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In the Middle East, there is the additional fact that Hizbollah (or their predecessor) is probably the only organisation in history to actually win wars with terrorist attacks, kicking the US, and, later, Israel out of their country this way. That may have given a big push to others who thought they could do the same thing.
I very much agree that Hezbollah was inspirational with their success; that also helped the Shi'a to Sunni cross-over mentioned in the diary. But quibbling, I contest the notion that all of Hezbollah's attacks that contributed to the kicking out of the US and later Israel, especially the attacks on the US and French barracks and the attacks on Israeli military, should be counted as terrorism.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
The purpose of a terrorist attack is often not to achieve a military objective, but to, quite literally, strike terror into a general civilian population, with a view to cowing or suppressing them as a potential source of opposition, regardless of their own individual sympathies. Many civilians are simply caught up in an attack by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is, and always should be, a war crime. But of course only the losers are ever prosecuted. The US could simply have demonstrated their military superiority by detonating a nuclear bomb over the sea within sight of Tokyo accompanied by an ultimatum to surrender. Dresden was simply an act of revenge. Much of modern day middle eastern originating terrorism is an inchoate response to the overwhelming military power of the US and Israel which makes any conventional response impossible to sustain.
The problem with terrorism is that it destroys both those it is directed at and those who use it - as the rise of Trump and the degradation of US political culture so eloquently testifies. The failure to prosecute Bush/Cheney and their acolytes for the Iraq war is the proximate cause - as is the ongoing failure to recognise the international court of Justice in Den Haag. American exceptionalism is breeding a terrorist monstrosity simply because there is no means of regulating the beast. Will we have to wait for the US to be defeated in a nuclear exchange for that to change? I hope not.
Index of Frank's Diaries
Assassination has always been possible, and the option to commit suicide by cop/soldier has always been there, but actually harming large numbers of people in a spectacular fashion is not easy without, at the very least, something like dynamite. Motor vehicles vastly amplify the killing power of explosives by making them mobile and relatively difficult to stop.
We live in an era where one well-motivated individual can, with some study and practice, become a destructive force vastly greater than was possible in the past. This makes a difference, and the rise of suicide tactics is at least in part a response to this new technology. The motivation has probably been there for hundreds of years, it's just the ability is newer.
In my opinion this has been part of the reason behind the end of outright colonial rule. Colonialism and Imperialism were just vastly more profitable when it was harder for the oppressed to fight back, when they had to form actual armed groups with training and tactics and expensive weaponry to accomplish anything.
Interesting reasoning on suicide bomb cars. In a way the fire ship can be seen as a precursor. That went out of style with the wooden ships, but remains a common ingredient in sci fi movies where the doomed hero (but not the real hero, because he gets the girl in the end) valiantly steers a aircraft/spacecraft into the evil aliens spacecraft (or an asteroid or whatever) and everything explodes. Of course that is brave and heroic, nothing like the cowardly attacks of suicide bombers...
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