International Terrorism Violence in the Middle East Essay

Pages: 5 (1571 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

International Terrorism

Violence in the Middle East:

The principle cause of perpetual violence in the Middle East is the extremist attitudes prevailing amongst Palestinian Arabs and other Arab states and militant groups toward the nation of Israel. Still today, large Arab nations like Iran and militant Islamic

organizations in positions of power throughout the Palestinian territories maintain formal

declarations of their intention to destroy Israel by any means necessary and refuse ever to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as a nation. While extremist groups like the Moshe Amon exist in Israel too, the principal difference is that extremist influences neither reflect the predominant view of the Israeli populace nor do they dictate national policy. In Israel, anti-Arab extremist acts of violence are defined as criminal acts and prosecuted by the full weight of Israeli criminal law (Dershowitz, 2003).

Conversely, the extremist policies and agenda of militant Islam and radical terrorist groups are mirrored by the vast majority of the Palestinian population; more significantly, terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Jihad are intimately connected to the political institutions of the disputed territories. Besides the fact that these groups are known to have been responsible for bona fide acts of terrorism, they have thoroughly infiltrated local government functions and now serve on governing

bodies through which they perpetuate genocidal hatred against Israel. They have misused the early education system for generations for the express purpose of inspiring hatred of Israel through exploiting their control over educational institutions. Palestinian school

children (and those of several Arab nations) learn hatred through textbooks that distort history and provide hateful genocidal propaganda as "education" (Dershowitz, 2003).

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Jihad:

In principle, it is neither possible nor advisable to negotiate with terrorists groups.

Previously, this maxim was much easier to implement, but in the last few decades of the

20th century, political indoctrination of citizens in many Arab states and, especially, in the disputed Palestinian territories has allowed bona fide terrorist organizations like Hamas

and elements of the PLO to dominate local parliaments and government institutions, forever blurring the line between terrorists and nation states (Williams, 2004).

Throughout the presidential administrations of Bill Clinton and George Bush, the U.S. made the error of entering into negotiations and agreements with Yasser Arafat, a terrorist leader whose associated perpetrated acts of international terrorism for decades following their massacre of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in 1972 (Dershowitz,

2003). Time and again, Clinton negotiated with Arafat and successive Israeli leaders and drafted comprehensive peace proposals that would have solved the alleged grievances of the Palestinian people but were ultimately rejected by Arafat. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars sent to the region by the U.S. intended for humanitarian purposes to benefit the Palestinian people were diverted and stolen by Arafat, much of it for his personal fortune (Dershowitz, 2003; Scheuer, 2004).

Philosophically, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Jihad are more aligned now than ever, notwithstanding their differences and squabbles among them. With respect to the aspirations of anti-Americanism and the belief that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth, at least in so far as it remains a Jewish nation, these terrorist groups and the populations that support them are all perfectly aligned with one another and with Iran,

which has repeatedly publicly stated its full intention to bring about the destruction of Israel as soon as possible (Evans, 2007; Williams, 2004). As long as this situation prevails, any hope of moderating a meaningful peace between them and Israel is extremely unrealistic.

Osama bin Laden:

In all likelihood, the U.S. missed its greatest chance of capturing or killing Osama

bin Laden in late 2001 and early 2002 when U.S. military leaders foolishly enlisted local tribes in the mountainous region separating Afghanistan and Pakistan during the initial military operations in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th (Scheuer, 2004).

Presently, bin Laden is thought to be hiding either in the largely ungoverned tribal areas near the Pakistani borders and disturbing recent accounts in several reliable media reports of U.S.-Pakistani military confrontations in those areas strongly suggest that elements of the Pakistani military are more sympathetic to Osama bin Laden than to any formal commitment by the Pakistani government to fighting the global terror threat, confirming what many analysts have advised since the onset of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan (Evans, 2007) .

Osama bin Laden represents the clearest threat to the U.S. primarily because his personal fortune is sufficient to make his expressed goal of perpetrating what he calls the "American Hiroshima" a reality if not immediately then probably more likely within this

decade than not (Allison, 2004; Larsen, 2007; Evans, 2007). The persisting relative insecurity of thousands of tons of highly enriched uranium throughout the former Soviet

territories presents a constant threat to the U.S. In that regard (Allison, 2004; Larsen,

2007). Now, with Iran's current operational capability of enriching uranium and its eventual capabilities to reprocess spent uranium cores into plutonium, the allied goals of (other) extremist militant Islamic groups with those of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden,

the American Hiroshima envisioned and preached by bin Laden for years may actually come to fruition if neither the U.S. Or Israel take the necessary action to prevent Iran from providing fissionable nuclear material to Osama bin Laden (Allison, 2004; Evans, 2007;

Larsen, 2007).

American Foreign Policy and Counterterrorism:

So far, unfortunately, the American policies in the realm of domestic counterterrorism reflect inappropriate priorities that accomplish relatively little in the way of seriously reducing the greatest terrorist threats to this nation. Even worse, the major counterterrorism initiatives waste critical funds while achieving little else beyond reducing public anxiety (Larsen, 2007).

Probably the best example of those criticisms relate to the government's focus on commercial aviation safety and port and border security since 9/11. That is not to suggest that air transportation safety, or port and border security are unimportant; rather, it is a reflection of the nature and most likely methodologies of carrying the global terror threat into the American homeland. Specifically, the attention devoted to securing commercial aviation is symptomatic of the classic mistake of preparing for future military conflicts in a manner perfectly designed to fit the last war instead of the most likely scenarios of the next war (Scheuer, 2004).

The most important mechanisms for enhancing aviation security would have required only the expansion and reorganization of the federal air marshal (FAM)

program, the hardening of cockpit doors, the arming (and appropriate firearms training)

of pilots, revised security policies and procedures for screening passengers that makes practical sense, and the significant tightening of controls over what individuals other than passengers who could conceivably perpetrate future terror operations against commercial aviation (Larsen, 2007).

While the hardened cockpit doors and the current deployment of FAMs have been appropriately implemented, many of the critical passenger security screening procedures are fundamentally undermined by the extent to which current constitutional interpretations apply the concept of equal protection to this issue. Even worse, while strict security screening procedures unnecessarily complicate and delay commercial air travel out of misplaced concern with a possible repeat of the 9/11 attacks, significant and very dangerous oversights with respect to the control of airport services personnel and contract vendors (such as food and cleaning services) have been entirely inadequate

(Larsen, 2007).

It is hoped that the new presidential administration will recognize the futility of focusing on commercial air travel and border and port security and refocus national attention on securing the vast resources of fissionable nuclear material, particularly in the former Soviet territories, and on preventing it from falling into the hands of terrorists rather than on efforts designed to interdict weapons of mass destruction (and terrorists themselves) at American borders and ports (Allison, 2004; Larsen,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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