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Related: 9/11 - Andreas Baader - horror - fear - violence


Terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, personal, religious, or ideological change. Terrorist attacks are designed to influence the broader society to which those killed, injured, or taken hostage belong. The dramatic focus of mass media is often ascribed as amplifying and broadcasting feelings of intense fear and anger that make terrorism more effective in the modern world. As a type of unconventional warfare, terrorism is designed to weaken or supplant existing political landscapes through capitulation or acquiescence as opposed to subversion or direct military action.

The term is also used pejoratively to assert that its violence targets "innocent civilians," or that it is immoral, wanton, unjustified, indiscriminate, or executed "with disregard for human life." According to some definitions of terrorism used by states and governments, terrorists are actors who do not belong to any recognized armed force, or who do not adhere to their rules, and who are therefore regarded as "rogue actors." Groups that call themselves separatists, revolutionaries, guerrillas and other specific terms are often referenced vaguely and pejoratively by their enemies as terrorists. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism [Aug 2006]

Non-fiction books

  • Guns, Death, Terror : An Illustrated History of International Terrorism - Jack Sargeant [Amazon.com]
    Looking back to the first high-profile plane hijackings, car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of the 1960s and 1970s, this book is the first single volume to explore and contextualise the roots of modern terrorism. From the Baader-Meinhof gang of Germany, to the Red Army in Japan, the SLA and the Black Panthers of North America, Guns Death Terror covers all these groups and is illustrated with rare photographs and original terror manifestos, making it a timely and essential study of international terrorism.

  • Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues With Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida (2003) - Giovanna Borradori, Jurgen Habermas, Jacques Derrida [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The idea for Philosophy in a Time of Terror was born hours after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and came to realization just weeks later when Giovanna Borradori sat down with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, in separate interviews, in New York City. Habermas and Derrida evaluated the significance of the most destructive terrorist attack ever perpetrated. The resulting book is an unprecedented encounter between two of the most influential thinkers of our age: here for the first time Habermas and Derrida overcome their antagonism and agree to appear side by side in this book.

    In her introduction, Borradori contends that philosophy has an invaluable contribution to make to the understanding of terrorism. Just as the traumas produced by colonialism, totalitarianism, and the Holocaust wrote the history of the twentieth century, the history of the twenty-first century is already signed by global terrorism. Each dialogue, accompanied by a critical essay, recognizes the magnitude of this upcoming challenge. Characteristically, Habermas's dialogue is dense, compact, and elegantly traditional. Derrida's, on the other hand, takes the reader on a long, winding, and unpredictable road. Yet unexpected agreements emerge between them: both have a deep suspicion of the concept of "terrorism" and see the need for a transition from classical international law, premised on the model of nation-states, to a new cosmopolitan order based on continental alliances.

    As Derrida and Habermas disassemble and reassemble what we think we know about terrorism, they break from the familiar social and political rhetoric increasingly polarized between good and evil. In this process, we watch two of the greatest philosophical minds at work. --amazon.com

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