Terrorism The New War Essay

3020 words - 12 pages

TERRORISM THE NEW WARWhat is terrorism? Numerous of definitions have been formulated yet no one has offered a definition acceptable to all. Terrorism is an ancient instrument of disruption and change. In the Middle East terrorism has a long history. Assassinations of prominent leaders can be traced to biblical times. As Boyer Bell observes, "There is no satisfactory political definition of terror extant or forthcoming, [and] there is similarly no common academic consensus as to the essence of terror and no common language with which to shape a model acceptable to political scientists or social psychologists". (Bell, 6) Most definitions emphasize that terrorism is an act of violence designed to influence the political behavior of nations, organizations, groups, and individuals. As a contemporary issue for the purpose of this foreign policy brief, terrorism refers "to any violent act directed against noncombatants and carried out by an organized group rationalizing such behavior with political and religious arguments."(Davidson, 112) This foreign policy brief contains the following: background to the issue, key points of interest for Canada, recommendations for Canadian Foreign Policy, and Domestic and International consequences of recommended actions. The policy brief will try to explain the eminent threats that have recently been issued towards Canada and the other allies of the 'iniquitous American government.'BACKGROUND TO THE ISSUSEIn the contemporary world, the surge of terrorism in the Middle East had its origin in the history of Palestine and the creation of Israel. The thirty-year British administration of Palestine (1918-48) saw a growing frequency of terror as a method of protest in the activities of such Zionist organizations as Irgun and Stern. (Ziring, 284) They struck directly at the British administration in Palestine. Menahem Begin, a former Israeli Prime Minister, was a member of Irgun, which killed innocent civilians as well as British soldiers. Begin was unsuccessful in obtaining a visa to the United States, because he was officially considered to have taken part in terrorist activities. The Middle East is still filled with true believers, espousing different causes and determined to ignore mediation. As in the past, each group insists its purpose is correct and just.The Middle East has manifested the unmistakable signs of state terrorism in much of its history and it continues to play and important role in regional politics, in part due to the authoritarian nature of most Middle Eastern regimes. In the Middle East, state violence can be seen as an extension of the state-its alter ego. In a sense, therefore, a symbiotic relationship exists, especially in the Middle East, between state and private terrorism to the extent that the rationalization of one presupposes the existence of the other. Israeli violence, according to Israeli perceptions, is made necessary by Palestinian terrorism. And the Syrians, Libyans, Iranians,...

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