Not to rain on Robert Pappe’s parade or anything, but Husain Haqqani and Daniel Kimmage are hinting at a much more convincing case for the roots of the cult of suicide bombing in TNR. Forget politics they write, and forget the wealth of the bombers;
The point is not that foreign jihadists in Iraq are rich and well-educated, though some of them may be. Rather, the biographies stress wealth and good prospects as examples of what jihadists give up when they decide to join the jihad. They are men who either had, or could have had, the good things of this world, yet chose to forsake them in favor of the greater pleasures of paradise, the texts insist. Indeed, the biographies of the Iraqi jihadists contain many elements of the mythic cult of martyrdom that researchers have found elsewhere, most notably among Palestinian militants. As his final act draws near, the martyr sees visions of himself in paradise, and he dreams of the beautiful, black-eyed virgins who await him there.
So what say you Pape?