Terrorism’s Purpose

“The purpose of political terrorism for a century and a half has been to provoke repressive countermeasures, so that more and more of “your” people will feel forced to choose you over your enemy.” (Unqualified Offerings)

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

4 thoughts on “Terrorism’s Purpose”

  1. The trouble with this logic is that, often, most of the people the terrorists see as “theirs” will end up supporting the repressive measures as the lesser evil. Peru, for instance. Where terrorism is mixed with nationalism, this tactic has a greater chance of working, but even then it doesn’t always – repression can provoke disillusionment with the terrorists as well as anger against the oppressors.

  2. I agree, Jonathan. I think what Jim’s statement says is that this is what the purpose of terrorists is. It usually does not succeed.

    Taking Kashmir as an example, the militancy there started in the late 1980s mostly as protests and some acts against the state and federal government. With each government act of repression, the support of the militants grew. However, the militants morphed into full-fledged terrorists and there came a point when the population got tired of them. The general population still doesn’t like the Indian army but they hate the terrorists more.

  3. Terrorism and Repression

    The Head Heeb replies to my post about the purpose of terrorism: For the most part – as Zack agrees in the comments – this logic doesn’t work. In places like Peru and Colombia, for instance, terrorists were indeed successful…

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