Essay on Terrorism

Opinon Essay on Iraqi War-Global Studies

On March 3, 2004, the United States military invaded Iraq for the following reasons, an imminent threat brought on by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the tyrannical leadership of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s “homicidal dictator” and his threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The reasons for the occupancy of Iraq have been something that have been debated over again and again, and too often people are not properly informed to be debating on the topic, due to the bias media. However, the nation was still prepared to enter the costly “quagmire” of a conflict.

A country can go to war for several reasons. One may be simply because one country has been physically attacked by an other. Another is because another country is causing disturbance or bloodshed in that country. Or the country is being forced into submission by another by means of colonization. These are the only justifiable and moral reasons for going to war with another country. Iraqi’s were not the one’s who committed the terrorist acts against America; it is a known fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were hated enemies. Iraq caused no bloodshed in our country, and they caused no trouble in our country at all. If one looks at this in a broad spectrum, they might say the United States is the “bad guy” in the situation. They might also consider if the United States was interested in gaining control of Iraq’s oil business, the largest in the world. However, the main reason as of now is to bring democracy to a country filled with chaos and anarchy, also created by the United States.

In a 9th grade Global class at Glens Falls High School, a survey was done to see if the students thought the causes for the US to be in Iraq were justifiable. 23 students were asked this Yes or No question and there was a 100% negative response. From this survey, one can see the effects of media on the opinions of U.S citizens. When a person watches the news, it is infested with negativity towards the war in Iraq; they mention the loss of troops, a beheading of an innocent American, they mistakes that soldiers make every day to make Iraq the closest thing to Hell on earth.

My opinion is that the United States needs to gain an advantage over Iraq, such as large stock in the Iraqi oil company or more goods and use it to compromise with them, give them something they need and want. Bush’s plan is to establish democracy in the country and slowly remove the martial law he has planted. This is an easily breakable plan because he’s leaving the last bit of troops in without backup and they are vulnerable. The democracy may, like other governments, become corrupted by communism or terrorism or another crazed dictator with a uncompromising mind who will not bend or compromise to another countries desires. The right way of working this situation has yet to be seen by the United States government, or more importantly President Bush.

Overall, the view of the Iraqi conflict has become something nearly passé and negative to Americans due to the bias of what they hear and what they are seeing. The motives of the U.S government are questionable, and may not be known. Rest assured, Iraq may have posed some threat, but was that truly our motive. However, one can be certain that, good or bad, how ever costly, the Iraqi conflict has done some lasting influence on the Middle Eastern Realm. And not only and influence on the Middle East, but on the Homeland as well. The U.S also entered Iraq with homeland safety in their minds, and they have made the U.S a safer place to be, not necessarily unthreatened, but certainly more protected.

In the Army now. essay on current events on the iraq war and the draft

With the recent war in Iraq there has been of the United States government bringing back the military draft. This has caused many people to worry, even myself about the situation in Iraq. The war seems to be getting out of hand for the government to deal with if they are planning to bring back the draft. Then there is the fact that the United States has been losing more and more troops everyday, which could possibly lead to the draft being reinstated.

The United State military draft was discontinued in 1973, after the end of the Vietnam War, moving on to an all-volunteer force which we have today. The first draft was used by the Confederacy on 16 April 1862. Government officials plagued with manpower shortages regarded drafting as the only means of sustaining an effective army and hoped it would spur voluntary enlistments. (Conscription) Although that issue again arises with the depletion of the nation’s reserves with the recent activities in the Middle East. “There is no question that the force is stretched too thin,” said David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. “We have stopped treating the reserves as a force in reserve. Our volunteer army is closer to being broken today than ever before in its 30-year history.”(Military Draft). Due to these circumstances the volunteer rate has declined in the years of the war. Last year the Army fell 7 percent below its recruitment goal. And in some states, the retention rate has fallen far below the desired 85 percent to 71 percent. Army officials attribute the strong re-enlistment rates to unprecedented cash bonuses and a renewed sense of purpose in fighting terrorism.

Some of the record bonuses are tax-free if soldiers re-enlist while in Afghanistan and Iraq. The average bonus is $10,000, said Col. Debra Head, who monitors Army retention at the Pentagon. From Oct. 1 through June, the Army had re-enlisted 53,120 soldiers, 6% ahead of its goal of about 50,000 for that period. At that pace, the Army would finish the year 3,850 troops ahead of its target of 64,162. (Moniz)Once you agree to join the army you are dedicated to serve your country for at least three years through the contact. At least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S. military have deserted since the Iraq war began, Pentagon records show, although the overall desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. Since fall 2003, 4,387 Army soldiers, 3,454 Navy sailors and 82 Air Force personnel have deserted. The Marine Corps does not track the number of desertions each year but listed 1,455 Marines in desertion status last September, the end of fiscal 2005, says Capt. Jay Delarosa, a Marine Corps spokesman. ( Nichols)Just leaving from high school I wanted to attend college although if I joined out the Army out of high I would miss my education opportunity. I would be deployed over seas, placed in danger and feel a slim chance of returning home and still pursuing the life I had dreamed before I left. Although with the recent news of the draft it seems even though I didn’t choice the military route I will still be forced in by the draft.

Once the draft is instated male and female personnel ranging from ages 18 to 44 will be registered to a military branch and committed to at least three years of service. Even though some areas of the military prohibit the enlisting of female volunteers, such as the Navy Seals and Army Rangers the two most combative army divisions. Senior Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska, was the one who first stated that a mandatory military draft had to be considered in the face against the war against terrorism. He added that the “middle class” and the “lower middle class” should not be forced to bear the burden of “fighting and dying if, in fact, this is a generational probably 25-year war.”(Military Draft)The one thing about the draft that would be good will be that there will be fresh troops to battle the forces in Iraq. These troops would replace the older troops who have been deployed and would like to return home. Also with the draft the term limits overseas should decrease since there are more troops in which could be supplied. For the youth’s who are living at home with there parents between the ages of 19 and 25 could do the country good instead of living at home doing nothing. I feel that the draft has its benefits and its weaknesses that would hurt this country. The most important thing the draft will bring is fresh, plentiful troops that would help the war against terrorism.

Though the draft could possibly bring more troops and allow the troops now deployed to return home it is still horrible idea. With the draft civil unrest will come since the United States is built around democracy, letting the public volunteer on their free will to join. Since there are Americans who feel the troops shouldn’t be in this war they would refuse to be drafted. American is considered a bully to many other nations because of the way will have trying to police the world. The war is for the protection of our country but there has been many other times in which our army has been deployed for the wrong reason.

In the past draft there has been draft card burnings’ and boycotts against the war. I believe that if the draft was brought back these things will happen again. This is such a serious issue I believe that people will leave the country so they would not be forced to be drafted. I believe that the rich and famous citizens will refuse to be drafted and even pay others to go in their place. By sending our entire nation’s youth over to Iraq, it would affect everything in the nation. Such as in our sports, professional sport players’ are among the most athletic people in the nation. Our national hero’s would be deployed and enlisted in the Army going against what they believe in even though they are not immune to the draft. Why would a person fight and die for his/her if they don’t fully believe they should be fighting. I believe I person wouldn’t fight to the best of their ability if they don’t have the right mindset on why they are overseas. That person would have to find self determination since war is not the easiest thing mentally or physically. In the Vietnam War famous people such as Elvis Presley and Willie Mays were enlisted in the draft. Then there are the college students’ who will have to leave all there progress behind with school to be enlisted in the Army not knowing if they will ever come back and complete their degrees.

Even though many people feel that the draft is near, in reality the draft is indeed still far away. The United States government issued a statement that the US Military is meeting most of the recruiting goals even due to the war in Iraq. The decline was only due to those citizens’ afraid to join due to the situation in Iraq, but there has been many patriotic Americans who have joined to contribute to the War on Terror. The draft seems only necessary if the US Military is drawn into a third front besides Iraq and Afghanistan. North Korea will be the only situation that could be a reason that the draft will be reinstated, since there are harmful situation growing in that nation.

If the United States does indeed bring back the military draft then our youth will be in trouble. It will greatly affect our country and would cause more harm than good. With the battles overseas we are stretching our Army thin, when the nation should concentrated on other issues plaguing out nation such as the economy and poverty. The war against terror is an important issue to be dealt with but the more important question is will the draft destroy the future and dram of the nation’s youth who would be placed in danger?Works Cited“Will there be a military draft in the United States?” Military Draft. 5 Oct 2004. 29 Dec 2006<>Nichols, Bill. “8,000 desert during Iraq war.” USA Today 7 Mar. 2006: C3Moniz, Dave. “Soldiers re-enlist beyond U.S. goal.” USA Today 17 July. 2006: D2

Essay on the invasion of Iraq

My essay is on the column written by Mike Wolff on page 10. It says the invasion of Iraq is ‘ ridiculous and dangerous ‘. I could not agree with him more. President Bush doesn’t really have enough hard evidence to start war. I am against staring a war right now. It seems as if Bush is the only one who wants to start a war. The American people don’t. The United Nations doesn’t.

I think that Bush is trying to manipulate the American people so close to the anniversary of 9/11. This would be his second war in one year. I think he is trying to get brownie points. He wants to look like a good guy. This would be his second war in one year. And he still hasn’t finnsed the first one. We still don’t know if Bin Ladden is dead.

Bush didn’t even wait for congress to approve. It has gotten so out of hand that it seems we are not a democracy any more. When we don’t even have say when we should and shouldn’t go into war things are twisted. I thought the country was supposed to be governed by the people. I guess the whole country was wrong.

I don’t think that America is ready for another war. These war that he president wants is a different type of war. The war on terrorism is not a war against a country. It is against a small group. When we went into Afghanistan we had it’s surrounding countries approval. This time nobody is getting involved. And Bush wonders why our allies’ disapprove.

I think Bush needs to find harder evidence to wage war. He also needs a better explanation on why taxpayers will be paying for a war. Don’t get me wrong I’m not totally against a war. A war wouldn’t be so bad if we had a valid reason to fight. I might even give the economy the boost it needs.

Anti-terrorism laws in Australia: Drawbacks and benefits

Since the tragedies of the World Trade Centre in the United States on September 11th 2001 and, more pertinently for Australians, the Bali bombings of 2002 where 89 Australian tourists lost their lives in an attack on two night clubs in Kuta, international terrorism and its impact has become a major issue in Australian society. Prior to the 9/11 atrocities, terrorism was a vague threat rather than a hard reality. Indeed, prior to 2002, Australia did not even have laws dealing specifically with acts of terrorism. Post Bali, a series of Bills were introduced into, and passed by, federal parliament. This essay analyses the debate surrounding these laws: are they a just and appropriate response or do they seriously threaten the fundamental civil liberties we all take for granted? Do they, as the Commonwealth Attorney-General claim, “both enhance our national security and protect our civil liberties” or are they a “disproportionate legal response to the threat Australia is currently facing from international terrorism.” In short, what should be the appropriate balance between rescinding traditional civil liberties and protecting our nation and citizens from the evil of terrorism?It is completely natural that, in response to terrorist bombings – in particular the Kuta attacks which took so many Australian lives – and graphic scenes of death and distress, our fears will leads us to do all we can to protect ourselves and our families. In an era punctuated by terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and in Bali, Madrid, London, Mumbai and elsewhere , news laws were certainly needed in Australia to deal with terrorism. The then Prime Minister of Australia “responded strongly to the international threats thrown up by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks”. His government introduced a series of new laws intent on attacking the potential threat of terrorist attacks on Australian soil . Arguably, such laws were necessary to signal that we as a nation reject terrorism, and to ensure that our police and other agencies have the powers they need to protect communities. Furthermore, with our commitment to the UN, it was our legal obligation to follow the United Nations Security Council’s mandate which determined governments “shall take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts.” But what is terrorism and what are the ‘necessary steps’ to prevent it?Both Australia and Canada “based their definition of terrorist activities on that found in the British Terrorism Act 2000.” In that legislation terrorism is regarded as an attempt to influence the government, intimidate the public or advance a political, religious or ideological cause. Clearly, Australia, as a liberal democracy, must stand fast and adopt measures aimed at preventing harm to innocent people. But, confronting terrorism is not as straightforward as it might appear. In practice, the Australian response to terrorism raised vitally important questions of law and policy. For example, should the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) have the power to detain citizens for questioning? Is it appropriate to place people under house arrest without finding them guilty of an offence? Do we need safeguards to ensure that evidence obtained by torture is not used in terrorism trails? Should the government be able to access our emails and text messages without our knowledge or consent? Arguably, therefore, the key question should not be whether we fight against terrorism but rather what is the ‘right way’ to fight the war on terror? In this context this essay briefly reviews some of the laws and policies instituted by the Howard Government after the September 11 and Bali attacks. As a general comment, while some of these laws are effective and within the bounds of the Australian legal system, there are others that contravene many United Nations edicts. The essay briefly examines two of the undoubtedly most contentious Bills introduced into parliament, the Security Legislation Amendment Bill and the ASIO Bill.

Perhaps the most controversial was the Security Legislation Amendment Bill, which only passed through Parliament after substantial amendments. The key areas of contention in this bill revolved around its very broad definition of terrorism and the far reaching powers awarded to the Attorney General. These powers, allied to the lack of adequate judicial review, raised serious concerns with regard to fundamental liberal democratic principles such as the government’s duty to respect the rule of law and civil liberties . Furthermore, despite various amendments, the new law remains open to abuse, largely leaving the federal government to pick and choose who can participate in the political process.

The other highly contentious Act that has significant implications for Australian citizens is the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Legislation. “ASIO carries the ultimate responsibility for identifying potential terrorist or violence-oriented movements in Australia.” The initial Bill proposed to vest the domestic intelligence agency with the powers of arrest and detention: ASIO could “detain any one, even those not suspected of any offence and including children indefinitely for interrogation incommunicado.” Proponents arguing against this Act suggested that it was part of the apparatus of a police state: “these counter-terrorism measures would immensely expand executive power, imperil the rule of law, offend established political and civil rights, compromise the separation of powers, and weaken established judicial procedures.” Other contentious segments of the ASIO Act include the fact that its power falls outside of Australia’s obligations under international law and that the Act severely limits the rights to legal representation while at the same time contravening international law because it breaches the non-derogable right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Further, the Act permits detention of children between the ages of 16-18 and ASIO was given unprecedented powers that potentially raise issues such as the right to habeas corpus and the right to due process. Clearly, this lack of a legal check means that political and legal debate on terrorism is largely unconstrained by fundamental human rights principles. Indeed, the only remaining check on the power of parliament to abrogate human rights is the quality of political debate and the goodwill of our political leaders, a not-sufficient balance of power.

Thus the obvious question must be asked: are the far reaching legislative changes mandated by the federal government proportionate to the threat Australia is currently facing from international terrorism? Australia has, for the most part, been largely free of terrorism. Indeed, the 1977 Hilton Hotel bombing in Sydney was the most recent ‘terrorist attack’ within Australia. However, recent events, such as Australia’s active involvement in the US-led global war on terror, our involvement in East Timor, and in counterterrorist cooperation with Jakarta, have contributed to the heightened sense of fear that Australia may be targeted for terrorist activities. A former Director of ASIO has been quoted as saying that “Al-Qaeda had an active interest in carrying out a terrorist attack in Australia well before the atrocities of September 11 and we to this day remain a target.” This notion or sense of being a potential target is obviously strengthened by the fact that Al-Qaeda has, on varying occasions, mentioned Australia as such a target for terrorist acts. Furthermore, alleged terrorist plots within Australia, such as the plan to bomb the AFL Grand Final, are being uncovered. And of course the names and stories of David Hicks and Jihad Jack lend currency to fears of terrorism. It is not surprising then that one opinion poll found that more than two-thirds of Australian citizens believed that “terrorists will strike before too long and that a terrorist attack in this country is inevitable.” All of these perceptions are fertile ground for, and lead to an acceptance of, anti-terrorism legislation.

The counterbalancing view is that a terrorist attack on our soil has little strategic value for either Al-Qaeda or other terrorist cells. The common perception is that, with resources stretched, terrorist groups would consider such an attack to be little more than wasting resources on – judged by international standards – a very low profile target, one with little symbolic significance. Adherents to this view regard the anti-terrorism legislations as a cynical political exercise. Furthermore, recent history questions the competency and skills of those charged with uncovering terrorists in Australia. The treatment of Dr. Mohammed Haneef, held for 11 days without legal representation before being charged with crimes of which he was clearly innocent, is instructive: “the events surrounding Dr Haneef highlight many of the concerns about Australia’s anti-terrorism laws, in particular, they demonstrate the fallacy which lies at the heart of arguments that security is enhanced when the rights of individuals are sacrificed.” The treatment of Dr Haneef was deplorable, bringing into question the legitimacy of laws that allow the hounding, imprisonment and subsequent media slandering of innocent Australian residents. In short, the balance of laws has swung too far.

Overall, therefore, it is vital to fight terrorism. However, in so doing, we must not allow ourselves to become victims of our own fears. Potentially, the new anti-terrorist legislations have serious long term implications for Australia’s legal system, its security and for society as a whole. While certainly understanding, if not condoning, the necessity of these new anti-terrorism laws, this essay contends that the scope and magnitude of these laws fundamentally undermine some of our societies’ key civil liberties. Thus, we must pressure government and politicians to find a medium which safeguards Australia from the stigma of terrorism, yet at the same time upholds our fundamental civil liberties; in other words, a counter-terrorism policy that is both effective and proportionate.

Can Terrorism be morally justified? How and when? Or Why not?

On September 11th 2001, two aeroplanes crashed into the world trade centre in New York, this was the horrifying beginning of what would come to be known ‘the age of terror.’ Although terrorist acts date back decades, it was this attack on the world’s most powerful nation, America, that struck fear into the hearts of the Western people and the potential severity of these attacks was realised. Acts of terrorism are becoming part of everyday news, they are occurring around the world and being carried out by various different groups of people. Reaching a definition of ‘terrorism’ is an ambiguous task but in his book Terror, Gearty (1991) cited 109 different definitions of terrorism which he obtained in a survey of leading academics in the field. From these definitions, the author isolated the following recurring elements, in order of their statistical appearance in the definitions: Violence, force (appeared in 83.5% of the definitions); political (65%); fear, emphasis on terror (51%); threats (47%); psychological effects and anticipated reactions (41.5%); discrepancy between the targets and the victims (37.5%); intentional, planned, systematic, organized action (32%); methods of combat, strategy and tactics (30.5%).

A recurring theme between most definitions is that it deliberately targets innocent people. Leiser’s definition (cited in Khatchadourian, 1998, p. 5) equates terrorism with what he calls “the victimization of defenceless, innocent persons” as opposed to “the assassination of political and military leaders”. This concept, and now, widely-used tactic is what seems to be the precise element that makes terrorism itself immoral. Like most elusive and ambiguous expressions “terrorism” has a “common core of meaning” in its different usages and this is the notion that “terrorist acts are acts of coercion or actual use of force, aiming at monetary gain (predatory terrorism), revenge (retaliatory terrorism), a political end (political terrorism), or a putative moral/religious end (moralistic/ religious terrorism) (Khatchadourian, 1998, p. 6). Terrorism is a well established aspect of world politics and the literature on this topic is seemingly endless. A major issue when dealing with the topic of terrorism is whether it can be justified and if so, when and how. This essay will explore this issue, taking into account some of the many issues involved.

If there are examples of the terrorism permitted under the just war theory, they will have to meet a number of challenging requirements. We will explore a few of these. An element of the just war theory is ‘right intention’, and it can be argued that terrorism satisfies this criteria although it is from this that we must explore the intentions and motivations of terrorism. Finding the root of terrorism would profoundly affect the occurrence of such acts, and one such cause seems to be oppression of minority groups. Minorities with clear ideologies use terrorism to make their cause heard and noticed, and as acts of terror dominate the media when they occur, it often fulfils its purpose, to bring the world’s attention to that specific cause. For example, looking back to 1970, teams from a little known Marxist resistance group, ‘The popular front for the liberation of Palestine’ set out to simultaneously hijack four western passenger aircraft and its aim was to confront the West with the plight of Palestinians in the Middle East who’d been displaced by Israel. They used force and terror to make the world pay attention and it was successful in doing so, it was the first world media terrorist event. “Each man is an enemy to every other because each is a dangerous rival in the struggle against scarcity” (Sartre cited in Wilkinson, 1977, p.72). Scarcity is a predominant problem in the world; lack of sufficient food and clean water is a major world issue and occurs particularly in the eastern countries.

“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich”.

(Peter Ustinov, Actor)

The pattern being seen today is one in which the topic of terrorism automatically insinuates involvement of peoples from the eastern countries. This pattern that is emerging may have some implications when trying to combat terrorism from its roots. In an interview with Abu Bakar Bashir (Insight, SBS, 9 March 2004), the leader of Jamaal Islamiah, made a poignant comment, he said, “we are defending Islam and through their actions they are daring to oppose America, as the west are oppressing the Islamic world and they are just reacting, even though it is violent, it is legitimate, because they see the west as supporting dictatorship.” This made an interesting and thought-provoking point, echoed in many other acts, such as the 1970 hijacking of the aeroplanes by Palestinians, and may have been a contributory reason for the September 11 attacks. Such terrorist acts as these fall under the category stated by Khatchadourian, (1998) as retaliatory terrorism, and using political terrorism as a weapon of the politically powerless and oppressed. As cited by Young (Primoratz, 2004, p. 58), even Gandhi contended that, “it was better to resist oppression by violent means than to submit”, in the event that a non-violent response was precluded.

The West upholds the view that there can be legitimate uses of war in accordance with the just war theory. Valls (2000) proposes that if acts of terrorism can satisfy the conditions of just war theory then they would have a moral legitimacy. The just war tradition is based upon the presumption that coercive power, whether used at the domestic level or at the international level, is legitimate “when it serves morally legitimate purposes” (Amstutz, 2005, p. 110). The just cause provision of the just war theory holds that the state has a right to defend itself against aggression of other states. Take the invasion of Iraq for example; it can be viewed from two sides. The first is that the grounds on which it was originally based, to topple Saddam Hussein’s government and seize weapons of mass destruction, this, according to the just war theory could be thought of as a ‘just cause’. However, having done so, America now fails to recover any weapons of mass destruction and it has become apparent that there may have been underlying motivations for this ‘heroic’ action by the American government and its army. The motivations for this invasion, which are now being realised, may not have been a ‘just cause’ after all; the control of their oil fields has surfaced as a credible alternative motivation. Amstutz states that “the effort to alter territorial boundaries by force or to extend political and economic control in foreign lands is considered unjust” (2005, p. 111). Not only was their reasons for entering Iraq not credible, but in doing so, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed. Surely this act cannot be considered ‘just’, it seems an act of terror to some degree, and was carried out by the world’s super power! Abu Bakar Bashir, in his interview in Insight (SBS, 2004) points out that “America is the instrument of evil, as it is them who terrorises nations and kills people.”

Walzer, in his book Just and unjust wars (2000) has problems succumbing to the idea that terrorism may be justified, and questions the probability of success criteria (is there a reasonable chance of success?) and points out that there is no nation that he knows of that owes its freedom to ‘random murder’. Similarly Valls (2000) believes that in most cases there is little hope of success. The occupation of Iraq has sent the place into chaos, civilian deaths occur everyday, women and children are killed by car bombs and suicide bombers, and yet, one of the reasons for America’s intervention was to save the civilians from the abuse of human rights by Saddam. Success, we are yet to see.

“One can define the state, as Weber does, in terms of physical violence without having to relinquish the ability to differentiate the forms in which state agencies apply that violence. That the state is ‘legitimate violence’ (if it is) does not mean its agencies cannot be terroristic.”

(Stohl, 1983, p. 181)

Our culture ingrains in us the concept of the state as neutral, a manager of conflicts, that the thought of our governments participating in terrorist acts seems abominable! Evidence in the history of terrorism gives credence to this. In 1946, one of the two men who led the revolt against the British by bombing Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, went on to become the ruler of Jerusalem. Fidelle Kastro, an instigator in the Red Army Faction’s revolution also went on to become the leader of the Cuban nation. These men represent heroes in their societies; they are symbols of hope for the future of the oppressed people in their societies. The more ‘daring’ approach or direct approach would be to view some of our current-day leaders as terrorists. The leader of Zimbabwe is a terrorist towards both the black and white people, using coercive methods such as torture to chase them out of the country, and those who do not flee are murdered. This would seem in itself the height of inhumane acts and it is being carried out by the leader of this ‘democratic’ country.

A number of states including some European ones would describe the U.S. President George Bush (senior) as a terrorist, and regard bombings during the Gulf War as obvious examples of terrorist acts and violation of the international law. President Bush can also be viewed as a terrorist to the people of Iraq, despite his ‘clean’ image of having ‘saved’ them; the deaths of the innocent are representative of this terror. Riz Wakili (Insight, SBS, 2004) passionately voiced his observances; using ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ as a tool seems hypocritical because when the foreign extremists, supported by the United States, carried out massacres and destroyed schools in Afghanistan in the ’70′s and ’80′s, it was referred to in the western media as the acts of ‘freedom fighters’, and the suffering of the Afghani people went unnoticed. However, when the situation was reversed and the terror landed on the doorstep of the West on September 11, 2001, and the Bali bombings, it was then referred to as terrorism, hence the phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” The idea that one person’s ‘terrorist’ is another’s ‘freedom fighter’ cannot be allowed. George (1990) points out that freedom fighters or revolutionaries don’t blow up buses containing non-combatants; terrorist murderers do. Freedom fighters don’t set out to capture and slaughter schoolchildren; terrorist murderers do.

“Direct attacks against civilian targets are morally impermissible and every effort must be made to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants” (Amstutz, 2005, p. 111). This is another element of the just war theory and acts as one of the defining features of terrorism today. It is precisely this nature of contemporary terrorism, ‘the random murder of innocent people,’ that prohibits Walzer (1988) from justifying a terrorist act and even if one were to grant that terrorism necessarily involves the killing of innocents, this alone doesn’t exclude it from the just war theory because innocents may be killed in a just war. All the just war theory requires is that innocents not be targeted. Contrary to this, Machiavelli (1998) has argued that there is no alternative to terrorist activity if oppressed people are to be liberated and views terrorism as the only means of destroying oppressive regimes and founding new nations. This view of Machiavelli is echoed consistently by the views of eastern nation peoples as seen in this essay.

So, on the one side there are the views of the West which strongly condemn those acts of terrorists which destroy the lives of millions of innocent civilians and act to undermine the stability of democratic society. Reactions of people in the West are natural as indeed the use of terrorism is a psychological tactic used to induce fear, which evidently it does, and also to make their messages heard, whether these are political, religious or retaliatory. On the other hand, there is legitimate evidence to suggest that these acts of ‘terror’ are indeed the desperate attempts of oppressed peoples to get noticed, to get their messages across to the powerful nations of the world. Lowe, in his article ‘Terrorism and Just War theory’ argues that just war theory does not provide an appropriate analytical tool from which acts of terror may be judged; as acts of terrorism targets the safety of innocent citizens. Terrorism targets people who are not combatants and is therefore not compatible with the just war theory. Which ever way you look at it, terrorism is not morally justifiable, the targeting and deaths of innocent civilians can never be justified for what ever the cause may be. However, dealing with the possible causes of terrorism, such as oppression (as seen above) of minority groups, religious or otherwise, may have some effect on this ever-growing issue of terrorism. Terrorism destroys solidarity, cooperation and interdependence on which social functioning is based, and it substitutes insecurity and distrust. If the world is to ever resemble a peaceful place, the issues underlying such acts as terrorism must be dealt with. Promotion of democracy, education and equality in all societies is the way to begin tackling the problems of condemnation of other peoples. People must be able to attain justice if peace is to prevail and intervention of the international community is fundamental to this. What is happening to minority groups in the world today is not fair and not acceptable, it is oppression. At the end of the day, people must stop killing people.

Q. What are the tactical or strategic reasons for resorting to terrorism?

Reasons for resorting to terrorism vary as much as the types of people who commit terrorist acts. Terrorism generates psychological fear beyond the immediate act. Terrorist acts are a powerful medium because they undermine the rules of the state and international society. This essay will define terrorism before the strategic and tactical motivations behind terrorist acts will be discussed.

Terrorism is increasingly becoming defined for society by the media. The ambiguity of the term has arisen from the media’s need to formulate words that cover acts of violence targeted against society, and label them as something similar ( Hoffman, 1998, 13 ). Hoffman ( 1998 ) defines terrorism as ” violence – or equally important, the threat of violence – used and directed in pursuit of, or in service of, a political aim. ” ( Hoffman, 1998, 15 ) Reference to the term terrorism throughout this essay can adopt this definition.

Strategic and tactical motivations behind a terrorist act are incredibly varied. States and official movements such as El Salvador and the Palestine Liberation Organisation ( PLO ) , have engaged in the use of terrorist tactics to repress and control their own citizens, political rivals, enemies and minority groups challenging power. Movements and factions known as terrorist organisations act with the hope of achieving varied outcomes, some of which include; fighting for political revolution, against land / property invasion, life interference or policy / legislation change and the restraining of certain groups and behaviour. ( Wilkinson, 1977 )

Terrorists often believe that they have exhausted all attempts at legitimate change, and have no other option to bring recognition to their cause and change to their society. Terrorist groups vary according to their motivations, aims and the means taken towards achieving these aims. Motivations often include religion, politics, economics and culture. While the motivations behind terrorism differ, the effects of the act on society are similar. Acts of terrorism are not spontaneous. They are premeditated and carefully planned, thought through and enacted with precision. The terrorist act appears, to the greater community, to be a random act. ” The lack of discrimination helps to spread fear, for it no one in particular is a target, no one can be safe. ” ( Wilkinson, 1977; 14 ) A terrorist act will create fear, confusion and uncertainty. The media will attend to inform citizens, providing the terrorist with a platform on which their message may be dictated to the masses.

Because the international order-producing system is so heavily

geared to state-centric conflict, the new wars and symbolic forms

of terrorism characterized by a clash of networks and the differing

resources they control, tests its ability to its limits ( Richmond, 2003; 289 ) ).

Acts of terrorism allow the minority to fight the majority. It is unlikely that a terrorist group will have the resources to fight their enemies face to face. They must utilize a tactical advance and catch their opponent off guard. Terrorism is a battle the minority can fight, and often dictates.

The 1972 Munich Olympic hostage situation conducted by the Black September Organisation was conducted with the intention of taking Israeli athletes hostage and exchanging them for Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails. The event took place on the international stage and the world was left watching as events unfolded. Despite the groups objectives failing, and all hostages and majority of terrorists being killed, the attack was labeled by senior PLO officials are successful. The international community was alerted to the Palestinian situation, and a Palestinian presence was imposed on a international gathering that had intended to exclude them. ( Hoffman, 1998 )

Resorting to terrorism has numerous strategic and tactical reasons. Terrorism is largely uncontrollable, and this is its strength. Terrorists renounce moral codes of conduct and ethical considerations. The randomness of the terrorist act is effective because it is an entity that cannot be maintained or controlled by any state, regardless of how powerful. Terrorism is the battlefield of the minority. It attracts the attention of the international community, and allows for a message to be sent and received. Terrorism occurs for varying reasons, in varying manners and with varying objectives. It is not a random assault on society, but a strategic and tactical attack.

The Causes of Terror

Throughout the history of this world, numerous differences have occurred, within ethnicity, cultures, religions, and philosophies. There are contradictions, similarly as there are agreements. There are similarities, there are differences. People, tribes and nations have been defined by their traditions and cultures, but cultures have not always produced such a positive effect. Many cultures have subconsciously indoctrinated a simple, yet multifaceted theology of hate and bias. More prejudice than actual hate. People are taught to associate with one kind, and to fear others. Terror is an emotional feeling of extreme fear, generally caused by another person holding power, naiveness, and the use of force toward another person.

In Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail he strongly supports his belief, it is important to establish hope for those in need and fear to those who suppress the idea of equality for all humans. King address the fear that the blacks endure in the following sentence, “Where you are hurried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe pace” (King 218.) He describes how they must always be aware of what might happen to them or their families. King also addresses fear when describing the blacks at a speed that they should not take. They feel obligated to let the white people go first in line, sit in the back of the bus and give their seats up to the white, and not make quick movements because of the fear that they would be lashed out against. “We stiffly creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter” (King 220.) They fear the punishment, therefor in result, they obey the rules the society has set up regarding the whites and the blacks despite how cruel and unfair they might be.

Yet, according to Machiavelli in his essay The Qualities of the Prince the most important quality a Prince needs is the capability to establish fear. He believes that it is better to be feared than loved and safer as well (Machiavelli 47.) However, being feared is not the same thing as being hated. “Not to be hated or despised by the body of his subjects, is one of the surest safeguards that a Prince can have against conspiracy” (Machiavelli 42.) The prince must be in control and have followers. When one person fears the prince, it will start a chain reaction.

Additionally, Plato, a western philosopher primarily concerned with the nature of perception, believes despite the time period everyone at some point will experience fear, pressure, happiness, and learn to adapt to ones surroundings. In his essay Allegory of the Cave, Plato provides a basic understanding that while or after we educate ourselves, and experience things for ourselves. It is then our obligation to help others become educated. If given advice from one who has already experienced something it is more believable than someone with no experience. Plato describes this experience as coming out of the cave and into the light (Plato 451). Compare Plato’s cave to a person’s childhood. Someone who is constantly at home, not experiencing life could be considered being in the cave. And coming into the light would be the college life/ adulthood solely because it is a whole new world that one eventually learns to adjust to. The Fear of change in this essay is represented by the prisoners angry reaction towards the freed, enlightened prisoner. This in a way resembles my life because I just came out of the cave by entering into the college life. While in middle and high school I became accustomed to these daily routines and always having the support of my parents. This lifestyle I have been living can be compared to the cave. The decision of whether or not I wanted to attend college was solely based upon me. I decided to see the light on my own instead of being afraid to leave the protected cave. It is my obligation, according to Plato’s philosophy to share my college experience with others as an attempt to help them see the light on their own and aid them in the right direction for experiencing things for themselves. If I chose not to go to college, I would be naive of what it is like, I wouldn’t know of anything else. In Plato’s philosophy, the people who don’t come out of the cave and see the light know nothing else besides what is being told to them they are naive of the fact there is life outside the cave.

Furthermore, from Machiavelli’s essay, “A prince must not worry about the reproach of cruelty when it is a matter of keeping his subjects united and loyal” (Machiavelli 39.) When executing cruelty onto others and admonishing mercy, it is important that the conditions create a sense that will avoid hatred from the people. The bases of terror is to maintain this balance. In the basic principals of totalitarianism, terror is the use of force to make its will and movement on the population. According to Hannah Arendt in her essay Total Domination, “In the fundamental belief of totalitarianism that everything is possible is being verified” (Arendt 124.) It is the ultimate problem to the enemy state and is “the essence of the total government” (Arendt 129.)

So what are the causes of terror? There are many factors that causes terror. For example many people might fear someone else holding power and follow their rules and expectations such as King and Machiavelli demonstrated in A Letter From Birmingham Jail and The Prince. Naiveness might cause fear because you don’t know what else is out there, and you fear the unknown, as Plato stated in The Allegory of the Cave. Lastly, as Arendt stated in Total Domination, the use of force causes fear because its a change for the whole population.


Terrorism, which has been around for as long as people can remember, has been on the rise for the past ten years. Terrorists use murder, kidnapping, hijacking, and bombings to almost always achieve a political purpose. These radicals are not just subject to the United States, terrorism is all over the world, in every way, shape and form.

There are many different types of terrorism, for many different purposes. The primary reason for terrorist acts are to force a change in their nation’s government. If terrorists are not satisfied with there government’s political positions, they may end up taking the matters into there own hands. Another reason for terrorist acts are because of hate towards a race, nationality, or religion. For example, in 1972 the Palestine Liberation Organization invaded Israeli dorms in the Munich Olympics, and held the Israeli athletes hostage until Israel would agree to release Palestinian terrorists that were captured in Israel. When Israel refused to comply with the terrorists demands, they blew up two helicopters which held the Israeli athletes, killing the whole team. This was one of the many cruel types of terrorism. In recent years, terrorism seems to be at a new high and attacks are more violent than in the past.

With terrorism being so secretive and having no forewarning, it has been a real problem to deal with. The governments of many countries have tried to stop these cowardly acts, but they just seem to be on the rise. I have a few ideas that might work


Since there are no fool-proof ways to predict when a terrorist will strike next, there can really be no complete answer to this problem. Even though there is no way to totally eliminate terrorism, my solutions may still prove valid.

With the bombing of the World Trade Center, and the federal building in Oklahoma, rental moving trucks have been used to hold the bomb. An idea I have for this type of attack, would be to take a still photograph or a video tape of the people who rent the trucks, along with there Social Security numbers. I Would have installed in every rental truck an electronic fume detector that could be tied into a national satellite network, to let investigators know what kind of materials the truck is carrying. For example, if the truck was carrying dynamite, the sensor would relay the message to the satellite that this truck is carrying hazardous material. In turn, the dispatchers could send the message to the Federal Bureau of Investigations who then would send the bomb squad to the location of the truck, and arrest the individuals driving and defuse the bomb.

It seems as though terrorists choose to place the bombs in parking garages below or inside buildings. Another idea I have for this is to screen all vehicles entering government buildings that may be a target for an attack. This in itself might make terrorists more leery about entering a building carrying any type of explosive device. The use of metal detectors on people entering government buildings along with dogs that can sniff out bombs in vehicles can also help the situation.

One of the most lethal types of terrorist attack are hijackings on planes. There have been a number of hijackings, which then lead to a bombing of the plane in midair. In 1986, a Pan-American Boeing 747 airplane blew up in midair killing all passengers aboard. One of the leading terrorist groups took responsibility for this action. Again in the late 1980′s a Transworld airline flight was hijacked and made several stops before commandos rushed the plane and killed some of the terrorists. Unfortunately, the terrorists had taken several lives on the plane and even dumped one of the passengers that they had killed, out of the plane onto the tarmac. One of the problems with these type of terrorists is that, it is too easy to get a bomb into the baggage section, under the plane. This is easy for them, because unlike carry-on luggage, the actual luggage is not X-rayed for contraband. Some of these bombs work off of a timer and ignite the bomb to blow up at a pre-determined time. Another type of bomb works off of the altitude of the plane. Once the plane reaches the set altitude, the bomb will explode. I suggest that the actual luggage should be scanned for explosives that would be dangerous to the passengers. Since the only luggage that is scanned at this time is the carry-on luggage, and individuals that go through the metal detectors. I recommend that all luggage being loaded in the belly of the aircraft, also go through a metal detector being scanned by trained eyes. This would prevent any bombs from being loaded onto the plane.

Another type of plane bombing is called the “Suicide Bomber”, this is a terrorist who straps the bomb to his body, making it harder to stop them from boarding the plane, because you cant see it by the human eye. Unfortunately, metal detectors don’t pick up plastic explosives that a terrorist could carry on board. Another idea for this would be to have a bomb sniffing dogs at every metal detector, which could work in terms of stopping the bombs before they reach the plane.

Of course, there will always be terrorists who would like to make a change in the policy of the government. And you will always have radicals who will want to take out their anger towards a particular race, religion, or nationality. One of the best ways to stop terrorism is, of course, by monitoring these groups closely for signs of illegal activity. First of all, the United States of America should form coalition groups with all of the other nations to monitor terrorist organizations of other nations. The FBI can be the main organization to receive and filter out all potential terrorist groups. Once the United States is aware of all the terrorist groups throughout the world and knows the groups here in the United States, the government will be able to get a tighter handle on the terrorist group’s activities. Now that we can identify all of these groups, we have to be able to take out the bullets and bomb making equipment from there hands. To start with, anyone who would like to buy a gun will have to prove there intent on using it. They would have to supply social security numbers, drivers license, fingerprints, ballistics of the gun, and, of course, a picture of themselves taken by the sellers of the gun. This would help ownership of the gun in case it is used it an attack. Ammunition would have to be kept under the same kind of scrutiny as a gun, and all the same information would have to be taken down, as if they were selling a gun.

Factories that produce chemicals, fertilizer, and anything else that could be used in the manufacturing of a bomb, would have to have a license to make these items. When any of these items are sold, all of the same precautions must be taken as if they were selling guns, or ammunition. In the case of someone buying mass quantities of any of these items, it must be reported and approved for sale by the FBI. As in the case of the Oklahoma bombing, the ammonia nitrate fertilizer, which was the main component in the bomb, that large quantity which would have first cleared with the FBI, before being sold. The FBI could have questioned the need for such a large quantity and made a final decision for the sale. If the buyers would have lied about the need of the fertilizer at least there would have been a picture tying the ammonia nitrate fertilizer to its buyer. We might not have been able to stop this bombing but all suspects would now be under arrest, preventing them from future bombings.

Since terrorist acts are so cowardly, and the loss of life is so great, stiff penalties should apply. If the person is convicted of the crime, and the crime is murder in any degree, of any amount. That person should be locked up for life. I don’t believe in the death penalty in this case, because it would just be putting them out of their misery. When they are sentenced, it will be in a four foot by four foot solitary confinement cell, with no visitors, and no exercise, ever.

In conclusion, this report has tried to explain a couple ideas that may prove valid, when put to the test. The only test being real life. If these ideas can make a difference, and keep one more person safe from a terrorist attack, or deters one more terrorist from blowing up a building, than this report has been worth the effort.