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In June 1914 A young man in Sarajevo steps up to a carriage and fires hispistol The Archduke Ferdinand dies Within weeks the first world warbegan In the 1940s The French resistance kill occupying troops when andhow they can In June 1944 at Oradour-sur-Glane in Central FranceGerman SS troops take revenge massacring 642 villagers In August 1945the United States Air Force drops the worlds first nuclear weapon Some190000 Japanese die nearly all of them civilians Within days the secondworld war has ended Which of these four events was an act of terrorism Which achievedanything Which if any will history judge as justified And in whosehistory Terrorism is not the simple sharp-edged bad-guy phenomenon weall love to condemn No clear line marks off politics from the threat offorce or the use of covert or open war Who is or is not a terroristThe suicide bomber the rebel guerrilla the liberation front the armedforces of the stateHistorical BackgroundTerrorism has had a long and tainted history Aristotle recognized iteven if it had no name at the time He wrote The first aim and end oftyrants is to break the spirit of their subjects What we know asterrorism can be traced back to the Russian Nihilists and Anarchists ofthe 19th century who gave a name to what would otherwise be consideredRandom acts of violence that were performed to advance theirrevolutionary cause They elevated terrorism to a high moral plane One ofthem Mikhail Bakunin exclaimed The passion for destruction is also acreative passionBritish military analyst Brian Crozier wrote in his 1974 book Theory ofConflict that terrorists have several aims falling into two categories Disruptive Terrorism and Coercive TerrorismThrough Disruptive Terrorism they try to Gain publicity for their movement or arouse admiration Secure funds and build up the movements morale or prestige Discredit and demoralize the authorities Provoke the authorities To take excessively harsh repressive measures desired to alienatecitizens and force a large scale opposition to counter-terrorist
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