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    Read "The Threat of Global State Terrorism: Retail vs. Wholesale Terror" by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson.
    1. According to Herman, what is the REAL terrorist threat?
    2. Is the US a terrorist nation?

    Your response should deal with your opinion on the difference between traditional definitions of terrorism and what many people now see as state terrorism.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 3, 2022, 11:32 pm ad1c9bdddf

    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

    "Retail" terror deals with the smaller groups that are not backed by any specific state apparatus. The state, on the other hand, has infinitely more resources than the IRA or Shining Path - there is no comparison. Terrorists (so called) operate from a position of weakness, not strength (that's why they resort to terror in the first place).

    Terrorists might kill a few people - governments slaughter millions. This is "wholesale" terrorism. It's a good distinction to make. When a terror group hits a government building in an enemy country, it is "terror." When the US Air Force does the exact same thing, even on a much greater scale, it's called the "defense of human rights" or the "war against terror."

    This is the main point.

    The concept of "terror" has no real meaning - except as the enemy of any particular state. Terror is a normal part of war - so what does the IRA-style terror have that is different? - the only difference is that those small groups act on a small scale. The US (for example), works on a global scale.

    The authors state that the US behaves in this way because there are no countries that can contain it. (I think this is wrong - the present alliance between China and Russia can certainly contain the US).

    Their comparison of modern terrorism to the USSR is also a problem - the Soviets slaughtered tens of millions of their own people (and backed China, who did the same to their own populations). The USSR is not comparable to modern terror organizations (cf 254). Both China and the USSR were extremely violent terrorist states that, in a few years, racked up a body count that all the world's terror groups put together could not hope to match. So, in that sense, it solidifies their thesis.

    (The authors seem to go a bit too far - ALL American interventions are wrong, without distinction).

    Major media have, historically, backed US claims to be "fighting terror" or whatever evil is fashionable at the time (Nationalism, Nazism, Fascism, Communism, etc). The opposition to these adventures (with the exception of Vietnam) has been weak. No media support for the "other side."

    Oh Jeez - he's totally wrong about Putin. OK, I'm starting to dislike this.

    Ah, but Israel - yes, he's correct on that. His general point is that acts like September 11 are NOT in the interest of its purported executors, but the US and Israel - now, they have a free hand against the Islamic world. Hence, terror is in the interests of the US, since it justifies massive military spending and foreign interventions. (The unstated question is why would terrorists hit US targets at all, knowing full well that this would enrage the US population, giving the US military a free hand to find and kill them - it makes no sense. How is this in the interests of the "terrorists?").

    Any country with a militant minority can just label them "terrorists" and get aid from the US to fight them. Really, 9/11 has been a windfall for governments worldwide (repressive or not).

    9/11 also gave the American government an excuse for an "open ended" war - that is, a war with no clear goal and no clear end. "Perpetual war for perpetual peace" or so the saying goes.

    Overwhelmingly, "terror" is about governments taking control of strategic resources under the cover of "human rights." The authors argue that there is always an economic component to "fighting terror" that is often ignored or overlooked. Fighting "terror" or whatever, is almost always a disguise for more financially-motivated intentions.

    Is the US a terrorist nation? (Really, the question should be "Does the US have a terrorist government?")

    By the normal definition of "terrorism" yes. The US has hit civilian populations, destroyed infrastructure, attacked countries much, much weaker than itself, and has done so in the name of "human rights." But beyond this, all governments involved in foreign interventions, to a degree, are terrorist organizations, since they all do the same thing in their own military actions. Don't forget, during World War II (near the end, 1944-early 1945), both the American and British air corps deliberately slaughtered civilian populations in the fire-bombings of cities in both Germany and Japan. Millions of civilians were killed or maimed as a result in both countries (never mind the use of atomic weapons in Japan).

    How is this not terror?

    The fact is that the real terror threat is the modern state and its arrogance, not tiny groups like Hamas or Shining Path.

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