Scourge of the 21st Century: Reflections on Terrorism From The Basque Country To Manhattan   [open pdf - 110KB]

"At the time I wrote these words, the estimated number of victims killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan exceeded six thousand, and more than two hundred in the attack against the Pentagon and the plane which went down in Pennsylvania. In contrast, the number of people killed by ETA since its appearance in 1969 is "only" eight hundred. So, in the terrible math of death, the terrorists responsible for the attacks of September 11 are infinitely more deadly than the ETA terrorists. And the American people would have the right to claim primacy in the calculation of sorrow: lives lost, families undone, missing friends, material damages, economic catastrophes. Those analysts who draw these comparisons--that is, between ETA, the IRA and Corsican terrorism, or even going back a little further, between the Italian Red Brigades and the German Baader Mainhof, on the one hand, and the effects of the attacks in New York and Washington, on the other hand--are right to draw a difference between what they call a "tactical nuisance" with which the affected people can live and a "strategic disaster" which renews the very organizational basis of society and requires a response that is global, coordinated, and in so far as possible, definitive." -- Introduction

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Security and Defense Studies Review (Winter 2001), v.1 no.2, p.218-222
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