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Michael Williams
Global Issues - Political Science 125

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November 27 Topics

November 27 In-class Topics
  1. What is terrorism? The use of violence against nongovernmental groups in order to achieve political goals. It is used to create fear and uncertainty. It is used to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of established governmental institutions.
  1. What are some examples of terrorist groups? Al Quaeda, IRA, Shining Path, Hamas outside of their own country, criminal organizations such as drug cartels, the Mafia, Chinese and other Asian criminal organizations and Piracy groups, are examples of terrorist organizations.
  1. Do governments use terrorism for their own political purposes? The use of terror, as opposed to the existence of terrorist groups, has been a tool of government since the beginning of organized human society – at least 12000 years. Terrorist groups themselves are not recognized as legitimate governmental organizations. However, every rebel organization in every civil war has been referred to as a terrorist group by the established government. The winners morph into freedom fighters or the founding generation.
  1. What is a Just War? A just war is one in which the interests of society are protected or preserved from those who would destroy the culture, livelihoods, religious faith or other essential characteristics of the society. Just War also implies that certain rules of warfare are followed. The key is that terrorists violate these norms and are by definition outside just conduct of warfare.
  1. How can any war be considered just when so many innocent lives are lost? How are the rules of just war established?