During a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan stated that terrorists are “victim to the cancer of violent extremism.”  No John, the terrorists are the bad guys, the innocent people whom they murder are the victims.

Brennan is Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor.  It’s no wonder that Obama often seems to completely fail to understand terrorism, it’s causes, and it’s practitioners.

Brennan also repeated the idiocy that the terrorists motivations are unrelated to Islam.  He stated “Nor do we describe our enemy as “jihadists” or “Islamists” because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.”  Clearly Brennan has not read and understood the Qua’ran — nor has he been listening to the people whom he is supposed to be defending the United States from.

Brennan seems to live in his own fantasy world where Al Qaeda is just a bunch of swell guys who are victim to “political, economic and social forces.”  This theory has been soundly disproven, not just by the testimony of the jihadi’s themselves, but also by independent demographic analysis of those who select the path of jihad.

The National Science Foundation conducted a study which showed no link between economic health and terrorism.  Nancy Lutz, economics program director at the NSF, explains:

“People say ‘poverty breeds terrorism’ and that seems obvious, but when one looks at the data, it has to be questioned if it’s really true.  In fact, the data tell us that there’s no link between poverty and terrorism, which suggests that attempts to reduce terrorism by fighting poverty will not work.”

Brennan would do well to study the work of economist Alan Krueger. Krueger conducted a study of 129 Hezbollah suicide bombers and compared their backgrounds with men who shared their same age bracket and geography. Alan discovered that the terrorists were less likely to come from a poor family (28% versus 33%) and more likely to have a high school education (47% versus 38%).

Claude Berrebi conducted an analysis of suicide bombers in Palestine and found similar results. He discovered that only 16% of suicide bombers came from impoverished families, compared more than 30% of male Palestinians overall. More than 60% of suicide bombers in his study had gone beyond high school versus only 15% of the overall populace.

Terrorists are richer and more well educated than the average Muslim. These people are not the victims of anything other than religious indoctrination. Brennan’s statement is no more acceptable than claiming that the Nazi SS members were “victim to the cancer of violent extremism.”

Islamist terrorism is very simple to understand, as it was commanded by Muhammad in the Qua’ran:

9:29 Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

We will never achieve victory until we learn to listen to our enemies and understand the world from their viewpoint.  With John Brennan leading our counter-terrorism efforts, we have very little hope of that happening.