Anorak News | What Is The Point Of Terrorists?

What Is The Point Of Terrorists?

by | 14th, May 2007

THE Guardian’s Gary Younge looks at what terrorists acting alone achieve – short-term pain that builds support against their cause:

Individual acts of terrorism will always put the left on the back foot. Not because the left holds a sneaking sympathy for terrorists, but because it is so busy explaining the context of their acts and protesting against wars and repression that it all too rarely voices its full-throated opposition to the acts themselves. Contrary to rightwing smears, progressives condemn terrorism routinely. In a sense that is the problem – the condemnations can appear so routine that sometimes it looks as if they just want to tick the box so they can change the subject.

Terrorism is not only deadly, it is by its very nature deeply reactionary. Emerging from the self-indulgent agendas of individuals and small, secretive cells, terrorism is performed by those acting either alone or on behalf of others with whom they have no organic political connection. With no interest in building broader political support or winning over the doubtful, it leaves those in whose name it is committed the most vulnerable. The professed goals of terrorists may be legitimate – but the methods they use set them back.

Terrorism does not rally people to a cause but polarises them on the crudest possible level – fear. That fear not only provides the pretext for brutal and disproportionate retaliation, but it actively builds public support for that retaliation. Handing both the police and the military an excuse to acquire more power, it strengthens the cause not of the poorest and most desperate, but of the state.

Posted: 14th, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink