13 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 39 (1986)
Terror and Terrorism: There Is a Difference

handle is hein.journals/onulr13 and id is 49 raw text is: Terror and Terrorism: There is a Difference
DAVID F. FORTE*
I.
When American F-11 fighter bombers delivered their ordnance
to military and terrorist training targets in Libya, they were not merely
attacking Libya militarily. They were defending the international legal
order by helping to refine what had become a muddied principle of
international law. Of course, the initial dismay of the allies, save one;
the predictable denunciations from the enemies of the West; and the
guarded and sometimes grudging approval of the American press ob-
scured what had been done. Nevertheless, diplomacy is the primary
means of enforcing the international legal order, and force but an
adjunct. If the Administration can correct the ill effects of its secret
negotiations with Iran, the salutary effect of the American military
response against Libya may yet bear fruit, for that raid began to
resolve the confusion between acts of terror and acts of terrorism,
and the appropriate legal response to each.'
Consider the following.
-   In April, 1986, in Los Angeles, Richard Ramirez was charged
with fourteen murders, five attempted murders, seven rapes, fifteen
other sexual offenses-three with children-two kidnappings, nineteen
burglaries, and six robberies. Ramirez was thought to be the notor-
ious Night Stalker, a man whose reign of crime spread terror across
Southern California for six months, the Associated Press reported.2
With that type of incident, terror was the apt description.
-   During World War II, allied forces bombed Dresden and many
Japanese cities with incendiaries. The resulting firestorms killed thous-
ands of civilians. Allegedly, the attacks were accomplished for the
purpose of terrorizing the populace in order to hamper the enemy's
war effort, and to place pressure on the enemy political leadership
* Formerly Counselor for Legal Affairs, United States Mission to the United Na-
tions; Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Cleveland State Uni-
versity College of Law; A.B., Harvard; M.A., University of Manchester; Ph.D., University
of Toronto; J.D., Columbia University. The research leading to this article was sup-
ported by a grant from the Cleveland-Marshall Fund. My colleague, Professor Joel Finer,
assisted me by his commentary. I am also grateful for the research assistance of Janet
Payton, law student, and Judith Kaul, Reference/Media Librarian, Cleveland-Marshall
College of Law. The conclusions herein are my own.
1. See, e.g., the diplomatic success of the United States at the Tokyo Summit. 7
Summit Leaders Condemn Terror, Citing Libyan Role, N.Y. Times, May 6, 1986, at 1,
col. 6.
2. Chilling Courtroom Drama Unfolds In Night Stalker Case, Associated Press
(available Apr. 21, 1986 on NEXIS, File: WIRES).

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