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How to Fight Terror

After talking about some of the movies we watched in class, I asked my penpal what he thought was a good way to combat terrorism. His response: Read more

PenPal’s definition of terrorism

After talking with my penpal about terrorism and some of the topics we have covered in class, I asked him to give me his own definition of terrorism. Below is his response:

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Penpal: Conversation with Kenya

Me: Can you tell me your story about finding out about the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11/2001? Like, how you found out about it, when, and what you thought about it? Read more

A Fight for the Underdog: Bloody Sunday Movie Reflection

Terrorism is a hotly discussed subject, and a debated word to define.  The International Encyclopedia of Terrorism defines it as “the selective or indiscriminate use of violence in order to bring about political change by inducing fear” (Barnett 15). Any person or group of people can use this tactic on any other for whatever in the name of whatever political or social vision they have. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter – it all depends on whose side you are on.  Fairness is another thing many seek after. Fox News claims that its reports are “fair and balanced.” The United States promises its citizens the right to a “fair trial.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “fair” as “marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism.” Therefore, any piece of work meant to persuade its audience to hold one point of view on an issue regarded as terrorism is innately unfair. Read more

Who’s the Terrorist, Now?: Munich Movie Reflection

At their very core, all films are orchestrated to sell tickets. Munich and Bloody Sunday are no different in this regard. However, when movies like these are released, it begs the question of whether there can be more to films than a temporary satiating of our senses or an escape from our environment. Is it possible to produce a film that both succeeds at the box office and sends the audience home more educated and richer for the experience? The simple answer is “yes,” but it would be irresponsible to leave it at that.  Films like Munich and Bloody Sunday both present the viewer with information concerning their respective historical events; however, the responsibility of discerning the demarcations between historical truth/context and cinematographic liberties still lies in the hands of the viewer. Read more

Don’t Be Naive: Green Zone movie reflection

The action/thriller war movie, Green Zone (Greengrass, 2010), roughly based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran’ Imperial Life in the Emerald City, received many critical reviews. It was hailed as many things.  Some reviewers called it a failure, boring, cliché, frenetic, or director Greengrass’ “least satisfying work to date” (Bradshaw, 2010) and some saw it as hard-hitting, a knockout, persuasive, a “solid example of a political paranoia thriller,” and “an urgent piece of work” (Vognar, 2010)

No matter how you view director Paul Greengrass’ latest film, it is clear that it touches on many issues discussed in our class concerning war, the definition of terrorism, and the press…how it is a tool in the hands of both the mighty and the stricken.  Green Zone also addresses how one can define patriotism and the core of human nature that defines us all.  This paper analyzes the movie Green Zone and attempts to tackle the issues of war, terrorism, the media, truth, and the core of human existence. Read more

My Tea: The Value of Education

After reading Three Cups of Tea, I’d like to evaluate the notion that education is the key to better society. Greg Mortenson embarks on his mission to promote peace by building schools for underprivileged Pakistani children. Mortenson believes that if these children are educated, they will be able to help themselves to better their community. In theory, this sounds like a good idea. However, I don’t believe that education is the instant solution. Though it plays a key role, other factors, such as the economic conditions, subject matter, and personal motivation are essential co-components. Read more

My Pen Pal

Paul lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He has attended both high school and college in the country and is currently employed by Technobrain to work on computers.

I met him on my trip to Kenya as volunteer camp staff for a United Youth Corp project this past December, and we worked together as volleyball and team-building staff for Kenyan youths.

The Heart of Terror

My definition of terrorism has morphed over the past couple of weeks. I came into the class with the perception that terrorism is what happened on September 11, 2001. Al Qaida performs terrorism. They are reckless and use bombs, explosions, and weapons of mass destruction. Read more

Forced Entry

I was twelve years old, standing outside in the brisk Tucson morning air waiting with a classmate for my art teacher to open the door. My classmate’s name was Ed, and he had a mental disorder. Ed babbled and mumbled at me with varying facial expressions something about towers falling, but I didn’t really understand him. I smiled and nodded, wondering if he even knew what he was talking about. 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.