Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

define your terms...

The term "Islamic terrorism"... it slips smoothly under our analytical radar like a stealth bomber... We don't question it. We don't examine it critically. We don't think about what it actually implies. Yet it carries with it a huge payload of dangerous assumptions...

Firstly, there is the assumption that we know what "terrorism" actually means. And yet there is a huge debate and disagreement about its meaning. In the very first post in this blog I defined what I mean by that word:
The word "terrorist" is a highly charged political term. The word as it is used here defines "terrorist" as person who uses any means to kill or maim _anyone_ to further their political, strategic, economic, or religious aims. It follows that all acts of war are acts of terrorism. Therefore to single out any one group or side in a given war as being "terrorist" is merely partisan propaganda and should be dismissed as such.
What I'm saying is that the word "terrorism" is generally used these days in the media and by our political leaders in a rabidly propagandist way. It seeks to invalidate what they are doing to us outside of the essential context of what we have done, or are doing, to them.

Now, let's bring the word "Islamic" into my definition of "terrorist" and see how it looks: We could now describe "Islamic terrorism" as an Islamic reaction to preceding acts of "Zionist terrorism" and "Christian terrorism". I think this is a much more useful way of describing it...

So, let's stop all this bitching about what "they" are doing to "us" unless we're willing to give equal media space/time to "their" bitching about what "we" are doing to "them". And then maybe we'd like start to see things from outside of the "us" and "them" crap and see "them" as "us".

Don't like to be on the receiving end of terrorism? Simple! Don't lie about what you're doing and don't dish it out.

Too Jesus-like for you? Well too bad!!! Take your propaganda and shove it!!!


Blogger the urban fox said...

It's also worth pointing out that none of the "Islamic terrorism" committed in rich Western countries has been proven to be by "Islamic terrorists". It actually could be anyone. The assumption that we can immediately guess who did it and why is bad enough.

July 12, 2005 3:44 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

The word as it is used here defines "terrorist" as person who uses any means to kill or maim _anyone_ to further their political, strategic, economic, or religious aims.

I don't think that's quite complete. Terrorism is violence with a point of terrorising a population - ie violence where the aim isn't to kill the people the terrorists kill, but to influence the people who haven't been killed by making them afraid of being next.

Some war crimes are indeed terrorism; but general fighting between soldiers wouldn't be classified as terrorism for that reason.

July 12, 2005 8:31 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Urban Fox, I'm willing to accept that some of the terrorism referred to by the authors of the Blair Bush Project was in fact committed by freedom fighters who happen to also be Islamists.

MrLefty, I have no major problem with your definition. I do however think you're drawing a long bow. But never mind, I'll run with it...

Let me give you an anecdote from my time as a grunt machine gunner in Vietnam in 1968/69:

Firstly let me say that rarely in modern times is a war fought between two bodies of soldiers on opposing sides whilst located on what might be called a set-piece battlefield removed from populated areas. Most recent wars were between a perceived oppressor/occupier/aggressor who possessed and employed formidable military might and a resitance movement of guerilla fighters who, in order to mount an effective violent resistance, needed to employ non-conventional tactics in order to achieve their objectives.

Ok, here we go:

One night we'd be out doing an ambush in the jungle, and we'd kill a few Viet Cong soldiers. A couple of days later we might be doing a cordon-and-search operation of the village from which these Viet Cong were believed to have come.

So there we were, in a hamlet of about three hundred agrarian peasants, a whole battalion of us, 500 grunts armed to the teeth and looking very threatening indeed, with three 50-ton
Centurion tanks shaking the ground as they rumbled into the hamlet. Huey gunships criss-crossing the sky above. The collective noise alone would have terrified the average civilian shitless, and a few did in fact involuntarily evacuate their bowels and bladders. Can you imagine how they felt when I pointed my M-60 machinegun directly at one of them? Can you imagine what it felt like to be looking up the barrel of a Centurion tank's 83mm cannon as it points straight at you virtually at point-blank range, the tip of the huge barrel inside the door, while you cower utterly helplessly with your kids in your hut?

Don't tell me they didn't feel like they were about to be next.

Don't tell me that part of our aim wasn't to terrorise the population into compliance, into submission.

"Shock and Awe" wasn't about terrorising the population of Bagdhad? Fallujah? Najaf? The military objective wasn't to terrorise the population into submission and compliance? Psyops were not designed to terrorise the population?

Our mob is in disingenuous denial about the terrorising effect of our military operations. We're just quibbling and dissembling about the other side's methodology.

It's all terrorism. Not just one side's actions. This crap about "our way of killing and terrorising civilians is justified and their way is not", is utter crap.

July 12, 2005 11:48 AM  

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