THE NEW FACE OF TERRORISM
By L. Paul Bremer
L. Paul Bremer, managing director
of Kissinger Associates, was ambassador-at-large for counter-terrorism
during the Reagan administration.
NEW YORK -- We don't know yet who committed the catastrophic terrorist
acts in the United States on Tuesday (Sept. 11). But these acts have all
the hallmarks of the new face of terrorism with which we are becoming
all too familiar.
In the 1970s and 1980s, anti-American terrorists had raw political goals.
Radical European Marxist groups (Action Directe, Red Brigades, Red Army
Faction) sought to expel America from Europe and to destroy NATO; Middle
Eastern terrorism was mostly conducted by secular Marxists whose objective
was to weaken America's ties to Israel, the better to destroy Israel.
These political terror groups were tightly organized, with well-defined
command-and-control structures. They were content to attack U.S. targets
in Europe or the Middle East because such targets were easier to hit.
And blowing up buildings in Frankfurt or Cairo delivered a message clearly
related to the groups' political objectives.
Now, we are witnessing the emergence of religio-ideological terrorism
similar to the radical Iranian fundamentalism of 1979. To these terrorists
America is the Great Satan, the symbol of global capitalist corruption,
pornography and drugs. Whereas the secular terrorists of the 1980s hated
America for whom we supported, these thugs hate America for what we are.
They seek not a shift in American policy but the destruction of American
society. To them it is a real Holy War.
(c) 2001, Global Viewpoint. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate
International, a division of Tribune Media Services.
For immediate release (Distributed 9/12/01)