For example, the US war in Iraq has different social and political reasons than the recent Hamas action against Israel. Yet, at the root of both actions is the fight for land or resources that each feels they are entitled to. The US is fighting for the right to the oil, and Hamas is fighting to regain control of what they perceive as their homeland.
Issues of ethnicity, religion, and ideology influence young disciples to commit violent acts, and they all contribute to the perpetuation of the violence, but it is not what brings them to the battle. Radical Islamic groups use religion merely to attract recruits (Rowley and Schneider, 2004, p.560). The US would be less concerned about a democratic or capitalistic Iraq, if the region did not have oil. Hamas would be less concerned about the religious practices of the Jews, if they did not threaten their ability to have a place to call home, and vice-versa. While religious, philosophical, and ideological platitudes are used by leaders to justify violence, the reason for war is the simply the pragmatism regarding the ownership of territory, land, and resources.
The Council on Foreign Relations defines Hamas as an organization whose primary purpose is to provide social services for the Palestinian people (Hamas, 2009). The group was formed to do charitable work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and did not become politically oriented until the Six Day War in 1967, when it began to coordinate political activities with the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza (Hamas, 2009). Since its first acts of violence in 1993, it has been perceived as a dangerous terrorist group, while obtaining political legitimacy through their recent election as a ruling party.
Hezbellah and Hamas have similar social roots, and share the goal of "promising the elimination of Israel from the map of the Middle East" (Rowley and Schneider, 2004, p.559). However, Hamas is an umbrella group for radical Sunni groups and Hezbollah is an organization comprised of Shiite groups. Many shadowy organizations claim the name of Islamic Jihad, and it has become synonymous with a movement, rather than an organization. However, it is an organization that was formed in the Gaza strip in 1981 that professes violence, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine (White, 2009, p.226).
None of these terrorist organizations present a direct threat to the United States. However, they seek recriminations against the US due to its economic and military support for Israel, which they view as a terrorist nation, as well as protecting Israel from UN sanctions. While negotiations imply an in-depth agreement that may be pre-mature at this point, it would be helpful to open a dialog with organizations such as Hamas and Hezbellah. It could put us on a road to future agreements with minimal risk.
3.) The Kurdish Conflict and the PKK:
The Kurds are an ethnically homogeneous group that has a common language and occupy a contiguous geographical area that includes parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. The PKK is the Kurdistan Workers Party, which was formed in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist organization (White, 2009, p.334). It has a terrorist arm that has the goal of creating