For most people in Western nations today, terrorism has become synonymous with large scale spectacular acts of violence by small groups against a civilian population and, within the last 15 years, primarily in the name of one religion in particular - Islam. Historically speaking (and I mean up until the present day) there is no justification for this perception, and it can only have come about through a massive and prolonged public propaganda offensive on the part of those with a vested interest in creating and perpetuating it.
The historical record shows quite clearly that states, or those acting on behalf of the state, have been responsible for the vast majority of large-scale terrorist acts against civilians.
If we pause to think about it for a moment, it seems natural that this would be the case. The ruling class in any nation, be it a monarchy, democracy or dictatorship, are naturally in opposition to the people over whom they rule because the ruling class enjoy privileges that the people do not. Indeed, the ruling class only enjoy these privileges because of this manufactured divide, that is to say, the 'haves' have because the 'have nots' 'have not'.
While the division between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in terms of wealth and privilege is clear to most, many people still fail to realise that the very existence of a corrupt wealthy elite presumes the existence of two very different definitions and applications of morality and even the law.
Citizens live their lives by a moral code and expect their leaders to hold to the same standards, both in their own lives and in their dealings on the international stage as the representatives of the people. But this basic sense of morality or conscience adhered to by the people is, more often than not, an impediment to the selfish objectives of the elite. Basically, in our modern world, the elite would not be the elite if they held to the same moral code as a majority of the population. This is another reason why the civilian population are viewed as a threat to the established order and why the elite must not only lie to the population about their true intentions, but must also attempt to corrupt the general understanding of 'morality' (and reality) so that it more closely resembles the deviant world view of the elite.
This assessment of our modern social and political structures may be unsavory to many, but a quick look around the world today, or a brief glance over the past few thousands years, shows that sadly, it is the truth.