- Justification for terrorism
Justification for terrorism refers to the act of defining motive or
justificationfor instances of terrorism. It can also be used as a reference to intentional misrepresentation or denial of events of terrorism.
Definition of terrorism
One of the key factors in studying terrorism is the lack of a universally accepted definition. The "terrorist" from one side is usually another side's "freedom fighter". This makes any agreement on
ethicalnorms that can be applied to armed conflictsbetween any government and its opponents very difficult. There are instances in history when violence against established governments was (and still is) not condemned, such as the American Revolutionary Warand the struggle in South Africaagainst apartheid. In contrast, it cannot simply be said that violence is justified only when it succeeds. [ Dr. Ted Goertzel, [http://crab.rutgers.edu/~goertzel/terrorandrevolution.htm The Ethics of Terrorism and Revolution] Published in Terrorism: An International Journal, Volume 11, pp. 1-12, 1988.]
The word "terrorism" was first used in reference to the
Reign of Terrorduring the French Revolution. A 1988study by the United States Armyfound that more than one hundred definitions of the word exist and have been used. [Dr. Jeffrey Record, [http://carlisle-www.army.mil/ssi/pubs/2003/bounding/bounding.pdf Bounding the Global War on Terrorism] (PDF)] Among these definitions there are several that do not recognize the possibility of legitimate use of violence by civilians against an invader in an occupied country and these definitions would thus label all resistance movementsas terrorist groups. Others make a distinction between lawful and unlawful use of violence. Ultimately, the distinction is a political judgment. [Ali Khan, [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=935347 A LEGAL THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM] Published in 19 Connecticut Law Review 945-972(1987)]
Definition of terrorist groups
The difference between armed struggle and terrorism can in some cases be difficult to determine. The right of racial and
ethnic groupsto defend themselves against genocidal attacks, the fundamental right to self-defense, is almost universally accepted. There is also a large consensus, mainly on utilitariangrounds, about the right of racial and ethnic groups to resort to armed struggle if they are denied equal participation in political and social life. [ Dr. Ted Goertzel, [http://crab.rutgers.edu/~goertzel/terrorandrevolution.htm The Ethics of Terrorism and Revolution] Published in Terrorism: An International Journal, Volume 11, pp. 1-12, 1988.]
Numerous governments and non-governmental organizations, specifically the media, have different standards which define what groups or organizations are considered
terrorist groups. For example, the US air force has one [ [http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/tergps/tg98tc.htm list] ] with discrepancies from the US state department [ [http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/fto_info_1999.html list] ] , and the Israeli ICT maintains a separate [ [http://www.ict.org.il/organizations/intnl_org.cfm list] ] . There is no uniform consensus on how to label an individual group, or whether or not the actions of a state qualify the state as a "terrorist state".
Motives and Ethics of terrorism
History of terrorism
Revisionism of terrorism
This is not necessarily the act of denying that terrorism exists, but rather the kind of revisionism which partially suggests that acts of terrorism may be justified, or through
euphemismconceals the atrocity of those acts. It is a very widely used de facto prejudice.Who|date=July 2007
terrorist[ [http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress03/pistole092403.htm Federal Bureau of Investigation - Congressional Testimony ] ] organizations as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ETA, Irgun, Kach, Provisional Irish Republican Armyetc. are commonly labeled by their supporters as a political organizationor militant group. The denial has roots in prejudice, or at least in severely biased coverage.
Methods of revisionism
When seeking to revise the narrative about a particular group, members or sympathizers of a group will campaign to:
* Equate the actions of the enemies of the terrorists as terroristic too (in many cases this may be true).
* Have references about the group labeled in a specific euphemistic way
* Have items of historical fact removed from the narrative about the group
* Insert additional information to distract from being labelled as solely a terrorist organization
* Exaggerate accidental civilian casualties in order to increase sympathy for terrorist organizations.
9/11 conspiracy theories
Sociology of terrorism
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