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Terrorism: Cause and ResponsesJune 14, 2005Answer 1 Our world has been a victim of terrorism and terrorist acts since the civilized human life began on this planet. There have been radicals and extremists who have been unhappy about something or the other all along during the development of our world. It can be seen that the ways how these people terrorized the world has changed along with time. Terrorists have always used the path of violence to get their voice heard to the world. With the technological innovations these groups also adapted their means of violence. One of the examples of the traditional terrorist group (which I must clear that any Indian would not believe it to be a terrorist group but at the time was labeled as a terrorist group) was Hindustan (Indian) Republican Association in India. The whole world knows that India got its independence by following the path directed by Mahatma Gandhi of non-violence, but not many people know that even during the time of Gandhi India did see some brave soldiers like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and many more young generation people who formed groups to fight against the British government.
These people were called terrorists by the British government during that time. One of the most famous groups of that time was Hindustan (Indian) Republican Association (HRA) and Bhagat Singh was one of the most active members of group. Before Bhagat Singh joined HRA the activities and the purpose of this group was unknown to the general public of India and that was one of the main reasons that even the population of India thought that this group was a terrorist organization, but everything changed after Bhagat Singh joined HRA. Bhagat Singh was a well educated man who believed in communism. He studied the writings of the anarchist leader Bakunin, some thing of the father of communism Marx, but more of Lenin, Trotsky and others who had succeeded in bringing about a revolution in their country. For Bhagat Singh the decisive break came in the post-1926 period when the Hindustan Republican Association leadership fell on his shoulders.
He lost no time in articulating the necessity of having a political ideology and that was to be Marxism. In 1928, Bhagat Singh also had the responsibility of the Hindustan Republican Association with Chandra Shekhar Azad, other leaders having been sent to the gallows or given a life sentence. The first thing he did was to change its name to the Hindustan (Indian) Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). The party was recognized with a central committee and with provincial and district committees under it. All decisions were to be taken in these committees, majority decisions were to be binding on all. HSRA did many violent acts to fight against the British government, they looted a train in Kakori which was carrying lots of government money, they also murdered a British officer, and the biggest act was the bombing in the Legislative Assembly.
By this time most of the young generation of India had started believing in Bhagat Singh and were joining HSRA. Bhagat Singh was labeled a terrorist and to prove the British government wrong he did the bombing in the legislative assembly and turned himself in, so that he could bring the reality of the corrupt government in front of the people of India by fighting his own case in the court. Bhagat Singh believed that the perception of the existence of class cleavages in society also led to the understanding that violence would be imperative to bring about a change in the social structure. It was a violence that destroyed to build. The Communist Party of India was formed in 1925-26 and had to almost immediately go underground. Within the next six years Bhagat Singh was executed and it remains one of the big ifs of history whether he would have joined the party as his companions did. On the other hand if we talk about the new generation terrorism the example of al-Qaeda would be appropriate.
As discussed in class and also from my own knowledge I can say that one of the worst terrorist groups the world had every seen is al-Qaeda. This group is one of the new generation terrorist groups; it all began in early 1995 when Osama bin Laden came back to Afghanistan from Sudan. Every educated person in this world knows al-Qaeda or Bin laden the founder of this group. The worst thing about this group is 'Bin Laden is the leader of a movement that doesn't necessarily need a leader to function and be effective,' said Juliette N. Kayyem, a terrorism expert at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a former member of the National Commission on Terrorism. 'This is such a diffuse structure that it can survive without him.' (Benjamin Weiser and Tim Golden, September 30, 2001, the New York Times). The al-Qaeda consists of many Islamic extremists and radicals who believe in reuniting all the Islamic countries together and to fulfill this goal they execute terrorist acts in the name of Jihad (Holy War).
The al-Qaeda group got its funding from many rich Islamic individuals who supported their beliefs and with the help of these funds they had been able to get hold of extremely expensive weapons and also created various terrorist training camps. Al Qaeda had taken great advantage of the protection of the Taliban in Afghanistan to build up a steady supply of arms and camps to train recruits from around the world. The terrorist camps were the hub for training the radicals for using the latest technologies available to the civilized world to create terror in the world by the violent acts. The new generation terrorists are assumed to be very well educated people from different backgrounds, who can easily understand and use the new technologies and weapons to achieve their goals. The training camps trained the jihadis intensively in the fields like; using modern arms and ammunitions, breaching security, gathering intelligence, kidnapping, picking targets, doing surveillance, making bombs, and the hijacking of buses and planes. The attack of September 11, 2001 proved the whole world how capable and well trained these people were. The whole plan was plotted in Afghanistan and with the help of Bin Laden it was carried out in America; the hijackers were well trained in breaching the security, and flying the planes so that they can be crashed in to the determined targets.
It is also believed that these organizations do have the abilities of producing weapons of mass destructions which they will not hesitate to use if necessary. We can clearly see how the new generation terrorists have evolved from the traditional ones and how they have adapted themselves in using the technologies, from the small bomb blasts to bombing public buildings and embassies around the world to suicide bombings to well designed acts like; using air planes as bombs in destroying their targets. Answer 2 General causes of terrorism! What are the general causes of terrorism? leads too easily to looking at the usual suspects: poverty, injustice, exploitation, frustration, ethnicity, and religion or religious differences. These are some of the general causes that I was able to think off but the actual list of general causes is just endless. Describing these causes of terrorism can be an easy job and a tough job at the same time; I will try to explain these causes that I have stated to the best of my ability. Poverty: Poverty is said to be an important cause of terrorism. It is so believed that poverty is an important cause of terrorism because many of the Islamic countries in the world are poor and terrorists in general are expected to be from an Islamic country.
I don't agree to the belief that poverty is an important cause for people to get in to terrorist acts. I say this because I believe so because the biggest example defying the belief is Osama bin Laden, he comes from a multimillionaire Saudi family. Bin Laden is the founder of al-Qaeda and the person responsible for the 9/11 attack. As discussed in class the whole 9/ll attack was funded by affluent Saudis and Egyptians, citizens of the wealthy Gulf individuals, or rich sons of Lebanon. I do not disagree that many poor Islamic countries like Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Afghanistan, and other similar countries support terrorism but this is also a fact that these countries can not provide the terrorist groups with the wealth they require. Injustice: People say that injustice and inequality breeds terrorism, which is true to some extent. I can support this statement by giving the example of Ireland, one of the most important reasons for terrorism in Ireland or in the formation of IRA was the unjust British government.
The Catholics in Ireland were not given the same rights as the Protestants which raised the feeling of discontent, dissatisfaction and anger in the Catholics. The first group that was formed for the rights of Catholics in Ireland was the United Irishmen. The goal of United Irishmen was to take the path of non-violence and get the Catholics their rights in Ireland, but due to the time in and time out repression attempts from the unjust British government led this group to reform with time which eventually ended up being the Irish Republican Army (IRA). We all know what has been happening in Ireland ever since. But giving all the blame to just injustice for the cause of terrorism is also not acceptable, because there are many other reasons which results in people to take the path of terrorism. The other example similar to Ireland is Sri Lanka where the Tamil Tigers LTTE group is conducting terrorist acts in Sri Lanka for their basic rights.Exploitation: Exploitation can also be an important factor in forcing people to commit terrorist acts.
I had a class last semester in which I had a case study of Shell Oil Company in Nigeria. I guess you might be familiar with this case and so I will not go in too much detail about the case but from what I remember Saro-Wiwa was executed in Nigeria which turned out to be a big issue in the international news. The synopsis of this case was that Shell Oil Company had one of its biggest plants in Nigeria and a large percentage of its oil used to come from this plant. Shell was making huge profits from the oils it was getting from this plant and so was the government. The corrupt government of Nigeria was making lots of money from the Shell Company but in return the local people who were employed in the company and also the general population whose lands were being used were not getting anything at all. The economical condition of the people of Nigeria never got better but instead got worse wit ....
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