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GP ESSAYS.can Terrorism Ever Be Justified

GP ESSAYS.can Terrorism Ever Be Justified

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Published by: bidhan078 on Jan 18, 2010
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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 andthe resultant waging of Washington 's “War on Terror”. Consequently, the nature of terrorism has comeunder intense media focus and is subject to immense debate, especially on its justification. Beforeengaging in such a debate one must first identify terrorism as an act of widespread violence, whether onthe part of a state or individual, against another state or society, with the ultimate goal of forcing thelatter party to cede to the formers demands – be they political or socio-economic. With such a definitionin place we find that terrorism is indeed unacceptable in a vast majority of occurrences. But we cannotbe entirely certain that that is the case for a few but highly controversial situations. In its entirety, thoughI would tend to agree with the statement I must also state that it is too complex to be offered a clear-cutresponse. From the perspective of a humanitarian, terrorism is completely abhorrent and totally unacceptable nomatter the opinion of the terrorists themselves. All areas of terrorism in recent years have beenmanifested in the form of the taking of innocent lives – lives that had little to do with the terrorist's maincause. From the attacks on New York City in 2001 to the spate of car bombings in Moscow to theinsurrections of the Southern Philippines, almost all terror attacks have caused the death of thousandsof innocent bystanders, wanton destruction of private property, and incredible distress and pressurebrought upon those who had the misfortune of seeing their loved ones being threatened withdecapitation on news channels. It is through this argument that we as a “moral” global people condemnterrorism and its perpetrators no matter what their cause is. They as human beings are simply barred bythe laws of humanity from inflicting such atrocities upon the lives of those who had nothing to do withtheir past hurts and grievances.Indeed, terrorism is essentially a magnification of previous injustice. While terrorists such as theimpoverished minions of Al Qaeda or Abu Sayaff feel that their lives have been cheated by the bigAmerican Satan, what they do to take the lives of civilians elsewhere is, in fact, even more satanic thanthe policy makers in the White House refusing to end economic aid to developing countries.Apart from criticizing terrorism by measuring it according to the standard of universal human values of  justice, we as a community of nations must also condemn it according to international law. State-sponsored terrorism is no different from the terrorism of a fanatical private individual and hence must
also be stopped. And this is extremely important because state-sponsored terrorism is easier to identifyand curb, it also makes the nation-perpetrator extremely illegitimate because it violates internationallaw in the most despicable of manners, show's the leaders of their nation as callous brutes, and thusdegrades the international reputation of that country. For example, Muammar Gaddafi's sanctioning of civilian airplane bombings over Lockerbie , Scotland in 1986 gave him the international image of amadman and turned Libya into a pariah nation even until today. For the sake of protecting nationaldignity, each and every member of the international community must never see terrorism as acceptable.Finally, terrorism as a solution to one party's problems must be rejected because it is extremelyineffective in the long run. Though seemingly inhumane for its lack of human rights consideration, thisargument is built on unshakable logic and is exemplified by recent events. Palestinians regularly donbomb-jackets and detonate themselves in Israeli cafes and buses in order to secure a future for theirPalestinian homeland. What they have succeeded in achieving to date is an ever increasing rate of Israelimilitary incursions into refugee camps, helicopter muscle strikes on their key leadership such as theYassin assassination earlier this year, and increasing international unwillingness to broker a peace dealthat may well guarantee the very Palestinian security which they died for in the first place. In short,violence only begets more violence, nothing else, hence making terror totally unreliable as a means toan end.But, as with all controversies, the issue of terrorism has spawned a large number of devil's advocates,and hence a member of arguments that terror is “acceptable” because it is “a natural consequence” of the actions of one nation upon others. Though highly repugnant to the humanitarians, these argumentsdo make for a convincing, if controversial, case.Terror must be accepted as the inevitable outcome of the damning legacy of colonialism that the Firstworld has left on the Third, which was further exacerbated by Cold War machinations and power plans.Since the last century the vast majority of African, Arab, and Asian states have suffered under periods of debilitating colonial rule, and we find that the majority of terrorists have come from such impoverishednations. But their plight was forged into a cause for violence because of the First world 's action In theCold War. When we examine the methodology, tactics and weaponry of the international terrororganizations, we find that they in fact had their origins in the First world! American and Soviet Cold Warera weapons are the mainstay of Al Qaeda's and Abu Sayaff's arsenals, and CIA training doctrines inAfghanistan have had a massive impact in shaping the methods of infiltration carried out by Al-Qaeda'scells. But more importantly, it was the actions of the United States in leaving Afghanistan to languish in
poverty in 1987 after the Soviet Union withdrew that brought an incredible sense of bitterness andresentment upon many a mujaheedin fighter, most notably a certain Osama bin laden. By taking themacro point of view we find that the terrorism of today is but a natural consequence of the plans thatwere set in motion a couple of decades ago by the world's most powerful countries.In addition, we must accept terror even though we do not condone it because it is also a naturaloutcome of severe desperation and bitterness of the world's impoverished majority. By examining theroot causes of terror in the terrorists' own homelands, we find that their suffering in poverty and thattheir perceptions of the “unfairness” and moral decadence of Western capitalism have resulted in terrorbecause they have no other room to make their opinions heard. All the Arab states save one or twoexceptions are run by autocracies without the slightest hint of free media. This has given rise to entiresocieties that have no room to voice their opposition to American policy in Israel or Russian occupationsof Chechnya . And this is not limited to Arabian monarchies or theocracies. In Southern Thailand theMuslim peoples became increasingly bitter about their situation because of the lack of national focus ontheir plight. When two such powerful forces, one of government repression and the other of a people'sbitterness and envy and need to be seen and heard, collide, the resultant outcome can only be violencein the form of terrorism. One has only to look at the societies from which Al Qaeda's operatives, AbuSayaff's guerillas, Palestinian suicide-bombers, and even the Spanish Basque Separatists come from tosee the ongoing trend of desperation and need to be heard being put down by government repressionand international indifference. Terror must be an accepted outcome if we do not give ear to the needs of the poor.Finally, we cannot immediately condemn all violent actions in society as a form of terror. Terror to one isnot terror to another; this is clearly seen in the split of world opinion over the mounting Israeli-Palestinian crisis. The American government, heavily pressured by a powerful Zionist lobby, sees thePalestinian suicide bombers as callous terrorists whilst the Muslim world, as evidenced by Malaysia'sPrime Minister Doctor Mahathir's speeches, views them in the light of martyrs, sacrificing themselves forAllah and Palestine. In such a situation it is virtually impossible to objectively define what constitutes aterrorist and what does not. And even if we do say with conviction that such suicide bombers areterrorists, who are we to say they are unjustified in fighting they only way they know? The weight of suffering and mistreatment of the Palestinians by the Tel Aviv coalitions has grown almost unbearableover recent years. If the immense injustice the Palestinians have borne is not justification enough fortheir taking of innocent Israeli lives, then surely we can argue that the USA 's refusal to listen withunbiased hearing to their cause is. It is an plausible that the Palestinian suicide bomber does what hedoes because violence is the only thing that would make the rich Jewish businessmen in America sit up

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