Author Archive

Final Pen Pal Discussion

American media losing focus?

For our last correspondence for this class, I asked my pen pal Aladin to share his thoughts on this article, which discusses the U.S. strategy to combat the Taliban and their influence in the Afghan city of Kandahar. I was curious to see his opinion on counterterrorism in general and specifically what he thought about the U.S. attempt to both “strong-arm” the Taliban out with special forces units and to “buy off” the local residents with money for development projects. Read more

Tunisian News Media?

I recently asked my pen pal, Aladin, what the news media landscape looked like in Tunisia. After reflecting on all of options that exist among American news media (ABC,CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, etc.), I was wondering what kind of options existed in Tunisia. To that end, I posed to Aladin the simple question, “What Tunisian news agency do people usually turn to?” Read more

Pen Pal View on Somalian Islamists

Somalian Islamist Insurgents

A few weeks ago I saw an article in the New York Times ( that talked about how The Shabab, a militant Islamist group in Somalia, had outlawed school bells in the town of Jowhar. The reasoning behind the ban was that the ringing of the bells went against the teachings of Islam. Read more

Considering Fatah’s move towards non-violence

I recently sent my pen pal, Aladin, this link and asked him what he thought about Fatah’s recent move towards resisting Israel in the West Bank through non-violent measures.  First, here is his response:

“Hey Cameron thank you for sharing this topic with me, and to begin I want to talk a little bit about the motive of all the creatures existing on the planet, which is surviving. Read more

Pen Pal Reaction to my Cup of Tea Post

This is the response of my pen pal, Aladin, to my post on the book, Three Cups of Tea which can be found here:

“Speaking about relationship between Arab muslims and Americans, talking about Americans mean chirstians and jewish and sometimes American Muslims which is am going to talk about later.

Too much simple to notice but too much hard to analyze, Through US government with its administrations during current years and its strategies and politics before the war against terrorism has a bad picture in front of the Arabo Muslim side supporting israelians and threating communism in the far east. Read more

Three Cups of Tea and Important Lessons

Three Cups of Tea chronicles the life and work of mountaineer-turned-humanitarian Greg Mortenson. After failing to reach the summit of K2 and stumbling upon a Baltistan village named Korphe, Mortenson observes the dire conditions the people live in and promises the people that he will return to build a school for them…
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A Tunisian’s Viewpoint on Terrorism and Intelligence

During my two months teaching English in Tunisia, I developed a strong friendship with a fellow university student named Aladin. Unlike most of us in class, I had the lucky opportunity to sit in the cafe at least once a week with my friend and others to discuss a wide range of topics,including politics, terrorism, US foreign policy, Israel, Palestine, etc. Now, with Aladin as my pen pal, I once again am lucky enough to to continue those discussions… Read more

Terrorism Defined

Terrorism is a tactic in which either state or non-state actors attack or threaten to attack non-combatants with the immediate goal of spreading large amounts of fear within a particular group or population, often in conjunction with a long-term political goal. Read more

That’s Not Fair

In response to a number of perceived injustices perpetrated by the British Government, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organized what was intended to be a peaceful protest march through the town of Derry. However, the word “peaceful” utterly fails to describe the events that transpired that Sunday, January 30 1972. By the time it was over, twenty-seven civilian protestors had been shot by British military gunfire, leaving thirteen dead. Bloody Sunday, as the day came to be known, has lived on in the hearts and minds of Irish nationalists as a symbol… Read more

PLO & JDL Overview

The actions of both the PLO and JDL should be understood within the context of the history of the broader Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Both sides make arguments spanning back to Biblical times in attempts to justify their occupation, or right to occupy, the land. The area in conflict Read more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.