Author Archive

PenPal Conversation Four

I asked Idyli for more information concerning the group “The Conspiracy of Nuclei Fire.” In our previous conversation, Idyli had described the group as “motivationless” and “anarcharistic.” I wanted her to expand more on what she meant by “anarcharistic.” Surely the group had to have some grounding in motivation. I couldn’t accept that these individuals could simply engage in indiscriminate killing. However, this seems to be the case. Read more

PenPal Conversation Three

I decided to continue my conversation with Idyli further. Previously we had been discussing the role of facism in Greece’s socio-political climate. According to Idyli, “facist revolts were huge events.” Groups such as 17 Noembri utilized facism as a mechanism to mobilize the population in support of their cause. Idyli stated that “people were starving and had no freedom or rights of anykind.” Read more

Penpal’s Reaction to “My Own Cup of Tea”

Through email correspondence, Idyli and I have furthered our discussion of terrorism and its global impact. When I asked Idyli to visit our blog for a better understanding of what our class was actually doing, she was thrilled. Although unfamiliar with Greg Mortenson’s book, I informed her of the general plot overview as well as some of the novel’s overarching themes. In an excerpt from an email between Idyli and myself, she wrote Read more

PenPal Conversation Two

In my last conversation with Idyli, we were discussing the impact of the fascist movement and its influence over 17 Noembri. I asked Idyli, “On November 17th, 1973 how did Greek university students start the revolt against fascism? Was it a large scale revolt?”

Idyli responded by stating, “The revolt against fascism was a huge event and we still honour it. The fascist period in Greece was terrible. People were starving and had no freedom or rights of any kind. At one point, the university students locked themselves in the university and openly took a position against all the terrible things happening. And that is how the revolution started and finally ended in the fall of fascism.”

It was interesting to hear Idyli’s depiction of domestic terrorism. We agreed that people are too quick to forget that “terrorist” acts are generally tied to religious, social, or political motivations. 17 Noembri sought to influence the current political climate through the use of fascism at any costs. The irony here is that these individuals claimed that they were furthering Greece’s prosperity at the expense of the citizens they claimed they were protecting. I informed Idyli that in the United States, organizations such as 17 Noembri are practically unheard of. The United States is too concerned with its own interests and its geographical isolation doesn’t help.

Understanding the Theatrical Portrayals of “Munich” and “Bloody Sunday”: A Critical Approach

“From the blood drenched history of the Jewish nation, we learn that violence which begins with the murder of Jews, ends with the spread of violence and danger to all people, in all nations. We have no choice but to strike at terrorist organizations wherever we can reach them. That is our obligation to ourselves and to peace.” Golda Meir, 1972 (Klein, 1)

In the wake of Black September’s horrific display of violence during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Israeli officials began organizing what would be known as one of the world’s most elaborate counterterrorism efforts. Known as “Committee X,” this organization would be responsible for the deliberate assassination of dozens of conspirators supposedly allied with Black September and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Reeve, 160). Read more

My Own Cup of Tea

“Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.”

This quote taken from David Oliver Relin’s book, Three Cups of Tea, aptly describes the central framework through which this compelling narrative operates. Relin’s book relates the story of Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer who vowed to construct 55 schools in Taliban territory after failing to summit K2. Mortenson devoted his entire life to constructing these schools, especially for girls, in the hopes of educating Pakistani children. Read more

PenPal Conversation One

During my introduction of Idyli to the blog, I mentioned that her father is a war correspondent for Greece’s largest national newspaper. One of the terrorist organizations that Idyli’s father covers is called 17 Noembri. According to Idyli,

“17 Noembri is one of the most terrible organizations in Greece. They have killed many people and mostly those in power. Read more

Terrorism: The Imaginative Construction of the “Other”

Ter-ror-ism: noun. An arbitrary term used to describe a person or persons who oppose another group’s inherent beliefs and ideological commitments through the use of violent action as a means to pursue political, social, religious, and/or economic goals. The implication behind the word’s usage illustrates the interconnectedness of the “terrorist” and the group or organization that the former seeks to oppose, disestablish, or antagonize. This binary opposition (“terrorist” versus “non-terrorist”) is arbitrary in nature and is only utilized by a dominant group to describe the force that is opposing it. Read more

My PenPal: Idyli Tsakiri

For the past few months, I have been corresponding via email with a Greek journalism student named Idyli Tsakiri. Ms. Tsakiri is currently a sophomore at the American College of Greece. She hopes to eventually become a war correspondent, like her father. Coincidentally, Mr. Tsakiri has been reporting on one of Greek’s largest terrorist organizations, 17 Noembri, as well as a multitude of other salient political issues. Idyli’s knowledge and interest in “terrorism” illustrates the valuable information that she can contribute to our discussions concerning the media’s coverage of “terrorist” attacks. Read more

A Critical Analysis of the Religio-Political Conflict in “Bloody Sunday”

Paul Greengrass’s dramatic documentary, Bloody Sunday, depicts the savage attacks of the British military against unarmed Irish citizens, which resulted in the immediate deaths of thirteen innocent protesters and the wounding of fourteen more. January 30, 1972 will forever represent the atrocities committed by a few armed soldiers unfettered by the restraints of rational action. Although the “mockumentary” mainly focuses on Ivan Cooper, Northern Ireland’s former Member of Parliament and founder of the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labor Party), the filmmakers attempted to illustrate the intense religious, political, and social turmoil prevalent amongst a multitude of social groups in Northern Ireland. 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.