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Compare And Contrast The International Terrorism Of The Early 21st Century With The International Terrorism Of The 1970s And 1980s

2680 words - 11 pages

"Compare and contrast the international terrorism of the early 21st century with the international terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s."International terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s compared to that of the terrorism we face in the beginning of the new millennium has changed or rather evolved in a number of aspects and in particular with regards to; mass media, a shift in ideology from political to fanatical religious, the objectives becoming increasingly unrealistic and "apocalyptic", a change in the methods of exercising violence and the scale of violent with particular reference to the number of victims targeted. This is a direct result of the shifting political, social and economic climate of the world, globalisation, the rapid progression of technologies (Western world dominated) and the resistance to western popular culture in terms of, with special reference to Al Qaeda, morality issues. The terrorism of the 1970's and 1980's is still very much prevalent in the early 21st century but for the purpose of this essay special attention will be given to the new form of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and its' target, that of America and the morality of Western popular culture as a whole.Terrorism and its' constantly varying attributes has traditionally made it exceedingly difficult to define. Evans in "Calling a Truce on Terror" explains - "Terrorism can be defined as a strategy whereby violence is used to produce certain effects in a group of people so as to attain some political end or ends." He continues to qualify "fear" as a predominant effect of violent strategies. "Calling a Truce on Terror" was first published in 1979 and hence demonstrates the changing nature of terrorism and the futility of defining it although. No longer is the motivation "political" as the aims of religious fundamentalists are to defeat/destroy their enemy (chiefly America) and although "fear" is a result of attacks such as "September 11th", coercion of the American government is not on Al Qaeda's agenda and is therefore of little consequence and has in retrospect made it far more difficult for future attacks due to preventative measures as a direct result of the "fear" instilled by attacks. One must look back at the history of terrorism if one hopes to define and further understand the concept. The perception that terrorism on such a large scale as 9/11 is new is unfounded and in fact false. The term "terrorism" was coin as a result of the French Revolution and can be termed as State terrorism (whereby the State uses violence and fear in order to secure political power). In Stalin's "Great Terror" and his purges millions have been estimated as killed and many other states have exercised terrorism of its' own populace. Al Qaeda, however, did display a magnitude of violence that is unprecedented among "Sub-State Terrorism" (perpetrators acting outside State control i.e. IRA or Al Qaeda). This sub-state terrorism is of particular relevance from WWII and the...

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