Terrorism and Morality by Haig Khatchadourian Essay

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Terrorism and Morality by Haig Khatchadourian

In “Terrorism and Morality,” Haig Khatchadourian argues that terrorism is always wrong. Within this argument, Khatchadourian says that all forms of terrorism are wrong because the outcome deprives those terrorized of their basic humanity. To this end, Khatchadourian says that even forms of terrorism that are designed to bring about a moral good are wrong because of the methods used to achieve that good. Before Khatchadourian spells out why terrorism is wrong, he defines what terrorism is, what causes terrorism, and what people believe terrorism to mean. With a working definition in place, Khatchadourian examines terrorism’s role in a just war and shows that terrorism is
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In proving that terrorism is always wrong, Khatchadourian first eliminates the idea that ‘freedom fighting’ as a form of terrorism is morally ethical. Khatchadourian states that this form of terrorism, though it is for a suspected good cause, participates in the “maiming, killing or coercing of non-innocents,” as a non-innocent is a person who is directly related to the injustice in which the terrorist seeks to avenge (293). Therefore, if this type of terrorism is ethical then “considering political assassination as a species of ‘freedom fighting’” would be acceptable as politicians are commonly thought of as non-innocents (293). Upon making this argument Khatchadourian shows that the idea of ‘freedom fighting’ as a form of acceptable terrorism is unfounded, allowing the argument to collapse in on itself, as the assassination of a political leader is never justified.

Upon pointing out the most feasible of the arguments that terrorism is in some way justifiable, Khatchadourian defines the universal goals of terrorism. Khatchadourian says that the “core of meaning includes the notion that terrorist acts are acts of coercion or force, aiming at monetary gain (predatory terrorism), revenge (retaliatory terrorism), a political end (political terrorism), or a moral end (moralistic terrorism),” holding that all forms of terrorism fall within one of these categories (293). From these broad categories,

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