Terrorism is the use of violence on a population to sway a government or its people. The terrorist act is a propaganda piece that can be used by both
the aggressor and the victim. It is a tactic of war, and as such has been employed by the United States of America, in defiance of the Geneva
Usually in a war, the clear victor will take the moral high road and not perform terror, because it clearly posesses the means to win the war on
conventional terms. The underdog in a conflict, or when the conflict is difficult, both parties, use terrorism.
Here is the USA's biggest terrorist act:
On the night of March 9 - 10th, the 1945 the US bombed Tokyo with incendiary bombs. This created a firestorm that killed 100,000 people. It
essentially destroyed the city. This was accomplished with 334 B-29 bombers. This was done at a tiny margin of the cost of the Manhatten Project.
Then on August 6th and 8th of that year, the US dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese citizens.
This constitutes several major laws in the Geneva Convention, including deliberate targeting of civilians, deliberate destruction of a city, and use
of poison gas - in the form of radiactive fallout.
None of these strikes affected the military of Japan. They were performed to kill civilians for political ends. They succeeded. While the
firebombing of Tokyo did little to shake Japanese resolve, the idea of 80,000 people being destroyed be a single bomb was more potent. The spectre of
radiation was also terrifying. Japan surrendered completely while it still had military power. It's national will was destroyed through displays of
The terrorist attacks on the United States give Americans insight to the effects of the atomic bombing. The images of the Pennsylvania crash and the
Pentagon crash were nearly repressed under the fantastic and horrifying spectacle of the World Trade Center exploding:
And the horror movie-like collapse:
The reason that both Hiroshima and 9/11 were effective terror tools was because of their simplistic horror. Stalin once said, "One death is a
tragedy, a million is a statistic." This is due to the human mind's inability to imagine millions of deaths, but it's emotional ability to be
41,000 people killed in car crashes in 2001 in the United States, 15,000 murdered, and 160,000 dead from cancer, with 20,000 dead from the flu. Like
the 100,000 killed by many little bombs in Tokyo, those numbers are no cause for alarm because they are too abstract. But, the singular image of one
bomb wiping out tens of thousands, the pure potency of a plane exploding through a skyscraper, are enough to severely impact a population.