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Terrorism and the War on Terror

            The War on Terror is characterized as a fundamentally different type of war than previous and more traditional conflicts. The War on Terror is a military effort to eliminate terrorism as well as the funding of terrorist cells throughout the world. The primary goals of this war are to find and eliminate terrorists and ultimately end terrorism, with the initial targets being the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
             A precise definition of terrorism has proven to be rather controversial as various government agencies and legal systems tend to have different definitions. After numerous readings and film viewings on the topic of terrorism throughout this course, I believe I can define terrorism as murder that is premeditated, deliberate and systematic as well as threats aimed at people or property to intimidate and create fear for political ends. I believe that terrorism in most cases will be argued against. Innocent people are usually targeted in terrorist acts. Furthermore, acts of terror can bring retaliated acts of terror back to the aggressor and innocent civilians are often caught in the middle. However, terrorists can argue that their methods are ethical and just, used to right wrongs due to political and social injustices. .
             Many nations live in hunger or poverty particularly third world countries. In some cases, people use violence and terrorism to get the attention of the media in the hopes of making their personal situations better. Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda, felt that the land of his people was being stripped by oppressive U.S. military forces simply by occupying the holy lands of Arabia. He also stated that America will continue to be attacked until it stops supporting Israel and specific foreign policies in the Middle East are stopped. In the book, Terrorism and Collective Responsibility, Burleigh Wilkins writes, "It is generally agreed that it is justifiable to do violence to another person in self-defense" (337).

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