Monday, December 05, 2005

Show me the money

I was reminded by this of an obvious but infrequently remarked apon point about terrorist atrocities and it's that they cost money. The answer to the question, why is it - if suicide bombing is a function of poverty - that we are not over-run by African terrorists is this: apart from anything else, they can't afford it. The whole business is rather expensive, what with the training, the forged documents and the air-miles that people who think it's a good idea to blow themselves up tend to cover in any given 'martyrdom operation'.

Bit like the motivation of the various countires prior to the invasion of Iraq: apparently only the United States has any economic interests to defend in the region; the French and the Russians in contrast, if you read the Guardian, were acting out of a matter of principle. It would be shallow cynicism to suggest that the fact these countries were Saddam's biggest trading partners in Europe had anything to do with the position they took.

I'm an economic historian, so I can do "it's the economy stupid" with the best of them (yes dear, it is all about oil - just not in quite the way you think) but can we do it consistently please?

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