Why Is Terrorism A Crime?

1082 Words 4 Pages
It seems to me that whether or not terrorism is an act of war or a crime is not so much a definition, but rather a policy decision and depends on the factors involved. The first issue in deciding whether terrorism is an act of war or a crime is the lack of a concrete definition for terrorism. Internationally and domestically there are varying definitions for terrorism; however, some sort of base exists for knowing when terrorism occurs and that is, it is often some violent act against innocence to coerce or push some sort of belief. The other issue is in regards to the reaction to terrorism. If terrorism is a crime then we should be seeking those who are guilty and trying them in court but if it is an act of war, then a state has the right to defend itself and retaliate.

What makes the decision
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Wars should be avoided because of the costs and loss they bring, but what draws people to support a war is the end. The end of the war brings status, power, and victory. We reward achievements and present medals of honor to the brave and courageous individuals during war. So, why should this be granted to a terrorist? Why should we give them power by doing exactly what they want; quickly gathering arms as a result of the terror that they had installed into the populist?
Defining terrorism as an act of war gives terrorists status. Whereas, defining terrorism as a crime does not. When someone thinks of a criminal, they do not think of status, power, victory, courage or bravery. They think of disgust, danger, shame, the need for justice, and more. There is a strong negative connotation with crime. Therefore, a terrorist is not a soldier nor a government that can initiate an act of war, but a criminal. Furthermore, victims of terrorism often see a terrorist or terrorist organization as a criminal which further enhances the reasoning for defining terrorism as a

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