Every day, so many people wake up with one hope, to live and do everything possible to enjoy this life.
Blue sky, fresh air, green trees, clean environment, and good people near – this is what can make this life really worthwhile and interesting. However, this really captivating life may be spoiled in several hours or even in several minutes, and the reason all this may be two simple words – terror and terrorism. Unfortunately, not many people really comprehend the meaning of these two words, this is why it is crucially important to pay attention to these two issues and develop numerous discussions.
The point is that the meaning of terror is not the same of terrorism, so, it is necessary to find out the difference that lies between terror and terrorism, analyze the reasons of terrorism, and evaluate personal position in order to realize whether it is possible to stop terrorists and be sure that terror will not disturb people in near future. Nowadays, terrorism is considered to be a really interesting topic to investigate and analyze; lots of studies, debates, and controversies take place around this issues in order to be able to deal with it and promote safer life (Laqueur 7). Of course, the events of September 11 2001 in New York and Washington made each person on the world remember once again how cruel and unpredictable terroristic acts could be, how many innocent lives may be lost within a really short period of time. That shock, those tears, and those deaths raised considerably the importance to think about human activities and the evil these activities may lead to. Those September attacks served as a bell to start the war on terrorism and the war on terror. Is it possible to stop terrorism in this world? Who can stop all those terroristic acts? Is it real to live in peace for a long period of time? All these questions bother so many people nowadays. However, to start this war, it is necessary to clear up with definitions of terror and terrorism, their reasons, and history. Terror and terrorism cannot be interpreted in one and the same way.
There are so many of definitions of the word terrorism can be found, one of them lies in the fact that terrorism is “the premeditated threat or use of violence by subnational groups or clandestine individuals intended to intimidate and coerce governments, to promote political, religious or ideological outcomes” (Whittaker 10). Of course, it is not that difficult to find out one of the possible definitions of the word and learn it by heart. However, such awareness does not help to grasp the main idea of terrorism and does not help to prevent any terroristic act.
This is why it is better to think about own interpretation of these two words. Terrorism should be regarded as any kind of practice that leads to pain, suffering, and death. Such kind of practice turns out to be harmful for people and for future.
Terror is not the same as terrorism. It should be regarded more as the effect, the results of terrorism, the emotional understanding of the danger and threat. Lots of writers and historians deal with the history of terror and terrorism, offer their own interpretations, and comment on the situations in the world. Each writer has his/her own approach, and, to my mind, the ideas offered by Luisa Valenzuela in her The Verb to Kill deserve certain attention. Two little sisters with their own attitude to life and their places in this world conjugate the verb to kill and shiver with fear. “He kills – he killed – he will kill” (Valenzuela 147). If such thoughts are already in the minds of these little girls, what can be further? Thoughts about killing and death, intention to avoid pain, or desire to kill – any of these issues are possible.
Michel Wieviorka regards terrorism as a social product, this is why the study of terrorism should start from a deep analysis of society, its problems, and intentions (Wieviorka 589). And Angelo Corlett considers terrorism from another quite interesting perspective. He tells that it is “an absolute legal obligation to obey the law” (Corlett 10). Each of these ideas has a certain influence on my own interpretation of the words terrorism and terror. They have lots approaches in common, this is why I am sure that terrorism and all those terrible consequences of terroristic attacks are caused by people only. I cannot but wonder how strange people may be: they perfectly realize that usually terroristic actions will be punished, and nevertheless, they continue doing all this in order just to demonstrate their abilities to disobey and kill.
Is it a true characteristic of any person – to create difficulties in order to discover own sense of life? If it is true, then our society is doomed to failure. Dues to the above-mentioned words, it is high time to think about possible ways to stop terrorism and provide our children with a chance to live in safe future. Of course, lots of people remain to be quite egoistic, this is why the ideas of safe future may not bother them at all. This is why it is better to say that we should stop terrorism for even our safe and peaceful future. People should just image how wonderful the life can be if stop dividing everything, proving own priority, and feeling sorry for ourselves only. Human beings are powerful enough to control their own lives, smart enough to create proper environment, skillful enough to develop new technologies to improve this world. We should comprehend that terrorism is a social notion, this is why only global actions, collective ideas and desire may save this world.
Only together, people can find the necessary way out and start own flourishing; only together, people can remove all those conditions, which encourage terrorism on this planet. And first of all, we should stop thinking about terrorism in order to stop it at all. Maybe, nowadays, it is still impossible to imagine our world without terror and terrorism. People are so afraid to be a victim of another terroristic act or loose relatives or friends. People cannot fight with death, but they can easily stop fighting with each other in order not to cause all these deaths. Of course, comprehension of the words terrorism and terror will not stop terrorism at all, but still, it is a good beginning for those, who have already realized that to live without terror is quite possible. The only thing people should do now is to unite and stop dividing.
In this case, the issues of terrorism and terror will not be as burning as they are right now.
Corlett, J. Angelo. Terrorism: A Philosophical Analysis.
Springer: 2003. Laqueur, Walter. No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Continuum International Group, 2004. Whittaker, David, J. Terrorism: Understanding the Global Threat. London: Pearson Education, 2007.
Valenzuela, Luisa. The Verb to Kill from The International Story: An Anthology with Guidelines for Reading and Writing about Fiction by Spack, Ruth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998: 147-149. Wieviorka, Michael. Terrorism in the Context of Academic Research from Terrorism in Context by Crenshaw, Martha.
Penn State Press, 1995: 597-606.