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Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism

Introduction

The common objective for most terrorist groups that engage in violent activities has been achieve their political goals. These objectives vary from reclaiming a certain territory to freeing of detained prisoners. With all the carnage, violence and dead bodies most people even the neutrals do not see how killing innocent people can help you achieve your political goals. The counter-argument for these groups is that they have legitimate reasons which they feel are not being fully addressed by the media or the oppressing forces.

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Using violence to push their agenda does seem like a reasonable idea at first because the common assumption is people will stop and ask them what is this you are fighting for? What needs to be done to end this cycle of violence? The actual reality is most people will never understand the justification of killing innocent people especially if they lose a close friend or relative. The notion that the means justify the ends, which is the mode of operation for most of these groups, does not win them sympathy votes from the general public. (Stern, 56)

Correspondent Interference Theory

This fear and suspicion harbored by the general public towards terrorist groups can be explained by the correspondent interference theory. People will tend to pass judgment on someone based on the effects of his actions and not consider the reasons as to why he carried out these actions or the factors that pushed him towards carrying out the actions. A typical example is if you get into a road accident, people automatically assume it’s because you are a bad driver and maybe you were just unlucky; the road could have been slippery or poorly constructed, the tyre might have suddenly burst.

This is the same misconception terrorist groups suffer from. When you hear of a terrorist attack, you generally assume the terrorist’s main motive, rather only motive, was to kill innocent people and cause carnage. Very few people consider the situations that drove him towards the acts of violence. The interesting variation with this theory is that while people will automatically make assumptions with incidents of high correspondence like blowing up a building as explained above, they do not jump to similar conclusions if the incident is of low correspondence.

For example, if you partake in a peaceful protest at a public park, people will not automatically assume that causing noise disturbance is your ultimate goal; they might take a keen interest as to what you are demonstrating about. Summarizing the above theory, terrorism is more likely to work if the acts of violence are as few as possible or non existent. This way, they will have the platform to relay their political agenda. (Hoffman, 25)

Terrorism Does Not Work

However, most terrorist groups are created on a foundation of violence either from the areas they originate from or the history of its members. Violence is the only way of achieving political goals. According to Max Abrams, this form of terrorism will never work. If anything, terrorism has a higher likelihood of succeeding if the terrorists attack military targets more frequently than civilians and if they have the most minimal political objectives.

Evicting a foreign power from a country is much easier than annihilating the entire country. Or, winning a piece of territory is much easier than setting up an entirely new political system in a country. (2007)Terrorism will always elicit an opposite effect from members of the public and it is something most of these groups do not realize. Even if they do make some progress in their political objectives, most people still view them with suspicion because they do not believe that evicting a foreign army and reclaiming their ancestral land are their only demands. How many dictators have come to power through the sword and preaching change and later turn out to be worse than their predecessors?

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Works Cited

Hoffman Bruce, Inside Terrorism, Columbia University Press, 2009, pp 23-26.

Schneier Bruce, “The Evolutionary Brain Glitch That Makes Terrorism Fail”, 2007. Web.

Stern Jessica, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill, Harper Perennial, 2004, pp 56-59.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 24). Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/parsing-and-analysis-of-the-phenomenon-of-terrorism/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 24). Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism. https://studycorgi.com/parsing-and-analysis-of-the-phenomenon-of-terrorism/

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"Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism." StudyCorgi, 24 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/parsing-and-analysis-of-the-phenomenon-of-terrorism/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism." November 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/parsing-and-analysis-of-the-phenomenon-of-terrorism/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Parsing and Analysis of the Phenomenon of Terrorism'. 24 November.

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