Defining Terrorism –Third Period Homework

TO DO TONIGHT (1/11) — read the article provided in the link, and respond to the article in the “comments” of this post, using the questions below to guide your comments.

Read the following article, Revolutionaries or Terrorists?

Post-Reading Activity:
In a comment to this post, identify the points of disagreement that emerged in the United Nations’ debates on terrorism. What arguments were made against condemning terrorism? Speculate about what the Cuban representative to the U.N. might have been referring to.

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3 thoughts on “Defining Terrorism –Third Period Homework

  1. In reading this article, one can see there is obviously a lot more to the idea of terrorism and what constitutes a terrorist than meets the eye. In the UN debates, many said that the term is subjective. That one person could look at a man and see a terrorist while another could look at the same man and see a hero. It all depends on which side of the argument you are on. Others in the UN said that the view of the cause is not at all what constitutes terrorism, instead it is the acts that the individuals do to stand up for their cause that gives them this name. The Cuban Representative seems to be talking about general freedom movements that can pop up around the world. The acts that the individuals preform, he describes, is said to be illegal by the government because they don’t want them to have the ability to do these things. While the government, or armed forces in this case, sometimes do exactly the same things as the people or even worse, but they are legal because they are the government.

  2. I think that the biggest problem that people face when defining terrorism is assessing the different point of views. America itself started on a foundation of war because we thought we were being treated unjustly. I don’t think any American would consider the Revolutionary war a terrorist act. The division of opinion comes from what is really justified war. Terrorist may be considered people who don’t have the rights they should in their country or as extremists. The Cuban representative argued that you can’t condemn terrorism while national defense forces are considered legitimate. This is a matter of lens because to a country their army is brave, while to another it is a threat.

  3. The points in disagreement that are debated are summed up in the conclusion of the article. The question of how to separate terrorists from freedom-fighters has a wide variety of answers depending on the perspective of the person discussing it. Terrorism crosses the line for some people when it comes to giving terrorists all of the civil rights they deserve, and the government has a difficult decision on where to draw the line. If they are given too much freedom which allows them to continue their lives after a short punishment, it opens the door for more attacks and deaths of Americans. Another goal of the USA is to act as an example to the other countries, so torturing a terrorist goes against the morals they publicly support, but many people believe that is what is needed when it comes to preventing terrorism. The Cuban representative argued that terrorists can not be punished for following the same policy that national liberation forces are allowed to follow.

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