Cultural and Political Systems Research Paper

Pages: 10 (2949 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Terrorism

Cultural and Political Systems

Terrorism and Relativism Do you agree 'that one country's terrorist is another country's freedom fighter'? Do you think it is right to donate millions / billions of dollars to the families that lost loved ones in the collapse of the World Trade Towers when occasionally police and firefighters die doing their job other times and get nothing? Theory believes that the key behind a terrorist attack is motivation. Motivation is a big force to achieve something. So what are the motivations behind those terrorist attacks, for instance, 911?

The issue of terrorism represents one of the most stringent aspects of international politics at the moment. The events that took place in 2001 proved the fact that terrorism is by no means a conventional threat and a conventional war cannot be waged against it. This is why it is important that a wider and more comprehensive approach on the matter be taken into consideration. In the light of these remarks, the United States Department of State has been promoting a complex counterterrorism policy which includes the combination of various aspects of the foreign policy. In this sense, the efforts made in the field of the diplomatic relations are strengthened by the military operations that take place throughout the world.

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It is rather difficult to consider the issue of "freedom fighter" as opposed to terrorists. This is largely due to the fact that the issue at hand depends solely on the perspective of the person or institution dealing with it. In this sense, for instance, for the extremist Afghans, the Taliban do represent freedom fighters whereas for the U.S. Or the international community they are the enemy force. Indeed, it is a matter of perspective and of interests. In this sense, there is the common belief that a generally accepted line between criminal acts undergone through the use of violent means and the fight for freedom cannot be drawn.

Research Paper on Cultural and Political Systems Assignment

Despite the fact that the issue of freedom fighters as opposed to terrorists is an issue subject to interpretation, terrorism and terrorists are still in the situation in which the terms cannot be defined properly. At this moment in time, there is no accepted definition of terrorism due to the complexity of the issue. (United Nations, 2006) One of the first official attempts to deal with the term came from the League of Nations back in 1937 when it accepted that terrorism represents "All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public." (Defining Terrorism: A Principled Approach, n.d.)

The term "criminal" is also interpretable and the circle of lack of definitions has made "terrorism" and "terrorists" rather hard to identify precisely and label them in accordance with one law or another.

Terrorist acts, such as 9/11 have scared for life thousands of families, those of the victims and of the firefighters, policemen, and all those who intervene to save lives in those tragic moments. It is rather difficult to articulate a proper opinion on whether it is justified to donate money to the families that lost a loved one, and not do so for those who were in the line of duty and tried to save the lives of the victims and eventually died. Compensations are being given as the nature of the job requires it; however, indeed, in the 9/11 events, the circumstances were so different that the response could not rely on any previous experience, and the families of the victims were given money for their losses. On the other hand, the firefighters and the policemen, although there were extraordinary circumstances, were doing their job and they died in the line of duty. Regardless of the gravity of the situation, the intervening forces were merely doing their job.

The motivations behind terrorist activities are various. In this sense, it is important to take into account the various perspectives of the actors involved. They are the terrorists, as the main players, the state authority which is the target of any terrorist act, and the victims that fall prey to these acts. This theoretical will represent the blueprint for the following analysis which will try to point out that, indeed, the variety of the perspectives involved make it difficult for an official assessment of the notion of terrorism and its motivations.

For instance, the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany was seen as the most representative terrorist faction in post war Europe and most of their activities took place on the RFG territory. The individuals involved came to be known as the Red Army Faction, a radical student movement of the period. Their declared objectives were strongly related to the period of the time. The Cold War era was the historical framework for the ideological debate between the communist and the capitalist views of the world. Taking into account the fact that Germany had been, up to 1989 the main field for ideological battles, it was only natural that such violent initiatives would spur in the country. Therefore, the Gang had constantly opposed the established political regime at the time, which they considered to be the reminiscence of the political forces which had crippled Germany during the war.

The general idea surrounding this group is that the underlining causes of their actions were rooted in a deep sense of ideological struggle with the political authorities of the time and with all that had represented the fall of the German states.

Another motivation is nationalism. Thus, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka are the representatives of terrorism fought from nationalistic purposes. Unlike the previous group, this is one of the most active terrorist groups in the world, as articles from the Council of Foreign Relations, an independent think tank note, "the group has conducted some 200 suicide bombings -- far more than any other terrorist group," as they are on the U.S.'s list of terrorist groups. (The Council of Foreign Relations, 2006) They represent the separatist tendencies of the Tamils, a population living in parts of Sri Lanka and India, seeking the achievement of an independent state. However, the response of the authorities is proportionate with the amount of violence the terrorist portray. They have been accused of, and in some instances even admitted to the killings of important political leaders such as the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, the Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa; the 1999 assassination of a Sri Lankan member of parliament, and others. (The Council of Foreign Relations, 2006) Currently, they are engaged in peace talk negotiations with the state, which however have a rather slim chance of succeeding.

State sponsored terrorism is yet another part of the terrorist phenomenon. Chris Quillen, associate at the Terrorism Research Center wrote in this sense that "state sponsored terrorism seemingly reached its heyday in the 1980s."( Quillen, n.d.) Correlating this evolution with the Cold War era in which communist states had complete control over their political apparatus and could therefore use every means and all means at their disposal to influence both internal and external affairs. The Iranian case is rather common in the Gulf area, taking into account the fact that authoritarian regimes were common rule in the region, especially following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The motivation of terrorism in Iran is said to be especially the religious one given by the specificities of the area, with the continuous fights existing between the Muslims and the Israelis. In this sense, the State Department notes, the political leaders in Tehran encourage different terrorist groups to fight what President Khatami, labeled to be an "illegal entity," the Israeli state. (The State Department, 2000) These type of actions manifested in the logistic, financial and sometimes even political support of anti-Israeli factions such as Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), "which seek to undermine the Middle East peace negotiations through the use of terrorism." (The State Department, 2000).

As for the motivations behind the 9/11 events, these are rather difficult to ascertain but they can be a combination of all of them, adapted to the situation of the U.S. Thus, it is a matter of nationalism, religion, and world order. An entire idea based on the struggle with the western world, the Christians, and the capitalists. However, even today, years after the events it is difficult to pinpoint to the exact motivations of the 9/11 hijackers.

Topic 2: Direct Democracy What does direct democracy mean? What are the strengths and weaknesses of direct democracy? Nation State in India. How to define India as a nation? Even know there are multi-groups, such as Muslims, christens, and Hindus. So how can this 3 groups come to one nation?

The issue of direct democracy is dealt with in relation with that of representative democracy. In this sense, while the latter takes into account the issue of representatives of the nation, such as the U.S. Congress,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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