Can Terrorism Be Morally Justified Essay

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Research Essay: Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified? “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.“ This is a popular quote regarding the state of terrorism, and how certain people may consider terrorism justifiable. Justifying terrorism is, however, not different from justifying innocent slaughter. Justifying innocent slaughter suggests that terrorists believe that political or religious conflicts are more prominent than a segment of typically uninvolved humans. Not only does terrorism cause deaths, but it also negatively affects a country’s economy and religion. Terrorism causes more problems rather than “solving” problems terrorists may have. The first reason for asserting that terrorism cannot be justified is the slaughter…show more content…

In 2007, global terrorism increased another 25% (CNN Terror Report). In Pakistan, over 3000 people died due to terrorist attacks in 2009, up a frightening 48% (Walsh). It’s evident that terrorism is continually on the rise even with countermeasures. An increase in terrorism means an increase in deaths. This proves more and more that terrorists are willing to kill any number of people to achieve their ill-minded goals. This also proves that terrorist groups may also be increasing in numbers, thus increasing the danger, frequency, and devastation of the attacks. The second reason for asserting that terrorism cannot be justified is that terrorism hurts a country’s economy. Terrorism causes markets to become fearful, as evident when small airlines collapsed after 9/11 in 2001. Human loss puts a dent in the economy as well due to businesses needing employees. Financial repercussions are also direct hits to the economy. Under pressure from terrorism, businesses cannot operate normally in fear of an

Fam 3 attack. Increased security precautions can cause decreased stock value and can hurt shareholders due to the costs involved for protection. Terrorism also puts the stock market into confusion because players in the stock market look for predictability, and terrorism cannot provide a stable market (Terrorism and World Markets article). As a result, healthy businesses which support the

Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified

Yes because...

In extreme cases, in which peaceful and democratic methods have been exhausted, it is legitimate and justified to resort to terror. In cases of repression and suffering, with an implacably oppressive state and no obvious possibility of international relief, it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence to defend one’s people and pursue one’s cause.

No because...

Terrorism is never justified. Peaceful and democratic means must always be used. Even when democratic rights are denied, non-violent protest is the only moral action. And in the most extreme cases, in which subject populations are weak and vulnerable to reprisals from the attacked state, it is especially important for groups not to resort to terror. Terrorism merely exacerbates a situation, and creates a cycle of violence and suffering.

Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified

Yes because...

Terrorism works. In many countries terrorists have succeeded in bringing governments to negotiate with them and make concessions to them. Where governments have not been willing to concede to rational argument and peaceful protest, terrorism can compel recognition of a cause. Nelson Mandela moved from terrorist to President. In many other countries we see this trend too – in Israel, Northern Ireland, recently in Sri Lanka, and in the Oslo peace process that led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, terrorism is justified by its success in achieving results when peaceful means have failed.

No because...

Terrorism does not work. It antagonises and angers the community that it targets. It polarises opinion and makes it more difficult for moderates on both sides to prevail and compromise. A lasting and peaceful settlement can only be won with the freely given consent of both parties to a conflict or disagreement. The bad-feeling caused by the slaughter of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people by terrorists makes such consent desperately difficult to give.

Furthermore, states or institutions created in concession to terror are often corrupt, dominated by men of violence with links to organised crime. Nothing is achieved to improve the lives of the people in whose name terror has been used.

Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified

Yes because...

The definition of terrorism depends very much upon your point of view - the proposition does not need to defend every atrocity against innocent civilians to argue that terrorism is sometimes justified. A broad definition would say terrorism was the use of violence for political ends by any group which breaks the Geneva Conventions (which govern actions between armies in wartime) or ignores generally accepted concepts of human rights. Under such a broad definition, states and their armed forces could be accused of terrorism. So could many resistance groups in wartime or freedom fighters struggling against dictatorships, as well as participants in civil wars - all irregular groups outside the scope of the Geneva Conventions. Effectively, such a definition says that the armies of sovereign states should have a monopoly on violence, and that they can only act in certain ways. Some exceptions to this are surely easy to justify - e.g. the actions of the French resistance to German occupation in World War II, or of American patriots against the British in the 1770s.

A narrower definition would say that terrorism was the use of violence against innocent civilians to achieve a political end. Such a definition would allow freedom fighters and resistance groups with a legitimate grievance to use force against dictatorship and occupation, providing they only targeted the troops and other agents of oppression. Yet even this tight definition has grey areas - what if the soldiers being targeted are reluctant conscripts? Are not civilian settlers in occupied territories legitimate targets as agents of oppression? What about their children? Doesn't it make a difference if civilians are armed or unarmed? Don't civil servants such as teachers and doctors count as agents of an occupying or oppressive state?

No because...

States who ignore the Geneva Conventions, for example by mistreating prisoners or deliberately attacking civilian targets, are guilty of terrorism and this cannot be justified. Nor are the Conventions only applicable to warfare between sovereign states - their principles can be clearly applied in other kinds of conflict and used to distinguish between legitimate military struggle and indefensible terrorism.

Nor is it reasonable to argue that there are grey areas, and that civilians are sometimes legitimate targets - once such a claim has been made anything can eventually be 'justified' in the name of some cause. All too often the political leaderships of protest movements have decided that limited 'physical force' is necessary to advance their cause, only to find the violence spiralling out of control. The 'hard men' who are prepared to use force end up in control of the movement, which increasingly attracts criminals and others who love violence for its own sake. The original base of support for the movement in the wider population and internationally is alienated. The authorities against whom the movement is struggling also respond by using increasingly repressive measures of their own, generating a spiral of violence and cruelty.



Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified


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