Psycho-political Aspects of Suicide Warriors, Terrorism, and Martyrdom: A Critical View from "both Sides" in Regard to Cause and Cure

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Charles C Thomas, 2008 - Political Science - 334 pages
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In this book there is no intention to bury or to praise suicide bombers. Instead, the text explores the controversy regarding the double standards, prejudice, and distortion with the concepts of "suicide bombers/warriors," "terrorism" and "martyrdom." Frequently, the "eyes of the beholders" and the political/religious orientation and loyalties to "one's tribe" color what someone perceives. For example, if you carry a bomb in your hand, you are called a terrorist, but if an F-16 carries bombs and kills civilians, the pilot could be labeled a war hero or freedom fighter. The contributors of this volume explore the controversial definitions of "war crimes" and "terrorism" from "both sides"; eventually declaring that although news and history are written by both the victor and the loser, the victor's media has more influence and dominance. Major motivational elements for suicide bombers are identified as: occupation/invasion of the homeland, psychic trauma and dissociation, religion, poverty, perceived injustice, shame and despair, rage and revenge, and cultural support. The contributors further explore state-sponsored terrorism, the limiting of civil liberties, and the psychological impact of war and terrorism on civilians, Israeli and Palestinian children, and western leaders. A psychological autopsy of suicide bombers and the uniqueness of female participants as well as the failure of counterterrorism are discussed. Research on the characteristics of "homegrown worriers and warriors" in the western Muslim population is presented. Finally, the inclusion of treatment methods of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy for traumatized victims of violence help give the reader a broad perspective of the future impact of this very complex topic.

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