Can terrorism ever be justified?
Since the turn of the century, the postmodern world has seen increasing levels of political, cultural, military and socio-economic tumult, much of this due to a series of terrorist attacks on American soil and the resultant waging of Washington ’s “War on Terror”. Consequently, the nature of terrorism has come under intense media focus and is subject to immense debate, especially on its justification. Before engaging in such a debate one must first identify terrorism as an act of widespread violence, whether on the part of a state or individual, against another state or society, with the ultimate goal of forcing the latter party to cede to the formers demands – be they political or socio-economic. With such a definition in place we find that terrorism is indeed unacceptable in a vast majority of occurrences. But we cannot be entirely certain that that is the case for a few but highly controversial situations. In its entirety, though I would tend to agree with the statement I must also state that it is too complex to be offered a clear-cut response. From the perspective of a humanitarian, terrorism is completely abhorrent and totally unacceptable no matter the opinion of the terrorists themselves. All areas of terrorism in recent years have been manifested in the form of the taking of innocent lives – lives that had little to do with the terrorist’s main cause. From the attacks on New York City in 2001 to the spate of car bombings in Moscow to the insurrections of the Southern Philippines, almost all terror attacks have caused the death of thousands of innocent bystanders, wanton destruction of private property, and incredible distress and pressure brought upon those who had the misfortune of seeing their loved ones being threatened with decapitation on news channels. It is through this argument that we as a “moral” global people condemn terrorism and its perpetrators no matter what their cause is. They as human beings are simply...
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