[FoRK] Ugh. "Don't Feed The Terrorists!"

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Mon Mar 15 07:01:37 PST 2004

> One minor quibble with this:  I have a problem with the rampant, 
> jingoist misapplication of the term terrorist on every side of this 
> issue.  It dilutes a word that, in today's world, we really *need* to 
> have maintain its consensus definition.
> By definition, terrorists aren't states.  Terrorists are weak 
> non-state groups that seek to accomplish change (disproportionate to 
> their actual ability to project force) through the surgical 
> application of horrific violence against civilian targets.  This is 
> the problem I have with using the term in connection to Iraq / SH, and 
> it's also a problem here.  Both the US and Iraq don't fit the 
> definition because, indeed, the US and Iraq are both states.
> jb

The word has long been meaningless for me. Or at the very least since 
"Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists." -- Surgical 
application of horrific violence against civilian targets - thats a good 
definition of modern war. So then the only distinction is the lack of a 
"state", which is usually the reason for the terrorists in the first 
place. Wouldn't Al Qaeda/Taliban circa 9/10/2001 qualify as a  state? 
What about "state-sponsored terrorism?"

I think presuming that the bombs changed the results of the election is 
pretty typical American chauvinism. If you think that, then it seems 
only a minor step to
say that people who vote for Democrats in the next US election are doing 
so for the same reason. Looking for someone to make peace with the rest 
of the world....


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