Jeffrey Rudolph writes in a guest editorial for Informed Comment
Can You Pass the Terrorism Quiz?
Misconceptions about terrorism, regularly promoted by the mainstream media, have facilitated harmful US government actions—two wars, domestic legislation that curtailed civil liberties, excessive national security spending. That basic, factual information about terrorism is so rarely reported thus serves to reinforce the power of those who benefit from a fearful population.
It should be banal to read in the mainstream media that the US not only engages in terrorism but often aggravates it; that if the current crop of terrorists in, say, the Middle East were killed, new terrorists would simply arise if the underlying political and social conditions remained unchanged; and, that if a particular country is perceived as actively supporting dysfunctional political and social conditions in a part of the world, it will become the target of anger and, possibly, violence. Yet, instead of such obvious conclusions about terrorism, we are daily exposed to much bias and distortion.
Several years ago my local newspaper, the (very mainstream) Montreal Gazette, published a piece I had written with only one change: Jewish “terrorists” was edited as Jewish “fighters”—needless to say, “Arab terrorists” remained unchanged. To counter such inadequate journalism, I have prepared the following quiz.
The Terrorism Quiz:
1. Who made the following statement? “To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom.”
2. Which official report stated the following? “the Iraq War has become the ‘cause celebre’ for jihadists…and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”
3. Approximately how many North Vietnamese civilians were killed by the US’s three-and-a-half years Operation Rolling Thunder bombing campaign?
4. True or False: Studies have repeatedly found that the bulk of terrorists are normal.
5. How many suicide bombings had Iraq experienced before the 2003 US invasion?
6. In 1958, according to the United States National Security Council, what was the main reason the Arab people hated the US?
7. Who stated the following to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2005? “Our [the US’s] policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment.”
8. Who said the following? “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples [in the Middle East].”
9. True or False: Revenge is an important cause of terrorism.
10. What was the main objective of al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks?
11. True or False: Over 20% of the respondents of a 2005 Gallup poll of ten predominantly Muslim countries felt the 9/11 attacks were fully justified.
12. True or False: Of the seventy-nine worst al-Qa’ida and other Salafi terrorists, more had attended madrasas than regular universities.
13. True or False: The majority of terrorists come from the lower-classes.
14. Which groups committed the following terrorist acts in Palestine to further nationalist goals?
i) July 22, 1946: Terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing or injuring more than 200 persons.
ii) December 19, 1947: Terrorists attacked a village near Safad, blowing up two houses, in the ruins of which were found the bodies of 10 persons, including 5 children.
iii) December 30,1947: Terrorists attacked the village of Balad al Sheikh, killing more than 60 persons.
iv) March 3, 1948: Terrorists drove an army truck up to a building in Haifa and detonated 400 pounds of explosives that killed 14 persons and injured 23.
15. If a terrorist act can be linked to a country or group should that preclude diplomacy with that country or group?
16. True or False: The internationally respected Goldstone Report accused Israel of terrorizing Gaza’s civilians during the December 2008 Gaza invasion.
17. True or False: The religion of Islam is an important cause of terrorism.
18. Which Middle Eastern country suffered an 18 October 2009 Baluchi terrorist attack that killed dozens and that was condemned by the US?
19. What are the Annual Risks for an American to die from: Heart disease? Criminal homicide? Lightning strike? Terrorism?
20. Has Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad ever deliberately attacked American targets?
21. True or False: A majority of the people in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support al-Qa’ida’s goal of creating an Islamic state.
22. True or False: In 1997 a declassified CIA training manual detailed torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s.
Jeffrey Rudolph, a college professor, was the Quebec representative of the East Timor Alert Network, and presented a paper on its behalf at the United Nations. He prepared the widely-distributed “Can You Pass the Israel-Palestine Quiz,” “Can You Pass the Iran Quiz,” and “Can You Pass the Hamas Quiz.” (Comments or questions concerning the quizzes should be emailed to: Israel-Palestine-Quiz@