September 18, 2020 10:33
Home Contact About Academy News Analytical Papers Academy Events Workshops & Conferences Information Resources Forum
Analytical Papers
Terrorism as it is. Reasons and roots
05.05.2010

The word “terror” has come to us from the Romans and its translation from Latin means "horror". Terrorism as a means of achieving its goals, already known from the times of Ancient Rome. When the Romans expelled their last king, Tarkviniya Proud, he has appealed for help to the neighboring kings. In the year 508 BC Lart Porsena, the King of Klusie, city of Etruscan, responded to his call. Porsena managed to rein in the city. But the food was ending in the Rome and there was a real danger that the city could fall down. At this time the noble Roman boy, Gay Muzij penetrated into the camp, with the hope to kill the Etruscan King. He managed to approach Porsene, but not knowing his face, he mixes him up with his nobles, who sat next to the soldiers and was giving out them money. So he killed not the King, but his subordinate, after what he was immediately captured. However, Gay Muzij said to the King that if he did not get out of the Rome, three hundred  guys will be hunting for him - "do not fear war, nor fear the battle - you will be one by one with each of them, Gay Muzij threatened the King. And as a prove that neither he nor the others, will never afraid of to be killed, he put his right hand on the burning  altar, and without any sign of cry was looking how it was turning into coal. The King could not watch this and ordered to pull out Gay Muzij from the sacrificial altar and let him go, and he immediately concluded peace with the Romans. 

What could not do at that time the still weak Roman army that was done by a only man. King realized that he could takeover  the city, but it is unlikely that he will survive after that himself, so he preferred saving his own life than winning the war. Gay Muzij has got nickname "Stsevola" ("left-handed") and was glorified after that by the Romans as a hero. 

Assaults at lives of princes, kings, emperors and presidents are known in the history of all nations. The hands of assassins killed a lot of Princes of Kiev Russ, the arrows from unknown assassins killed in 1100 during hunting the King William II "The Red", the son of William "the Conqueror, who conquered Britain. The hands of hired murders killed all known from the Duma novel French Henry de Navarre... . In XVIII century the wave of assassinations in Europe has significantly diminishing, and until the mid XIX European monarchs could afford to go without bodyguards. But in the second half of XIX century both in Western and Eastern Europe, terrorism began to gain strength. In Russia, terrorists staged a literally hunting for Russian Tsar Alexander II and eventually, having made more than a dozen attempts, managed to kill him. The success of terrorists was largely  caused by the reason that the Tsar stubbornly refused from any preventive measures, and by the fact that terrorists were heroes in the eyes of many intellectuals. Terrorism is flourishing in Russia until the fall of autocracy. Only during the years 1904-1905 there were killed by terrorists in Russia up to 10,000 officials and policemen, but no legislative decisions were adopted. Terrorists were judged by the same laws as the other criminal offenders. These were the dogmas. In 1918 Tsar Nicholas the Second, did not make any steps to curb terrorism and paid for this not only by his life but by the lives of all his family members as well, who were executed by those whom he pitied for so long. 

If earlier terrorism was still a relatively rare phenomenon, and dealt primarily with monarchs and people from their circle, in the twentieth century, terrorism has got unprecedented scales, giving it greater influence on the policies in almost all countries in the world. 

The shot of the terrorist, which deprived a life of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Throne, launched the first world war, but soon the Austro-Hungarian and German intelligence services began to finance activity of terrorism-oriented political parties of the Bolsheviks and Esers. The operation could be considered successful - the activities of these parties led to the collapse of the Army, two revolutions in Russia and its run-out of the war, but already in November 1918 the activities of radical organizations shocked Austria-Hungary and Germany, having led to the collapse of the ruling monarchies there. In the end Austria-Hungary has completely disappeared from the map. 

Terrorism almost always boomeranged back to those who supported it. But few thought of the old and true proverb, which advised "not to dig another hole, unless you want to get into it yourself”. Many countries and many political movements tried to solve their problems using the methods of terror. World War II also began from the terrorist provocation, but organized at the state level - the Nazis arranged the attack on the radio station in a small town of Hlyayvits in Silesia, blaming in this the Poles, and then announced to Poland a war. What was the outcome of the war for Germany is well known. 

After World War II the world divided into two camps. The socialist camp headed by the USSR and the capitalist camp, led by the USA, refrained from direct confrontation, but until 1985 they were competing, including support of various terrorist movements. As a rule, behind any confrontation in Asia or Africa, behind any so-called "liberation" or "people's-liberation" army there were interests and support of more powerful country. Every conflict became a nurse for terrorists, who received money for combats, as well as pan for officials who allocated and distributed the money. Ongoing conflicts, covered and open supply of arms to "liberation" movements ended for somebody in grief and tears, but for someone - in the service promotion, beneficial contracts, official and informal opportunity to obtain big sums of money. Following an example of the greater powers, the smaller ones also began to support various terrorist groups and movements. 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the confrontation between two systems almost stopped, but many of organizations which were born by Soviet and American confrontation did not disappear, because they became so strong, that could already exist independently. 

If you look at the map, you can find not too many relatively quiet places. Let us recollect Trade Center bombing in Oklahoma and suicide attack at the World Trade Center in New York that shocked the United States. Let us remember how the terrorists almost paralyzed functioning of the U.S. Postal Service, having sent letters with anthrax spores. Let us recall how many people die each year from the hands of terrorists in Colombia. Bombs also exploded in England, where not so long ago the police even did not carry weapons, and in Spain and in France and in Italy, and in Russia, not to mention the traditional hot spots. 

What causes terrorism? Why instead of disappearing in our "enlightened age, it, in the contrary, takes effect? 

Like any other phenomenon, terrorism rises if the favorable conditions are created for it. This means that the spread of terrorism, especially in Europe and the U.S., caused primarily by the fact that there is obviously a good ground for such expansion has been developed there. European and American legislation is often based on dogma – provisions which are accepted as indisputable truth, but not proved in practice. 

Dogma of the need to abolish the death penalty led to the situation when terrorists and other criminals, do not fear for their lives and behave more violently. In all countries that abolished the death penalty people are killed now several times more often than before. It seems that fanatical decision should be immediately canceled, but dogma is dogma, and probably the rivers of human blood should shed before the death penalty will be renewed. 

Dogma that "the crime has no nationality" facilitates creation of ethnic groups that make up the majority of criminal formations. But the police cannot even raise this issue because "it may not." It just “may not” and that’s it. 

Dogma about the necessity of compulsory admission of refugees has led to the appearance in all European countries enclaves where uninvited newcomers are settled and require benefits, pensions, allowances and behave themselves more and more boldly with respect to  indigenous people. It’s enough to recall events in England where immigrants from former British colonies successfully smashed local shops and burned autos of British people. In England and in France and in Germany there are urban neighborhoods where the Englishman, Frenchman or German dare not to go. The U.S. are thriving "black" racism, but according to the dogmas, there is only "white" racism which existed long ago. And if there is no phenomenon, then there is nothing to talk about. Moreover, since  the "crime has no nationality," then who will think that aliens are posing a threat to the native inhabitants? 

During the struggle between the capitalism and socialism institutions which were supposed to make a research of social and political processes, these institutions in practice were involved in blaming each other. Science has been adapted to views and expressions of political leaders but political leaders themselves did not ground their assessments on scientific research. 

Unfortunately, this practice is lasting now. But the rules of social development objectively exist and they are functioning exactly like the rules of physics, so all attempts to ignore them and to act in the framework of artificially  created schemes lead to serious consequences. 

Our eastern neighbor, Russia, also is grappling with terrorists rather verbally than in practice. And not surprisingly, but quite natural that after the capture of Budenovsk, "Nord-Ost, Beslan, Nalchik ... Authorities stubbornly refuse to abandon dogmas and change the forms of struggle against terrorism, i.e. against those who carry out terrorism activity and those who support it. And that is why you can certainly say that this tragedies will not be the last. 

So far these tragedies do not affect families of top politicians, but only the families of ordinary citizens. Therefore, politics which have a lot of bodyguards still can adhere dogmas, instead of organizing a real struggle against terrorism, and continue trying to get personal benefit from this. Terrorism became a profitable business, bringing huge profit to those who is involved in it. That is why the terrorists walk with open faces, and those who are fighting them, had to run in masks. That is why families of terrorists are proud of "militant" relatives and do not feel fear, but the families of law enforcement officers and witnesses who dared to give evidence, tremble from fear. That is why in all "civilized" countries there are a lot of people who wear shirts with pictures of terrorists, hang their portraits at home and in offices, give their names to children. But they should also remember that time comes, and terrorism, like any revolution starts to "eat it’s children. They should also remember that terror sometimes can reach protected persons. Especially when they do nothing to stop it, hoping that this terror will “cut out” only ordinary people. 

Bombs are exploded in Belfast and in London, Barcelona and Moscow, the North Caucasus and in Macedonia, Sri Lanka and Israel. Meanwhile, the headquarters of many terrorist organizations are not in the mountainous caves of Afghanistan, but at the fashionable streets of London and Paris, Berlin and Dresden. Particularities of European legislation almost never give the possibility for police to capture those who give orders. Bomb explode in Ulster but the British Government is negotiating with the "political wing" of organization which committed terrorist attack, and the press is interviewing them. Bombs explode in Madrid and Barcelona - Spanish government starts to flirt with the Basque separatists and conducts negotiations with them. On the TV of all western countries, as well as on television of all the post-Soviet States, terrorists became one of the most popular TV-stars. So, should we then be surprised when bombings and hostage take place? 

The terrorist attacks in Russia simply couldn’t not to happen. They were caused by all previous developments. Terrific series of vandalism attacks in the United States simply couldn’t not to happen. Terroristic beast was long time cherished, appeared on TV and allowed to kill and to give interviews, allowed to create their dens and there were severely punished those who tried to fight this beast, sometimes exceeding authority. 

"Democratic" world blandished terrorists and very little concerned about the safety of ordinary citizens, who could be imposed to racket or killed by anyone. "Democratic" world did not want to revenge terrorists at all, and does not want now. With such a tender attitude to beast it just couldn’t not to grow and bite it’s "humane" benefactors - in Washington, in Moscow, and in Europe. 

What happened on September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, could happen in Moscow and in London and in Berlin and in Kiev. Fall of the blown up skyscrapers, capture of thousands of hostages are not everything that terrorists can do if they are not stopped by real actions, not by words and demonstrations of protest. In the hands of terrorists can be not only aircraft and explosives. If the world does not change its views on terrorism, and not abandon dogmas, we will witness even more horrible events. The reasons of banditry and terrorism should be searched not at criminals themselves but in our attitude to them. We have to understand that the terrorists cannot be treated as ordinary criminals, and you even cannot treat them as people. They need to be fought like mad animals which are not treatable. 

Vladimir Dmitrenko, an expert on the analysis of political and economic information

Filter
© 2009 AOSS (Academy of Open Society Security)