Terrorism is the buzzword now attached to evermore groups and causes around the world. However, who gets to determine what exactly terrorism is?

Some might say that it is the killing of civilians and non-combatants. Yet state forces all over the world engage in such tactics and then refute any accusations that their actions are terrorist in nature. Notable examples are the bombings of the urban populations of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Berlin and Dresden, or the many instances of deliberate drones attacks on civilian gatherings in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or the slaughter of Civil Rights marchers in Derry. The military responsible for such occurrences refuse to view themselves as terrorists.

Some might say that terrorism is undemocratic military action. But how many nations have ever held a referendum on whether or not to go to war? Would the British people have voted to participate in the war in Iraq, a war which was instigated solely to gain access to the natural resources there whilst appeasing a fanatically imperialist U.S. administration and the corporations that control that bedraggled state?

Some might say that the end sought by the use of physical force must be deemed immoral or unethical. Yet who decides on what constitutes acceptable morals or ethics? Such concepts appear to vary from nation to nation, culture to culture, era to era.

In the absence of any agreed and respected International Standard, it could be argued that terrorism is determined by whichever ruling authority exists at any given time. This ‘to the victor the spoils‘ mentality can be seen to be reinforced by state influenced media who engage in partisan political portrayals whilst disseminating Establishment propaganda.

Such journalistic capitulation is both socially unhealthy and judicially detrimental. Greater balance, courage and integrity is needed within the media industry when presenting current affairs, so that a populace might then be able to make an informed decision as to what exactly constitutes terrorism, and who exactly the terrorists are.

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