli snipers during the war.

"Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, built a database of three hundred and fifteen suicide attacks between 1980 and 2003, and drew a resoundingly clear conclusion: “What nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.” As he wrote in “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” (2005), what terrorists want is “to change policy,” often the policy of a faraway major power. Pape asserts that “offensive military action rarely works” against terrorism, so, in his view, the solution to the problem of terrorism couldn’t be simpler: withdraw. Pape’s “nationalist theory of suicide terrorism” applies not just to Hamas and Hezbollah but also to Al Qaeda; its real goal, he says, is the removal of the U.S. military from the Arabian Peninsula and other Muslim countries. Pape says that “American military policy in the Persian Gulf was most likely the pivotal factor leading to September 11”; the only effective way to prevent future Al Qaeda attacks would be for the United States to take all its forces out of the Middle East."http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/04/26/100426crbo_books_lemann

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Photojournalist-Christian Als

About Christian:
I am a Danish photojournalist born in the countryside outside Copenhagen. Most of my work centers on 'concerned photography' and I am constantly drawn to social, political and economic issues throughout the world. I have worked in countries like Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, China, Tibet, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Latvia and India. In 2006 I graduated from the Danish School of Journalism. My passion and interest in photography developed in the late nineties after extensive travels in third world countries, where I realized the urge to document my surroundings. I love to undertake social and humanitarian projects around the world, and like the journey a photographic project can turn into over time. Most of all I just love people and love photography.
Check out his stunning portfolio at:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Video of US Troops Killing Civilians

An astounding video of US troops in Iraq killing two journalists and wounding two children. Although this video portrays the negligent thinking behind a ruthless engagement, war is never pretty. Last month, I met a US soldier serving in Afghanistan and he assured me that protecting civilians was his number one priority and I do believe him. I also met another soldier who just got back from Iraq last week and he completely disagreed with the war as well. However, both soldiers that I met also said that there are a lot of Yahoos in their ranks as well. And this video is more evidence of those types. Anyway, check it out (and to my two friends in Afghanistan and Iraq...no disrespect and stay safe out there. Good luck)