Many modern governments instigating wars against their neighbours or other countries often flood media outlets with songs of triumph and endless rhetoric about how necessary those wars really are. However, the loss brought on by these wars is further compounded by the absence of political achievement by instigators. The violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza thus epitomize the vanity of such wars in modern times. Indeed the public should not be fooled by endless calls for support by attacking governments because the result of this violence is clear for all to see.
The United States has now completed approximately nine years in Afghanistan since the commencement of military engagement there; however, many agree now more than ever before that the war has resulted in utter failure. Some of the reasons cited for entry of the country into this territory included elimination of terrorists in general, capturing Osama bin Laden and defeating the Taliban. However, recent polls carried out by CNN news in 2009 April show that only forty three percent of the public believe that the war in Afghanistan can actually lead to the capture of Osama. Worse still, only twenty seven percent of all Americans believe that the military action in Afghanistan will actually reduce terrorism as a worrying seventeen percent think that this war has actually expanded the terrorism cause. All this statistics indicate wide public discontent of the country’s ability to achieve what it had set out to do in Afghanistan. Although a war’s success or failure should not be measured by its popularity amongst the masses, an opinion poll is actually indicative of what analysts actually think of the war. Americans are a highly informed lot who rely on information obtained from experts in order to form and shape their opinions. The Afghan war was a grave mistake since it has not met any of its stated objectives.
The Gaza war also reinforces the fact that instigators of war rarely achieve the outcome for which they had started the war thus making it almost pointless to start it in the first place. All that was gained from the Gaza conflict is a myriad of losses in terms of lives, injuries and destructions. Through this war, Israel showed the rest of the world another side that many had previously not considered. It compromised international laws on conflict especially those set out by the United Nations. It also came off as an arrogant nation with little regard for moral law. In fact, support for Israel waned dramatically after its irresponsible actions in the Gaza war. All these negative assessments are made worse by the fact that no single political objective for Israel was achieved. First, the latter country had stated that it wanted to deter terrorist group Hamas. In fact, this was one of the reasons why it had initially received a lot of support from western nations. However, the latter objective was never achieved. Instead, Hamas was strengthened because of Israeli’s offensives. It is a known fact that religious based organizations such as Hamas tend to believe in endurance in the face of adversity and also in opposing one’s enemies even when one seems powerless before them. This terrorist group felt that they were being picked by a large giant that could not boast of religion or morals as part of their strong points. It should be noted that sometimes deterrence can be achieved in other wars such as the second Lebanon war. However, in the Gaza instance, Hamas never stropped ruling during the period of attacks against it; it still continues to do so presently. The latter war was therefore an exercise in futility.
Israel initially asserted that its desire was to eradicate or put an end to continual insecurity in the Gaza strip by halting Qassam rockets. Throughout the Gaza war, there was perpetual use of rockets and even Israeli defence officials themselves acknowledge that to date Hamas have about one thousand rockets within their possession thus indicating what a profound political failure this war was.
Israel kept claiming that the Gaza war would get to the root cause of attacks against it by putting an end to smuggling of ammunition. They believed, regardless of the futility of this stance, that connections between Egypt and the Gaza strip were the point of entry for ammunitions used for launching offensives against them. However, after all was said and done, it has been found that smuggling is still a persistent problem. Israel kept using scare tactics to get the public on its side affirming that the Gaza attacks were necessary in closing one of the major loopholes used by enemies of Israel. However, one need not strain to see just how misguided these actions were. First of all, smuggling as a way of arming Israel’s enemies is not an effective strategy since weapons of low quality are transported through such means and also because quantities transferred are quite minute. This objective was therefore highly misinformed and Israel paid the price for setting up such an invalid objective for the war; they are contending with a high state of insecurity in their quarters. But perhaps the latter country would have taken pride in itself if it had managed to meet this objective. Israel did not get to the root of attacks against it by stopping smuggling of ammunition as this problem is still prevalent today. Smuggling was a necessity owing to the fact that victims of the latter war were in need of food and major supplies and they needed an avenue to get it. However, in the process of doing so, weapons found their way in thus crushing the Israel’s illusion that the Gaza war had been a success.
Israel also wanted to strengthen capabilities of IDF after this war. However, at no point in time has this become such mirage. How could it achieve such an objective if it was staging an attack against an almost powerless enemy with poor funding and even poorer sources of ammunition? Indeed this war painted an image of a merciless IDF picking on parties that are not as strong and thus showing what a quasi war this conflict was because it had objectives that were far removed from the ground. The IDF did not strengthen itself and instead served to alienate Israel from the international community.
Another modern disaster is the war in Iraq. Entry into Iraq was justified by the US government on two major fronts; the first being to destroy terrorism in the former country and the second being to restore democracy in Iraq. The latter objective has raised several eyebrows since democracy was a mere smokescreen for the United States government which wanted to replace Saddam Hussein’s government with a US friendly one that would allow them to control oil resources in this richly endowed country. In other words, the real objective behind the US war in Iraq was to access oil and maximise profits for oil making companies. In other words, the well being of Iraqis took second place to corporate needs of the United States. Nonetheless, both stated and implied objectives of the US led war in Iraq have not achieved anything politically. First of all, the US wanted to replace Iraqi leaders with ‘democratic’ ones but doing so would alienate Iraqi people who must participate in their own elections. Additionally, spearheading political changes in the latter country is imperialistic of the US because it is demonstrating that it does not acknowledge the liberty and ability of the Iraqis to decide for themselves who should govern. From 2003 to date, the US has achieved minimal political mileage in this country. In fact, matters have gone from bad to worse. Terrorists who were divided and haphazard in their attacks now got a common cause after the US-Iraqi war. They now had a universal enemy to whom they could direct their pent up anger. Therefore, this war has not fought terrorism- it has actually contributed to its organisation and armament. Besides, the issue of democracy on Iraq is still a pipe dream. The country is laden with deep divisions between religious, communal, clan and ideological groups thus making it difficult for elections to be carried out in a free and fair manner. Even the unstated objective of controlling Iraqi oil resources by the US is now nothing but a mirage since Iraqis want nothing to do with the former mentioned country.
Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf war demonstrate that war brings death, destruction and hopelessness. Political objectives in all the latter struggles have not been realized with substantial evidence showing that they have in fact exacerbated the situations that led to initial attacks. Terrorism has been a commonly cited reason for these wars instigators’ but none of the involved governments have actually minimized that threat.
Summary And Critique Of Journal Article
The paper focuses on students’ learning habits when faced with temptation. The authors portray temptation as anything that would interfere with a student’s concentration levels while learning. Temptation distracts students and makes them stop pursing their activities. Therefore, researchers have implied that temptation hampers the process of learning. Adolescent students have a weakness in sciences, mathematics and languages. This is because adolescents view these subjects as extremely hard. It is therefore easier for the adolescents to be distracted when working on these subjects.
However, researchers have not addressed the question of how presence of temptation affects the actual learning process (Fries and Franziska, 2007). In this light, they formulated the study to tackle this problem. The general assumption to this research is that temptation lowers the motivation for the learning activity. This assumption was manipulated to test the psychological effects of temptation on the learning process. The authors tested how temptation to engage in other activities affected learning. In achieving their goals, they assumed that temptation acts in lowering a student’s motivation (Fries and Franziska, 2007).
Focus on the Article
Whenever learning is done in the presence of temptation, the student dismisses all the positive that can be derived from the learning process and opt for the alternative. The paper assumes that the more attractive the temptation is, the higher the opportunity cost. This means that students would opt for a fun activity even if it meant a drop in their grades. Therefore, an increase in temptation usually leads to a decrease in the learning process and intrinsic motivation to perform (Fries and Franziska, 2007).
The objective of the study was to analyze the how temptation influenced the learning process. The authors also wanted to know the conditions under which attractiveness turned to temptation. To achieve these objectives, the authors manipulated the alternative’s psychological presence. A sample of 77 student; 50 girls and 50 boys was chosen to assist in completing the process (Fries and Franziska, 2007). The authors divided the sample into four groups. The baseline group performed the attractive activities that were deemed as temptation first. The remaining three experimental groups were to perform the attractive task after completing learning task (Fries and Franziska, 2007).
The experiment was set to reflect the typical situation of a student who needs to study for school while other attractive activities are available. All participants had to perform two tasks: (a) read medical articles, and (b) evaluate different video clips. The reading task was meant to reflect a homework assignment while the video task was to be associated with leisure activities that represented temptation. In the experimental conditions, students were to perform the learning task first. This experimental scenario is similar to the situation of students who are doing their homework while a TV is in the room and who are planning to watch TV after finishing their homework (Fries and Franziska, 2007). The dependent variables in this experiment were intrinsic motivation, Motivation to perform well, and experience of motivational interference.
For the experiment to check the validity of the assumptions, students had to rate the tasks’ attractiveness on parallel items (Fries and Franziska, 2007). Results showed that students viewed watching video clips as the more attractive task than reading task (Fries and Franziska, 2007). On the test of how attractive alternatives interfered with learning task, the following results were obtained: An analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the experimental groups did not differ in respect to the task values that they attached to the learning task (Fries and Franziska, 2007). “However, there was a difference with respect to the task value attached to the video clip task.” (Fries and Franziska, 2007) The research supported the hypothesis in respect to motivation to perform well. The second objective was to determine the conditions that make the alternative to turn into temptation. The study found no statistically significant for the dependent motivational variables or for the dependent performance variables.
As expected, the results indicated that students who were learning in the presence of a temptation experienced a motivational conflict with negative consequences for their learning outcomes. The students were highly distracted when performing their duties. The opportunity costs acted as interference to the learning process. Using clues to direct the participants on the alternatives they were missing did not interfere with their motivation.
A Critique on the Study
The research was well planned. The authors clearly outlined the objectives of the study. Methods used to attain the objectives were outlined clearly. Moreover, the sample is properly defined. One can clearly identify the focus group as the adolescents. The analysis of data yielded relevant results that could be analyzed to provide the required information. In addition to this, the authors elaborated the results clearly in discussion.
However, the study is not without fault. The authors’ focus is on a single group of students; only the adolescents. This does not coincide with the topic of study that is a general topic. Therefore, in case the authors wanted to focus on the adolescents only, they should have clearly been outlined in the topic of study. Since the topic is general, the authors should have picked a sample that reflected the topic. This is because both the adolescents and the other groups of individuals are affected with temptation while studying. Therefore, the only way to portray this in the study would be by picking a sample that had diversity. The disregard of this factor in the topic of study makes the topic misleading to some extent.
A limitation to the study is the assumption that all the students are tempted with watching video clips. People have different interests and therefore the temptation that may affect one person may not affect the other person with equal intensity. The research may therefore have yielded false information. Each student reported the outcome of the research in relation to watching video clips. This cannot be used as a standard measure of temptation due to the difference in people’s attitudes and perception regarding temptation.
To improve the study the author has to do a preliminary research on the issues that each student considers a temptation. This should be used against each student to measure how the temptation actually affects his or her learning habits. If each student is provided with a condition that is actually a temptation then he or she is bound to show a certain character. Otherwise, the use of one item to reflect temptation for the whole group is wrong. Temptation ought to be something that will cause distraction if it cannot then it is not temptation. Nevertheless, this research has clearly addressed the problem of temptation in learning process. Future researcher may consider improving on the methods used to address the research questions. The researchers may also incorporate more quantitative analysis to enhance the analysis process.
Fries, S. Franziska, D. (2007). Learning in the Face of Temptation: The Case of Motivational Interference. The Journal of Experimental Education 76(1), 93-112
Information Ethics In Business Enterprises
The use of an information code of conduct in a company is becoming more and more necessary at present. Rapid technological advances in the area cause the increase in the importance of ethics in information technology. In response, many businesses are instituting policies to regulate employees’ use of company-owned technology and data. This essay aims to inspect several examples of such a system, describe their overarching themes, and provide suggestions on how information ethics can be further supported through both policy and personal behavior.
The primary reason why policies regulating technology use are necessary is misconduct, both existent and potential. Brooks (2010) describes a trend of IT employees performing actions they did not have authorization for, often knowingly, and outlines the possible hazards of the advances in information technology. The author uses that information as a foundation for her statement that all students should have ethics in the curriculum as a practical course, instead of a theoretical one or none at all.
Examples of IT Codes of Ethics
The first code of conduct reviewed in this essay belongs to the Kansas State University (“K-State”, n.d.). The specific rules outlined primarily concern the protection of data and reporting of unclear cases, as well as noncompliance, to one’s superior. The protection of data, in this case, means concealing all forms of data that may permit access to the system as well as limiting and protecting the information within that system. As the company in question is a university, there is also a rule preventing a user from accessing their academic data or the courses in which they are enrolled.
The second code of conduct (“Atlas World Group”, n.d.) belongs to the Atlas World Group, a moving and storage company. This code is stricter and more detailed, including restrictions on the manner of activity that may be performed on the system as well as the content which may be used in communications. However, the access policies are less strict than Kansas State University’s, with the employee not being expected to concern themselves with others’ account security. Another notable inclusion is the statement of the company’s right to access any data on the system, which declares the employee does not and cannot have any expectation of privacy in their use of the system.
After reading the two codes above, it becomes apparent that the only thing they have in common is the policy of access restriction and protection. Kansas State University employees are not explicitly forbidden from using the system to ends other than accessing the relevant data, but cannot copy, share, or alter it out of their duties. On the other hand, Atlas World Group employees are required to use the system for authorized business activities but do not have restrictions on what they can do with data that belongs to them.
As a manager, I would find it critical to implement a code of conduct for information systems used in a company. It would be necessary to restrict permitted actions explicitly and implement a monitoring system for activity. Every employee should be a subject to such surveillance, including management staff and company directors, and so I would act as a role model, perhaps making my activity logs semi-public. The company’s computer system should be used for the company’s purposes only, and, at present, most personal needs that require access to an information system can be satisfied with a portable personal device.
Advances in information technology make understanding of what can and should be down with it a critical issue. While many companies are implementing information technology policies, they are primarily concerned with access to login information and do not have a strong base, which results in significant omissions. Further research into the ethics of computer usage is necessary in order to form a set of rules and determine the tools which may be used to carry out and enforce those rules.
Atlas World Group, Inc. information systems code of conduct. (n.d.). Web.
Brooks, R. (2010). The development of a code of ethics: An online classroom approach to making connections between ethical foundation and the challenges presented by information technology. American Journal of Business Education, 3(10), 1–13.
K-State information technology employee code of ethics. (n.d.). Web.
Kansas, Technology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, Information system, Ethical codem, Information technology, Policy