claude   Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:02 pm GMT
Can someone give a clear definition of what terrorism actually is? I can't find it. It seems to be mixed up with insurgency and guerrilla warfare. From what I can see they it is used to describe both. Is that correct?
Uriel   Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:26 pm GMT
Terror usually means using tactics to scare or disturb a civilian population, rather than achieving a specific military goal. Often insurgents and guerillas use this method, which is why you may be finding it linked. But it has a separate meaning.
greg   Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:08 pm GMT
Pas forcément. Durant l'occupation nazie en France, les résistants attaquaient une population militaire (l'armée allemande) : ils étaient considérés comme des terroristes et exécutés comme tels.
Ed   Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:31 pm GMT
There is difficulty coming up with a precise definition because it can be applied to any irregular political violent act of which one disapproves. This can range from an attack on civilians to an attack on a military target. The key point is that the term 'terrorism' implies disapproval. This may be clear cut if we are talking about a bomb in a busy street, but if it is fighting against an army then whether the fighters are terrorists or not depends on whether one supports or opposes them.
lu   Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:27 am GMT
I think that terrorism has two premises.
Firstly innocent civilian must be involved.Secondly it's a military action against those of superior power.
Guest   Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:21 am GMT
I don't think terrorism has to be against a superior power. If the US were hijacking Iranian planes or whatever, that would still be terrorism.
me   Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:47 pm GMT
One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.
Uriel   Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:16 pm GMT
No, you don't need to be a smaller power attacking a larger one to practice terrorist tactics. The first deliberate use of a terror campaign in a modern war is generally thought to be Sherman's March to the Sea, during the US Civil War, in which Sherman deliberately targeted the civilian population of Georgia with indiscriminate destruction in order to destroy its morale. William Tecumseh Sherman was a northern (Union) general, and his side was larger, more powerful, and ultimately victorious.

You may know Sherman as the man who coined the phrase "War is hell." He knew what he was talking about!
Guest   Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:36 pm GMT
"You may know Sherman as the man who coined the phrase "War is hell." He knew what he was talking about!"

He should do. He was a terrorist!!
Uriel   Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:41 pm GMT
I believe in the South he is still referred to as "that Yankee bastard." And it's been almost 150 years!
Jim C, York   Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:39 pm GMT
The Irish dont like it when Cromwell is mentioned, understandably given the atrocities he organised. Not a popular figure in England at this time either, the bleeding puritan cancled Christmas!
I think most people would agree that you do not hear the phrase freedom fighter very often anymore, I think people are more sensative to both sides, you agree with the politics, but disaprove of the violence.
Irish Guy   Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:16 pm GMT
Terrorism has been used to often and it has lost its meaning somewhere along the line. From what I have seen this saying still holds some significance.

"One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter."

The United nations defines terrorism as the following:

"any action, in addition to actions already specified by the existing conventions on aspects of terrorism, the Geneva Conventions and Security Council resolution 1566 (2004), that is intended to cause death or seriously bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act".

Guerrilla warfare involves the targeting of enemy troops and government and from what I can recall this is accepted as legitimate warfare according to the U.N. I'll do more digging on that.

Irish Guy   Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:17 pm GMT
Where the FECK did that link come from? Don't bother clicking on it.
Uriel   Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:37 pm GMT
That's a good definition, Irish Guy. It mostly has to do with causing fear and panic to civilians -- you know, "terrorizing". Rather than a military campaign per se.
lu   Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:35 am GMT
Well, practically it's always a smaller power attacking a larger one which is being called terroism.

Sorry to brought up political issue here.
A larger power can bomb innocent people of smaller power and say we drop the bomb at wrong place and get away from it with a sorry. Can any smaller power do that???