Gwynne Dyer: why terrorism is overblown

Gwynne Dyer has an MA in military history from Rice University, Houston, Texas and a PhD in military and Middle Eastern history at King’s College London.

Let’s just admit he’s got more experience and knowledge than you or I.

DyerDon’t panic. Terrorism is a very small problem. And any western president or prime minister who thinks they’ll severely damage ISIS by dropping bombs on its fighters is terribly mistaken. …

“Well, we lost two people in the last year to terrorism and we lost about 250 a month on the roads,” Dyer said. “You know, the Americans lost 3,000 people on 9/11, but they also lost 3,000 people on the roads and another 3,000 to gunshot wounds, mostly delivered by their nearest and dearest.

“The scale of the terrorism is tiny compared to its presence in the media,” Dyer continued. “Really, we should, as much as possible, ignore it. We certainly don’t need to overreact by sending troops to the Middle East …

In fact, according to Dyer, if western countries expand their bombing campaigns against ISIS into Syria, it will only make the Islamic State stronger.

That’s because it will reinforce ISIS’s message that western infidels are attacking and killing Muslims. Dyer said that this provides a perfect recruiting tool to attract more desperate people to join their cause. …

… terrorism is “the weapon of the weak”. And he pointed out that it has been used for centuries in many parts of the world against governments to achieve very specific objectives. …

He also repeatedly characterized terrorism as a “technique” for revolutionaries “who don’t have an army, don’t have heavy weapons, and don’t have a great deal of money”. …

… the Arab world is the second poorest region in the world. Given current economic growth rates in Africa, he predicted that the Arab countries will become the poorest within 15 years.

“There’s virtually no science done in the Arab countries,” Dyer said, characterizing the region as being gripped with “poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, and despair”.

It’s to be expected that under these circumstances, revolutionary movements would emerge. …

What is the Islamic State?

Dyer acknowledged that it’s helpful for Islamists that they have a territorial base in northwestern Iraq and parts of Syria, which is known as the Islamic State. But he also emphasized that it’s a profoundly weak base, mostly open desert, with few resources. …

“Is this a great power arising that we need to worry about?” he asked. “No, it’s not. It’s astounding how little the Middle East matters. I mean, it monopolizes our news media, but the Middle East contains 10 percent of the world’s people. Only five percent of the world’s people are Arabs. And it accounts for about three percent of the world’s economy, including all the oil.”

Gwynne Dyer explains why terrorism is overblown and why Islamists want western countries to attack the Islamic State


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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