What is terrorism?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ploton, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. ploton
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    ploton Guest

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    According to dictionary.com
    "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

    Is part of the definition that civilians were targeted? The definition could be used differently depending on what side of the fence you are on.
    Blowing up a bus because you say it is full of Israelis. Blowing up a car because you say it has a "palestinian suspect" in it. Bombing a restaurant because you think saddam is inside. Sending a plane into the WTC and pentagon. Sending a cruise missle into a palace. Dropping a nuclear bomb on a city. Using chemical weapons on a city.

    Is a "shock and awe" campaign terrorism? Is its purpose to terrorize into submission?

    Terrorism is easy to define for people on both sides of the fence. It would go something like this. "Terrorism is what the other side is doing to us".

    To me none of the above examples would fall very far from what I consider terrorism.
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    The terrorists will bomb anyone, anytime. They do this to instill fear amongst the government and the citizens. They haven't a care in the world for innocent victims. In fact, they will kill them just to further their agenda.

    The USA will do what it takes to rid the world of this type of evil. Much care is taken to alleviate civilian casualties, but can't always be avoided.

    You obviously aren't serious in your comparison. Just another liberal looking to stir trouble. The facts speak for themselves, as do the political propoganda the liberals and peaceniks spread.
     
  3. Creek
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    Creek Member

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    Welcome to the board Ploton...Good post!!!...Thanks for joing us...You're always welcomed here..to speak what you feel is the truth...(handshake)...WELCOME!!!...

    Creek..:)
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I enjoyed reading your original post. I think the dictionary doesn't quite hit the nail on the head, though, as it does not differentiate betwen acts of terrorism and acts of war.

    Just War theory provides different criteria regarding war, justification for fighting one, and just means of fighting them (pardon me for any mistakes - I am doing this from memory from sophomore philosophy).

    Acording to Just War theory, you cannot start a war just because. You have to have either been attacked, or there must be a real threat to a state's security and/or sovreignity to attack first.
    You must use similar force when fighting. In other words, a country is not justified in nuking/firebombing a major city if the enemy has only used small arms at a border skirmish.
    You cannot target innocents, iincluding civilians. HOWEVER, civilians directly involved in the war effort (e.g. a worker in a factory that makes guns) are legitimate targets.
    You cannot cause undue suffering. Shooting someone with a regular bullet is OK, but shooting someone with a bullet dipped in acid (don't ask how one would be able to do this) is not OK. Nor would shooting off some broken glass or rusty metal be considered OK.

    Terrorism intentionally breaks the rules of Just War Theory.

    So to answer your questions:

    Blowing up a bus because you say it is full of Israelis. - Israeli civilains, including children and the elderly, as many of them are, is terrorism.

    Blowing up a car because you say it has a "palestinian suspect" in it. - If the person is a known terrorist, this is targeting a combatant.

    Bombing a restaurant because you think saddam is inside. - Depends on who else is in the restaurant. Killing innocents is terrorism, but killing Saddam's bodyguards and/or soldiers would not be.

    Sending a plane into the WTC and pentagon. - Believe it or not, the Pentagon is a legitimate military target. However, by using a plane full of innocents to attack it, it becomes terrorism. The WTC attack is as bare-faced as terrorism gets.

    Sending a cruise missle into a palace. - Again, there probably aren't any civilians in Saddam's palace, especially if they know Saddam is a target, so this is fine.

    Dropping a nuclear bomb on a city. - This would have to be a last resort, unless you were nuked first.

    Using chemical weapons on a city. - i don't think chemical weapons are justifiable unless used only on troops. Even then, the chemicals could be persistent, or travel well, etc.

    Is a "shock and awe" campaign terrorism? Is its purpose to terrorize into submission? - The US went to *extreme* measures to target only legitimate military targets. They were even careful to keep the power on - and power is the first thing to go if you are conducting a traditional bombing campaign.

    Long post, sorry...
     
  5. Jackass
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    Jackass Active Member

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    Very well said gop_jeff!!
     
  6. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    That was an excellent post, Jeff! :clap:
     

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