Terrorism in the Webster's New American Dictionary is defined as "the systematic use of intense fear as a means of coercion." In this day and age, the term terrorism is more than just the use of intense fear as a means of coercion but includes the use of terrorism as a means of revenge and pure sport and also as a means of suppression. While the dictionaries definitions says that it is the use coercion to promote certain ideologies, some of the most cleverly hidden terrorism today is the terrorism used to suppress some ideologies or certain ethnic groups or societies. The popular image of terrorism is of extremist groups trying to rebel or promote their ideologies by blowing up airplanes, buses, government buildings, or taking hostages. By defining terrorism thoroughly, we can begin to look at what terrorism is really about. The use of terror is usually a tool to promote ideologies according to the dictionary but what about the use of terror for revenge? After the Serb withdrawal from Kosovo this past month, there was a rash of terrorist acts committed by Albanians against Serbs. The Serb civilian population of Kosovo was not a threat to the Albanians but the violence against them was not one of coercion but of revenge. The hostage crisis at the American embassy in Teheran twenty years ago was another example of terrorism based on revenge. While that incident involved the political theme of the revolution in Iran and the authorities used it to promote their Islamic ideology, those that carried out the hostage crisis took over the embassy in a fit of rage and under the euphoria of anger against anything American. They had already achieved their goal, which was to rid the American backed Shah who ruled the country with terror; the hostage crisis was merely an outburst of revenge against the west. Terrorism is not just coercion, but it also revenge. The use of terror to punish the victim and remind them of what the...
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