CDZ Is every violent individual or group a terrorist or terrorist organization?

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Xelor, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    I say to the title question, no:
    • There is no agreed definition of what the hell terrorism is, so I can't say who is and isn't a terrorist -- a committer of terrorism -- is.
    • The "Potter Stewart" approach may work in the SCOTUS and other settings where sound cases are presented, but it doesn't work on the street, at least not for me. Just as I can't call a someone a gigolo/harlot merely because I think they are or in some way resemble one, I can't just call someone (a group) a terrorist merely because they do things terrorists might and often enough also do.
    • The epithet "terrorist" is becoming an easy aspersion, one bandied about far too casually. We've long observed instances of individuals or groups that were very violent and we didn't call them terrorists. We called them murderers or mass murderers or bombers, or whatever.
    "Terrorist" seems to be morphing into a catchall disparagement much like the "N-word," "F-word" and other terms variously have been. It should not. It needs to mean something specific. It needs to have real value, not merely be yet another term that means "all things evil and despicable that one can possibly be."


    Edit:
    Why have I remarked as I above have? Because I've seen, for instance the "N-word" by dint of its ubiquitous use in some quarters seemingly convert it into some sort of banal term, in some instances even a thoroughly neutral term. Now, that might be construed as a good thing, but for the fact that it remains also among the most disparaging things one can call another, it's not a "catchall" but rather a "be all" term -- as in it be all that can be wrong about one and one's character -- that when used as such, it necessarily refers to and draws its frame of comparative reference from one and only one genre of people and it's based on hateful and deeply held misrepresentations about them. When does the "N-word" not as readily apply? When the object of one's scorn isn't black, in which case the "F-word" becomes the alternative, and even that distinction accords a small measure of improvement over one's being a n*gger. About all that's worse is being both an "F" and an "N."

    It seems as though "terrorist" is headed in that direction, that is, in the direction of becoming banal, and then joining the lexicon of hurtful words people toss about. Do we really need more ways to asperse one another?​
     
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  2. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    Strongish terms tend to get broad-brushed and overused. "Terrorist ".... "racist".... "Nazi"..... to the detriment and eventual ignorance of their true definitions.

    To my understanding "terrorism" still means the infliction of violence upon people or property, specifically for the purpose of coercing those people or property owners into doing the terrorists' bidding. "Move out of town or we will burn down your house".

    That's why for instance the Boston Marathon bombing can't qualify as "terrorism". It had clearly purposes of destruction but there was no message of coercion with that destruction. If the act doesn't send a message about "do what we say or this will happen", then it doesn't qualify as terrorism.
     
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  3. Toddsterpatriot
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    Toddsterpatriot Platinum Member

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    If the act doesn't send a message about "do what we say or this will happen", then it doesn't qualify as terrorism.


    Convert or die, infidel.
    Stop drawing cartoons or die, infidel.
    Stop exposing your ankles or die, infidel.
     
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  4. OldLady
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    OldLady Gold Member

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    True, but it is also true that ISIS and a few of its radical brothers have moved the goal posts somewhat. When bin Laden attacked the Twin Towers, he wanted the U.S. out of the Middle East and their business generally. ISIS has gone beyond political demands to simply wanting to destroy us. If we pulled out of every foreign country tomorrow, they would probably still attack us. They have decided they want a glorious holy war with the West and they are doing everything they can to provoke it.
    At least that's what I hear.
     
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  5. OldLady
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    OldLady Gold Member

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    Strongish terms tend to get broad-brushed and overused. "Terrorist ".... "racist".... "Nazi"..... to the detriment and eventual ignorance of their true definition
    Yes, and often foolishly used. The number of times I get called a fascist and a communist and supporter of terrorism is ridiculous around here. People really don't care what comes out of their mouths anymore and I like people to use the right word. Within the scope of their vocabulary, of course.
    It's become mental around here, getting stuffed into the left or right pocket and accused of all kinds of stuff I never ever in a million years would profess.
    Dumb.
     
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  6. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    Let's call Jihadism what it is, Jihadism.

    While some want to dilute the word "terrorism" so that Jihadism doesn't seem any worse than what Americans do, I don't want that to happen.

    We're on the receiving end of a real, literal, old fashioned, barbaric, global holy war, and we should treat it as such.
    .
     
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  7. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    What we hear around here, anyway... :rolleyes:

    I think we're describing the difference between pre-emptive and post-emptive. Or perhaps if the former applies to terrorism the latter is usually rendered as "revenge". But in the case of terrorism the intent is to force another entity to take some course in the future, while the latter is seen as 'payback' for a course that has already been taken in the past.
     
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  8. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    I don't think the topic is Jihadism, nor do we have a working definition for it. This is about terrorism.

    For instance many acts of the Ku Klux Klan have been terrorism but cannot reasonably be termed "Jihad". James Fields ramming his Dodge, no pun intended, into pedestrians is terrorism but can't be called "Jihad".


    :tinfoil:

    SMH
     
  9. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    Precisely my point. If the KKK manages to stay sober long enough to set off a bomb or drive a car into someone to scare and intimidate, that's clearly domestic terrorism.
    .
     
  10. Slash
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    Slash Senior Member

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    I mean 9/11 they had to know that if their goal was to get the US to leave the middle east alone, that wouldn't be accomplishing it. There's no possible result I could have seen other than the US declaring war.

    I like some of your definition there. But I would say moreso just to add to that, it's to push for a political goal, and it's an unlawful attack usually against civilians. Even retribution would fill that goal.

    IE. I don't like the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade, so I am going to kill civilians at an abortion clinic.

    In that case, I think for the most part we use it right. I would say the Boston Marathon Bombing counts. They were radical Islamists, who were using that attack against the USA for our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the message, it was pretty clearly defending Islam against what they felt was the USA's war against it.
     
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