Is It Terrorism To Attack Terrorists? Essay, Research Paper
Is it Terrorism to Attack Terrorists?
Terrorism is politically motivated violence intended to intimidate and terrify.
When U.S. embassies were bombed in Kenya and Tanzania, Washington decided to
retaliate. On Aug. 20, 1998, the U.S. launched military strikes at what they believed were
terrorist-related bases in Afghanistan and Sudan. They believed these groups played a key
role in the embassy bombings. Some believe that retaliation and a show of force are acts
of self-defence that will eventually result in the destruction of terrorism. Others believe
that this attack was merely a demonstration of power and brute force against the Afghan
The U.S. has formulated many points to justify the reprisal attacks in Afghanistan
and Sudan. They claim that terrorist acts, such as the bombing of the U.S. embassies,
should not go unpunished. The mounting threat of terrorist attacks on American targets
must be controlled. These murderous factions have untenable goals and unlimited bombs,
and they must be stopped before terrorism gets out of hand. U.S. allies supported the
bombings and described them as part of a global effort to combat terrorism. This act
shows terrorists that democratic governments will act decisively to prevent their evil
crimes. The bombings were necessary to send a message that terrorist attacks would not
be tolerated and to try to prevent further violence.
Conversely, some argue that the U.S. is committing international terrorism
themselves. The United States regularly uses violence for political motives, to intimidate
and terrify, which is the exact definition of terrorism. The bombings in Afghanistan and
Sudan were called anti-terrorist raids, but they were actually acts of terrorism by the U.S.
themselves. These bombings are not self-defence as the U.S. claims because the attacks
on the embassies did not pose an immediate danger to the country itself. Some even
claim that these U.S. hostile policies are an act of war against a sovereign country.
If the U.S. principles of retaliation were to be applied to other situations, then all
around the world there are countries that have a perfect right to bomb Washington. For
instance, there were reports that a Miami-based organization was involved in bombings
in Cuba that claimed civilian lives. According to U.S. justification, Cuba would have the
right to drop bombs in Washington. But these principles of retaliation only apply to the
strong, and it states that the strong are allowed to attack the weak and defenseless any
time they want.
In response to terrorism, further terrorism is not authorized. According to the UN
Charter, it is clear that this use of violence is blatantly illegal. Law-abiding states should
refrain from using violence and try to prosecute the perpetrators of terrorist attacks,
rather than resorting to the same tactics. People who carry out terrorist attacks are
culpable and should be punished just like any other crime. The way to deal with the
perpetrators of such violence is to gather evidence, track them down and seek extradition
There is little evidence that this type of retaliation accomplishes any concrete
actions that would have effects on combating terrorism. The U.S. bombings only serve as
retaliation. The American people want to feel a sense of security that these terrorists have
been punished, and they are no longer wreaking havoc. If it takes the use of violence to
give Americans peace of mind, the U.S. will bomb any country for revenge and as a show
The U.S. is the only remaining superpower, and there is no question that it can
throw its weight around. The question is, are such attacks productive, are they actually
going to reduce terrorism? In this case, the U.S. is trying to solve violence with violence,
fighting fire with fire. It does not make sense to use terrorist tactics in a war against