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A brief history of terror.

Reader comment on item: I Give Up: There Is No Terrorism, There Are No Terrorists

Submitted by Genghis Cohen (United States), Jun 5, 2015 at 20:19

Brutus and Cassius believed that their plot to hack Caesar's body 15 times was a noble deed to save the republic. The Roman Senate saw his rended corpse as an act of terror so frightening that they all fled Rome and the integrity of the Senate was never fully restored. In the civil war that followed, nearly forty of Rome's best legions fought hand to hand with swords in terrible carnage. Brutus and Cassius died by suicide after their legions were defeated, and thus the apex of Roman power began to pass.

In June of 1914, a nineteen year old Bosnian youth named Gavrilo Princep was seated in a cafe on a side street of Sarajevo when, to his amazement, an open phaeton bearing the Archduke of Austria and Sophia, his wife, came to a stop just outside the door of the cafe. Brandishing a pistol that had been given him by a member of the Black Hand, a Serbian Terror group, Gavrilo bounded to the side of the vehicle, shot Sophia in the abdomen and then fired thrice more, hitting the Archduke in the neck and chest.

The effect upon Austria was stunning; as if Prince William and Kate, on a good-will journey had been killed. The marriage of Franz Ferdinand and Sophia was a love story of sacrifice that had touched the hearts of Europeans, and his dying words were, "My darling, you must live for the children." The immediate consequense of this act of terror was a declaration of war by Austria on Serbia, ushering in the kind of mass killing by machinery that was theretofore unknown.But there was an aspect of this terrorist act, undiscussed these many years, which illustrates a psychotic counter-productivity of forcing political change via uninformed impassioned outbursts.

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have inherited the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in less than two years. It consisted of fifteen distinct nations from which the Archduke wished to create a commonwealth based on the example then newly provided by Great Britain. Each of the nations was to be autonomous, merely recognizing a common link in a monarch who ruled sparingly under a constitution approved by each. Gavrilo had dreamt of a Bosnia indepenent of Ausrtia but he killed the person who would have implemented his wish and this same act of terror brought the millions of deaths of WW I and the rise of Adolf Hitler who precipitated WW II and the invention of nuclear bombs.

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