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Situating Terrorism in Human History

From the Student/Original Problem:

Hello. I need/require a 5,500-6,000 word research article on terrorism (written in MLA style) that I can use as the basis for a research project. Terrorism as a political tool would be a great topic.

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Dear Student,
I have created a comprehensive solution for you that should be enough to help you put together your own research and arguments for your final paper on terrorism. It is also written in the MLA style complete with a cover page and an abstract to help you put together yours. Good luck. If you have questions, feel free to send me a message. The attachment is the word version of the full solution, presented as to be expected of an academic research paper.This is a word file for easy printing. Good luck and thank you for making brainmass a part of your academic life.

Sincerely,
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
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(Title Page)

Situating Terrorism

By

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

for Brainmass
A solution
for posting
217375

(Content Page)

Paper Organization Guide:

1. Abstract

2. Situating Terrorism
a. Introduction
b. Terrorism as a Discourse-Constructed Concept

3. Terrorism in Antiquity & through the 18th Century
a. The Zealots & the Assassins
b. Analysing Rise of Terrorism as a Political Tool: Towards the French Revolution

4. The Evolution & Adaptability of Terrorism
a. 19th Century :Assassinations, Nationalism & Nation-States
b. A World of World Wars & National Identities
c. Legitimacy of WW2 & the Cold War
d. Modern Terrorism as We know it
e. Conclusion

5. Word Count & References

(Abstract Page)

Abstract: The solution, a paper of 6,150 words traces the History of terrorism during the time of the Zealots and the Assassins through the 18th and the 20th century to present a picture of terrorism as having been a part of human history in terms of ethnic & national struggles in the creation of identities and survival. It further presents terrorism as a sociologically situated and constructed concept proving this by drawing through history. Exploring terrorism and its relation to the creation of the world as we know today, this paper is an extensive evaluation of Terrorism beyond the modern meaning.

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(The paper)

Situating Terrorism

Introduction
'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.'
- Anon

War and violence as a way of forwarding personal, tribal, political and religious agenda, among other things, is older than the human concept of nation-states. The History of terrorism is actually part of the history of human civilization, just as democracy and communism and all our existing philosophies & social order systems are. It is also its product just as democracy and equality are. What is terrorism? What defines a terrorist act? What does history tell us about terrorism and civilization? Since 9-11 through global discourse the world that we know has defined terrorism by way of the visual (through a globalized media) and actual experience and it cannot be denied than when we think of terrorism, we think of Al Qaeda, Bin Laden & the Taleban. We also think of the isolated nation of North Korea or the enigmatic nation of Iran. Over and above all that we think of the currently fought out 'Global War on Terror' in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the varied cities and locations that radicalized Islamic fanatics have targeted to 'spread their message', to 'coerce' and 'terrorize' nations for the purpose of being heard to meet their demands of what they see as a world unacceptable to their increasingly radical & volatile faith. Most of the world's modern impressions of the terrorist notion involve suicide bombers willing to blow themselves up seemingly blinded by the 'glory of dying' for Jihad to overcome and fight the 'infidels'. All these seems, to so many the direct consequence of 9-11 when the Al Qaeda, the radical Islamic group led by one Osama Bin Laden, now the most wanted man on Earth led coordinated attacks throughout key US targets including the New York landmark, the Twin Towers. For Professor Sir Adam Roberts of Oxford University, "What happened on September 11 was a sinister new twist in an old story of fascination with political violence"( The BBC, 2002).Terrorism is defined by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS via FEMA, 2008) as such -

"Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom."

The Department of Homeland Security's creation was a direct response to 9-11 for the purpose of securing the American homeland and preserving national interest. So was the Global War on Terror headed by the US supported heavily by its NATO allies especially the United Kingdom and Australia? Sociologist Michel Foucault proposed that discourse establishes accepted knowledge, the process of meaning creation. The increased activity of Islamic radical groups around the world post 9-11 that resulted to significant media coverage and public alarm (Bali Bombings, London Underground bombings, Madrid Train bombings, and the very recent Islamabad & Mumbai Attacks) has defined public consciousness of what terrorists are and what terrorism is. This is of course in line with the DHS definition. Any use of terror or violence to coerce, intimidate and force a nation to agree to an idea or an action as a form of ransom is terrorism. These acts are criminal and unlawful and are done to achieve the following:
? Create public terror and panic.
? To create an image of weak and powerless governments.
? Get immediate publicity for their causes via the interest the act generates.

Terrorism as a Discourse-Constructed Concept

The public has now unconsciously 'stereotyped' terrorists as 'Islamic radicals' and, however unfair this might be to a quarter of the world's population, this is the reality. Just as Russians and Communists or the Nazis were the bad guys of the 70's-90's cinema, post-9-11 Cinema now echo Society's notion by the baddies represented on screen - suicide bombers, Al-Qaeda or Taleban-like terror groups holding the world hostage interpreted in the big screen or through the television. The 2008 movie 'The Kingdom' starring Hollywood heavyweights Jamie Foxx & Jennifer Garner capitalized on the War on Terror and the cultural & religious systems that move radicalism to deadly results. Every week the stories on TV shows like Donald Bellisario's 'NCIS' or the Scott brother's 'Numb3rs' also more often than not present radicalized Islamic groups as 'the terrorists' that plague national security. You cannot blame Hollywood for this is the actual global reality. Even then, this is not ALL that terrorism is or was. Terrorism's actual historical significance is a question of situation. Before nation-states man has engaged in war & violence to forward his beliefs & agenda. If these wars & violence employed were meant to force ad coerce others to another viewpoint or course of action, is this not terrorism at its most basic? Power and control is at the heart of any military action. Nationalism is a devotion to one's homeland much as radicalism is a devotion to one's beliefs. It is easy to blur the lines as to what is terrorism and what isn't. Terrorism is a flexible and adaptable notion. Man, the perpetrator of terrorism is a creative animal who can easily bend and adapt the use of terror to suit his needs. Terrorism is after all meaning arrived at via discourse. The Department of Homeland Security for example was empowered by the Constitution to define what is considered terrorism in the eyes of American law enforcement. The current definition used by the DHS was arrived at via great deliberation - every word chosen to contain all that is intended to represent what to the DHS is a terrorist act, who are terrorists and what terrorism is about. This is how the social world works - meanings are constructed through language games structured by rules accepted by all those who participate and find identity in it, at least according to Philosopher Richard Rorty (1979).

Terrorism is of course a negative act. Violence, war and military action that result to the suffering of innocent civilians and senseless loss of life are terrible, horrific events. This paper seeks to expand the current notion of terrorism by situating terrorism throughout human history to quantify and investigate this widespread claim - 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' It is this perception of what is acceptable, what is right and what is morally acceptable about the world and how it should be governed and who should govern it that tells us what the status qou is and points to us who are the aggressors and the victims in a fight that involves terrorism and more. Is it possible that the American Revolution was fought by Colonial Americans who, to the eyes of the British King were no more than terrorists and treasonous criminals? The aim of this paper is not to negate the accepted meaning of present-day terrorism. Terrorism after all is a social agency making it a dynamic and flexible system that can continually evolve according to the needs of those adapting it to forward their goals. What it hopes to do however is to look back in human history to present that terrorism in its evolution was a major part of nationalism and independence struggles, making it an essential action in the birth of many nations.

Terrorism in Antiquity & through the 18th Century

"After the thousands of deaths on September 11, it was evident that at least one group would stop at nothing. Terrorism was not always like this. Its history is as much European as Middle Eastern, and as much secular as religious. Far from being wilfully indiscriminate, it was often pointedly discriminate."
- Prof. Adam Roberts, the BBC, 2002

The last 2 decades 'terrorists & terror groups' have committed horrific acts of violence to spread political agenda or religious agenda. Tactics & techniques adapted by groups & individuals using terrorism to disrupt & change the status qou is a deviant act - unacceptable, unlawful according to the morals, ethics & legal systems of nations. Religious extremists often reject the authority of secular governments and view legal systems that are not based on their religious beliefs as illegitimate. Political-nationalist radicals like the Basque ETA on the other hand share a common ethnic background and organize themselves to overthrow what they perceive as an unjust form of governance to them, whatever the cost to them, to their perceived ...

Solution Summary

The solution, a paper of 6,150 words traces the History of terrorism during the time of the Zealots and the Assassins through the 18th and the 20th century to present a picture of terrorism as having been a part of human history in terms of ethnic & national struggles in the creation of identities and survival. It further presents terrorism as a sociologically situated and constructed concept proving this by drawing through history. Exploring terrorism and its relation to the creation of the world as we know today, this paper is an extensive evaluation of Terrorism beyond the modern meaning.

The solution also includes guidance on a separate note re: writing/conducting social research. Attached is the word file version of the solution for easy printing. A full reference list is provided.

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