Michael Howard – no, not that one – has a point:
When I wrote in this column a few weeks ago about the conundrum of
suicide-bombers, the eminent military historian Michael Howard dropped
me a line to remind me that European soldiers had been sent into
battle in the first world war with the message that there was no
higher honour than to die for your country. Not to live, to fight, to
kill for your country – to die for it.
The same has been true in nearly all cultures forever – it’s only the postwar West where we don’t expect soldiers to die. As such, the fact that suicide bombers are willing to die for their goal ought to be one of the least surprising things ever.