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Is terrorism acceptable?

Ron Ecker

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It has always been my belief that terrorism, specifically the slaughtering of innocent people for a political agenda (and/or in some cases, no doubt, for the psychopathic fun of it), is absolutely wrong, a pure form of evil, and I don't generally believe in absolutes. I know it is justified by some people (mainly those who are doing it) as "freedom fighting." I don't care what someone is fighting for, that doesn't make terrorism less evil. If you're going to fight for something, fight the enemy, and not innocent people.

I thought intuitively that most people would agree with me. But I now see that I was apparently wrong. There is a new hit movie out, V for Vendetta, in which the hero is a terrorist blowing up buildings in Britain. (The release was delayed due to things getting blown up in Britain on 7/7.) As best I can gather, this terrorist only blows up buildings, not people. I suppose that this to be seen as commendable, as opposed to, say, the neutron bomb, which was hailed as a way to kill people and leave buildings intact. But I don't know how one would go about blowing up the Parliament building without at least killing a security guard or two on the night shift. In any case, what kind of message to this movie send? I thought I read recently about a law being passed, or being discussed, in Britain to criminalize the glorification of terrorism. Whatever you might think of such a law, now here is a movie doing exactly that.

I haven't seen one review of this film that says terrorism is unacceptable. Below is a link to a review in the Mirror which faults the movie as a movie and does not even suggest disagreement about its acceptance if not glorification of terrorism.

So am I out of the mainstream on this? Is terrorism okay if you're fighting a totalitarian government or whatever your just cause is? Are Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to be considered quaint or silly today with that old bloodless civil disobedience stuff?


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