This article belongs to Terrorism theme.

Most people would think that actions related to the term 'terrorism' is a rather recent phenomenon when in fact, terrorism as an act, dates back to the middle ages. It is just that, in recent years, people such as George Bush and company have preferred to put a different spin on the term meaning that anyone who may not agree with Bush must be a terrorist, which is certainly not the case.

The terrorism term relates to an act as to frighten, injure or kill a collective of people at random without consideration as to their well-being. That is the true meaning of the term and as to give an example of what is and what is not terrorism it should be noted that 9/11 was terrorism while targeting a military convoy in Iraq is not.

It should also be remembered that one man's terrorist might be regarded as another man's freedom fighter.

Apart from the 9/11 terrorism act, I shall give others that can be regarded as acts of terrorism.

The bombing of civilian targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are acts of terrorism, the recent events in Mumbai are, as would be the firing of specifically untargeted missiles by Hamas. Had Hamas targeted a military installation in Israel then it would be an act of war and not terrorism.

Bombing the Taliban in either Pakistan or Afghanistan is an act of war, not terrorism.
It is also true that capturing civilians and then holding them captive for a specific purpose is terrorism while actions such as the US Extraordinary Rendition processes turned from an act of war to an act of terrorism. Therefore, it is not only groups and organisations that commit acts of terrorism, states and countries such as the US, Israel and Iran commit such crimes as well. On the order hand, bombing the Taliban in either Pakistan or Afghanistan is an act of war, not terrorism.

The actual act of terrorism is about as futile and primitive as it comes. It is an act of cowards who do not have the guts to come out and do battle in military turns as exemplified by the actions of both Hamas and Israel, who prefer to hit civilian targets rather than the more difficult military ones. But then, one could not expect anything less from Israel while Hamas must make up its mind if it wishes to be regarded as terrorists or as freedom fighters.

How to prevent terrorism might you ask.
Firstly there has to be a change in policies by the various world powers in terms of them allowing citizens of any given region or country to make up their own minds as to how they wish to run their region or country. In other words, when a country such as the US, UK or Israel invade and occupy territory the seeds for resistance and eventually terrorism are sown more or less immediately. Therefore, a lasting resolution of the various Middle East conflicts would go a long way to diminishing acts of terrorism as would resolutions in relation to Kashmir and Sri Lanka.

Secondly, by acting in a manner inappropriate countries encourage the rise of fundamentalism be that christian, muslim or any other types of fundamentalism. Isolating and exposing such sects and cults, that are often dressed up as religions, is important as it more often than not shows them up for what they really are being grabs for power.

Exclude one sector of the population from the processes of government and you automatically create problems.
Poverty is a main driving force behind creating fundamentalism and thus terrorism. Eliminate poverty and people become more interested in looking after their families through making money rather than taking up arms for various causes.

In more developed countries, governments must ensure that all processes are fair and just in the eyes of their populations. Exclude one sector of the population from the processes of government and you automatically create problems. Allow such exclusions to fester and one eventually sees riots and in some cases acts of terrorism.

So in short, to prevent terrorism one should not just run the anti-terrorism squads, governments must look at a much wider process of inclusion and fair process.

What I just said is only a very short analysis of the definition of terrorism and you may or may not agree with me. Feel free to put your case. That process is called democracy and that is a completely different matter altogether.