Monday, February 13, 2006

Interesting Stuff

Four Waves of Terrorism
By Everett A. Vieira III
SDS Universe

Professor David C. Rapoport of the University of California, Los Angeles, defined the mechanics of modern terrorism for more than 250 people in the Hardy Tower auditorium for last Thursday's lecture, the second in a semester-long series on terrorism.

Rapoport's lecture examined the lack of historical analysis in terrorism scholarship and his classification of the four waves of modern terrorism, including each wave's associated tactics and goals. Rapoport also pointed out the irony that more terrorists have won the Nobel Peace Prize than have U.S. presidents.

By defining a "wave" where a number of groups engage in violent activities around a similar timeframe, sharing a similar ideology, Rapoport argued that there have been four waves of international terrorism in the modern times. Terrorist groups can often bring about large social changes.

According to Rapoport, most people are not aware that the Sons of Liberty (1765-76) can be credited for igniting the American War of Independence and that the Ku Klux Klan (1867-77) was directly responsible for ending Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War. These two groups are considered 'pre-modern' terrorist groups in that they utilized the principal weapon of the mob mentality in order to increase their victims' anxieties.

Rapoport also discussed President George W. Bush's declaration of war on terrorism and the international attention associated with it. Few people realize that President Theodore Roosevelt, upon the assassination of his predecessor President William McKinley in 1901, some 100 years before the events of September 11, called for a similar assault to eradicate terrorism everywhere.

Rapoport said the four waves of modern terrorism are each composed of organizations, with different life rhythms: the Anarchist wave which started around 1879; the anti-colonial wave that began around 1920; the New Left wave that emerged in the 1960s; and the religious wave — the wave that we are living in today — that kicked off in 1979.

Rapoport said that each wave lasted about a generation, with only a handful of terrorist organizations able to transcend multiple waves. (The Irish Republican Army being one of the few groups to do so.)

The Anarchist wave utilized assassinations of political leaders designed to create anarchist societies. The anti-colonial wave rejected political assassinations and instead concentrated their efforts attacking police forces to further its agendas. The New Left wave hijacked airplanes and created hostage crises, while the current religious wave uses suicide attacks.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rapoport is full of shit