Saturday, October 19, 2019

Has terrorism ever succeeded in changing political reality Essay

Has terrorism ever succeeded in changing political reality - Essay Example To those subjected to that terror under the blade of the guillotine or through other, slower methods of torture, that was a rather dubious honor. The paradox remains today in any attempt to discover whether or not terrorism has achieved its political ends. Webster’s dictionary defines â€Å"terrorism† as â€Å"the use of terror and intimidation to gain one’s political objectives† (Websters, 1995). This is a fairly rational and non-judgmental definition of the word, and perhaps because of the objectivity of the statement, virtually every country in the world could be said to have used â€Å"terrorism† as a tactic many times. Every war uses terrorism on a massive scale according to this definition. Those people that are defined as â€Å"terrorists† today just happen to be rather ineffective in their killing methods (compared to sovereign countries) and have a purer political ideology than most of them. Al Quaeda killed around 3000 people on 9/11/2001, the Madrid bombers killed 192 people on 3/11/2004 and the London bombers killed 52 on 7/7/2005 (White, 2005). These figures would have been laughably small for any of the countries that deliberately bombed one another’s civilian populations in WWII. The German, American, Japanese and British authorities would have had severe questions for any bombing mission that came back with these paltry numbers. By way of comparison, more than the total 9/11 deaths die every month on American roads. So neither the method of killing, nor the numbers seem to suggest that â€Å"terrorist† is an easily definable word. This situation is complicated by the fact that all terrorist crimes would be crimes whether one precedes the word with terrorist or not. Killing another human being without justification is a criminal offence in Britain (Homicide Act, 1977), and so is attempting to kill them or to cause injury to them. The question that needs to be asked when dealing with

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