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Domestic Terrorism - Essay Example

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Domestic terrorism can be defined as an act dangerous to human life that becomes a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, and it must take place primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. Otherwise, the act may be regarded as international terrorism (U.S…
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Domestic Terrorism Essay
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"Domestic Terrorism"

Download file to see previous pages Without threat of violence, the act becomes a protest, not terrorism (ACLU, 2002). The definition of domestic terrorism is broad enough to "encompass the activities of several prominent activist campaigns and organizations" (ACLU, 2002, par. 3) such as environmentalists in Greenpeace and anti-abortionists in a group called Operation Rescue. These organizations tend to make their actions known, especially seeking media coverage, while other groups stay underground, performing violent acts but not openly taking credit for them.
Political violence has existed throughout the world from the beginning of organized government. Those who are well known for their rebellious political actions in the 20th century are, for instance, Mao Tse-tung (1999), Ernesto "Che" Guevera (Dorfman, 1999), Carlos Marghella (Manual, 2007) and Frantz Fanon (2007). These revolutionaries were from China, Cuba, Brazil, and Martinique, respectively, and all were affiliated with Communism. These activists were labeled domestic terrorists within their own countries, but in the 21st century, domestic terrorists can be defined as those who infiltrate American space and use American transport conveyances to attack the United States with no concern for human life. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and Jihad are blamed for the tragedy of 9/11/01, and their actions have initiated strict security controls throughout the U.S. The Internet has become a growing showcase for those who are convinced they have the answer to problems they attribute to Democracy, and all have a favorite dissident to follow. The overall aspect of terrorism is its politically motivated violence, and by addressing it as a police or security task in America, it has simply driven some targeted U.S. groups underground. It has been evident that military strategy does not work with political and religious extremist groups because, as noted by psychologist Jerome M. Post, "Terrorists whose only sense of significance comes from being terrorists cannot be forced to give up terrorism for to do so would be to lose their very reason for being." (How Terrorist Groups End, 1999). According to Vohryzek-Bolden, "right wing domestic terrorism will prevail well into the 21st century." Ecological resistance groups, anti-environmental movements, animal rights groups, and anti-abortion activists are offshoots of prior ideology in which violence is justified in the name of social right.
Much of domestic counter-terrorism in the U.S. is militia-watching. There are two kinds of militia-those acting above ground and those below ground. They share the same right wing ideology although structures and recruitment methods might be different. They both fear losing constitutional rights (Sunde & Shukovsky, 2001) while believing themselves superior. Examples of domestic terrorism in the past can be attributed to the Klu Klux Klan, confederate Civil War veterans who had no compunction against practicing violence, burning down black churches and lynching black citizens. In this century, gays and lesbians are targeted with the same belief that they do not have rights in American society. Anti-abortionists have the same ideology, believing they have a right to burn down clinics without regard for human life, even as they are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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