What do Terrorists Get Out of It?

The hotel bombing in Madrid gives the press another opportunity to get the story wrong. On Fox News, the conservative commentator, Fred Barnes, was asked “What do the terrorists get out of this?” Barnes )a smart guy) answered that the terrorists hope to discourage Americans from being in Iraq and start a war between Sunnis and Shiites. This is nonsense. The terrorists know that Americans aren’t leaving and that there is no coming civil war brewing. Recent surveys show Iraqis are getting happier and are very optimistic about their future. So what do the terrorists get? Again, these bombings get press coverage. Like any company, the terrorists’ goal is growing their organizations and making them more powerful. These bombing do not make them stronger by hurting their enemies (the dead were not their enemies). The terrorists hope that this free media advertising wins recruits and donations. It has not other purpose. To make excuses about them targeting Americans, foreigners, or whatever simply doesn’t matter. All of these targets are targets of opportunities. As long as the bombing kills people, that is all that is necessary to get advertising. It doesn’t matter who the victims are.