debate, and compromise. Terrorists kill, Dr. Herf stated - they do not
compromise. Terrorists react with hatred to reform, he continued, citing
the example of Archduke Franz Ferdinand who Dr. Herf contended was assassinated
in 1914 in part because he wanted a peaceful solution to a complex problem.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anwar Sadat met their ends for similar reasons,
he added. Thus asserting that terrorist react strongly against those
people that offer peaceful reforms, Dr. Herf argued that Al Qaeda planned
the September 11 attacks when Israeli Prime Minister Barak was making
unprecedented offers for a Palestinian state, a move which Al Qaeda
was determined to undermine.
Dr. Herf then returned to his comparison of Al Qaeda to Nazism. The
core of Nazi foreign policy, he explained, was opposition to the foe
of international Jewry. Bin Laden, he said, had similar solitary blame
for Arabian problems - the United States. Both asserted a reactionary
modernism - fascination with technology coupled with a rejection of
Yet the analogy with Nazism and Stalinism can only be taken so far,
Dr. Herf concluded. Radical Islam has an attitude toward death very
different than the Nazis or Communists in that the former believes that
death as a martyr leads to heaven. Deterrence therefore has no place
with people who do not desire not to die. The new threat, he argued,
could only be defeated militarily and must be done before they acquire
weapons of mass destruction.