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The world has tended to look at terrorism as something that isn't nice, but after all, terrorists are usually representing victims who have no other way to highlight their circumstances.  Therefore, according to this view, although terrorism isn't nice, it is perhaps understandable.

     This attitude has shown a lack of understanding of what terrorism really is.  Terrorism is when I hate the Smiths, perhaps even justifiably, so I go down the street and kill the Jones family.  This is really the essence of what we mean when we speak of terrorism.  

     Such behavior can never, ever be justified at any level.  It is time the world learn this lesson and instantly drop all sympathy' for any cause where the proponents use and/or condone terrorism tactics.

     Even the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was unlike this.  They didn't like United States interference with their military invasions of other Asian countries so they attacked us at Pearl Harbor.  But they attacked the United States, they didn't go kill thousands of people in Ghana or Zaire.

     The terrorists on September 11, 2001 destroyed any sympathy for their 'cause'.  They may have finally succeeded in changing world opinion to recognize that terrorism is absolutely and always totally unacceptable.  It is unacceptable even for a supposedly righteous cause.  Nothing can justify it.

     Terrorism must be denounced and rooted out in all instances, including by the people in whose name it is being done!!  If they do not denounce all terrorism and seriously attempt to root out terrorists within their movement, then they are accessories to the terrorist acts and should be treated as such.  Their cause loses any and all claim to legitimacy.  They are accessories to crime.

Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?

by Sherwood R. Kaip, MD

El Paso, TX