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The Roots of Terrorism

时间:2005-05-26 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:chirie   字体: [ ]


By Leta Hong Fincher

Most Americans paid little attention to the dangers of terrorism until al-Qaida 's September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that killed thousands.  But political violence is hardly new.  In part one of this three-part series on the roots of terrorism, Leta Hong Fincher takes a look at how modern terrorism has evolved.
The bipartisan commission investigating the September 11th attacks said the United States was completely unprepared for what happened that day.
Yet, Thomas Kean, chairman of the commission, said the attacks should not have been a surprise.
"We did not grasp the magnitude of a threat that had been gathering1 over a considerable period of time.  As we detail in our report, this was a failure of policy, management, capability2, and above all, a failure of imagination."
But terrorists had been using their imagination for a long time.
Bruce Hoffman, terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation “think tank” in Washington D.C., says ever since the reign3 of terror during the French revolution at the end of the 18th century, terrorist groups have had clear objectives.
"One sees that terrorism was animated4 primarily by secular5 goals, whether it was ethno-nationalist separatism -- in other words the creation or restoration of an historic homeland or creation of a new state -- or very ideological6 goals, Marxist, Leninist, Maoist, right-wing authoritarian7." 
Two examples of these traditional terrorist organizations are the paramilitary group, the Irish Republican Army, or IRA, and the Basque separatist organization, ETA.
The IRA carried out bombings and murders with the goal of independence for all of Ireland from Britain.
ETA killed politicians and set off bombs to bring attention to its goal of independence from Spain.
But Mr. Hoffman says, over the past 20 years new terrorist networks have emerged that are much more loosely defined and trans-national. They are amorphous9 and have cells in dozens of countries.
In 1979, an Islamic revolution in Iran brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power, setting in motion a rise in Shia Islamic extremism. Iran later sponsored groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, which the U.S. government considers a terrorist organization.
Also in 1979, the Soviet10 army invaded Afghanistan. In response, Saudi-born Osama bin8 Laden11 joined the Afghan resistance -- or mujahedeen-- who were mainly Sunni Muslims.
In the 1980s, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency helped train and equip mujahedeen fighting against Communism.  By 1988, bin Laden had formed his new group, al-Qaida , from former mujahedeen and other supporters.  
Some analysts12 say these Muslim fighters were emboldened13 by their success in driving the Russians out of Afghanistan. With the defeat of the Soviet Union, bin Laden and his network turned their attention to the United States and its allies in the Middle East.
Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman says bin Laden's goals are ambitious: to wage a holy war for Islam against Western culture.
"Certainly he seeks to eviscerate14 U.S. and western influence from Muslim lands. Certainly he works toward the destruction of what he sees as authoritarian, anti-Islamic, corrupt15 governments throughout the world as well as the destruction of the state of Israel."
Bin Laden's message resonates with millions of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who are angry with the United States.
Omer Taspinar is a scholar of Islam at the Brookings Institution “think tank” in Washington D.C.  Mr. Taspinar says that in the eyes of many impoverished16 Muslims, bin Laden has become a hero who fights on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. 
"They're unhappy with the way their countries are run and they see their leaders, authoritarian leaders especially in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are friendly dictators to the United States. Therefore they don't buy the rhetoric17 that the United States wants to spread democracy to the Middle East when they see the administration in Washington is friendly toward authoritarian regimes in the Middle East."
But not all such regimes. President Bush ordered the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the war on terrorism.
"Freedom and democracy in the place that has bred resentment18 and terror is in our national interests. A free Iraq will help change the world. A free Iraq will help change a neighborhood that needs to be changed."
President Bush says the United States is winning the war on terrorism.  His critics disagree. Benjamin Barber is a democracy expert at the University of Maryland.
"The problem with the Bush administration's claim that it's winning the war on terrorism is that it's not fighting a war on terrorism; it's fighting a war on rogue19 states. I would say it's winning the war on rogue states. It's defeated Taleban Afghanistan, it's defeated Saddam's Baathist Iraq -- the question is, does the defeat of rogue states have anything to do with defeating terrorism?  I'm afraid the answer is no."
Mr. Barber says terrorists have become part of the international infrastructure20, which makes it impossible to defeat them by military force alone.  He and other experts say the threat of Islamist terrorism can only be controlled by addressing the underlying21 conditions that allow terrorism to thrive.
More on that in part two of our series: the Roots of Terrorism.

Leta Hong Fincher, VOA News.
al-Qaida 基地组织
magnitude大小, 量级
“think tank” 智囊团
animate 鼓舞
Irish Republican Army  IRA 爱尔兰共和军
amorphous 无组织的
Lebanese Hezbollah(黎巴嫩)真主党
Mujahedeen 阿富汗伊斯兰反抗军
Sunni Muslim穆斯林逊尼派教徒
Central Intelligence Agency 美国中央情报局
resonate (使)共鸣
impoverished 穷困的
disenfranchised 失去公民权
resentment 怨恨, 愤恨
Taleban 阿富汗塔力班组织
thrive繁荣, 茁壮成长


1 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
2 capability JsGzZ     
  • She has the capability to become a very fine actress.她有潜力成为杰出演员。
  • Organizing a whole department is beyond his capability.组织整个部门是他能力以外的事。
3 reign pBbzx     
  • The reign of Queen Elizabeth lapped over into the seventeenth century.伊丽莎白王朝延至17世纪。
  • The reign of Zhu Yuanzhang lasted about 31 years.朱元璋统治了大约三十一年。
4 animated Cz7zMa     
  • His observations gave rise to an animated and lively discussion.他的言论引起了一场气氛热烈而活跃的讨论。
  • We had an animated discussion over current events last evening.昨天晚上我们热烈地讨论时事。
5 secular GZmxM     
  • We live in an increasingly secular society.我们生活在一个日益非宗教的社会。
  • Britain is a plural society in which the secular predominates.英国是个世俗主导的多元社会。
6 ideological bq3zi8     
  • He always tries to link his study with his ideological problems. 他总是把学习和自己的思想问题联系起来。
  • He helped me enormously with advice on how to do ideological work. 他告诉我怎样做思想工作,对我有很大帮助。
7 authoritarian Kulzq     
  • Foreign diplomats suspect him of authoritarian tendencies.各国外交官怀疑他有着独裁主义倾向。
  • The authoritarian policy wasn't proved to be a success.独裁主义的政策证明并不成功。
8 bin yR2yz     
n.箱柜;vt.放入箱内;[计算机] DOS文件名:二进制目标文件
  • He emptied several bags of rice into a bin.他把几袋米倒进大箱里。
  • He threw the empty bottles in the bin.他把空瓶子扔进垃圾箱。
9 amorphous nouy5     
  • There was a weakening of the intermolecular bonds,primarily in the amorphous region of the polymer.分子间键合减弱,尤其在聚合物的无定形区内更为明显。
  • It is an amorphous colorless or white powder.它是一种无定形的无色或白色粉末。
10 Soviet Sw9wR     
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
11 laden P2gx5     
  • He is laden with heavy responsibility.他肩负重任。
  • Dragging the fully laden boat across the sand dunes was no mean feat.将满载货物的船拖过沙丘是一件了不起的事。
12 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
13 emboldened 174550385d47060dbd95dd372c76aa22     
v.鼓励,使有胆量( embolden的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Emboldened by the wine, he went over to introduce himself to her. 他借酒壮胆,走上前去向她作自我介绍。
  • His success emboldened him to expand his business. 他有了成就因而激发他进一步扩展业务。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 eviscerate widzT     
  • We agreed to eviscerate the proposed bill.我们同意去除所提议案的本质部分。
  • Eviscerate demolition meat,cut into the meat section.拆肉剔骨,将肉切成条。
15 corrupt 4zTxn     
  • The newspaper alleged the mayor's corrupt practices.那家报纸断言市长有舞弊行为。
  • This judge is corrupt.这个法官贪污。
16 impoverished 1qnzcL     
adj.穷困的,无力的,用尽了的v.使(某人)贫穷( impoverish的过去式和过去分词 );使(某物)贫瘠或恶化
  • the impoverished areas of the city 这个城市的贫民区
  • They were impoverished by a prolonged spell of unemployment. 他们因长期失业而一贫如洗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 rhetoric FCnzz     
  • Do you know something about rhetoric?你懂点修辞学吗?
  • Behind all the rhetoric,his relations with the army are dangerously poised.在冠冕堂皇的言辞背后,他和军队的关系岌岌可危。
18 resentment 4sgyv     
  • All her feelings of resentment just came pouring out.她一股脑儿倾吐出所有的怨恨。
  • She cherished a deep resentment under the rose towards her employer.她暗中对她的雇主怀恨在心。
19 rogue qCfzo     
  • The little rogue had his grandpa's glasses on.这淘气鬼带上了他祖父的眼镜。
  • They defined him as a rogue.他们确定他为骗子。
20 infrastructure UbBz5     
  • We should step up the development of infrastructure for research.加强科学基础设施建设。
  • We should strengthen cultural infrastructure and boost various types of popular culture.加强文化基础设施建设,发展各类群众文化。
21 underlying 5fyz8c     
  • The underlying theme of the novel is very serious.小说隐含的主题是十分严肃的。
  • This word has its underlying meaning.这个单词有它潜在的含义。
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