Terrorism

Terrorism by nature is difficult to define. Acts of terrorism conjure emotional
responses in the victims as well as in the practitioners. No two writers agree
on what is terrorism. Even the U.S. government cannot agree on one single
definition. The old adage, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom
fighter” is still alive and well today (“Terrorism Research Center:
Definitions” 1). Although many people believe that terrorism is evil, it is
merely misunderstood because there is no set definition. Terrorist are
responsible to most of the freedom movements in every country. Terrorist have
used violence to get their point across to the public. These acts are often
necessary for the success of the movement or cause. The use of this violence can
be justified in several ways. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some
eggs has been used by terrorist to describe their actions. Terrorism has been
used by governments and against them. It has been used as part of a campaign by
guerrillas who have widespread support and by small groups. Terrorism has been
used in societies where grievances can be expressed freely and where free speech
is suppressed. In a well organized guerrilla campaign, for example, the main
goal might be to destroy the governments military forces. The violence is
limited to acts which will achieve that objective. This might be destroying a
factory which is making arms, or putting out of action part of the government
army, or bombing an airfield so that it cannot be used by government aircraft.


In some cases, the use of terrorism appears to be a reaction to the
disintegration of law and order. A stable society has normally evolved peaceful
ways of keeping order and handling disputes between its members without
violence. Once law and order breaks down, as they do in civil wars, members of
society have to defend themselves in different ways. There may be in a situation
where government forces are using terrorism and guerrilla forces the same
methods in return. Other groups in society start using violence to defend this
right and so a climate of terror emerges. What little law and order remains is
maintained solely by the strongest groups using fear (Freeman 43). Terrorism has
been used by groups of the right in an attempt to uphold the established system.

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In Northern Ireland Protestant extremist groups have used terrorism against
those fighting for a united Ireland. There have been similar groups in Italy and
Latin America Fighting for the return to more authoritarian and conservative
forms of government. There are many different kinds of terrorism, this makes
defining the word difficult. Guerrilla warfare is used in most revolutions and
is a form of terrorism, whether it is indiscriminate terrorism (example: the
bombing of a public places) or terrorism aimed only upon the government.


Terrorism can also be used by a government to control its people. War between
countries is a place were terrorism is used immensely in order to strike fear
into an enemy (The Encyclopedia America 523). Terrorism is often a weapon of
last resort. Most revolutions began as guerrilla terrorism. The American
Revolution started out as terrorist acts against England. The “Boston Tea
Party” is a prime example of terrorism. Colonial revolutionaries sneaked
aboard an English Tea Merchant Ships, where they threw hundreds if not thousands
of dollars worth of tea into the Atlantic Ocean. Americans today think of that
incident as a stride to freedom, but the English look at it as the beginning of
countless terrorist acts. The Law and Order Maintenance Act of 1962 in Rhodesia
(now Zimbabwe) included among its definitions of terrorist as anyone who went on
strike if an essential service was put at risk as a result. These strikes led to
the revolution of the Zimbabwe people from the Rhodesia (English) government
(Freeman 21). In South Africa, the burning of the Identification cards and the
bombing of several military bases by the A.N.C. (African National Congress) was
the beginning of an independence movement against the Afrikaners. Terrorism is
often the start of a revolution that makes the country and even the world a
better place. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) would argue that they too are
fighting a colonial government, the British government, which is continuing to
occupy part of Ireland (Freeman 41). One of the most important duties of any
government is to maintain law and order. It usually does this through a system
of laws which are enforced by a police force (“Terrorism Research Center:
Information Terrorism” 3). In democratic countries, these

Terrorism

Terrorism Never Affected Anyone Until The ‘Attack on America’
This is an announcement to all people within the boundaries of North America. Terror affects us all every day, not only the days when it is within our grasp of reality. The population of North America has never really taken into consideration that terrorist acts are important or even matter to their people. Why? Well that answer is simple. Anything that isn’t in our immediate scope of view is looked at in a fairy tale way. The American embassy bombings that seem to happen every year aren’t looked upon as important by the people of that country. Why should the world superpower’s people care if their country’s symbols are being annihilated almost annually? Terrorist acts must be one of the most cruel, cowardly, and overall selfish acts that can be inflicted on a group of people. This is underlined by the kind of people who wreak this havoc on innocent communities around the world every day. These fellow humans, who cause these terrible acts, are part of the most important problem facing the world today.

People die from many different causes every year. This is a known fact, but how many people are killed by acts that are so selfish and cowardly that they can only be characterized by one statement: Terror? The answer to that depends on how you would define terror. For example the ‘Attack on America’, claimed what is estimated to be over six thousand people. This attack was targeted on major political and economic epicenters in the U.S. The World Trade Center towers were both demolished by planes flying into them. The Pentagon was damaged to a point where the fires were burning for days after. I am sure that the attack took in well over six thousand people. This atrocity took the population of the U.S. and the World in its path. The amount of people who it affected is incalculable. The people’s families who were affected by death are the immediate people who were affected. Next were the hundreds of millions of people populating the United States, and lastly were the billions who watched on television around the world. This was a huge blow to not only the U.S. but also to the populous of earth. This attack didn’t attack only lives but it attacked the very basis of being free. The innocent people who were killed were in America because it was the ‘land of the free’. This is a world-wide fact, and we are all thinking if the Americans aren’t safe than who is? The repercussions of this didn’t just affect people but also the commerce of the world.

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When the American stock markets reopened the Monday after the attack the week before, as the other world markets had foretold, the American stock market dived reaching lows of such magnitude that the depression was the only time that rivaled the lows on the Dow Jones that week. The repercussions of this tragedy kept on piling and piling up. The people who felt the hit the worst were the workers in the business of commercial air travel. United Airlines alone layed off twelve thousand people and cancelled flight all across North America. This was not the only change that will be happening. We as consumers and people who fly are going to be slowed down to a crawl at airports with new security measures and procedures, but we will not have the flights we want and might have to be layed over to catch a connecting flight which means more wasted time for us. This shows that we all are affected in commercial travel and commerce by this calamity.

The signs were all there, threats, previous attacks on American embassy’s, and a general lax way of getting into the United States. It seems that terrorism had taken a backburner position. Aside from the Holy War attacks in Israel and Palestine that are pretty much daily occurrences terrorist acts have not been that important to people. Some would call the recent attack that took the lives of an estimated six thousand an overflow point. In all seriousness, depending on the reactions and retaliations by different sides there could be a full-fledged world war brewing. At the surface it seems harmless. The Americans are trying to keep their livelihood intact by paying strict attention to the number one suspect Osama bin Laden.
When the name bin Laden comes to mind you think of him as a terrorist with major financial backing. This analysis is very true but he represents terrorism itself. He hates the ‘Land of the Free’ and is willing to admit that. The amounts of people who are like bin Laden are definitely numerous. If a coalition were to be had by the different America haters around the world no amount of military pressure could deflate these people without blowing up into a world war. The problem with terrorists is that they are not part of specific solid states. They are usually extremists who scatter themselves to various locales as to not be found. There has also been worries that States who do not like the U.S. have shown interest in backing anyone who wants to challenge the ‘Home of the Brave’. Specifically Saddam Hussein who has been quoted as saying to the American government “Use your intelligence and not your force or you might be sorry!” This implies that Saddam might just have some plans of his own when it comes to military involvement with the U.S. and bin Laden.

The people of Earth have to realize that in these times anything is possible when a war can be started by just the push of a button. When people are capable of doing such things any number of situations could occur and we need to as a planet recognize this a put aside religious and political differences before we are all experiencing our own nuclear winter. We also have to recognize that although the horrible event that took place on September 11, 2001 does not just concern the people who lost loved ones and lives. We mourn for them all. We must see that that one terrorist act has affected the way most people live on this earth, in commerce, travel, and most of all in our minds. We are scared, there is no way that we couldn’t be.
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