International Terrorism in the Contemporary World

By Marius H. Livingston; Lee Bruce Kress et al. | Go to book overview

WILLIAM P YARBOROUGH

Terrorism—The Past As an Indicator of the Future

For reasons known only to the Creator, terrorism has been with mankind since the beginning. Our own American Declaration of Independence refers to the use of terror by King George III of Great Britain in these terms:

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

The deplorable conditions imposed by Great Britain on our American forebears seem almost wholesome when compared with the bloody chronicle spelled out carefully and painfully by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago. The odor of the truly evil base upon which the Soviet Union has been built rises from every page of Solzhenitsyn's epic work. Use of terror as a political instrument was a key element of Lenin's strategy for building the first Communist state. At Lenin's direction, the VECHEKA under Comrade Dzerzhinsky systematically brutalized the Russian public into accepting control by one Bolshevik out of every six hundred in the population of that time. As inhuman as the methods of the VECHEKA might have been, they were mild when compared with the scientific and sophisticated terror mechanisms which were brought into play by its successors: the OGPU (1922-34); the NKVD (1934-43); the NKGB (1943-46); the MGB (1946-53); the MVD (1953); and today's KGB. The tactics, techniques, philosophy, and inspiration for a major part of today's deliberate use of terror as a political weapon radiates from the carefully developed Soviet model. There is no indication on the horizon that Soviet political, military, and psychological power is on the wane. Thus the prospects for the continued flow of moral, physical, and conceptual assistance to terrorist activities inside the non-Communist states of the world are good.

Recent events on the continent of Africa illustrate the skillful orchestra-

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