Illuminating the Dark Arts of War: Terrorism, Sabotage and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict

By Greener, Beth | New Zealand International Review, March-April 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Illuminating the Dark Arts of War: Terrorism, Sabotage and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict


Greener, Beth, New Zealand International Review


ILLUMINATING THE DARK ARTS OF WAR: Terrorism, Sabotage and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict

Author: David Tucker

Published by: Continuum Press, New York, 2013, 271pp, US$32.95.

The first paragraph of Tucker's book provokes interest. He asks what should we think about a secretive religious minority living in the United States that is radicalised and willing to use violence? In the final sentence he points out that he was discussing Catholics in the 19th century, prompting embarrassment in those, like me, who leapt to the assumption that he was discussing radicalised Islamic sects in contemporary times. The paragraph also, however, prompts some uncertainty about the book and the solidity of some of these claims, as Tucker states that he will explore this case further but fails to do so.

The rest of the book continues on in a similarly slightly disconcerting but intriguing way. Tucker's text is a discussion of different aspects of violence: terrorism, sabotage and subversion. These are for the most part nicely defined, and, again for the most part, he seems to be putting forward a balanced view. For example, in discussing the possible threat of a weapons of mass destruction attack on the United States by a terrorist group, he downplays the hype. He notes that such groups would need to: be willing to attack the United States in an indiscriminate way; be willing to use weapons of mass destruction; and be able to do so. This is an important recognition of the difficulties such groups would meet, given the scaremongering that exists around this particular topic. He also suggests that evangelical Christianity might be just as much of a threat to the United States as radical Islam given how he defines threats to secular statehood--a controversial if interesting claim.

However, at times the balance of the view being brought across flays a little. For example Tucker relays a Cold War argument that 'Nazism and Communism were in principle the same. Nazism denied equality on the basis of race; Marxism on the basis of class'. This is not referenced, and a follow up sentence two pages later sees Tucker himself assert that there was a real threat of subversion from communists within the United States. The weakness here is that there is no real outlining as to why communism was subversive, no tackling of issues such as capitalism and different forms of democratic process. Given the helpful definitions provided elsewhere--for example, he does outline why radical Islamism is seen as subversive as it requires a doing away of the separation of politics and religion--this is an important oversight. This case also highlights another weakness of the book--additional referencing would provide weight of evidence for the claims made. Some literature also seems lacking. For example, Tucker discusses the idea of the 'new terrorism' but does not mention Walter Laqueur, nor is Laqueur in the bibliography--and Laqueur wrote The New Terrorism.

These issues aside, this is still a very interesting book, not in the least because it demonstrates that political violence has long been a feature of American life.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Illuminating the Dark Arts of War: Terrorism, Sabotage and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.