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Essay on An Explanation Of Terrorism

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An Explanation of Terrorism


After browsing through Stephen E. Atkins book Terrorism, I soon learned many
interesting things regarding the history of terrorism. It seems this form of
protest has been around since Biblical times. Also, the main goal of a
terrorist is not to do damage to one peticular person or place, but to gain
publicity for an idea they support. (page 1) Evidence of this can be found by
looking at the recent past of the United States. The Oklahoma bombing was one
man's way of expressing his dislike of the government. The exact definition of
terrorism is not a solid line, it is a very wide line that isn't defined. The
general definition of terrorism is an attack of some sort against a person or
place that involves violence and/or destruction of property and is usually
politically motivated. (Terrorism 3)

Our fight against terrorism became something the terrorists might fear in 1970,
at the Hague Convention. This United Nations convention basically defined .
..hijacking as a crime and required contracting states either to allow the
extradition of hijackers to their country of origin, or to prosecute them in the
state where they were arrested. (The Terrorists 146) Atkins states that one of
the reasons it took so long to do anything about terrorism is that it is so hard
to define, and therefore just as hard to enforce. He also says Declarations and
conventions from the UN have lacked effective enforcement mechanisms, so they
have been ignored by member states and have been characterized as ‘largely
cosmetic. Basically, the UN is doing this to satisfy the public and little
else. This lack of understanding of the meaning of terrorism has also been a
hindrance when law 8:56 PM 12/14/96enforcement was actually implemented. Police
aren't trained to handle terrorist type attacks, instead they handle them like
ordinary criminal attacks. (Terrorism 26-27) This gives the terrorists exactly
what they wanted, publicity for their cause.

The media is a terrorists best friend. Without the modern wide-spread media,
terrorism would be worthless. The human nature that makes us stop and look at
the horrible traffic accident is another reason why terrorism is effective. Ask
someone 20 years from now what they remember about the 1996 Summer Olympics, and
they will say the terrorist bombing. This event was literally blown out of
proportion by the media. It wasn...


... middle of paper ...


...ps have also become very good plots for movie makers. The movie
Delta Force is based solely on a terrorist taking over an airplane. There has
also been a movie made recently which shows the Islamic Jihad group of Iran and
their attack in 1983 against Marines in Beirut. (Terrorism 118) Another movie
that mentions the Islamic Jihad is "Executive Decision" This is just another
example of how the media loves dramatic stories, and why not, it sells!

I believe terrorism is a very real and very dangerous threat to the United
States. We spend millions to support a large "peace keeping" military, but yet
a single terrorist attack could easily bring our nation to it's knees. The
media loves the blood and gore, so it reports all the details. What paper would
print a cover story about the recent Nobel Peace Prize recipients instead of the
recent plane that may have been bombed or the "terrorist" attack at the Olympic
games?

Works Cited

Atkins, Stephen E. Terrorism: A Reference Handbook Santa Barbara, California:
ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1992.

Payne, Ronald and Dobson, Christopher. The Terrorists: Their Weapons, Leaders
and Tactics. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1982.


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