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What Terrorism Is To Me

When asking for a definition of the term ‘terrorism’ it is difficult to even know where to start. There is no universal agreed upon definition (Moeller 34) and as the popular saying goes, “One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter”(Barnett 5). With this in mind, I personally define terrorism as any type of violence or threat of violence used by an organized group for political, ideological, or territorial gains. I feel the need to include the threat of violence in addition to actual violent acts as part of creating terror is placing fear in an opponent and threats accomplish this feat as well, as evident with the media blitzes that have occurred in the US since 9/11 whenever an alleged attack has been stopped and the continued use of the Department of Homeland Security terror alert levels. I also believe the definition should apply to any organized group, including governments, which use violent tactics. Governments are usually just elected, which to most means “validated,” organization that oftentimes have defense capabilities that can cause just as much, if not more, violence than other, smaller organizations committing acts of terrorism. Although it is a broad definition, I feel it gets closer to being an objective description in attempts to avoid the terrorist or freedom fighter argument and look past the biases that occur when one side of a conflict describes the actions of another.

 Works cited

 Barnett, Brooke, and Amy Reynolds. Terrorism and The Press. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009. 5. Print.

 Moeller, Susan. Packaging terrorism. Blackwell Pub, 2008. 34. Print.

My 3 Cups Of Tea

After reading the compelling story of Greg Mortenson’s journey to create schools in Pakistan and surrounding areas in order to improve the lives of young children, who Mortenson did not even know, it offered a bit of hope in eventual peace between the West, specifically the United States, and the Middle East. Read more


Lockerbie Bombing


*Key Events

          -December 21, 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 takes off from London’s Heathrow Airport to New York’s JFK Intl. Airport.

          -The Boeing 747 took off at 6:25 PM flying northwest.

          -7:00 PM: PA103 passes into Scottish airspace.

          -7:02 PM: Scottish air traffic control loses radar contact with PA103.

          -243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed.  11 Lockerbie residents were killed. Read more

9/11 Effects On US Media And Policy

Rarely can one event change the way nearly all types of media are presented, let alone the attitudes of an entire nation, but the attacks of September 11th happened to be one of those events. Even to this day, references are made to a “pre-9/11” and “post-9/11” world, exemplifying the enormous impact the tragedy had as it is a historical landmark. In this paper, the effects of September 11th on US news media will be discussed, specifically how terrorism coverage changed the tone of the media and to an extent helped George Bush’s administration. Also, international coverage of the attacks will be addressed and contrasted to that of American coverage. 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.