Faye Abdella A Nursing Theorist

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Faye Abdella a Nursing Theorist

Faye Abdella a Nursing Theorist


Terrorism became an issue of worldwide concern in the last third of the twentieth century. Terrorist tactics were not new; they had been used for centuries before being defined as terrorism. The word "terror" entered the political lexicon during the French Revolution's "reign of terror." In the late nineteenth century, at the beginning of the twentieth, and again in the 1920s and 1950s—all periods between major wars on the European continents—terrorism became a technique of revolutionary struggle.

Stalin's regime in the 1930s and 1940s was called a reign of terror, but from the late 1940s to the 1960s the word was associated primarily with the armed struggles for independence waged in Palestine and Algeria, from which later generations of terrorists took their inspiration and instruction. After World War II, "terror" emerged as a component of nuclear strategy; the fear of mutual destruction that would deter nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union was referred to as a balance of terror.


In the 1970s, "terrorism" became a fad word, promiscuously applied to a wide spectrum of conditions and actions. Bombs in public places were one form of terrorism, but some people asserted that oppression, poverty, hunger, racism, gang violence, spousal or child abuse, environmental destruction, and even medical malpractice were also forms of terrorism. Some governments labeled as terrorism all violent acts committed by their opponents, while antigovernment extremities claimed to be, and often were, the victims of government terror.

In an effort to get a firm hold on a slippery subject, those studying the phenomenon of terrorism were obliged to define it more precisely. Terrorism could be described simply as the use or threat of violence to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm and thus bring about a political result. But making this definition operative in political debate, rules of war, or criminal codes was anything but easy. Is all politically motivated violence terrorism? How does terrorism differ from ordinary crime? Should terrorism be considered a crime at all, or should it be seen as simply another form of armed conflict that is no less legitimate than any other form of war? Is the term properly reserved for those trying to overthrow governments, or can governments also be terrorists?

Terrorism can be defined objectively by the quality of the act, not by the identity of the perpetrators or the nature of their cause. All terrorist acts are crimes, and many also would be war crimes or "grave breaches" of the rules of war if one accepted the terrorists' assertion that they wage war. All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence, sometimes coupled with explicit demands. The violence is directed against noncombatants. The purposes are political. The actions often are carried out in a way that will achieve maximum publicity, and the perpetrators are usually members of an organized group.

Terrorist organizations are by necessity clandestine, but unlike other criminals, terrorists often but not ...
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