THE NEW TERRORISM: Politics of Violence by Jonathan Harris

THE NEW TERRORISM: Politics of Violence

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The Kidnappers--The Assassins--The Skyjackers--The Hostage Takers--The Bombers--The Bank Robbers: under these headings, Harris' first chapter recaps one incident of each; and the rest of the hook is a patchy report on the methods, weapons, funding, psychology, and possible deterrence of such headlined terrorist groups as the IRA, PLO, Red Brigades, and Weather Underground. ""The networks are spreading,"" warns Harris. ""The strangling fear and destruction they cause can be deadly to the world's peace."" He acknowledges reluctantly that the CIA has not been able to find evidence of Soviet control, and he refers repeatedly to terrorists on the left and right, but he is far more interested in those on the left; at times, the words ""terrorists"" and ""revolutionaries"" are used interchangeably. On the right, his interest is in such performers as the anti-Castro American Cubans' Omega 7; state terrorism in Latin America is mentioned in passing, but in case after case Harris would have readers believe that repressive regimes arose strictly in response to terrorism on the left. He offers short political histories of some of the conflicts, but these are so sketchy and selective as to be worse than useless. (In Uruguay, once more, it is the revolutionary Tupamaros who ""killed democracy""--presumably by being tortured and killed.) Much of this seems to come from Sterling's The Terror Network and Demaris' Brothers in Blood, both listed in the bibliography. The whole bibliography is revealing of Harris' limited perspective. Unreliable TV-level coverage.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1983
Publisher: Messner