One Persons Freedom Fighter Is Another Persons Terrorist.

3521 Words Jul 29th, 2011 15 Pages
The terrorist attacks in America have since publicized controversial attitudes in understanding and defining terrorism. There is a misconception of terrorism as it was only in actuality brought to light after the attacks in America on 11 September 2001 (Best & Nocella, 2004); this has guided many to assume that terrorism arose in light of the 11 September attacks, when actually terrorism did not begin in 2001; nor is it restricted to extremists in the Middle East. Here is where much of the difficulty lies in defining terrorism; thus the now famous quotation, “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter’.
This essay will look at both the way this phrase can be beneficial and inversely cause issues in the
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Tactical Choice
The first of the three differences is the tactical theory used. The terrorist will employ tactics in order to target civilians (Tavares, 2003 pg.13). It is however rare for enough civilians to be targeted in order to have any form of physical impact on the states resources. The general aim becomes to separate the greater part of society from its incumbent authorities through the use of fear. Crenshaw (1981, pg: 386) suggests that this is utilized to weaken the powers of authorities that on the contrary result in the terrorist group to be perceived as more powerful. The goal of the terrorist's tactics becomes less concrete as they believe that a relatively small attack will result in the overall political goals of their group to be identified. In contrast Ganor (2006) states that freedom fighters do not target civilians however focus their target on armed forces. Their objective then becomes to diminish the militaries resources to the point where the balance of hard power in particular area, shifts into ones own favour leading to the concrete goal of an enemies surrender and capitulation to ones demands (Ganor, 2006).

2. Sources for Motivation
It is stated by most theories that terrorists are motivated by more than just exclusively political goals (Whiteley, 2010). Freedom fighters are motivated by what is
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