The Tool Of Terrorism Essay

861 words - 4 pages

Terrorism is something that has unfortunately plagued human history. Many academics have attempted to explain why people and groups resort to terrorism but there has not been a single reason why they do it. Terrorists commit terrorist attacks based on many different reasons and situations. Also the type of person they are has a major influence on why they commit terrorist attacks. Martha Crenshaw and Jerrold Post write and argue their different conceptions of terrorism. Three movie, the 2 versions of The Quiet American and the Baader-Meinhof Complex, illustrates some of the arguments these writers make.
Crenshaw argues that terrorism is a strategy based on a collective rationality and strategic choice. When an organization decides to resort to violence, they did it based on for political and strategic reasons rather that of psychological or social factors. She describes terrorist as radical political organizations that possess a collective preference or values and rationally selects terrorism as a tool from their perceived alternatives. These organizations comes to this decision to use terrorism by many ways. Efficacy is the main standard these groups use to compare the use of terrorism to the other courses of action available. Also these groups studies the potential consequences of their various courses of action or inaction. Once they study and analyzed these factors and courses, these radical groups arrive at a collective judgment to take the appropriate course of action. If terrorism come out as the best course of action, then the group goes with that choice. Also, Crenshaw argues that an organization or faction may choose terrorism because the other options are too time-consuming and don’t have time given the urgency of their situation and government’s resources. Martha Crenshaw also presents terrorism as an expression of political strategy. She argues that terrorism is a powerful agenda-setting function that used skillfully and articulately can put the issues of political change on the public agenda. Terrorism allows extreme and obscure issues and interests into the political arena.
Jerrold Post on the other hand argues that terrorism are based on psychological reasons and forces. His main argument in the essay is that “individuals are to the path of terrorism in order to commit acts of violence, and their special logic, which is grounded in their psychology and reflected in their rhetoric, becomes the justification for their violent acts”. Post states that terrorists are mostly people who are aggressive and action-oriented, and who place...

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