Globalization is “a set of processes that leads to the integration of economic, cultural, political, and social systems across geographical boundaries” (Quist-Adade, 2011). My prior knowledge of this concept was very minimal and basic. I have learned about how certain things, such as technology, are globalized, but never how the actual globalization has affected society. Prior to this coarse, I had always assumed that globalization had a positive effect on society, but this preconceived notion has been shattered. Globalization is positive in the fact that it has brought the crimes that are committed against humanity to the forefront of the world, but in the same breath it has allowed crimes against humanity to proliferate. For example, human trafficking depends on globalization in order to thrive. The human trafficking organizations need to use the skills of other criminals from around the world in order to successfully traffic such large quantities of humans across borders. Globalization has also allowed terrorism to flourish in today’s society. Terrorist groups are able to recruit citizens from around the world from the comfort of their own home. They are able to broadcast their extremist messages globally to anyone who is willing to listen. A simple search on the Internet for Al Qaeda not only brings up websites against it, it brings up websites that they use to reach the masses, such as Twitter.
Although globalization can have a lot of negative effects on society it can also have many positive effects. It allows the detrimental issues in one part of the world be broadcast to all other countries. For example, when there is a natural disaster and one country, any capable and willing human being is able to come to its aid because the globalization of media brings the story of devastation to the rest the world. Globalization can also bring about social movements, such as anti-bullying. Although this social movement is primarily popular in North America, we will see in the future that globalization will allow it to cross the ocean to the other continents. Globalization has also allowed for the prosecution of those who commit crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court. Because globalization has allowed for social justice issues to be made public on a global level, society as a whole was able to come to an agreement that there had to be a way to convict those who perpetrated crimes against humanity. Globalization has also allowed people to connect on a daily basis regardless of where they are in the world using various means of technology. Globalization affects our daily lives without even being conscious of it. From the consumer products we use, the food we eat, and the cars we drive, globalization has allowed us to have these products, foods, and cars. The majority of my current knowledge of globalization has been from this course and I will apply it to future courses that I take. Globalization has its positive and negative effects, but I think the positive effects far outweigh the negative ones.
What question did the presentation by Deepa Kumar raise?
Deepa Kumar raised the question of how the media pervades the images of Muslim women being seen as victims who need rescuing.
How did Deepa Kumar answer this question?
Other countries see Muslim women as having no agency, having no way to act out on the world, but it is those other countries that caused this perception. Before the late 1980s, the student body at universities in the Middle East was 50% women, but once the Taliban came into power all of this change because they removed the majority of women’s rights. Against the recommendation of Muslim women, the United States decides invade Afghanistan and start a war. Their rationalization to the rest of the world is that they were going in to liberate the women, but they were the ones that put the Taliban government in charge that took away women’s rights. So essentially what they were doing was trying to fix a problem that they had caused in the first place. It is politically beneficial to single out Islam and to present a one dimensional view of Muslim countries. Instead of focusing on the war in the Middle East it puts the focus on Muslims. In addition by focusing on the violence against Muslim women, it takes the focus away from the violence against women in United States.
How does answer match our own ideas and experiences?
Before Deepa Kumar’s presentation, I truly believed that Muslim women were repressed and need to be liberated and saved. Deepa was correct in saying that the media puts forth a one-dimensional view of the issues because this is where I had obtained my knowledge of the issues from. I am grateful that I was able to hear Deepa’s presentation because I now have a more well-rounded knowledge of Muslim women.
Terrorism within Canadian borders has been minimal compared to other countries we have discussed in class. There have been some internal issues with the Québec separatist movements but the Air India bombing is the closest thing that Canada has experienced in regards to a significant terrorist attack. What has become very apparent is that Canadian terrorism has a lot to do with Canadian citizens becoming a part of terrorist groups abroad, our participation in aiding other countries that are affected by terrorism, or us allowing terrorists to easily come and go through our borders. In the presentation on Canadian terrorism, the presenters shed light on the fact that everything that is stated within this chapter is not necessarily true. There was a section in the chapter dedicated to Sikh terrorism and the separatist movement in state of Punjab. Unbeknownst to me, and probably the majority of my peers, these two issues are completely separate but the author, Jeremy Spindlove, presented them as being one issue. I find this very interesting because I do not see how these two issues in India have anything to do with Canada in the first place. Not only were Canadians not involved and either of these two issues, but the majority of Canadians probably did not even know about them. I do not know what the author was trying to gain buy putting this section in chapter but the illumination of the discrepancies within this chapter was eye-opening. With each subsequent chapter that I read, I have to second-guess what the author is presenting; is it the full truth or is it just their own version of the truth.
The use of child soldiers or child bombers by terrorist groups is becoming more and more frequent. Separatist groups in Pakistan have started using children to deliver bombs to their targeted locations. They prey on vulnerable and poor children that are more than willing to do their bidding for a small sum of money. The use of these children is a tactic that the terrorist groups have employed in order to avoid detection, but police are catching on to this ploy. They have now arrested a group of children, with an age range of 8 to 15 years old, that the United Baloch Army had employed to do their dirty work. Upon police questioning these children have admitted to dropping off in excess of a dozen packages containing bombs. I feel that this article has illuminated the fact that terrorist groups in other areas of the world other than Africa are manipulating children, but it does not offer any resolutions to this growing problem. I think that this article should have been more analytical instead of narrative in nature, but this is unreasonable to expect from a news article. There is no need for the reporter to dig deeper into the issue when the basic details will capture the readers’ eye. I believe that the use of children by terrorist groups is becoming globalized and the only way to circumvent it is to shed light on the issue and to criminally charge those responsible. The children do not have the mental capacity to fully understand the magnitude of their actions so criminally charging them does not resolve the issue. I know that the use of children during guerrilla warfare is a main staple, and human trafficking exacerbates that. Guerrilla warfare tends to occur in places that are poor or destitute, so when the terrorist groups offer to pay parents for their children, they are left with the choice of starving to death or selling their child to save the rest of their family. Terrorist groups know that the poor can be easily manipulated and they use this to their advantage. This is a global issue and we need to fight it on a global level, instead of pretending that it is a problem that happens over there.
Loretto Napoleoni describes how terrorism has its own economic system which is just like Western capitalism in her TED talk called “The intricate economics of terrorism”. There are three main points to the evolution of their economic system which starts with state-sponsored terrorism. The example she provided was the Cold War because during this time governments were fully funding terrorist groups to fight their battle by proxy. Following this there was the privatization of terrorism in which they gained independence from their sponsoring governments and started funding themselves via legal and illegal activities. The final step was the globalization of terrorism in which the groups were able to do business with each other and launder money through the same channels. A prime example of this is Al Qaeda as they are able to raise money and carry out attacks across borders. I feel like I have been enlightened because before watching this video I thought of terrorism as just being acts of violence, but when you break it down it is a business. I think it is an interesting way to think about terrorism and a possible doorway into destructing their organizations. If we are able to cut off the flow of money to them in every country (in a similar fashion the United States did with the Patriot Act), then maybe terrorism would cease to exist. I believe that terrorism can only succeed if they have the funds in order to do so, but unfortunately the majority of these funds come from numerous governments throughout the world. The simple cutting off these funds would be a reasonable solution, but it is not a rational one because political corruption is inevitable. The majority of the information provided by Loretto Napoleoni was completely new to me other than that terrorism has been globalized due to the utilization of legal and illegal avenues. It is not a matter of what I knew about the information provided in the video, but what I didn’t know.
What question did the video raise?
Jason McCue puts forth the notion that terrorism is a failed brand and the best way for us to fight it is to market against it. The alkalis heel of terrorism is the consumers themselves because they are the ones who buy into terrorism. If we market against them then there is no reason for the consumer to buy into their product.
How did the video answer this question?
We need to show that terrorism has more faults than benefits, such as that killing children as a means to their ends is not acceptable. We need to show that we are better than terrorists. Lastly we need to have the victims of terrorism speak out because they are our best tactic against terrorism. The victims of terrorism can be the ghosts that haunt terrorists. Jason McCue lists the ways that we can market against terrorism but he also gives some other tactics that we can use as well. We need to engage, educate, and have a dialogue in order to fight it. Physically engaging against terrorism is currently failing some maybe adding education and dialogue would help us succeed. We can also bring civil action against terrorists, which was successfully done in England.
How does the answer match our own ideas and experiences?
This notion of marketing against terrorism as if it is a consumer product is something that is not discussed as an actual resolution, but is extremely logical when you actually think about terrorism in terms of being a consumer product. Whenever two companies have competing products, they use marketing in order to prove that theirs is better; this same strategy could be applied to counteracting terrorism. Terrorism is such a horrible product that we could easily market our positive attributes and outline the numerous negative attributes that terrorism brings to society. Terrorists have adapted to current technology and use the media to put forth their message and it is time we take advantage of it too. Fighting terrorists with guns and explosives is not working so maybe it is time to try something new and outside the box.
The video that we watched in class called “Conquering Germany”, showed me a side of the war I had never been shown before. In elementary and high school we were taught about what happened during the war, but we never heard about what happened to the German population after the war. The video interviews former United States Army members that were sent to Germany in order to restore it after the complete devastation that was caused by Hitler and the 3rd Reich. There was no electricity, running water, or food supply. The majority of homes had been completely demolished and the citizens were essentially living on the streets. The occupiers constantly smelled the stench of dead bodies and encountered piles of bodies everywhere. More than 50 million people died during World War II and it is the most deadliest war noted in history. In addition to helping restore Germany to its former self, the United States Army was trying to capture as many Nazis as possible, but the majority of them committed suicide right after the war ended in order to avoid any consequences that may come to them due to their illegal actions. The most important segment of the video goes into how the occupiers were told by the American government that they should be fearful of Germans because all of them were potential problems. They were forbidden from fraternizing with any Germans. They were to avoid any sort of friendly conversation with them because they were the enemy. The easiest thing for them to do was just to blame all of the Germans for the genocide. As a consequence of what they were taught to believe, a lot of violence was directed towards Germans because they were seen as being the ones to blame for the devastation. The reason why the segment is so important is because it shows that the American government was being prejudice against an entire country because of the actions of a small portion of its population.