contributed by Jamie Swift
“Poor people in developing countries work hard and peacefully, against great odds, to survive; they do not become terrorists. But in poor neighbourhoods in most societies, and especially in countries where inequality looms large, there is more crime, social degradation and violence than elsewhere. And in societies where people are hungry, some—unemployed angry young men mostly—are prone to joining groups that aim to overthrow those they see as their oppressors. This is not new: the Bourbons and the Romanovs learned this lesson as they toppled into their graves.”
This important article by Ian Smillie begins an exploration of the links between terrorist violence and poverty. The longtime Ottawa NGO activist (Mr. Smillie has been a leader in the struggle against blood diamonds and an insightful critic of the foreign aid industry) offers a well-informed critique of the way a fellow aid critic chooses to frame the link between foreign aid policy and anti-terrorist programs of western governments.
You can read the full article here: http://www.mcleodgroup.ca/
And you can read the article it references here: http://www.nyudri.org/assets/inthemedia/2016/terrorpovertynyrb.pdf