Author Archive

Pen Pal Conversation 4: Jasper’s Definition of Terrorism

For my last conversation with Jasper, I decided to follow the class trend of asking people to provide their definition of terrorism. Here is his response:

“I think I would define terrorism as the use of violence (or the threat to do so) to spread fear as an instrument in activities aiming at political or social changes. Relatively neutral do. I agree with the saying (almost would say cliché) that ‘terrorist’ is a political term. But it is very difficult to define it, and every definition and inclusion or exclusion of an aspect has certain implication for the discourse. I am not sure for myself yet whether attacks on civilians are a necessary part. For instance, animal rights groups freeing animals which are grown for fur generally do not do that. But maybe than I should also exclude the part “to spread fear” from my own definition; although those group definitely attempt to scare animal breeders.”

Ecoterrorism Media Clips

Here are a couple examples of ecoterrorism in the news and mass media.

Fox News Report on Ecoterrorism

Penn and Teller on Ecoterrorism

(Note: Mature language. Parts 2 and 3 also available on Youtube)

Pen Pal Conversation 3: Moscow Bombings

I asked Jasper what he thought about the Moscow bombings that killed 38 people in late March and how the Dutch Media was portraying the bombing. He said that it was definitely a big story that got a lot of media coverage for the following days. Read more

Pen Pal’s Response to Hurt Locker

Transcribed from Gmail Chat conversation

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Brigate Rosse

Jasper lived in Italy for a few years and took a history class where they taught him about Brigate Rosse (The Red Brigades). He said this was the first time he had studied a terrorist group in an academic setting and was still very interested in the topic (Jasper seems more interested in European terrorist groups than Islamic terrorist groups). I asked him to tell me what he had learned about the group and what he thought of their activity since I had never heard of them before.

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Jasper on my third cup of tea

After sharing my third cup of tea posting ( with my Dutch pen pal Jasper, he told me that he liked my idea but wasn’t as optimistic as me that it could be accomplished in the near future. Read more

Cultural Networking: More Cups of Tea

I believe the biggest obstacle to understanding and tolerance in any situation is communication. When you consider the international factor that is generally present in areas marked by terrorism, the language barrier makes it especially difficult to communicate in a meaningful way. Read more

Jasper on Dutch Media After 9/11

Jasper was 16 on September 11th, 2001 and like many of the authors of this blog, he was in school when he first heard of the attacks.

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Introducing Jasper Bergink

Jasper is a Dutch masters student. He got his Bachelor’s in Political Science and is currently working on a Master’s in Law and Politics of International Security. Read more

Luck of the Irish Republican Army

The Northern Ireland conflict is an extremely complex situation that has blurred the line between political activist and terrorist for decades. During this time, the media has had an important role in shaping the public’s perception of the events and what to make of the many factions in play. 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.