Are There Brave Terrorists?

In City Journal Dalrymple again makes the point that it is wrong to refer to terrorist atrocities as cowardly and explains why he finds the issue important:

It would be impossible to estimate with certainty or exactitude the harm done by the misuse of words in these circumstances. But nevertheless there is an unpleasant corollary to May’s statement: if even part of what is wrong about leaving a bomb in Parson’s Green station is that it is a cowardly thing to do, then a terrorist attack that is more direct, and hence less cowardly, must be better, from a moral perspective. Are we to admire terrorists who stare their victims in the face, or put themselves directly in self-harm’s way?  Bravery in the promotion or defense of a bad cause does not make the cause better, or a heinous act any more praiseworthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *