International Humanity

A Blog Started to Record my thoughts on International News events

Terrorists – Impacient Politians?

Posted by alexfrancis on January 22, 2007

(The following are my thoughts after reading the introduction and first chapter of Louise Richardson’s book What Terrorists Want


           I have come to know terrorism personally as the attempt of people who, without much power, try to take down the states who hold the majority of resources in the world. I have also come to associate terrorist acts as well-thought-out and effective, at least effective in the sense that they are able to hit their targets, make things blow up as planned. Yet, I never have really understood their motives.


          When I say I have “come to know” or have “come to associate”, I refer to my experience as of now which is mostly reading news feeds from Yahoo News. I even have come to have a personal feeling against terrorism because it just seems so destructive and indiscriminate. This is my uneducated, personal reaction to what I read about terrorists, which is mainly limited to their actions, i.e. killing, suicide bombing, etc., not their motivations.


Richardson presents terrorists to me in a new light. She does well in making the point that terrorists are not crazy; they are people who want to achieve political change quickly and are willing to murder innocent people to get immediate results. Well, I might have known that already from reading Yahoo News; terrorists kill innocent people who are unrelated to the results they wish to achieve. What could be their reasoning in those acts of innocent killing?


Richardson goes on to points out that terrorists are weaker than their opponents, and thus they need to harm their opponent psychologically not militarily. It seems to me that terrorists are people who are impatient and unwilling to cooperate with others to achieve their goals peacefully. Another thing that sticks out to me is that terrorists are people with an ideology that justifies their actions morally. Their goals may be noble indeed, goals such as freedom, but it is the means they use to achieve those goals that is terrorizing.


Overall, the idea that terrorists are not insane, but people with a cause that they strongly believe in, came across as a new idea. Yet, I have to agree with the opinion that cooperating with others over time to achieve the same results without killing people is more desirable. Even so, it’s not like the United States just waits around for other countries to agree with its policies and agenda; the U.S. takes military action when threatened. Perhaps terrorists feel that they have no other way in making their point, and if so, the rest of the world is failing in giving them opportunities to express themselves in a peaceful manner.

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