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If terrorism ever justify - Essay Example

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Everyday, there is mention of terrorism. More sadly, it has become a constant fear and concern for people. It is easy enough to see the evil in terrorist acts however, there is a lot more behind it than there would be in comparison to other crimes. As Singh points out, since terrorism is a socio-politically driven, there are more possible motivations and agenda behind it (379-380)…
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Everyday, there is mention of terrorism. More sadly, it has become a constant fear and concern for people. It is easy enough to see the evil in terrorist acts however, there is a lot more behind it than there would be in comparison to other crimes. As Singh points out, since terrorism is a socio-politically driven, there are more possible motivations and agenda behind it (379-380). At the same time, it is also because of the same reason of the on-going debate regarding whether terrorism can be justified or not. Then, to be able to know whether terrorism can be justified, there is a need to understand the reasons behind it, how terrorism it works and at the end, evaluate this against its impact to society and individuals.
A review of key studies done regarding terrorism show that it is not an easy topic to discuss much less understand. They point out that terrorism has deep roots in socio-political issues and as such have a great range of motivations and objectives (Edwards). It is for the same reason that the debate on whether terrorism can be justified or not is hard to settle. In general, most materials have been very critical of terrorist acts, citing their indiscriminate and long-term impact. There are also common assumption about who terrorists are and who are against it. At the same time, Jenkins says that there is an assumption that terrorism is always subversive or against social institutions.
Singh points out that the radical ideas at the core of terrorism are not new or unique. It is considered as a valid military strategy and has been used successfully in many military campaigns among the world's greatest civilizations (377-379). At the same time, Jenkins points out that in consideration alone of the worldwide response to recent terrorist activities, there is no denying that it can be used against perceived abusers (71). In combination with the ideological system behind terrorist movements, then there seems to be a basis for the claim that terrorism can sometimes be justified by those who commit or support it.
But Chomsky and Barsamian in contrast say that one of the difficulties in readily accepting these assumptions is that they hide the some elements of terrorism and terrorist movements and ideologies. This has the effect of limiting understanding behind issues, resolution of conflicts and the strategies that can be developed against. In a letter published online with the Free Arab Voice, the sentiments of a suicide bomber allow readers to see how people are driven to terrorist activities (Al 'Arabi). Though the writer admits that the act will cost the lives of others, she points out that her actions were a desperate act against injustice and future greater loss. She also does not just justify the act but more, considers it a form of heroism for one's country.
As much as Al 'Arabi's provide justification for terrorist acts, I can not help but think of the causalities. Terrorist acts do not choose their victims and they do not respect reason from other's perspective. What is more troubling is the moment that one accepts terrorism to be justified, then one should also accept response against it as justified regardless if they are justified themselves. As Chomsky and Barsamian point out, everyone struggling to gain social or political power can become terrorists when they are able to justify their cause beyond common and public good or the rights and interest of others. Rather than real justifications, efforts to make valid terrorism are efforts for rationalization. Therefore, acts of terrorism may present justified arguments but one considers all other perspectives and interests, these arguments can not be accepted by everyone to meet the standards of justification and more importantly, justice.
Works Cited
Al 'Arabi, Hujayra. "Confessions of a Human Bomb from Palestine". Free Arab Voice, 8 July 2006. 1 August 2008. .
Chomsky, Noam and Barsamian, David. "America Is a Serious Terrorist Threat". Terrorism. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Edwards, Cliff. "Terrorism in the 20th Century". 2002. 1 August 2008. Jenkins, Brian Michael. "Does Terrorism Work". Mercury News, Vol. 3, 21 March 2004. p. 71.
Singh, Baljit. "An Overview of Terrorism", The Course of Ideas, 2nd edition, Jeanne Grunner and Ed Frankel ed. 1990, Harper Collins Publishing, New York. pp. 377-381 Read More
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