Saturday, September 22, 2012

Writing a Critical Research Paper

How to Write a Critical Research Paper

Every student who wants to achieve good knowledge and high-quality professional skills has to learn to prepare successful critical research papers on different topics. Writing a critical research paper does not always mean that you have to compare several problems, cases, events, movies, books, but present your own personal critical idea concerning the given topic. Researching the topic, you are expected to argue or support the ideas, suggestions of the scholars who have investigated this topic before and draw your own conclusions which illustrate your knowledge, critical thinking ability and analytical skills. Of course, students have difficulties with critical paper writing, so you are welcome to take advantage of the professional critical research paper writing guidelines which will make your writing process a bit easier.

Critical Research Paper Writing Tips:
  1. Starting conducting a research, read as much as possible about the topic, its problem. Find several different scholars who have analyzed this topic and study their conclusions. It is possible that they have drawn different conclusions, but remember that much work has been done to achieve these results. Reading the ideas of the scholars, remember that they have worked out many sources to provide you with reliable evidence on the topic. On the other hand, it is possible that these scholars have provided you with their own personal ideas and attitude towards the problem, so take it into consideration.
  2. When you gather enough information concerning the topic, try to produce your own ideas and attitude towards it. It is positive if you select facts, cases, events from the real life, your experience and connect them with the topic. Try to contrast your thoughts with the ideas of the specialists, experts in this topic and support your suggestions with the reliable evidence.
  3. When you write a critical research paper, remember about the structure of the whole paper. Comparing the results of the scholars, try to arrange your writing carefully, devoting a separate paragraph to every new point under discussion. When you build your paper logically, it will look well-analyzed, easy for understanding and valuable. Besides, always provide pros and cons to every point under research to analyze the problem from all sides.
  4. Using the ideas of the famous scholars, do not forget to cite their expressions, because your work will look like a stream of thoughts of the omniscient first person. Concluding the critical research paper, summarize the general points under investigation and write what you have achieved with your research, what problems have been solved and on the other hand, what problems arose and need extra research. Remember that a critical research must not be a great dissertation but a brief analysis of the given topic, comparison of different points of view and experience to present your own ideas objectively.
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    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Essay on Parole and Probation

    Essay on Parole and Probation

    Nowadays there are a lot of different programs which aims at the fulfillment of probation and parole activities and prevention of crimes. But, before discussing them, it is necessary to underline that probation and parole are probably the most effective alternatives to incarceration.

    Community Based Corrections are nowadays the basis of parole and probation and the role of communities has increased significantly. As a result nowadays an offender has a chance to be controlled and supervised or even treated by a community and he does not need to remain in prison. However, the development of Community Based Corrections was quite a long and complicated process but nowadays it is considered to be efficient and one of the most perspective directions.

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    In general, Community Based Corrections programs have a number of tools, which contribute to the change of offender’s antisocial behavior. As a rule it is highly recommended to use several tools in a combination that increases their effectiveness, while the use of only one tool may be ineffective. On analyzing community correction literature it is possible to find out that criminal sanctions without the delivery of correctional services does not work. What does work is the delivery of appropriate correctional services.

    Briefly it is possible to single out the following points of intervention, which produce a positive impact on offender’s behavior: 1) intensive services for high risk clients that utilizes a behavioral approach; 2) targeting criminal attitudes, beliefs, and values that support criminal behavior for change; 3) matching program interventions to the offender’s needs that means that treatment should be individualized rather than using a standardized, one-size-fits all approach; 4) enforcing program and behavioral requirements in a firm and fair manner; 5) utilizing positive role models; 6) providing relapse prevention programming to help clients resist reverting to criminal ways of thinking and behaving.

    In principle it is possible the overwhelming majority of the programs have something in common and are close to each other and as a rule the same officer handles both probation and parole cases. Probation allows convicted misdemeanants and felons to remain in the community under supervision while parole releases offenders from prison prior to the expiration of their sentences for supervision in the community. Traditionally offenders undergo classification assessment, case planning and referral to local treatment agencies while the main task of probation/parole officers is to maintain contact with their clients and monitor progress.

    Now it is necessary to dwell upon practical side of the question and analyze some examples of the programs that currently exist and it would help develop a new effective program.

    Firstly, a program, which is considered to be quite effective, is Drug Court. It is a pilot program in Polk County for non-violent felons and misdemeanants who are on probation and have been arrested on a new charges or have reported violation. Consequently, the program is mainly focused on offenders who have already committed crimes and it is possible to say that the program is limited since it can hardly be used for cases of ‘new criminals’ but still it does not make the program less effective for the cases of recidivism.

    The program is controlled by the Court. The clients participating in the program which lasts a year and aims at working out the abilities of clients to find jobs and stay sober. The program starts with up to 30 days of inpatient treatment, followed by a stay in a halfway house. At this respect it should be pointed out that the program combines both juridical and health aspects and permits its clients to be treated.

    Also it is necessary to underline that the execution of the program is thoroughly controlled and clients remain under a surveillance so that they have regular drug tests, wear electronic monitoring devices, etc. The Court monitors progress through non-adversarial periodical reviews in the courtroom. The judge hears reports from the probation supervisors, treatment staff, attorneys, and the client. If clients are successful they receive praise and recognition for progress. They also receive a kind of rewards in form of incentives of reduced probation length and elimination of fines and tickets while those who fail to change and continue to violate probation rules can be sent for jails for brief stays and placed in weekend work programs. Thus it is possible to say that the program successfully combines the principles of reward and punishment the latter is used in relation to those who break the rules while the former is used for those who succeeded in the program and what is particularly important is the participation of clients in work programs that teach them to live by their work and not crimes.

    Another effective program is the Youthful Offender Program. The program targets young offenders age 16 to 21 which have been charged with their first aggravated misdemeanor or felony in adult court. Obviously it limits the effectiveness of the program since it cannot be expanded on clients older than 21 but at the same time it prevents young people from committing mistakes in their adulthood when they are at the particularly harmful age.

    Nonetheless the Youth Offenders Program seems to be more effective than the previous one since it uses a variety of community resources to provide rehabilitation. It is designed to direct the young offender out of the criminal justice system through intervention. The program utilizes substance abuse evaluation and treatment, education, victim offender mediation, community service, mentoring, employment programs, gang awareness education, and case management supervision. What seems to be particularly important about the program is its educational component.

    Speaking about a new program, it should be a combination of the two mentioned above and absorb the best qualities of both programs. It means that it should be oriented on all categories of offenders, those who are young and commit their first crime and those who are recidivists. Furthermore, it should include educational component since many, even adult offenders are low-educated people, and often they are forced to commit crimes because they do not have any alternatives. At the same time, education should also be supported practical work, in other words offenders should realize that the education they get could really lead to a normal and better life. Finally, the program should be basically controlled by the community and not the court only. Hopefully, such program could be really effective.
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    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Essay on Lena and Beneatha Younger

    Essay on Lena and Beneatha Younger

    It is 1972. The Younger family lives in the Clybourne Park. They have acquired several friends among their neighbors. For the last fifteen years, much has changed. The Youngers struggled a lot to occupy a decent place in the white society, to prove others that African Americans are worth a better life. At last, they achieved their aim: they have their own large house and the whole family lives there.

    It took them much time and efforts to get on with the neighbors. When fifteen years ago they were offered money just to stay away and never even try to join the white society, they did not hesitated over the choice. They chose their cherished dream; they chose the aim they had been trying to achieve for so long time.

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    All members of the family are strong personalities with strict moral principles. Beneatha, an ambitious independent student, never thought of assimilating with white people and wished to move to Africa with her Nigerian boyfriend Asagai. She was searching for her identity and did not understand her mother’s desire to live among white people. However, after moving to the Clybourne Park, she realized that at the time her family needed her help as never before. She did not move to Africa but even persuaded Asagai to stay in America. Beneatha decided to prove her rights there and to make white people understand and normally accept African Americans. She finished her studies, found a good job and married Asagai.

    Walter, who comprehended at last the importance of the unity of the family and assisted his mother in the fulfillment of their dream, became a strong manly person. He learnt to think not only about himself but about his family as well. He does not argue about trifles any more, he learned to listen to other members of the family and co-operate with them while taking important decisions. His wife Ruth gave birth to a son and it made Walter more responsible and attentive to his family.

    Lena Younger’s life is at last calm. Despite different problems and dilemmas that all the members of her large family meet, Mama feels happy, because her dream has fulfilled. Her family moved up in the world at the cost of many sufferings and racial struggles, nevertheless they managed to prove white people, at least their neighbors, that they are not the lower class. However, some people do not even greet them, but they managed to find friends as well.

    For the past years, much has changed in the policy of the USA towards African Americans. The American Civil Rights Movement gained the diminution of the segregation and African Americans even began to play little roles in American politics.

    Thus, in fifteen years the Youngers changed their lives much, they have achieved their aims due to strong will and character. All the members of the Younger family appreciated the significance of each other and of the unity of the family. They fought against racial discrimination and they managed to make several steps toward their equality with others. Still, primarily they have shown us how important it is to gain your ends in spite of all obstacles.
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    Comparison Essay Sample

    Comparison Essay Sample

    In this paper I would like to compare Robert Coover’s “Briar Rose” with the other versions, which he used for his work, including “Sun, Moon and Thalia” by Giambattista Basile, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” by Charles Perrault and “Little Briar-Rose” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

    Robert Coover’s “Briar Rose” appears to be the post-modern adaptation variant of the fairy tale, in which emphasis is made upon certain parts of the tale, while particular events are simply omitted. His novella is mostly concentrated upon following subjects- the sleeping lady in the castle, the prince that tries to reach her from outside and Rose’s fairy companion with whom she spoke while asleep. His perspective is rather interesting as it opens new horizons of understanding this fairy-tale. I must say that tales by Basile, Perrault and Brothers Grimm also differ from each other, and in order to explore what part of the story Coover chooses to tell and the way he tells the story, it is necessary to investigate in the differences of primary “sources”.

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    Gianbattista Basile when telling the story of the Sleeping Beauty calls her Thalia. He is not very much concentrated upon her birth and how she had fallen asleep. He tells in details about her sleeping in the castle and relationships with king. Interesting thing, that king appeared to be married and he laid with Thalia when she was asleep. She gave birth to two little pretty children, who finally woke her up by mixing up nipples, which they wanted to suckle, with her fingers and they sucked so much that the splinter of flax came out and she woke up. So, king had no relation to the actual process of waking up. Then, it was problem with king’s wife, who wanted to eat children for dinner and kill Thalia, but she didn’t succeeded and finally king and Thalia lived long and happy life. This story seems very strange to tell children.

    In “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” by Charles Perrault appears a very old fairy that was not invited to the celebration of the birth and it was she who made a curse (in previous variant with Thalia, there were astrologers and wise men who composed horoscope and predicted such future). Then the story goes a bit the same, with the difference that prince married Rose and took her to his palace, where his mother Queen lived (by the time, father King was already dead). In the palace Rose also gave birth to two children- the daughter named Morning and the son named Day. When prince went out for some war, his mother decided to eat children and kill Rose. Finally, it was mother Queen who was killed and Rose, her children and prince lived long and happy life.

    “Little Brier-Rose” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm seems to be the shortened and the most peaceful version of this fairy tale, but also with some peculiarities. When king and queen had no children it was crab who predicted that queen would finally have a daughter. And as in the story of Perrault there was a fairy that was not invited to the celebration (by the way, the reason for not inviting was not that she was very old, but the quantity of golden plates that was only twelve) and she made the curse and as soon as the curse happened, everyone fall asleep immediately (and that was not a good fairy as in the story of Perrault who made everyone sleep so that when Rose woke up, she was not lonely and hopeless). Interesting note is that there were many princes who wanted to wake her up, but only the one had enough strength to do this. The story ends with no children and just prince and Brier-Rose living long and happy life. Brothers Grimm gave mercy upon their personages and left all bad feelings and passions back.

    Returning to the Coover’s interpretation, it is necessary to mention that author investigates deep in the matter of things. He introduces an idea of mixture of a reality and dreams, as readers are left confused about what is real and what is not in this tale. And the Sleeping Beauty herself cannot distinguish upon the reality and what she is imagining to herself in dreams. "She awakens to repeated awakenings as through trapped in some strange mechanism, and she longs to bring it to a standstill, to put an end once and for all to all disquiet, even if it means to sleep again and sleep a dreamless sleep" (Coover 78).

    Coover envisions the Sleeping Beauty as a metaphor that means that it is the symbol of inspiration and creative potential of every person, which is predominantly sleeping and had to be woken up by strong will and power. Prince outside the castle can be the symbol of that power, or he can be just an artist or writer who wants to reach and obtain inspiration to create masterpieces. At first he is very confident in his desire to reach the princess, but step-by-step he began to lose his faith. "Perhaps, he thinks with a shudder, I have not been chosen after all. Perhaps... Perhaps I am not the one" (Coover 22). The theme of self-identification is also present in the story, as when speaking with fairy companion, Rose often asks about who she is. "What am I? Why this curse of an endless stupor and its plague of kissing suitors?" (Coover 12).This circumstances were not dependant on her personal desire and she has no power to fix something, she has just to obey.

    Rose and her fairy companion when spending time together in her dreams are constantly retelling the story of the sleeping beauty. Rose is constantly arguing and claims that in real life the story of sleeping beauty cannot exist. “Rose is not amused by the story. It was nothing like that, she complains. What do you know about it you silly creature? demands the fairy. It is not easy, keeping this going for a hundred years, and she does not appreciate her charge's dismissive attitude. It just doesn't sound right, Rose says. Real stories aren't like that. Real princes aren't” (Coover 51).

    In the conclusion I would like mention that children and adults percept thing in a different way. Children see things as they are; adults are inclined to analysis and attempt to understand the meaning. Fairy-tales are primarily for children, I am for kind and happy ones without adulteries and murders.

    Coover in his novella revealed an unexpected side of the fairy-tale, which appeared to be very interesting not only for comparative analysis, but also for informational purposes.
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    Monday, September 3, 2012

    Osama bin Laden Research Paper

    Osama bin Laden Research Paper

    It goes without saying that George Bush and Osama bin Laden present absolutely different points of view on events and causes for the September 11th attacks and we can clearly see it from their speeches. They both can not analyze these events objectively because their nations’ security and interests are connected with these events. They both express position favorable for their countries and protect their people. The events of the 11th September are very tragic in the American history. Because of this terrorist act a number of buildings were destroyed and a lot of people killed.

    Osama Bin Laden in his speech, which is the response to Bush’s accuses, explains the roots and causes of such terrorist acts: “But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred” (Bin Laden, 2004).

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    America supported Israel and Israel with its help invaded Lebanon. During the invasion many of people were killed and the country was greatly destroyed: “I couldn’t forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy” (Bin Laden, 2004). This was the first sign for bin Laden and al-Qaida. Lebanon and Israeli conflict was open but no country intervened in its solution. Bin Laden and eastern people interpreted America’s position in this situation as an act of tyranny and oppression upon weak and helpless country.

    The leader of al-Qaida states that the idea to destroy American skyscrapers was born in his head when he saw destroyed towers of Lebanon: “And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children” (Bin Laden). Osama bin Laden accuses American government of anti-democratic actions and shows that the possible response could be also antidemocratic actions. Terrorist actions for eastern people are a kind of resistance. One of Bin Laden’s main rhetorical strategies is an attempt to put the burden of responsibility on America accusing it in the starting the conflict. He makes his best to show that Al-Qaida did nothing but only defended his country from the American terror.

    Bin Laden presents data about mass murders of millions of people in Iraq, where children and women, even not speaking about men, were cruelly killed. He emphasizes in his speech that Iraq is a strategic goal for America. He states that Iraq give the U.S. an access to oil and other outrages. This aim is hidden behind democratic logins. Bush wants to change the totalitarian regime into democratic one in Iraq but his actions do not prove his words.

    Bush calls Osama bin Laden and his followers “freedom-haters” and explains their terrorist attacks as aggressive actions towards democratic nations. Bin Laden states that his actions are not terrorist ones and his policy is oriented on the United States not accidentally: “If so, then let him explain to us why we don’t strike for example - Sweden? And we know that freedom-haters don’t possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 - may Allah have mercy on them” (Bin Laden). In Bin Laden’s eyes America is an oppressor of free states who are military as strong as the USA itself and so are not able to make a resistance.

    Osama Bin Laden tries to persuade people that the terrorist actions of his organization can be justified because they were just a response to the American policy. Terrorist actions can in no way be justified, they can be just explained. People can see that terrorism has a background and that country’s policy sometimes does not correspond to the interests of other counties and it can lead to such terrible consequences as terrorist acts. Bin Laden’s facts and arguments are exaggerated but, nevertheless, he names general roots of eastern people’s hatred. America, following democratic aims, often forgets about aims of other countries. Some states, especially if we speak about the Arabic world, are still not ready for the democratic regime and they are not able to accept such changes. Bush must take it into account taking any actions in this direction because the reaction of other states can be unpredictable and even tragic for the American society and the events of the September 11th are a bright example for it. Governmental policy must be carefully chosen and must take into consideration all the possible consequences of any actions in order not to endanger people’s lives.

    Osama Bin Laden uses a number of rhetorical strategies and that is why his speech is so convincing and makes people believe it. He turns around the facts so cunningly that they sound as real ones. Bin Laden characterizes his behaviour as the fight for freedom: “we fight because we are free men who don’t sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours” (Bin Laden, 2004). The main aim of his speech is to make people sympathetic to eastern people and interpret terrorist acts as protests against oppression.

    In his speech the leader of al-Qaida presents Bush and the American nation as anti-democratic invasors not giving evidence to support his position. He accuses Bush of hiding true facts about these tragic events: “Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred” (Bin Laden, 2004). He states that only he can tell people the real causes: “I shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider” (Bin Laden, 2004).

    He uses rhetorical questions: “Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism?” Such questions, which are oriented on human understanding and sympathy, help him to support his position and make it evident for other people. He also uses inaccurate figures presenting them as statistics, for example, the figure of victims in Iraq, although this information does not coincide with official data.

    Another distinctive feature of Bin Laden’s speech is its religious background. He refers to Allah all the time: “All Praise is due to Allah… Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah” (Bin Laden, 2004) emphasizing that everything is done in the name of Allah and by His authority.

    Osama Bin Laden is a master of rhetoric; he uses its strategies perfectly. His speech is oriented on common people, who have children and who care about their family. Hearing that thousands of innocent children and women died in Lebanon and Iraq people start sympathizing these people and supporting Osama Bin Laden. His speech is carefully thought-out and every word has its value. He uses inaccurate data and false argumentation in order to support his point of view. He uses only those facts that are appropriate for him. All in all, his speech, having a rational ground, is based on exaggerated facts that create in people’s minds false understanding of events. He accuses America in anti-democratic behaviour and justifies his own Al-Qaida’s terrorist actions in such a way. His speech is a bright example of persuasive rhetorical speech.

    At the beginning of his presidential campaign Bush promised to extend the level of Social Security in the country and continue American democratic mission in Iraq. Bush placed the emphasis on both social and economic spheres and international politics and at the same time he planed to perform a reform in education. President Bush focused his attention on education because it is the guarantee of the qualified and professional workers and economic growth of the country, as a result. “President Bush vowed to push a “reform agenda” for education in his second term that would extend his academic accountability program known as No Child Left Behind to the high school level and expand access to college by reforming the financial assistance system” (Tokaji, 2005). Bush was going to give every person a possibility to get an adequate education.

    His moderate speech quickly got new shades of meaning after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The answer to the events of September 11, 2001 was the so-called “War on terror” proclaimed by George W. Bush. The main aim of which was to unit huge number of people and stop acts of terror not just in the USA but all over the world. However, to exterminate the evil by another evil is impossible, and taking united aggressive actions against acts of terror can do noting. President Bush announced after the events of the September 11 about the terrorist attack: “on a scale that has created a state of armed conflict that requires the use of the United States Armed Forces. He also expressed an opinion that “there is a necessity in effective conduct of military operations and prevention of military attacks, which makes it possible to detain certain non-citizens and if necessary, to try them for violations of the laws of war and other applicable laws by military tribunals” (Elsea, 2001). All the attacks will be treated like the acts of war but not like criminal acts and react accordingly. Such a policy makes it possible to regard any attacks as a violation of the international law of war and gives the US an opportunity to prosecute “terrorists” through the special military commission without the federal court.

    As we can see Bush’s rhetoric is based on the attempts to make people afraid of terrorism. He uses different arguments in order to persuade people that people of Arabic world are dangerous. He confronts different nations and uses hatred and fear as a means to control the minds of people. Nowadays Bush is known as a very successful and effective orator. Before presidential election of 2004 many people had doubts in his ability to express his thoughts and, thus, present the country on the world arena. The situation had changed before the elections and nowadays Bush is one of the most effective orators of the world. Such a change in the attitude of media and wide public to the president can not be explained only by the improvement of his rhetoric skills. The growth of popularity of Bush can be explained by the successful choice of instruments to influence the minds of people. He uses loud names, blaming terrorism, such as ‘Enemies of freedom, “enemies of our nation”, “enemies of democracy”, etc. and these clich├ęs gradually become reflected in the minds of people. At the present moment for the Americans the word Arab became a synonym for the word “enemy”. Bush’s speeches contain a lot of such references. For example, “Enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country”, ‘Thousands of dangerous killers… are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs,” “The Taliban in Afghanistan. Absolutely. Repressive” and many other similar words are used as set expressions. Now such phrases presented in his speeches do not need any specifications. People understand that Bush speaks about terrorists and people also understand that Bush assumes that all Arabian population consists of terrorists only. Such generalizations have double effect. From the one side they are used to raise hatred to other nations and from the other side they create panics and provoke fear in people. People who are scared are easier to manipulate and Bush is perfectly aware of this fact. Unfortunately, fear becomes one of his main weapons and his speeches are created in such a way that this fear grows with the flow of time.

    In his speeches Bush puts much effort in order to justify American war actions all over the world. The threat of terrorism becomes an object of speculation. After the sad events of September 11, 2001 people became easier to influence and this fear is used by the government. Bush reminds people about the necessity to fight in order to save the democratic ideals and save their lives. Same as Bin Laden, Bush turns to blaming other part. All the time Bush underlines the necessity to “fight the enemy” and “defend our country”. He goes even further and using the fear and anger of people, he persuades them that the war will be lengthy. As he states, “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen” (Bush). His famous saying “Our nation is at war”, proclaimed after the tragedy of September 11 became the core statement, which explains the state policy. In the Congress session soon after the tragedy Bush proclaimed that “enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country”. Statements like this gradually persuade people in the necessity to fight the entire nation. From the other side nobody mentions that terrorists who committed an attack September 11 did not express the will of the entire country. From the historical and political courses we know that starting a war is a prerogative of the country. Since this does not happened with the U.S. the terrorist attack was used as a pretext to accuse the entire country.

    Rhetoric of fear and anger proves to be an effective one. It is hard to imagine that people will follow leader, who promises them war and fighting with other countries. On the other hand, this is the thing which happens in the U.S. at the present moment. People support Bush, who bases his rhetoric on the necessity of war. His speeches are combined is such a way that people do not doubt a threat of terrorism any more. They see it as a real threat and think only about the ways to fight it. It becomes even surprising that the entire nation is not only ready to participate in the war, but also agrees to live in the state of war for an uncertain time. As Bush proclaims, “Our war on terror… will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated” and also “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen” (Bush) and such calls seem to satisfy people. The reason of such obedience is fear. Constant mentioning about the threat of terror makes people eager to stop this threat in order to save their lives.

    Despite Bush and Bin Laden present fundamentally different social, political and philosophical systems, they use similar tools in their rhetoric. They blame other sides and create an atmosphere of fear and anger among their citizens. Both, Bush and Bin Laden insist that they possess the only true information on the subject and refer to other side only like “enemies”. As states Bruce Lincoln, Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago: “Both men construct a Manichaean struggle, where Sons of Light confront Sons of Darkness, and all must enlist on one side or another, without possibility of neutrality, hesitation, or middle ground” (Lincoln, 112). They make a division of the entire world into those, who support them and those, who stands against them. They both use fear as means to control the minds of people and make people follow their ideals.
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    Sunday, September 2, 2012

    Ethnicity Research Paper

    The Role of Ethnicity in the Stability of Iraq and Syria

    The modern society of Iraq is characterized by diversity, influence of the past history of injustice, and the degree to which the population is mobilized behind the national independence project. The after-war Iraq is not stable either political or economically and, despite of the efforts of global community and the United States in particular, the stabilization of the nation is hardly possible due to ethnicity. Even though Syria is a peaceful country, it currently experiences the same problems as Iraq. Syria and Iraq are both experiencing the ethnically based political confrontations and violent changes in control of the state. Their regimes are authoritarian and can be marked as ethnocracies. Authoritarian regimes are hard to displace as the Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq and Hafez Assad’s ruling in Syria suggest, while the diverse ethnicity contributes even more to the destabilization of the countries.

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    Iraq is characterized by deep diversity in ethnicity, religion, language, and nationality. The majority of ethnic populations are Arabs (75%), others are Kurds (15-20%), Turkomen (5%), etc. It is diverse religiously: Sunni (37%), Shi’a (60%), and even Christians (2%). Most of the Iraqis speak Arabic (80%), the rest speak Kurdishi. This ethnical diversity leads to destabilization of Iraq in terms of political, social, and economical development. Unlike the United States which are also very diverse, Iraqis ethnic groups are not willing to co-exist under one flag and be united into one country. Kurds view themselves as a separate national group and seek independence. National diversity poses the threat of secession and, as Margaret Moore has noted, the constitutional arrangements for post-invasion Iraq have to be include for all groups in Iraqi society.

    Ethnicity distorts the social stability in Iraq because of the brutal regime imposed by Baathists and genocidal repression of Shi’a Arabs in the south and Kurds in the north. Diverse ethnicity leads to the killing members of different ethnic groups, to serious bodily hard, and to inflictions of conditions of life. According to the estimates, Hussein’s repressive regime resulted in the murder of 300,000 of Kurdish and Shi’a rebels in 1991. Anfal campaign of 1988 was targeted at more than 40 villages with 182,000 being killed, blinded, and maimedii. The social and political repression of Kurd ethnic groups forced them to get mobilized behind the self-determination project. The recent elections in the Kurdish region of Iraq (January 2005) revealed that Kurds support their own independence and do not want to be referred to as Iraqis.

    The situation in Syria is different from Iraq and there is no extreme division among ethnic groups. The Syrian problem is rooted in minority-based authoritarian regime governing state-controlled economy as market orthodoxyiii. The ethnic tensions in Syria occur on political level and significantly slow down the economic development of the whole country. There are two segments in conflict: Alawi military officers who control political power through domination of security apparatuses and Sunni businessmen who possess economic power. As Glenn Robinson has noted, Syria is unique in terms of how ethnicity influences the political and economic stability of the countryiv.

    Sunni representatives seek greater political inclusion. Sunnis are demographically, economically, and historically dominating in Syria. Alawi constitute only 12% of the population and could not be able to regain the power in democratic regime. None of the groups is open for communication and the current lack of political and economic stability in Syria is directly related to the lack of understanding between two ethnic groups: Alawi and Sunni. According to Robinson, ethnic conflict in Syria is not historically rooted as in Iraq, but rather emerged in 1991 when the Syrian-Israeli question was transformed to a broader disputev.

    Similar to military operations in Syria, the in-depth understanding of the role played by ethnicity in stability of Iraq emerged during the Operation Iraqi Freedom led by the United States of America. Even though most of the Iraqis are Muslims, they are greatly fragmented along religions and ethnic lines of cleavage. Shiites were brutally suppressed by the Iraqi Sunnis for the most of their history, and Saddam Hussein intensified the oppression even morevi. Shia live mostly in the rural countryside and are less developed economically. For Shiites, the leadership should be hereditary and linked to the Prophet Muhammad. Sunni Arabs, being the minority ethnic group, were and are the ruling group on Iraq. They live in the center of the country and control the capital city, Baghdad. They support the idea of Sunni monarch governmental system and dominate the country’s political and economic life.

    Iraqi society is a “juxtaposition of the old and the new”vii. Even though the United States try to create the secular government on the national level and establish the modern structure of administrative districts, the ethnical differences and tensions minimize the positive results of all initiatives. The tribal system continues to play the key role in daily activities and most Iraqis do not associate themselves with the nation. Tribal rulers seek greater influence in local affairs and average citizens have not power to determine the political as well as economic development of the country.

    Returning to situation in Syria, historically, political leaders believed in collectivist state-run economy. For example, General Salah Jadid supported accommodation with the private section and expansion of the Baath party by allowing the direct participation of non-Baathist in governmentviii. Despite of the tight tensions between the ruling bourgeoisie and military leaders, both ethnic groups have a common vision however work separately to promote the political and economic stability in the country. Power struggles in November 1970 shifted the power over country’s affairs to military coup. Asad was elected president with 92% of votes. The vast majority of population supported Asad for his initiative to consolidate the state apparatus and liberalize the economyix.

    Thus, despite of the evident disputes between two ruling groups, ethnicity has minor impact on the overall stability in the Syria. The cooperation of both ethnic groups can be explained through idea that both military leaders and businessmen want to ensure stable economic growth. Asad created ubiquitous government consisting of the bureaucracy, political party, and standing military. The laws and stability in the country which were not supported by people were enforced by military. Just as forty years ago, today most of the governmental positions are filled through appointments rather than an election reflecting ethnic diversity. However Syria is more stable and economically developed compared to Iraq.

    As Daniel Conversi wrote, ethnicity is pre-politicalx. Culture and ethnicity cannot be viewed separately because they are intrinsically linked and reinforce each other. Both Syria and Iraq consist of the ethnically diverse groups with different cultural heritage. However, Iraqis are more aggressive towards diversity and lack any tolerance of differences. Population of Syria is more loyal in this perspective, while the problem is rooted in division of power. Only military leaders and rich businessmen are granted the right to decide on national questions and economic development while other social levels are not represented in government at all. Similar political instability characterizes the current situation in Iraq. The inability of Iraqis to create a working government resulted in invasion of the country and forced establishment of democratic government by western powers.

    Some theorists assume that lack of stability in Iraq is caused by fear, not ethnicity. As Ed Blanche wrote, every day Iraqis are dying in Saddam Hussein’s death camps, are tortured, and shipped back to their families in wooden coffins as a warning for those who oppose his regimexi. The country has numerous prisons, interrogation centers, and concentration camps. Western human rights organizations are aware of what is going on in Iraq, however, they prefer not to intervene for the reasons of political expediency. Even though the opinion of Ed Blanche can be understood in the light of September 11 events, there is little evidence to support the claim. If the Iraqis were afraid of death (which is not to be feared according to Islam), they would not oppose it as they have been doing for many years. Ethnical and ideological differences do have an influence on relationships among ethnically diverse groups as well as directly impacts the stability of Iraq.

    Syria and Iraq cannot be compared because the only two aspects common for both countries are Arabic language and nationalism. The United States of American was and will remain the role model for the rest of the world in terms of national stability built on cultural and ethnical diversity. Nevertheless, the Western model of government has failed to become a working tool in Iraq and Syria. Religion, ethnicity, and culture play central role in Syria and Iraq, their ethnical differences cannot be simply ignored. For many years, both Syria and Iraq were under oppression of Western power, and today, when both nations have an opportunity to rebuild their countries, the ethnic majority groups are fighting with each other over the authority to decide on national economic and political interests.

    In conclusion, ethnicity and ethnic difference have direct impact on political, social, and economic stability of the country. Iraq is very diverse in terms of ethnical groups and there are historical disputes among them. The cultural differences undermine all efforts to create a democratic government with equal representation of all groups. The stability in Iraq can be achieved if ethnic groups try to find mutual grounds of understanding. However, taking into account the aggressiveness and oppression supported with religious beliefs, it is hardly possible to stabilize the situation in Iraq. Syria, similar to Iraq, is also ethnically diverse; however, there is no aggressiveness towards each other. However, Syria is not stable as well, even though the problem is rooted not in ethnical differences but rather in historical division of power under which military representatives and businessmen hold authority over national economic and political questions.
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