The men who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. Photograph: REUTERS TV/Reuters
The Guardian: The Theatre Of Terror
Terrorists have almost no military strength so they create a spectacle. How should states respond? The author of Sapiens, a history of humanity, reflects on the past, and alarming future, of the fear factor
As the literal meaning of the word indicates, terror is a military strategy that hopes to change the political situation by spreading fear rather than by causing material damage. This strategy is almost always adopted by very weak parties, who are unable to inflict much material damage on their enemies. Of course, every military action spreads fear. But in conventional warfare, fear is a byproduct of material losses, and is usually proportional to the force inflicting the losses. In terrorism, fear is the whole story, and there is an astounding disproportion between the actual strength of the terrorists and the fear they manage to inspire.
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WNU Editor: A thought provoking analysis .... looking at how terrorism was perceived in the past, and how it is viewed today. I also concur with what happens when we face the ultimate terror attack .... nuclear/biological .... the world will again change, and how we define and perceive terrorism will be totally different from what it is today.
Hat tip to Jay for this article.