¿Qué tiene de malo el terrorismo?

En todo el mundo la gente reacciona con un horror visceral ante los ataques en contra de civiles que perpetran Al Qaeda, los suicidas palestinos, los separatistas vascos o chechenos o los militantes del ERI. Como parece que ahora hay una pausa en la racha de bombazos suicidas y otros actos terroristas (aunque sea temporal) tal vez sea el momento de plantear una pregunta fundamental: ¿qué es lo que hace que los asesinatos terroristas sean más dignos de condena que cualquier otra forma de asesinato?

El oprobio particular que se asocia con la palabra "terrorismo" debe entenderse como una condena de los medios, no de los fines. Por supuesto, quienes condenan los ataques terroristas en contra de civiles también rechazan con frecuencia los fines que quieren alcanzar. Piensan que un Estado vasco, o el retiro de tropas estadounidenses del Medio Oriente, por ejemplo, son metas que nadie debería buscar, y mucho menos por medios violentos.

No obstante, la condena no depende del rechazo a los fines de los terroristas. Las reacciones ante los ataques del 11 de septiembre de 2001 contra Nueva York y Washington y otros similares subrayan que esos medios son indignantes, sin importar el fin; no se deberían de utilizar ni siquiera para alcanzar un fin bueno, incluso si no hay otra forma de lograrlo. El equilibrio normal entre costos y beneficios no es permisible en esos casos.

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