Craig P. Beatty
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Holy War Inc. Book Review
If you don't know the difference between al-Qaeda and the Taliban (and before September 11 ‛01, I sure did not) or if you're a little fuzzy about where Yemen is in relation to Afghanistan, this is an excellent book. Peter Bergen is CNN's terrorism analyst and an experienced reporter. He uses a wide range of sources including his own experience to describe the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. There's even a map of the Middle East that you can refer to as you read. But those with some expertise in the world of the mindless jihad masters and the issuance of pretentious fatwas will find this rather limited, I would imagine. We don't really get "Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden," but rather are provided with a narrative distilled from numerous news accounts augmented with Bergen's interviews and travel experiences. Essentially, we stay outside the organization (but so did the CIA). Furthermore, Bergen's "Holy War, Inc." characterization of al-Qaeda as a kind of multinational corporation is exactly the sort of catchy, but superficial and misleading designation that irritates the cognoscenti. Al-Qaeda does not turn a profit, nor does it look to turn a monetary profit. It exists on funds raised from charities, from donations from Muslim fat cat businessmen, from bin Laden's inheritance and from funds siphoned from various commercial enterprises, both legal and illegal, and from what it can beg, borrow and steal. Bergen does emphasize the enormous wealth of this notorious figure’s family, which – as is well-known – has had various ties to the fortune of the Bush family. "By the mid-1990s, the bin Laden group of companies had grown into a colossus whose worth was estimated at $5 billion." This economic behemoth was "the distributor for Snapple drinks and Porsche and Volkswagen cars in the Middle East and is licensed by Disney to produce a wide range of Arabic books." Osama bin Laden was able to draw upon this fortune when he began his de facto collaboration with the US in undermining the pre-Taliban government in Afghanistan, backed by the former USSR. The author argues that the "war against the Soviets in Afghanistan surely" was a just jihad," but since this conflict was the seedbed for 9/11, it is hard to accept the author’s reasoning. Additionally Bergen is lacking the exploration of the opium trade and the opportunity this ’cash‘ business creates to fund global terrorism. Nonetheless, to Bergen's credit this is not the usual sort of ’rush to judgment‘ volume churned out by book publishers to take advantage of a major news event. Bergen had the book finished in August and apparently was working on the proofs when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings on September 11. At that point of course the book was reshaped and spun to tie in with that event so that Bergen's interview with bin Laden (aired on CNN May 10, 1997) forms part of a Prologue entitled, "How to Find the World's Most Wanted Man." The strength of the book is in its readability and in the sense that Bergen gives us a view of what it is like to be an international journalist today (and for those out in the field, it is dangerous to be sure). Characteristically, Bergen describes his trek to and into Afghanistan including the wearing of blindfolds during the last leg to bin Laden's hideout. This personal experience view continues throughout the book and is one of the book's strengths--although of course Bergen does want to make sure we understand that he is more than a ’put on the makeup and read the cue cards’ sort of journalist. What Bergen notices, and what he reports to us, tell us as much about Bergen as about the world of the terrorist. He reports on the food and what the taxi drivers say. He notices the terrain, the weapons, the dress of the men he meets, and he gives us a good feel for the conditions he and other journalists encounter. What is...
...In Peter Bergen’s HolyWar, Inc, the reader is ushered through a head-spinning trip around the globe that serves to highlight the far-reaching effects of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization that Bergen likens to a Multi-national holding company. While Bergen makes reference to similarities between the management of a Multi-national Corporation and that of al-Qaeda, it is seemingly not the primary focus of the book nor does it serve as a particularly suitable metaphor, especially in light of the events that have transpired since the book was released. Despite the title of the book, Bergen does a fine job setting a backdrop to the organization and illustrating how it operates in an increasingly technologically intertwined world system, as well as outlining factors contributed by the West.
It seems there are few people on the planet who are as qualified as Peter Bergen to tackle as complex a task as explaining al-Qaeda to the masses. It is a feat he has clearly accomplished though, evidenced by the fact that the book became a New York Times best seller, was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2001 by The Washington Post, and has been translated into eighteen different languages. Bergen has traveled extensively through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to report on bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. In 1997 Bergen brought the Western world bin Laden's first television interview as a producer for CNN. It was in...
Holywar. How can the word holy be put together with the word war? In the Old Testament though, holywar is presented in such a good light. You were going to war for Yahweh’s command. Holywar was only engaged when Yahweh summons Israel to war. Holywar was initiated when something became a threat to Israel’s loyalty to Yahweh or something became dangerous to Israelites faith. War and killing was what seemed necessary to protect Israelites from swaying towards the Canaanite religion. Holywar was only used for conquests or for the defense of the holy land.
In Deuteronomy and the books of the period known as the Deuteronomistic History which includes Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st and 2nd Samuel, and 1st and 2nd Kings, we read about a conflict between the Israelites and Canaanites which leads to the Conquest of Canaan. Being a conquest, its justified to call it a holywar. It is described as “Yahweh’s battle’s” in 1st Samuel chapter 25, verse 28. Never in the Old Testament is it referred to as a “holywar.” Because the Canaanites were occupying the land known as the “promised land,” the land meant for gods chosen people, the Israelites, to live on, Yahweh...
Religious War in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Throughout history, humans have had a tough time accepting other cultures and ways of life foreign to their own. The human race is a brutal and uncompromising species and when people do not respect what they do not understand, they have tended to take matters into their own hands using Gods will as an excuse to exact war. The only means of justifying their hatred and misguided perceptions is to validate that God is on their side. When one reads the Torah, Bible or the Qur’an, they can ‘choose’ to see texts under a completely different light compared to the person right beside them. The words of all three sacred scripts can be twisted and be completely taken out of context to vindicate ones feelings towards other races, ethnicities and cultures. History has provided many examples of monotheistic religious war and conquering, from the day Joshua and his army brought down the walls of Jericho all the way to where the world finds itself now with war in the Middle East. This paper will set out to answer the question of whether or not the HolyWars that have taken place throughout history were sanctioned by God himself, or rather just the works of men who felt the need to take innocent lives to satisfy their own greed. In the words of American comedian Steve Allen “If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him...
...In the article “Drugs: America’s HolyWar,” Arthur Benavie speaks of the social problems that can arise with the use and supply of illicit and illegal drugs. He begins asking the reader, who’s the enemy in this war on drugs? I asked myself in the beginning if is it even realistic to assume there is an actual war on drugs. Benavie explains that society is constantly reminded of the harmful effects of certain drugs such as marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, codeine, valium, and narcotics. However, society forgets that there are people out there that take certain drugs for a reason. The drug scene causes many complaints within society as it’s seen as a cause of violence, diseases, corruption, social disorder, and an increase in crime rates. The drug war is probable as drugs are seen as also being sinful, disruptive, a threat to authority of parents and social order, as well as a danger to our economic system. In many instances, those that use drugs illegally are being punished worse than some rapists and murderers. Some of these criminals are also being treated as if they were a murderer. This article raises a lot of questions that some may or may not agree with. Personally, this article has left me confused and very frustrated with our legal systems.
Benavie understands why these drugs are prohibited but also asks the reader to question whether...
...• Students preferring other tastes like Snack food and Fast food which is a new problem for Kershaw.
• BSB, Inc., is facing threat from other competitors like Dunkin’ Donuts,Taco Bell and Pizza Hunt
CAUSES OF THE PROBLEM:-
• Low space in dormitories.
• Limited dishes of Pizzas.
• BSB. Inc., appointed Kershaw who worked before in Northeast, now she is Working in Southeast which took some time to manage the food services.
• Limited parking space for car lots.
• University is located away from the city.
• Student Union announced to start New food court.
• Kershaw decision to offer pizza only in the grill leads to increase in delivery time.
• Make pizza available in all floors so delivery time decreases.
• Increase the combination of Pizza’s
• Implement other food services like fast foods, snack foods etc.
• Challenging the off-campus food services with speed delivery and low price.
• Kershaw concentrated more on Students who have cars on campus, refrigerators or microwaves in their rooms and students consume outside food to bring changes in the menu.
• Sales decreased not only due to capacity problem and increase in delivering times but also due to core competitors.
• On-campus sales also decreased due to “Pizza Wars” off-campus and increase in specialty pizzas
...BLADE INC. CASE
1. What are the advantages Blades could gain from importing from and/or exporting to a foreign country such as Thailand? Ans: The advantages Blades could gain from importing from and/or exporting to Thailand could be Decrease their cost of goods sold, and increase Blades’ net income since rubber and plastic are cheaper when imported from a foreign country such as Thailand. Due to its superior production process Thai firms could not duplicate the high-quality production process, so establishing a subsidiary in Thailand would preserve blade sales before Thai competitors. Allow Blades to explore the option of exporting to Thailand by building relationships with some local suppliers. As far as exporting is concerned, Blades could become the first firm to seller roller Blades in Thailand. Diversify their investment by opening option to export to other countries beyond Thailand to ensure company sustainability.
2. What are some of the disadvantages Blades could face as a result of foreign trade in the short run? In the long run?
Ans: The disadvantages Blades could face as a result of foreign trade in the short run are: Exchange rate risk. Blades would be exposed to currency fluctuation in the Thai baht if importation cost increase without Thai suppliers adjusting their price. International economic condition; if Thailand’s economy undergoes recession, Blades would suffer from sales decrease in Thailand. In the long run, Blades should be...
...Is the war on terror a war that can be won?
‘Less than 12 hours after the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush pro- claimed the start of a global war on terror. Ever since, there has been a vigorous debate about how to win it.’1 However more than 12 years on there is still no indication of how close it is to being won and whether it can actually be won. In fact, many such as Jonathan Steele (journalist and international affairs author) suggests it is ‘A war that can never be won.’2 However, before we look at whether it can be won, it is important to look at the war’s goal(s). By doing so we can determine whether there can be an end point.
For America under George Bush the goal was to ‘defeat this evil, wherever it is found.’3 But this creates a problem. Would the end be the defeat, eradication of Al Qaeda and the Taliban wherever they are? Or was Bush suggesting the eradication of all terrorism, i.e. stopping any group from using terrorist techniques? It seems more obvious to accept the former, due to the fact America invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and the stance of much of the countries media is that when bin Laden dies ‘so too dies the “global war on terrorism.”’4 In this case America’s war on terror should’ve been won with removal of bin Laden, and the end of the Iraq war in 2011 but still in 2013 with Obama entering his second term, much of his focus was still on...
...WARS OF THE ROSES, a name given to a series of civil wars in England during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III. They were marked by a ferocity and brutality which are practically unknown in the history of English wars before and since.
The honest yeoman of Edward III's time had evolved into a professional soldier of fortune, and had been demoralized by the prolonged and dismal Hundred Years' War, at the close of which many thousands of ruffians, whose occupation had gone, had been let loose in England. At the same time the power of feudalism had become concentrated in the hands of a few great lords, who were wealthy enough and powerful enough to become king-makers. The disbanded mercenaries enlisted indifferently on either side, corrupting the ordinary feudal tenantry with the evil habits of the French wars, and pillaged the countryside, with accompaniments of murder and violence, wherever they went.
It is true that the sympathies of the people at large were to some extent enlisted: London and, generally, the trading towns being Yorkist, the country people, Lancastrian — a division of factions which roughly corresponded to that of the early part of the Great Rebellion, two centuries later, and similarly in a measure indicative of the opposition of hereditary loyalty and desire for sound and effective government. But there was this difference, that in the 15th century the feeling...