Jim Feldkamp - How Studying Terrorism History Changed My Outlook On Life.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Jim Feldkamp – How Studying Terrorism History Changed My Outlook On Life.

August 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) When I found out that one of my modules at George Mason university was going to include terrorism history, I must confess that I rolled my eyes, and planned to just power through and get it over with. I had absolutely no idea that this would be a module which completely changed my outlook on many things in life. It is fair to say that since the turn of the century, terrorism has been one of the most widely used words in the news, and it is an ideology which has defined a generation, especially since the seminal attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. This is not only an important model for young men and women to study, but it is one which altered my position on many things.

The Professor

Key to my change in outlook was the professor who took us for terrorism history, James Feldkamp. This is a meaty subject and one which could easily be found boring by students, but Jim Feldkamp is no ordinary professor and through his incredible ability to teach, to inspire and to motivate, he was able to make this module fascinating, exciting and thought-provoking in equal measure. James Feldkamp was certainly a key part of why I became so engaged with this topic.

No Right Answer

On the face of it terrorism is something which we would always deem as bad, brutal, violent and unnecessary, but once you start scratching beneath the surface, more and more questions are raised, and more truth becomes apparent. For example take the Cuban Revolution, it is often said that one man’s terrorist is another man’s revolutionary, and this was certainly the case with Guevara and Castro et al. Were they right to overthrow an oppressive government? Or did they just become a bigger part of the problem?I always felt that terrorism was easy to define but it really isn’t, which made me question a lot more about ‘what I thought I knew’.

Cause and Effect

Violent acts can of course never be condoned, but it is important that we look at the root cause people’s frustrations. For example take ISIL, they may claim that they are taking some kind of vengeance but as far as we can see they are following the words or manic leaders, who think that the world should be theirs, this is terrorism in its most basic form. However there are many terrorists who fight back against oppression after years of suffering, in this instance we see that if a government causes violence then it is considered justice, when the roles are reversed it is terrorism. We have also seen evidence of governments using terrorist organizations to carry out their dirty work. As you can see from these examples, it can be hard to know who to trust.

This is a tough subject to study but one which will open your eyes and make you question much more of what you see around you.

Staff Writer; Terry Shaw


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