In most cases, obviously, soldiers fought because a government drafted them and gave them a rifle. At every point too, we see the role of nationalistic sentiment, commercial rivalries, and simple greed. But can we ever separate out such motives from the religious? Was that not also true of the medieval crusades?
Religious extremists want to show us that the only possibility is for us to kill each other, so September 11 is not only heinous murder, it is also global performance. It is also putting an idea into the world, an idea of destruction.
Even though their arguments did not invoke religion, I think we all know what's behind these arguments. They're trying to protect religious beliefs from contradiction by science. They used to do it by prohibiting teachers from teaching evolution at all; then they wanted to teach intelligent design as an alternative theory; now they want the supposed "weaknesses" in evolution pointed out. But it's all the same program - it's all an attempt to let religious ideas determine what is taught in science courses.
Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses....