Causes of Terrorism The Roots Term Paper

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However, despite this sweeping generalization offered by the government, U.S. foreign policy has always been clear and direct about its stance against terrorism. Even President Clinton, far prior to the tragedy of 9/11 addressed the United Nations General Assembly about the importance of the prevention of international terrorism and identified it as a major priority in the world arena (Chomsky, 84).

What must be stressed at this point is that terrorism is about the frustrations of a voiceless country -- one that feels that it will not be heard through conventional political or military means. Since the root of the problem is political, the solution is more of a political issue than a security issue because the solution is not in counterstrikes, or fighting fire with fire, but in finding a way to restore the country's voice so that the frustration is relieved instead of stoked (Scheuer, 88). So far it has become clear that the U.S. policies on terrorism are generating nothing but retaliatory action and escalating the violence of terrorism, not reducing it.

What will inevitably stop terrorist acts is the implementation of strong policies of economic, social and cultural rights that are acknowledged and upheld in national political arenas such as the UN and NATO (Chomsky, 63). Although the United States and Britain have espoused a policy of humanitarian motives to help the Middle East establish itself as a democracy, both of these countries have built a telling record of violent imperialism abroad while enjoying model democracies within their home countries. In this vein the actions these countries have taken in this situation have been military in nature as opposed to political with no real indication that there has been or will ever be any interest in diplomatic political solutions.

What the American public must ask itself is how can a government propose that their interests are purely humanitarian in one country while entering into clearly aggressive activities in another? Unfortunately most of the citizens who could affect change in these kinds of situations are too busy enjoying the spoils of such aggressive capitalism to really investigate the matters any deeper than what CNN offers as facts.

Clearly, U.S. foreign polices have done nothing to reduce the threat of terrorism in the Middle East. Their "eye for an eye" tactics and political bullying has generated more of the same conditions that generate terrorism to start with. Unless polices are changed to reflect a genuine interest in humanitarian efforts, the war on terrorism will not only continue, but it will likely escalate to include events without the United States by those who feel as voiceless and frustrated as those in the Middle East.

Annotated Bibliography

Taheri, A. (1988). Nest of Spies. New York: Pantheon Books. Discusses how American polices in Iran have failed since World War II. It provides the history of post-WWII foreign policies with the Middle East and plainly details Kissinger's role in the downfall of positive relations with the country. Offers little in the way of solutions except for being an advocate of the truth in media and the education of the American public on its own foreign affairs and other government workings.

Hartung, W.D. Breaking the arms-sales addiction. World Policy Journal, winter 1990-

91, 7. Describes the fundamental policies and drives behind the arms sales of the U.S. And Britain. Reveals how the sale of arms is, on the surface, seemingly beneficial to the enemy nations, but is in fact a key element of keeping those nations from acquiring capital and therefore independence. Discusses polices of genuine humanitarian efforts and peace treaties that would eliminate the need for the oppression of capital and therefore the perceived need of arms sales.

Chomsky, N. (1999). The new military humanism: lessons from Kosovo. Maine:

Common Courage Press. Asks the question of whether the war over Kosovo during the Clinton administration was truly an act of humanitarianism or a vicious attack that blatantly ignored international laws in an effort to establish a new world order that espouses "might vs. right." Suggests that organizations such as NATO and the UN be more sensitive to the humanitarian goals under which these organizations were founded, and for the U.S. To revise its current "bullying" foreign policies.

Everest, G. (2003). Oil, power, and empire: Iraq and the U.S. global agenda. Maine:

Common Courage Press. Details the history behind the United States' involvement in Iraq as well as the involvement of other Western countries in an effort to reduce the potential for capital gain in the East, and clearly shows how the current war is an extension of ancient interests and antique foreign policy. Champions the idea of education of the public as a weapon against such bad foreign policy.

Scheuer, M. (2004). Imperial hubris: why the west is losing the war on terror. Virginia:

Potomac Books. A blunt and forceful discussion of how publicized information is deliberately false, and that the aims and ultimate intentions of the U.S. have, and will continue to have, grave consequences as far as the escalating violence of terrorism. Acknowledges, though a controversial statement, that, although Americans are trained to see bin Laden as a vicious, single-minded brute, it cannot be denied that he is the single most popular and influential anti-American leader in the world. This book is aimed at reaching the top politicians and encourages them to "stop fooling themselves that this war is getting us anywhere as a country."



Thesis: The current U.S. policies and efforts in the "war against terrorism" have been, so far, ineffective in halting, or even slowing, terrorist activity, In fact, the policies and interests that the Western world has in the Middle East's natural resources generate frustration, fear, and poverty, which, in turn, generates a highly fertile environment for the violence and deliberate aggression of terrorism.


Ottoman Empire




Resources -- what it's all about.


Frustration and oppression=terrorism…

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