Misconceptions about international terrorism too often guide politics, media and academia these days. But if you don’t think correctly, you can’t negotiate correctly.
The first fallacy is that you can fight terrorism by fighting poverty. Surely, everyone knows that Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was a multimillionaire. Most terrorist masterminds emerge from the middle class, and the Islamic State is swimming in money. The poor are merely cannon fodder for terrorist leaders. So economics and sociology do not explain today’s terrorism – no more than they did with the Baader-Meinhof terrorists in 1970s West Germany.
The second big fallacy is that the Israeli-Arab-Islamic conflict is the core of terrorism and Israel is the trigger.
If you blame Islam, you insist that Islamic terrorists want to hit Israel, the United States and other allies, and that they strive for Islamic world domination. That is nonsense because Sunni and Shiite Muslims are slaughtering each other in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.