Since September 11, 2001 many Americans, along with others around the world, have been preoccupied with the why of what happened. We wonder how humans could kill themselves and innocent people, believing they are doing this in the name of God. But terrorism is not new and exists everywhere. Terrorists have come from religious fundamentalist organizations, social protest groups, and radical political movements, both of the left and the right. Although many of the terrorists have been poor and uneducated, others have come from affluent, privileged circumstances.
The fact that nearly all are late adolescents or young adults (or started their terrorist careers during this phase of their lives) raises the question as to whether there is any realtion between these two seemingly disconnected entities. Well,it seems there exists a relationship! There exists something about youth that makes the lure of an ideology that promises a perfect society, together with the prospect of the violent overthrow of the existing world order, simply irresistible. But,precisely what constitutes Terrorism. The standard definition of Terrorism states that- Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. ” Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.
Ideally,terrorism can be defined as the feeling of resentment rather than as a phenomenon. This,as explained most intelligibly by Senator John Kerry could be stated as follows – “While we must remain determined to defeat terrorism, it isn’t only terrorism we are fighting. It’s the beliefs that motivate terrorists. A new ideology of hatred and intolerance has arisen to challenge America and liberal democracy. ” Next term that comes into the mind is regionalism.
In politics, regionalism is a political ideology that focuses on the interests of a particular region or group of regions, whether traditional or formal (administrative divisions, country subdivisions, political divisions, subnational units). Regionalism centers on increasing the region’s influence and political power, either through movements for limited form of autonomy (devolution, states’ rights, decentralization) or through stronger measures for a greater degree of autonomy (sovereignty, separatism, independence).
Regionalists often favor loose federations or confederations over a unitary state with a strong central government. “Regionalism may be contrasted with nationalism but may be combined with Terrorism. ” Winston Churchill once said – “If you want to catch them,catch them while they are young. ” In my opinion,this aphorism holds true for relationship between terrorism,regionalism & the youth. When we are talking about curbing terrorism,we are in actual talking about curbing the feeling of resentment,anger persisting in the minds or prevailing in the hearts of the youth,the future of the tomorrow.
The seed of terrorism is sown into the field of democracy only. Democracies,spreaded all over the globe,foster the feeling of resentment or indirectly terrorism,regionalism etc. ‘What is called terrorism,’ Brian Jenkins has written, `’seems to depend on one’s point of view. Use of the term implies a moral judgment; and if one party can successfully attach the label terrorist to its opponent, then it has indirectly persuaded others to adopt its moral viewpoint. Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization `terrorist’ becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned. If one identifies with the victim of the violence, for example, then the act is terrorism. If, however, one identifies with the perpetrator, the violent act is regarded in a more sympathetic, if not positive (or, at the worst, an ambivalent) light; and it is not terrorism. ” This ambidextrous terrorism manifests itself into many different aspects,one being regionalism.
This at times is accidental & at times,is the result of some calumnious plotting. I guess that’s why more recently, Ronald Reagan and others in the American administration frequently called the Afghan Mujahideen freedom fighters during their war against the Soviet Union, yet twenty years later when a new generation of Afghan men are fighting against what they perceive to be a regime installed by foreign powers, their attacks are labelled terrorism by George W. Bush. This hypocrisy on part of Governments across the globe has been a prominent reason for he growth of Terrorism at this fast pace. May be Adam Schiff took his inspiration from the above mentioned statement only while quoting this – “Democracies are the breeding grounds for terrorism and war. ” Concluding, all one can say is that one can not be wishy-washy when he is talking about terrorism. Winning the war on terrorism will always require a level of moral clarity that can provide a vision for struggling people and nations everywhere & that too unequivocally. Terrorism is an imminent problem that needs to be tackled immediately, without any further delay.
In some countries, the development of regionalist politics may be a prelude to further demands for greater autonomy or even full separation, especially when ethnic and cultural disparities are present. This was demonstrated in the late 1980s in Yugoslavia, among other examples. Problems like terrorism & regionalism can not be soved by the use of artillery alone,they need audacity. “If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win. ”