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Running head: Compare and Contrast Crime and Terrorism – Hezbollah a.k.a. Islamic Jihad

 

Compare and Contrast Crime and Terrorism– Hezbollah a.k.a. Islamic Jihad

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Compare and Contrast Crime and Terrorism – Hezbollah a.k.a. Islamic Jihad

The terrorist attacks of September 11 did without a doubt change the world forever, however they failed to change the ideological point of view of either the left or the right in any considerable way. The warriors and unilateralists of the right still be adamant war conducted by an ever-sovereign America is the only appropriate response to terrorism, while the left continues to talk about the need for internationalism, interdependency and an approach to global markets that redresses economic imbalances and thereby reduces the appeal of extremism--if, in the climate of war patriotism, it talks a little more quietly than heretofore. The internationalist lobby has a right to grow more vociferous, however, for what has changed in the wake of September 11 is the relationship between these arguments and political realism (and its contrary, political idealism). Prior to September 11, real politic  belonged primarily to the right--which spurned talk of human rights and democracy as hopelessly utopian, the blather of romantic left-wing idealists who preferred to see the world as they wished it to be rather than as it actually was.

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Hezbollah was founded in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and subsumed members of the 1980s coalition of groups known as Islamic Jihad. It has close links to Iran and Syria. Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah is considered the group’s spiritual leader. Imad Fayez Mugniyah is considered the key planner of Hezbollah’s worldwide terrorist operations. During the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s, experts say Mugniyah trained with al-Fatah. When the Palestine Liberation Organization and al-Fatah were expelled from Lebanon by Israeli forces in 1982, Mugniyah joined the newly formed Hezbollah and quickly rose to a senior position in the organization. Hassan Nasrallah is Hezbollah’s senior political leader. Nasrallah was originally a military commander, but his military and religious credentials—he studied in centers of Shiite theology in Iran and Iraq—quickly elevated him to leadership within the group. Experts say he took advantage of rivalries within Hezbollah and the favor of the head of Iran’s theocratic government, Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, to become the group’s secretary general in 1992, a position he still holds.

Terror obviously is not an answer, but the truly desperate may settle for terror as a response to our failure even to ask such questions. The issue for jihad's warriors of annihilation is of course far beyond such anxieties: It entails absolute devotion to absolute values. Yet for many who are appalled by terrorism but unimpressed by America, there may seem to be an absolutist dimension to the materialist aspirations of our markets. Our global market culture appears to us as both voluntary and wholesome; but it can appear to others as both compelling (in the sense of compulsory) and corrupt--not exactly coercive, but capable of seducing children into a willed but corrosive secular materialism. What's wrong with Disneyland or Nikes or the Whopper? We just "give people what they want." However, this merchandiser's dream is a form of romanticism, the idealism of neoliberal markets, and the convenient idyll that material plenty can satisfy spiritual longing so that fishing for profits can be thought of as synonymous with trolling for liberty.

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It is the new democratic realist who sees that if the only choice we have is between the mullahs and the mall, between the hegemony of religious absolutism and the hegemony of market determinism, neither liberty nor the human spirit is likely to flourish. As we face up to the costs both of fundamentalist terrorism and of fighting it, must we not ask ourselves how it is that when we see religion colonize every other realm of human life we call it theocracy and turn up our noses at the odor of tyranny; and when we see politics colonize every other realm of human life we call it absolutism and tremble at the prospect of totalitarianism; but when we see market relations and commercial consumerism try to colonize every other realm of human life we call it liberty and celebrate its triumph? Too many John Walkers begin by seeking a refuge from the aggressive secularist materialism of their suburban lives and end up slipping into someone else's dark conspiracy to rid the earth of materialism's infidels. If such men are impoverished and without hope as well, they become prime recruits for jihad.

Hezbollah and its affiliates have planned or been linked to a lengthy series of terrorist attacks against the United States, Israel, and other Western targets.

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Hezbollah has been particularly active in both Canada and the United States. One of those arrested in Canada was Mohammed Hussein al-Husseini, arrestedin March 1997. In seeking to deport al-Husseni, who arrived in Canada in 1991 without travel documents and who was immediately granted refugee status based on his fear of prosecution in Lebanon, Canadian authorities filed an extensive memo in 1993 detailing his involvement with Hezbollah. In interviews conducted by Canadian authorities, al-Husseini admitted that he was a member of Hezbollah and "provided information, which revealed a great deal of knowledge of the inner workings of Hezbollah, including names and positions of Hezbollah officials." In addition, when asked about the existence of Hezbollah in Montreal, he stated flatly, " Hezbollah has members in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto--in all of Canada." Al- Husseini provided extensive material on the modus operandi of Hezbollah, from the tasking of its missions in Iran to the support it has enlisted in specific Canadian Islamic centers. One of the most interesting pieces of information he provided was that video of potential Canadian targets was taken by Hezbollah members in Canada and sent back to Hezbollah headquarters in Lebanon for contingency planning in the event that Hezbollah would want to target Canada. After being granted refugee status, al-Husseini flew back to Lebanon in August 1993--and returned to Canada in early September 1993, this time with a new Lebanese passport, which revealed a US visa issued to him in Montreal on May 20, 1993. An entry stamp to the United States was dated September 1, 1993. (Baker, Raymond William (2003)

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In 1997, Canada charged two Saudi-born men who had entered Canada the previous year with being members of Islamic terrorist organizations. One of them was Hani Al-Sayegh, accused of being a member of the Saudi branch of Hezbollah and being an active participant in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996 that killed 19 Americans. Al-Sayegh arrived in Canada on August 16, 1996 from Kuwait. However, he first traveled to Italy and then to Boston, where according to US intelligence officials, he made contact with members of an Islamic terrorist group. From Boston, he went to Canada. According to documents filed by Canadian authorities, "conducted surveillance at the site of the [Khobar] bombing. On the day of the bombing, he was the driver of the car which signaled the explosives-laden truck to enter the parking lot." After entering into a plea agreement with the US Department of Justice, Al-Sayegh agreed to be extradited to the United States, where he was to plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to kill US nationals in exchange for a ten-year sentence. However, after arriving in the United States, Aal-Sayegh withdrew his plea agreement and in the absence of admissible corroborative evidence, the Department of Justice was forced to withdraw its charges. Al-Sayegh was subsequently deported to Saudi Arabia. Canadian authorities have been courageously open about the degree to which their country has become a base of operations for terrorists. While certain components of Canadian policies, such as the ease in which terrorists have entered Canada in recent years, are glaring in their absence of proper oversight, the willingness of Canadian intelligence and law enforcement to publicly acknowledge the problem on Canadian soil should be applauded. The most recent report, Terrorism 2000/2001, by the Canadian Intelligence Security Service on December 18, 1999, and which can be read on the Internet makes for very instructive and important reading.

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American restrictions on the press in Afghanistan were stricter still. Only when the attacks of the suicide bombers on civilians had enraged and frightened the Israeli populace could Prime Minister Sharon emulate the American example. Israel had the disadvantage of a military force that relied on reservists. By targeting civilians, the Islamist extremists effectively neutralized that liability. The promising movement of Israeli "refusniks" lost momentum. At home, the assertive Hebrew press was cowed as rarely before. Even more important, however, was the Israeli lobby's prowess in dominating the critical media battleground in the United States. (Alexander, Yonah (2002)

Resources

Alexander, Yonah (2002) Terrorism in the Name of God. (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) World and I; October 1.

BRIAN MURPHY (2005) Experts see 'counter-jihad' against terrorism; The Record (Bergen County, NJ); March 28.

Baker, Raymond William (2003) Screening Islam: terrorism, American jihad and the new Islamists.(Part II: myths: framing the problem) Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ); 1/1.

BOB EDWARDS (2001) Profile: State Department's annual report on global terrorism Morning Edition (NPR); May 1.
 
Holmes, Stephen  (2002) Why international justice limps.(International Justice, War Crimes, and Terrorism: The U.S. Record) Social Research; 12/22.

Rodriguez, Michelle Natividad (2003) American racial justice on trial - again: African American reparations, human rights, and the war on terror.Michigan Law Review; 3/1.

Thakur, Ramesh Ginkel, Hans van (2001) An international perspective on global terrorism. (Opinion).(Column) UN Chronicle; September 1.

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