Throughout history, great effort has been undertaken, both in times of war and peace, to incite change through aggressive action. These aggressive actions have often been purposed to directly incite fear and terror into an opposing group. When these actions have been used in lieu of or in addition to political dissent, and have been directed to forcibly direct political actions based upon fear, they can be defined as terrorism. Terrorism is any aggressive action designed to create governmental, political, or institutional change based upon a fear of consequences from a foreign or opposing party should change not occur; as opposed to change based upon the benefits and betterment of society or institutions for the greater good of mankind.
Under this definition of terrorism, it is apparent that much of the political change in our society and the world has been the direct result of terrorism. Terrorism is often the last hope of a persecuted and perhaps helpless people, however, it also is the methodology of Democratic nations in preserving their own livelihood and in keeping the world a safe place for Democracy. Both these implementations of terrorism, something which is as necessary an evil as its big brother war, can been seen in world history since time immemorial, but in just looking at our history since the 1960's, numerous implementations of terrorism can be witnessed.
The 1960's began a period of great civil reform within the United States. Much of this was through civil disobedience, the opposite of terror when so defined, such as Rosa Parks refusal to relinquish her seat on an Alabama bus (Kulman, 1). However, these same sentiments of outrage at inequality were not always expressed so eloquently. Groups such as the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army began using methods of terror to try to end oppression. This only served to take away ground that peaceful demonstrators had gained.
The Black Panthers declared war on the United States Police in 1968, and were met with overwhelming force upon this decree (Harrison, 6). Of course, this American action was met with outcries of a police state being held in the nation. However, they were only attempting to remove the terrorists, as that is the only way to deal with these types of actions. If Americans had listened to their demands, of creating a separate Black state, which was outrageous, it would only encourage further terror from other groups, undermining the Democratic nature the United States.
Another group operating in this period was the Weather Underground. At first operating through peaceful methods, by the end of the 1960's they too had turned to violence (Weather Underground Organization, 35). Again some of the FBI and CIA tactics for dealing with this group were called into question, but there aggressive nature, at times striking civilian targets, called for this type of response. This group, originally peaceful had hit a perceived wall in their efforts, they...