As horrific as the Paris terror attack was, it was not a sophisticated operation engineered by some diabolical mastermind. It was a low-tech, brutal assault that has distracted from a more important debate – how to give young, disaffected Muslim men more reason to live – writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: While Official Washington devotes much sound and fury to demands for a wider war in Syria and the need to turn away Syrian refugees, Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists, writes Daniel Lazare.
Special Report: The Islamic State has entered into “phase two” of its plan. After establishing a rudimentary “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq (phase one), it is now seeking to provoke the West into a self-defeating overreaction, a trap that “tough” politicians are falling into, as historian William R. Polk describes.
Special Report: American politicians know little about history, so they lash out at people from formerly colonized Third World nations without understanding the scars that the West’s repression and brutality have left on these societies, especially in the Muslim world, as historian William R. Polk explains.
Whenever there’s a terrorist attack – even a botched one like last week on a Paris-bound train – the debate turns to tightened security and retaliation. But a key part of a realistic campaign to reduce terrorism is to address underlying causes that fuel the rage behind the violence, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The West is quick to show disdain for the Muslim world and almost as quick to bomb it. But the only way to ultimately diffuse Islamic extremism is to understand the West’s historic role in causing the problem – and then pursuing practical ways to address legitimate concerns, as Alon Ben-Meir explains.