Thursday, June 01, 2006

TER’- ROR- IST

WE’VE BEEN HEARING AND USING THE WORD REPEATEDLY IN RECENT YEARS.
SHOULDN’T WE HAVE A STANDARD DEFINITION OF THE WORD, RATHER THAN ADJUSTING THE MEANING AS IT SUITS ONE'S INTERESTS.

AN ANTI-SMUT CRUSADER ONCE RESPONDED TO THE QUESTION, ‘WHAT IS PORNOGRAPHY?’
BY SAYING,
“I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT!”

CAN WE ALL APPLY THE WORD ‘TERRORIST’ ONLY WHEN IT SATISFIES OUR OWN LIQUID, UNDEFINED DEFINITION?
CAN OTHERS USE THEIR OWN SLIDE RULE AND SAY, "I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT?"

IS TERRORISM THE DELIBERATE KILLING OF AN INNOCENT LIFE? ALWAYS?
ANYWHERE?


ARE WE AFRAID TO DEFINE THE WORD BECAUSE IT MIGHT APPLY IN CASES WHERE WE’RE MORE COMFORTABLE USING EUPHEMISMS?

PLESE...EDUCATE ME HERE.

18 comments:

ben's friend said...

Is a terrorist one who uses violence to overthrow an existing government? Then our valiant freedom fighters of the Revolutionary War would be cowardly terrorists rather than patriots.

Is a terrorist one who kills civilians? Then all combatants in any war would be terrorists due to collateral damage.

Is a terrorist one who purposely targets civilians? Then our country is a terrorist government by virtue of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Perhaps a terrorist is simply whoever we are fighting at a given moment and need to demonize.

ThePoliticalImpaler.blgs.com said...

A terrorist is someone who uses or threats to use force or violence against people or property
with the intention of instilling fear and terror for any reason. I don’t think any one has to be
killed or injured or any property destroyed to call it terrorism, just the threat is enough. I don’t
think the threats apply to soldiers, only civilians. I also don’t think it has to be an organized
group or a religious or political reason to cause terror, you and I could be terrorists. Abusive
spouses terrorize their mates every day. Bullies terrorize the weak.Etc.,Etc.

"Time well wasted" said...

What is the reason for having to label and categorize everything. Does it help put things in some type of perspective that makes it easier to deal with. If you think going into a Pizza joint and blowing up men, women and children is okay because you don't like something about them or what they stand for, then fine, call it what you want. For God's sake, consider the act, not the nomenclature.

quicksand said...

DEAR TIME WELL WASTED,

I SUGGEST YOU REREAD MY QUESTION.
NOWHERE DOES IT SUGGEST THAT IT'S OK TO BLOW UP PEOPLE IN A PIZZA SHOP.
AS TO LABELING AND CATEGORIZING EVERYTHING...ISN'T THAT EXACTLY WHAT MANY ARE DOING, FROM THE ADMINISTRATION ON DOWN. OUR PRESIDENT USES THE WORD ON A DAILY BASIS.

YOU SUGGEST I CONSIDER 'THE ACT'.
THAT'S EXACTLY MY POINT. DEFINE A TERRORIST ACT IN A WAY THAT APPLIES TO ANYONE COMMITTING IT.

Time well wasted said...

Dearest Quicksand-
I never alluded to you saying that it was okay to blowup anything. I was just commenting on what you wrote which appeared, to me, to be a need to correctly categorize people or events. This is extremely hard to do. Call it what you like. From my point of view certain acts are heinous. For others it may not be. Label it what you want, it is what it is.

Violet said...

The war against "terror" is a safe way of fighting anything and anyone this adminsitration wants to eliminate. Odd how we sleep with some of the world's worst "terrorists" but bin Laden just isn't a priority.

BUSH: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.

Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.

So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you...

Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.
3/02]

quicksand said...

THE FOLLOWING COMMENT WAS SENT TO ME FROM BUDDINGTON IN ENGLAND.

This morning I listened to some bitch from the American government saying something like 'Iraq is the front line in the Western War on terrorism' and I had the same thoughts you did. Put Vietnam where Iraq is in that sentence and 'communism' where 'terrorism' is and you have a very sad tale. There is a hubris somewhere in the American psyche that says we are better than others and that our cause is more justified than anyone else's. Then when things go pear shaped as they do, it is the fault of politicians because they tied the hands of the military and wouldn't let them get on with the job. It is never the idea that is wrong, simply the execution of it. So all the arm chair Nazis who want to jack-boot it around the world don't have to examine themselves, all they need do is turn their venom towards a politician now and then as they tool around fuming behind the wheel of their gas guzzling SUVs.

Listened to Crosby, Stills etc singing about Chicago in 1968:

We can change the world,
Rearrange the world (well you need to rhyme the word 'change' don't you?)

Remember those days? I don't know many people who think like that anymore, do you?

quicksand said...

BEN HAS SMART FRIENDS.

quicksand said...

SWEET VIOLET,
YOU MAKE THE POINT SO WELL. ARE WE USING A VOCABULARY WHICH APPLIES ONLY WHEN IT SUITS OUR PURPOSES, OR, DO WE TRULY THINK CERTAIN ACTS ARE WICKED?

THE BUSH TRANSCRIPT IS STUNNING. YOU COULD BE ACCUSED OF RIDICULING HIM, MERELY BY USING HIS VERY OWN WORDS.

quicksand said...

DEAR 'TIME WELL SPENT'
YOU SAY,

From my point of view certain acts are heinous. For others it may not be. Label it what you want, it is what it is.

I KNOW THAT YOU CAN'T SPEAK FOR OTHERS.........WHICH IS THE PROBLEM ACTUALLY. WE DON'T HAVE AN ARTICULATED DEFINITION OF TERRORISM. WE CLAIM TO BE AGAINST 'TERRORISM' WITHOUT EVER COMING TO REASONED TERMS ON WHAT IT IS AND ISN'T.
YOU SAY LABEL IT WHAT YOU WANT. I BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING. RATHER CONVENIENTLY.

quicksand said...

SNEEDY SENT THE FOLLOWING TO ME:


Yo! (Au courant-ly speaking)

Re: a def. of terrorism. Many long years ago, over the course of lotsa months, a v.g. shrink cautioned me: “Sneedy, she said, you are looking for rational explanations to irrational acts.” It took me lotsa months to grasp the futility of my quest…an acceptance that’s made survival a bit easier ever since. For instance, I no longer search for the Holy Grail or the yeti.

"Time Well Wasted" said...

Dearest Quicksand,
I can help you through this dilemma. Your POV (point of view) defines the definition of anything. You may not be able to define terrorism. If you are a proponent of the Bush Regime then you believe in Red Terrorism. If you are against the current policy then you believe in Blue Terrorism. If you were in favor of the Crusades then you believe in Holy Terrorism. Or is it Holy Crusade?. If you believe that dropping the atom bomb was justified then you are a believer in Nuclear Terrorism. It is the nature of the species to justify most actions with a healthy label and to label distasteful actions of others with a negative connotation. It is all how you perceive it. It is the nature of the beast. Good Luck with a universal definition. Perhaps the nature of the question is more political then literal.

quicksand said...

DEAR WASTED TIME,
SO TERRORISM IS IN THE POLITICS OF THE BEHOLDER?

quicksand said...

THE FOLLOWING CAME IN FROM
LONE-STAR NORMA:

I don't worry about terroists getting me. I'm not afraid of getting hurt or
blown up. My concern is the way the Bush Gang terrorizes us. Their fear
tactics scare the hell out of me. They're the TERRORISTS!!!

quicksand said...

DEAR TIME WASTED,
THEN, JUST WHO ARE THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS?
OR ARE WE MERELY ONE BIG UNHAPPY FAMILY?

hans blix said...

Let's start with the legal niceties, recignising that there is no agreed upon definition in international law. In November 2004, a UN panel described terrorism as any act: "intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act." This covers a pretty wide field. We also should keep in mind that "just war" theories over the centuries have developed the principle that a war cannot be just if it is not carried out by a legitimate political authority. This is problematic because it would mean that your (American) revolutionary heroes were terrorists, as would be the cas ewith lots of national liberation movements. On the other hand, the PLO was considered a terrorist organisation but it became clear to the international community that it spoke for a clearly defined political community and therefore could be seen as a legitimate political authority.
All of this is to say that a government cannot be considered a terrorist organisation if it's recognised as the legitimate political authority, both internally and externally. It seems to me that almost all Americans obey the law and pay their taxes, so they do recognise thier government as legitimate. The Bush government might be morally reprehensible but it is not a terrorist organisation.

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, is a terrorist organisation by any measure and so are those gangs of thugs who blow up markets in Baghdad. I don't see how the vocabulary is being used to suit a political purpose. There are a group of people who do not recognise international law and do not want to be part of an emerging international community. It is the latter which has been responsible for spreading ideas about human rights, rights for women and about democracy. This is not about the war in Iraq. It is much bigger than that. It is about whether we want to live in a world based on reason or one based on violence. Terrorists always choose the latter.

quicksand said...

THANKS BLIX.

I BELIEVE THAT TERRORISM IS A HORROR WHICH RUINS THE LIVES OF INNOCENTS.
WAS NELSON MANDELLA A TERRORIST?
WAS SOUTH AFRICA?


I BELIEVE SOME GOVERNMENTS DO TERRORIST ACTS. THEY HIDE BEHIND THE STERILE TECHNOLOGY OF THEIR WEAPONS AND THEIR PROCLAIMED 'INTENT'.
ONE MAN'S VICTIM IS ANOTHER'S COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

COUNT THE BODY BAGS.

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