Country Reports on Terrorism

Due to a recent string of comments to this post on Bryan L.’s blog where we started talking about Iran being a terrorist state, I decided to do a bit of digging (not too much actually, just a google search) and I came across the U.S. Department of State annual Country Report on Terrorism [or here for HTML].  Chapter 3 “State Sponsers of Terrorism” opens with these words:

Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Elements of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts throughout the region and continued to support a variety of groups in their use of terrorism to advance their common regional goals. Iran provides aid to Palestinian terrorist groups, Lebanese Hizballah, Iraq-based militants, and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. (p. 172)

The latest report should be out by the end of next month.  I’m curious to see if the Iranian status has at all changed.  It seems to be much the same as it was in the 2006 report

I also came across an interesting book through a review by Richard Shafer (in JMCQ 73/3 [1996]: 770-72) by Brigitte L. Nacos called Terrorism and the Media: From the Iran Hostage Crisis to the World Trade Center Bombing (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995).  I encountered another book through a Google Books search by Dennis Piszkiewicz entitled Terrorism’s War with America: A History (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2003).  This isn’t really an area of interest for me but I did find the snippets I read from each book fascinating.  I can’t say that I’ll go out and buy any books on the subject, but if I can find some stuff online to read I might look into this a little further.  I do have a book by Grant R. Jeffrey called War on Terror: Unfolding Bible Prophecy  (Toronto: Frontier Research, 2002) that I never read, so maybe I’ll check that out in a little bit.  I’m not really interested in seeing Bible prophecy unfold in current events but you never know what other kind of information might be in there.



16 thoughts on “Country Reports on Terrorism

  1. in my opinion, anything grant jefferies writes is not worth the pen he used to write it or worth the paper it is written on.

    if anything it might serve as good material to show examples of bad exegesis and tons of non sequitors and logical fallacies.

    he’s intensely dispensational and of the Hal Lindsey brand.

    He lost any respect I thought of giving him after his manical Y2K book freaking everyone out and pretty much predicting the end of the world.

  2. Brian: I don’t know about that. His book on Creationism was on par with everything else I’ve ever read on the subject. His dispensationalism doesn’t bother me because I’ve not seen any convincing argument to date on why dispensationalism is wrong in and of itself. He might do wacky things with it, but that’s not really the fault of dispensationalism.

  3. As someone who spent some time in Yemen growing up, and know muslim friends who have become radicals and others who have been persecuted for not being radical, this topic of terrorism gets me riled up. I went to school with the children of the president, who was a secular muslim, and his children are for the most part dead, radical or have left the country as radicals have taken a stronger foothold in Yemen due to the American response to 911 and Iraq. So these issues are very personal to me.

    The fact of the matter is that yesterday’s terrorists are today’s allies and vice versa…Hussein, Arafat, Khadafi, Hamas, et. al:

    1. We are supporting France in their giving a nuclear reactor to Lybia, when this very regime was on the terror list merely a few years ago…did their ideals change? Not really…what changed was how they “behaved” and their overall actions toward the West.

    2. As Americans we went to war with the Taliban for housing bin Laden post-9/11. That makes sense, right? The Taliban fought back in the name of jihad. These views were nearly dead in Afghanistan thirty years ago, but were re-instigated by American propaganda to inspire the rebel warlords to fight against the Soviet regime in the late 70s. They fought against us using technology and training methods that we taught them in the late 1970s. They were funded in their war against us by the same mujeihadin leaders that we supported and were inviting to the White House until the late 90s.

    3. Iraq’s training, equipment and troops for the most part have American origins from our alliance against Iran in the late 70s/early 80s.

    I hate radical Islam, but I don’t understand the war on terror which more often than not has (albeit unintentionally I guess) promoted radical Islam.

    I’d highly suggest reading “Subverting Global Myths” by Sri Lankan theologian Vinoth Ramachandra…the chapter on the “Myth of Terrorism” had me angry for the first few pages and then completely in agreement by the end.

  4. Ranger:

    The fact of the matter is that yesterday’s terrorists are today’s allies and vice versa…Hussein, Arafat, Khadafi, Hamas, et. al:

    But that’s the nature of the beast. They’re terrorists when they’re no longer allies and pose a threat to us or our allies.

    Thanks for the book recommendation.

  5. “They’re terrorists when they’re no longer allies and pose a threat to us or our allies. ”

    It sounds like ‘terrorist’ has become just another word for ‘enemy’ and it has been emptied of its real meaning.

    Thanks Ranger for the book recommendation. Sound interesting.

    Bryan L

  6. The neologising of the ‘war on terror’ created the terrorists. Bush himself was (and still is) considered a terrorist. The term is as ridiculous now as it was when he first invented it. Along with his silly acronym ‘WMD’. You might find James Crossley’s book interesting too – ‘Jesus in an Age of Terror’

  7. Steph: Bush isn’t considered a terrorist by us (i.e., Americans). What’s silly about WMD? It’s easier than saying ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (which is an accurate description) every time you need to talk about them. I’ll keep Crossley’s book in mind but I doubt I’ll ever read it. I’m much more interested in his monograph on the date of Mark’s Gospel.

  8. Nick:
    Some American’s consider Bush a terrorists and there plenty of people who think he should be prosecuted for things done during the administration.

    Although I’m with you in not seeing anything silly about WMD’s. It’s convenient.

    Bryan L

  9. Of course some American’s are stupid, but not all the people who think those things are stupid. And besides if Bush did break the law (domestic or international) why shouldn’t he be prosecuted?

    And I don’t know that if you asked the majority of Americans whether Bush were a terrorist if they would say no. He had a pretty low popularity rating.

    Bryan L

  10. Bryan: I’m sure there’s a Gallop pole or Barna survey floating around somewhere giving some kind of stats on that very question. And what laws did Bush break?

  11. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to suggest that I thought he definitely broke the law. I was only questioning whether if he did, if he should then be prosecuted. I know there are plenty that think he did (maybe in terms of torture, breaking the Constitution,, illegal wiretaps, etc.) but I haven’t read enough about it.

    But what do you think? If he did in fact break the law, should he be prosecuted? If there is a reasonably chance that he might have do you think he should at least be investigated?

    Bryan L

  12. Bryan: Bush no better than Nixon or Clinton. If he’s suspected of breaking the law then he should be investigated, and if anything turns up he should be prosecuted. Presidents are American citizens too so I don’t think they’re above the law.

  13. Lots of people think the ‘convenient term’ is silly because it was created to describe something that we knew didn’t exist and the joke was that we all knew America had plenty of ‘WsMD’ (sorry I just can’t bring myself to make a plural out of an acronym which wouldn’t work in long form :-)

    I’m glad you intend to read the Date of Mark. Personally for me, it managed to answer some questions which had worried me for a long time and changed my whole view of early Crhistian origins – I’m convinced by a very early date, and although not entirely dependent on an early date, alot of historical authenticity.

  14. PS I know and know of alot of very non stupid, extremely intelligent Americans who think that Bush and his ‘cronies’ are ‘terrorists’ and should be tried for their crimes.

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