Noam Chomsky reveals afterwards that while 153 countries voted for the resolution, only two opposed it: the United States of America and Israel. He says both countries could not tolerate resistance to Africa’s apartheid regime or to the foreign occupation which included “Israel’s military occupation, then in its twentieth year” (Chomsky 190). He later says both countries deny “that such actions can be legitimate resistance, and declaring them to be terrorism.”
As regards state terrorism, it is, simply put, the use of terrorism by one state against another or against its own citizens. Myra Williamson notes that “Historically, terrorism was a type of behaviour perpetrated by governments against their citizens, whereas now it is more often perceived as a strategy directed against governments via the targeting of civilians” (39-40).
Terrorism in the Film
In the film, both V and the British government under Adam Sutler used terrorism to achieve their ends. Near the climax of the film, V explains to Finch just what exactly Adam Sutler and Creedy are covering up: that of their human experimentation in order to create a virus that they would use against British citizens. By releasing the virus, they create a panic in Britain in which the citizens would sacrifice most of their liberties in favor of a more orderly nation. Through this revelation, the audience is confronted with the most blatant example of terrorism, even more offensive than the British secret police the Fingermen.
V seeks to avenge himself against those who used him as a test subject for the virus, but has decided to attack the root cause of his tragedy: the terrorist state. He starts a series of murders ending the lives of those involved in the human experimentation program, and disrupts everyday life in Britain by bombing buildings, inviting citizens to an uprising, and high-jacking media and information systems.
The government, in response, brands him as a terrorist.
Just as artists are said in the film to use lies to depict the truth, the Wachowski brothers use fiction to depict the truth of today’s world, distilled in its most uncomplicated form: in the eyes of opposing forces, the other is the terrorist. Terrorism is not a word because it has no single, working, universal definition, and politics has made words worthless anyway. Terrorism is ultimately not about who is harmed and who does the harming. Terrorism is a political stance. Terrorism, like another important human concept, is in the eye of the beholder.
But of course, a state enjoying vast hegemonic dominance will most likely be believed to have the better judgment in determining who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter. In any case, the categorization of a group of persons from a freedom fighter to a terrorist does not really take into account the right to self-determination which is a fundamental right guaranteed by the United Nations. This was tackled directly by the film, in that V invited the citizens of...