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The reason there is terrorism is because it works

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posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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" The first several hijackings aroused the consciousness of the world and awakened the media and the world opinion much more and more effectively, than 20 yrs of pleading at the United Nations," Zehdi Labib Terzi, the PLO's chief observer at the UN. What happens when terrorism works? Is it possible for an organization to achieve a political or ideological goal via terrorism? I will work through the transition of a perceived terrorist organization into a legitimate actor, followed by an analysis of if terror was responsible for the group achieving their goal. Many "rebels" have used terror as a vehicle to "liberate" their people from governments they have perceived as illegimate or oppressive. There are many historical examples, foundation the US, the French, the Irish, etc., however I will specifically be discussing the formation of Israel and the PLO.

In order to illustrate the similarities, goals, and potential victories of these organizations we must define terrorism and the reasons that these organizations have been deemed terrorist. The US government defines terrorism as, "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." There are various types of terrorist organizations with varying justifications for their resort to terror. Potential motives for terror include: religious, colonialism, or state sponsored disputes between a faction and the primary government. A group may be deemed as terrorist if they violate international law which includes the illegal imprisonment of civilians, the taking of hostages, or to take reprisals on civilians.

Both of the aforementioned groups were politically motivated; they desired/desire a country of their own, with the ability to be represented by their own people with their own interests. The targeted both military and civilian targets to draw a sense of urgency to their situation and provoke the international community to take a stance on one side or the other. Neither of these groups maintained an official standing army, they needed a method by which to attack and instill fear without the tools to which a country has access.

The year was 1919 and according to the Versailles Peace conference, the countries of Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Transjordan were recognized as independent states, while temporarily being placed under a British Mandate until they were able to stand alone. According to the League of Nations Palestine was a recognized state, with fixed boundaries, a population, and a government. Palestine maintained a government with an executive, judiciary, and 10 departments, which administered the affairs of the country; the only blockade to Palestine's complete independence was the presence of the British High Commissioner and a few other officials. During the years 1919 through 1939, many Jewish uprisings occurred killing more than 50,000 Palestinian Arabs and placing more than 100,000 Arab nationalists were imprisoned or thrown into concentration camps. In 1939, the British government issued the White Paper this decree promised the Palestinians self determination and limiting the further immigration of Jews into Palestine. By now, the British forces were committed to fighting Hitler's troops and infuriated Jews and Jewish terrorist gangs saw this as an opportunity.

The most notable of these groups were the Haganah, the Irgun, and the Stern gangs, which waged an armed battle against the remaining British troops, the Government of Palestine, and the civilian Arab population. These random acts of violence continued well into 1947 and in November of this year Great Britain handed the situation over to the UN. The initial special session of the General Assembly proposed an Arab state, a Jewish state, and an international zone for Jerusalem and Bethlehem on November 29. The Jewish gangs rejected this and during the second session of the UN in April 1948, they expelled more than one million Muslim and Christian citizens.

Jewish terrorism existed through three primary groups: the Haganah, the Irgun Z'vai Leumi, and the Lohamei Herut Israel (Stern gang). The Haganah maintained a membership of approximately 60,000, and "army" of 16,000 trained men, and a full fime force of 6,000 called the Palmach. The Irgun employed 3000 to 5000 men; this organization grew out of the Palmach in 1933. Finally, Abraham Stern formed the Stern gang in 1939 after he separated from the Irgun, he employed 200 to 300 of the most violent men.

The Haganah originated as an illegal, underground operation under the direction of David Ben-Gurion. This organization would evolve into the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and Ben-Gurion would become the Prime Minister. Upon Israeli independence in May 1948 the Haganah claimed to oppose terrorism and that it was created to fight terrorism both Jewish and Arab. However, the following examples illustrate otherwise. Their resume includes: 1939 they blew up an Iraqi oil line near Haifa, 22 July 1946 in a joint effort with the Irgun and Jewish Agency bombed the King David Hotel, 19 December 1947 it attacked the village of Safad blowing up 2 houses killing 5 adults and 5 children, 1 January 1948 attacked a village near Mount Carmel killing 17 and wounding 33, 5 January 1948 blew up the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem killing 20, and on 15 February 1948 it again attacked Safad killing 7 adults and 4 children. Within the Haganah an organization known as the Palmah thrived. This was a strike force headed by Yitzhak Sadeh another future Prime Minister. This organization carried out continued covert operations against both the British and Arabs.

Virtually overnight, the Haganah was transformed from a terrorist group into an "amateur army". This was largely due to the arrival of a shipment of arms by the Czechoslovakians including 4700 rifles, 240 machine guns, and 5 million rounds of ammunition in April 1947. The transformation of this group was made official on 31 May 1948 when Ben-Gurion established the IDF on the basis of Haganah and transferring its troops, making it a legal army. This was 16 days after Israel claimed independence.

The Irgun Z'vai Leumi (IZL/ Irgun) was formed in 1933 and grew out of the Haganah when its members wanted to take a more aggressive role. Some of its claimed attacks include: the 17 August 1936 ambush of a Jaffa train killing 1 and wounding 5, numerous bombings beginning in October '37 in crowed Arab centers, and it claimed official responsibility of the bombing of the King David Hotel, discussed earlier. On 1 June 1948, Ben-Gurion's administration signed an agreement disbanding the IZL and again, transferring the troops of this terrorist organization to the IDF.

The Lohamei Herut Israel or the Stern gang was a product of the Irgun and employed the most violent men. Its credits include: the detonation of 400 lbs. of explosives on 3 March 1948 in Haifa killing 14 and injuring 23, 22 March 1948 4 of its members blew up a residential block by filling 2 trucks with explosives killing 17 and injuring 100, and in joint effort with the Irgun on 9 April 1948 committed the Deir Yassin massacre (number of dead vary from 250 to 360, the village only had 400 inhabitants).

May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion announced the independence of the State of Israel. Timing played an intricate role in the silence of the international community as the Allies had only recently completed the liberation of the Nazi camps and felt a moral obligation to grant the Jews a state of their own. Another reason for the silence was that the international community, in addition to many of the Israeli leaders, gave this new state a 50% chance of survival against the war launched the following day by Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, and Lebanon.
Continued (please hold comments)




posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:21 PM
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The west had recognized Israel nearly instantaneously, however, the Mid East did not begin to take steps in this direction until November 19 1977 when Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem in a peace effort also taking the opportunity to plead the case of the Palestinians.


The progress of the PLO can be explained through 3 phases. The first phase occurred between 1967 and 1974, in which there were brutal acts of terrorism conducted with the goal of bringing mass attention to the issue in Palestine and to the front of the world's concerns. The second phase began in late 1974 and lasted until 1983. During this period, the PLO gained international recognition and it became a "legitimate" political organization. It did not; however, give up the armed conflict because it was necessary to keep pressure on Israel. The final phase rose in 1982 and is the ongoing situation in the region. The PLO maintained diplomatic and military offensives.

October 10, 1959 Fatah or the Palestinian Liberation Movement was born in Kuwait. Its sole goal was the independence of Palestine. This movement was designated as terrorist because of the assassinations, bombings, and hijackings upon which it relied. On April 15, 1968 Yassir Arafat was appointed by Fatah's Central Committee as the "official spokeman and representative of Fatah", this move immediately caused the world to view Arafat as a terrorist himself. The power and influence of the PLO reaches around the world and it assisted the efforts of many other rebel groups. It has been blamed with opening its training camps to the revolutionaries that overthrew the Shah of Iran; it provided arms, advisors, money, and training in Lebanon and Jordan to Cuban rebels, and provided similar relief to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in it war against the contras.

By the mid 1970's it became obvious that the use of terror by groups employed by the PLO had become more of a handicap and the organization began to distance itself. For example, in 1974 in an interview with the New York Times, Arafat announced he had arrested 5 Palestinian terrorists accused of an attack on a Pan Am flight in Rome that killed 31 passengers including 14 Americans. While there was high speculation that these men were released a few days later, Arafat clearly seperated himself from "the bad guys". Then in 1985, he issued the Cairo Declaration in which the PLO criticized and condemned all acts of terrorism, yet simultaneously made it quite clear that the "armed struggle" inside of the occupied territories was a legitimate act of resistance and would continue. Again in 1986, he demonstrated his allegiance against terror by initiating the effort to secure the freedom of foreign hostages in Lebanon held by Hizballah. It is important to remember that above all else Arafat was a politician at heart and every move he made was carefully choreographed.

A major transitional move for the PLO occurred in Geneva in December of 1988. It was at this time that the UN gathered for a special session of the Palestinian question in which Arafat was to deliver a highly anticipated address. The west provided Arafat with a very specific list of conditions he was to delineate in order to have them view his movement as legitimate. While the west was largely disappointed with the vague manner in which he spoke, he did unconditionally accept UN resolution 242 the right for Israel to exist. The door to dialogue was opened, and Arafat made history in being the first terrorist to be invited to speak before the UN. and gave him the same courtesy bestowed upon heads of state. It was at this time that the PLO was granted observer status at the UN and was officially recognized by more nations than Israel, the PLO 86 to Israel's 72.

This was not the first time, however, that the UN made an exception for the PLO. Despite protests from Israel, on 10 November 1975 the General Assembly passed a resolution equating Zionism to racism and established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The largest contribution from the UN came in 1979, it was the year that the General Assembly approved an exception in the legality of taking hostages. The amendment reads,"The present convention shall not apply to an act of hostage taking committed in the course of armed conflicts,....in which people are fighting against colonial occupation and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their righ of self determination." This sentence now justified the right of the PLO to take hostages with no regard between civilian and government.

I hope to have demonstrated to you that terrorism, historically has been effective, as well as providing a little indepth history into the Israeli/Palesinian conflict. The use of terror pushes the cause to the forefront of world concerns and specifically with regard to groups striving to break free from colonialism, it is highly effective. It places the colonialist nation in a difficult situation, because if the government were to bring violence to these individuals, their claims of being oppressed would be and are witnessed as true throughout the world, and if they concede to the wishes of the organization, they could be perceived as weak. The transition of these groups is never easy, and even if the UN grants a state independence that does not necessarily mean the individual nations will acknowledge its right to exist.

(end)



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:27 PM
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It is through the above example and the many other examples of initial terrorism leading to statehood, or the goal being accomplished in general that today's terrorists draw their inspiration. There are terrorists because terrorism works.


Edit: I will be back to check for comments in a few, I've been sitting typing for so long my back now has a cramp that needs reprieve
Be back shortly.

[edit on 19-1-2010 by searching4truth]



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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Sounds to me, you be doing the government's job of convincing us terrorism works, and that we should therefore be afraid of it politically (as well as physically).
Whether terrorism works depends on how broad the definition is.

Before the "War on Terrorism" the media used to regularly distinguish between Rebellion, resisting an occupation (often called "freedom fighting"), and someone who decides that e.g.: "Because" they care so much about animals, they'll go and kill a father and great scientist.
The idea "one man's freedom fighter, is another man's terrorist" is BS when a freedom fighter uses violence to resist an oppressive, occupying force be it foreign, or domestic, but they do it on their own soil.
But a terrorists is someone who uses fear for it's own sake, and who tackles a legitimate government (i.e. one who's existence has popular approval from the people).
If we didn't do 9/11 (highly unlikely!) Then 9/11 was pure terrorism, and like pure terrorism failed spectacularly. To the point where 2 conquests-wars were made politically possible, and where the majority of Americans blame their government for it. If that's the U.S people think of it, then it says a lot about the stupidity of those the government said, did it.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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Imo terrorist are people or a group of people who use violence for the sole purpose of profit (money, stealing land etc) or to enforce religious views (such as Sharia/ Torah/ Orthodox Christiniaty etc.).

There is a fine line between terrorist and resistance fighters which often gets blurred this day. One has to keep in mind the objective aka aim, goals etc, means of act and the circumstances to see whether it is a terrorist or not.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984

Sounds to me, you be doing the government's job of convincing us terrorism works, and that we should therefore be afraid of it politically (as well as physically).
Whether terrorism works depends on how broad the definition is.


I'm not doing anyone's job for them, unless you want to count the individuals that would rather be fed the propaganda of time as opposed to researching the history, but this is just one example of the many.

Before the "War on Terrorism" the media used to regularly distinguish between Rebellion, resisting an occupation (often called "freedom fighting"), and someone who decides that e.g.: "Because" they care so much about animals, they'll go and kill a father and great scientist.
The idea "one man's freedom fighter, is another man's terrorist" is BS when a freedom fighter uses violence to resist an oppressive, occupying force be it foreign, or domestic, but they do it on their own soil.

The media has and currently distinguishes solely on the basis of which side it (or rather its government) deems to be worthy. Or really which one will benefit it more. Are you saying the "freedom fighter" title is b.s., I'm confused a bit here, if that is what you are saying. If it is, I feel that you are wrong, and history supports this, many nations have attained their independence through actions that would be deemed terrorist.

But a terrorists is someone who uses fear for it's own sake, and who tackles a legitimate government (i.e. one who's existence has popular approval from the people).
Not in all cases.

If we didn't do 9/11 (highly unlikely!) Then 9/11 was pure terrorism, and like pure terrorism failed spectacularly. To the point where 2 conquests-wars were made politically possible, and where the majority of Americans blame their government for it. If that's the U.S people think of it, then it says a lot about the stupidity of those the government said, did it.


I too believe 9/11 was most likely an inside job, therefore it is difficult for me to look at completely innocently. However, did it fail spectacularly? We took a huge hit in loss of life, money, the government began (and has continued) to chip away at our freedoms, we are involved to 2 wars that have sustained further loss of life (on both sides), and it invoked terror in people, not just in the US but across the globe.


edit:sorry I was responding per area and the last was place outside the box, my apologies, but there is more of my response inside the quote box

[edit on 19-1-2010 by searching4truth]



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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Question !

Do you also think of the American war of independence, as an act of terrorism against Great Britain ?

Or the student protest in China.

Or any other conflict for freedom against the government at the time.

I think these conflicts and the government formed by winning. Are all guilty of terrorism. However it remains a grey area.

You can not prosecute every rebellion or any won battle for power.
You set up rules. Only rules are different in different parts of the world.

Peace !!



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by Sinter Klaas
 


1. American War of Independence--Yes, the colonists were terrorists from the perspective of the British absolutely. Since I am American, however, they were my founding fathers.

2. China-- other than the iconic photo of the student and tank, I don't know too much about China, but I will research it.

3. Any other conflict striving to achieve independence from the controlling power--I covered in the op, yes from the perspective of the controlling power.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:10 PM
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I would like to answer these:


Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
Question !

Do you also think of the American war of independence, as an act of terrorism against Great Britain ?

No but against Natives it was.


Or the student protest in China.

It is a protest not a terrorist act.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:10 PM
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Terrorism is generally ineffective, because like all extremist acts or positions, it leaves you no room for negotiations. It's all or nothing, which is perfect for religious or political groups who claim to know "The Truth," but doesn't do much for the average person or family that just wants to live in peace. The people that the extremist groups are supposedly fighting for.

Unfortunately, the only way to effectively deal with terrorism is to become terrorists. If a suicide bomber blows up a bunch of people in a market somewhere, they're usually doing it because it will help their familes or people, or whatever. The only effective response would be to find out who the dead bomber's immediate family is, and kill them all, from grandma down to the tiniest baby.

Do that a few times, and you'll have a lot fewer people volunteering to suicide bomb someplace. But that would be really hard core vicious to kill somebody's entire family, and not many legitimate governments care to do it. Most governments understand that a complete clampdown just kills business, and they're willing to put up with a bomb now and then so that people can exercise their economic freedoms.

[edit on 19-1-2010 by 2000 Yards]



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by 2000 Yards
 


Clearly, I disagree the effectiveness of terrorism
. Terrorism, like war, is always political. True some may hide behind religion, however, this is generally simply a tactic to gain the support of the people. "The Truth" is simply self determination and a plot of land. A person does not wake up one morning and decide to choose terrorism as their career path.

I absolutely do not mean this sarcastically, it just something to thing about.
-What is the difference between an at of war and an act of terrorism?
-What is the difference between a soldier(any country, just the title soldier in general) and a terrorist?

IMO, the only difference is perspective. A soldier is justified both politically and personally in the fact they are protecting their country. Now, what about abroad when they are not specifically protecting their boarders or even fighting the group that harmed them in the first place.


What about a person (or group of people) that does not have a country and therefore has no army? Or the people whose government is corrupt and they fight against it?

According to the British, the Americans of colonial times, were barbarians in their fight, and criticized their guerilla tatics. To the British, the Americans were terrorists. Once independence was achieved and the national army could now be formed, these same individuals were now soldiers.



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 12:40 PM
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These groups have terrorists, because they make terrible soldiers. Further, they have no chance of "winning" on the terms of army-against-army when they fight the people they want to fight. The jews and the west.

Terrorism works - no matter what label you put on it.



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by Aeons
These groups have terrorists, because they make terrible soldiers. Further, they have no chance of "winning" on the terms of army-against-army when they fight the people they want to fight. The jews and the west.

Terrorism works - no matter what label you put on it.



Exactly who are "these groups"? From the post, I am led to assume that you mean Muslim terror groups. Terrorism existed prior to this recent years clash, I'm sure you'll agree. Honestly, if they made such terrible soldiers shouldn't the war be over by now?



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