Is it right to support terrorism when you’re just trying to protect people?

Kyle over at immigration orange always has thought provoking articles and one of the most thought provoking that he has had recently was his piece on the support of terrorists in Colombia by Chiquita Brands.

Chiquita didn’t just decide to support terrorists for the sake of killing people, it justified paying $1.7 million by considering it as protection money for its employees. Does that make it right though? Well, no, it doesn’t but it’s only one high profile example of people making decisions that are expedient at the time.

However, that’s the least of the problems that such support causes. Although the public perception of their aims might be different, terrorist organisations often co-operate with one another and some of that money from Chiquita no doubt found its way back to fund killing of people in Northern Ireland. Would Chiquita be quite so happy if some of their money is found to have been used to fund terrorism in America too?

The fundamental problem is that a number of products that everyone buys are produced in countries where peace is something that might come in the future and the reality of the present day is violence from one or more groups within the country. Doing business in a country like that does entail problems and there is no short-term way around that.

Unfortunately the short-term alternatives aren’t great either. Chiquita and others pulling out of Colombia doesn’t make the problem go away as others will take over the plantations and those bananas will still be sold internationally. In fact, if that wasn’t the case the impact on the Colombian economy could be catastrophic which wouldn’t be good for the cause of peace either: as seems very clear with the recent experiences in Northern Ireland, a strong economy makes the incentive for terrorism dry up very quickly.

We can’t know for sure what Chiquita’s money was used for but $1.7 million is an awful lot of money that would have been much better spent in the cause of peace.

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