History in Review
How Democracies can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism.
By Benjamin Netanyahu.
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2002. Pg. 180.)
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - December 23, 2002
Benjamin Netanyahu was not only the Prime Minister of Israel, but he also served in the Sayeret Matcal anti-terrorism force, a special forces commando unit of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). A shrewd politician and military tactician, Netanyahu is well schooled in all aspects of terrorism, from both a civilian and military viewpoint. Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism serves as a much needed primer on terrorism and how this scourge might be combated.
A virtual course in Terrorism 101, Netanyahu provides an incredibly in-depth overview of the threat posed by various terrorist groups, their history and motivations, and the steps that can be taken to halt their demonic activities. Although an Israeli, Netanyahu offers a world view of terrorism - in all its forms, ranging from Islamic Militants to America's home grown militia movements and home grown terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh. Throughout this work he profiles various groups, explaining who they are and how these seemingly dissimilar groups often cooperate with each other. One notable example that Netanyahu provides is the association between the IRA and the PLO. Another example that illustrates the linkage that exists between terrorist groups is shown by the fact that "...Palestinian groups cooperate closely with Hezbollah, which in turn links them to Syria, Iran, and Osama Bin Laden." Netanyahu is also quick to point out that many national regimes, such as those in Syria and Iraq, sanction terrorism, and this support serves to help cultivate and spread terrorism around the world.
This book was originally published in 1995, and it clearly outlined the threat posed to the United States by international terrorist. Netanyahu also outlined the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden. After the horrendous events of September 11th, 2001, this book was updated to include the changes wrought by these events. In this update, Netanyahu also expanded upon the dangers posed by the spread of fundamentalist Islamic terrorist activities, and the increased threat posed to the world should these fundamentalist groups obtain nuclear weapons.
Throughout this book, Netanyahu not only offers a primer on terrorism, but he also offers advice on how democracies can, and must, combat terrorism. To this end, he admits that such a fight would require the curtailment of civil liberties and other sacrifices. Whether you agree or disagree with his theories on how terrorism can be combated, you will find this book a 'must read' and one that will help you to better understand the threat of terrorism, in general. It will also serve to point out why the United States is seen as a primary target, even before Israel, in the eyes of fundamentalist Islamic Militants, and the threat posed by sleeper cells that might already be in place in the United States.
Fatal Future?, by Richard M. Pearlstein.
Transnational Terrorism and the New Global Disorder.
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, by Bernard Lewis.
Explores the Muslim mind set, and how historically centered resentments have constituted to the rise of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.
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