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What Is Terrorism (Baby Don't Hurt Me)

EvanderEvander Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
In an effort to keep this particular argument out of the right wing extremism thread, I thought I'd make a brand new thread for discussing terrorism, hate crimes, etymology, and why we are really just a bunch of pedants who would rather delve in to minutia than actually discuss the topic at hand (but really, just the first two.)

So, let's start with a definition on terrorism. I doubt we will find one that we can universally agree upon, so allow me to put forward one that reflects that sentiment.
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. ...

If folks want to see a few more definitions, they can easily be found here.

So, yeah. Let's discuss what terrorism is. Do terrorists have to be Muslim? (Of course not!) Do terrorists have to have a political agenda? Do terrorists have to intend to strike fear?

Evander on
«1345

Posts

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    deathstar.jpg

    death_star_1_destroyed_at_yavin.jpg

    See also Hanukkah.

    Qingu on
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I tend to agree with the Wiki definition, but the word is certainly loaded and becomes more complex the more questions you ask.

    Here's a good one, for example: does the victim of terrorism have to be a civilian in order for it to be terrorism? Can you commit acts of terrorism against a military target, and if so, what separates that from a traditional military attack?

    Heartlash on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Damn Liberals, Tarkin wasn't a terrorist , he was a patriot.

    He understood the value of bootstraps

    override367 on
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I think striking fear and terror do have to be the points, or part of the point.

    Any violent act that is intended to be seen as a consequence for another group's action is a form of terrorism. The implied meaning is that if the group continues this action, this violent act will continue to occur. I guess it might not necessarily need to be a violent act, but those seem like the most likely to actually cause the fear necessary.

    The only other definition that you probably have to apply is that it has to come from a non-state actor. Most things that would be considered terrorism coming from a state actor seem like they should be considered acts of war or something similar.

    kdrudy on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    kdrudy wrote: »
    I think striking fear and terror do have to be the points, or part of the point.

    Any violent act that is intended to be seen as a consequence for another group's action is a form of terrorism. The implied meaning is that if the group continues this action, this violent act will continue to occur. I guess it might not necessarily need to be a violent act, but those seem like the most likely to actually cause the fear necessary.

    The only other definition that you probably have to apply is that it has to come from a non-state actor. Most things that would be considered terrorism coming from a state actor seem like they should be considered acts of war or something similar.

    A state can support or sanction terrorism but it cannot commit it, basically

    override367 on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    If terrorism is too broad, it becomes meaningless. If it's purely to cause terror, every bully in school becomes a terrorist. If it's too specific (muslims only, for example), you find yourself without a term when an event with the same drive and impact happens but doesn't fit the narrow definition.

    So it seems reasonable to put it in the middle, where it's meant to cause terror with the goal of driving decisions.

    MKR on
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    MKR wrote: »
    If terrorism is too broad, it becomes meaningless.

    Does it, though?

    The world needs broad terms. Qualifiers can be added for specificity. The word "warfare" does this effectively, so why can't terrorism. Take a look below:

    "Schoolyard terrorism"
    "Islamic terrorism"
    "Domestic terrorism"

    All three of these mean different things, but you can tell what they mean, no?

    Evander on
  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    kdrudy wrote: »
    I think striking fear and terror do have to be the points, or part of the point.

    Any violent act that is intended to be seen as a consequence for another group's action is a form of terrorism. The implied meaning is that if the group continues this action, this violent act will continue to occur. I guess it might not necessarily need to be a violent act, but those seem like the most likely to actually cause the fear necessary.

    The only other definition that you probably have to apply is that it has to come from a non-state actor. Most things that would be considered terrorism coming from a state actor seem like they should be considered acts of war or something similar.

    A state can support or sanction terrorism but it cannot commit it, basically

    That's my veiw as well.

    Decomposey on
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    For terrorism to be terrorism, I think it has to be committed against civilian targets. I'd argue that the bombing of the USS Cole was not terrorism although 9-11 obviously was.

    I'd argue that it has to have political intent. Patrick Purdy shooting up a schoolyard wasn't terrorism.

    Obviously, it has to be violent or involve the immediate threat of violence.

    I'm not comfortable with the qualifier that state-sponsored violence isn't terrorism because that means that a faction fighting for sovereignty could use the exact same tactics against a state as the state uses against them yet only one group is committing "terrorism" - Israel and Palestine would be an obvious troubling example.

    Feral on
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  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    If terrorism is too broad, it becomes meaningless.

    Does it, though?

    The world needs broad terms. Qualifiers can be added for specificity. The word "warfare" does this effectively, so why can't terrorism. Take a look below:

    "Schoolyard terrorism"
    "Islamic terrorism"
    "Domestic terrorism"

    All three of these mean different things, but you can tell what they mean, no?

    Eventually a short word would evolve from each, defeating the point.

    Might as well start with terrorism and add modifiers to it. Domestic, international, financial, regional, etc.

    MKR on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    If terrorism is too broad, it becomes meaningless.

    Does it, though?

    The world needs broad terms. Qualifiers can be added for specificity. The word "warfare" does this effectively, so why can't terrorism. Take a look below:

    "Schoolyard terrorism"
    "Islamic terrorism"
    "Domestic terrorism"

    All three of these mean different things, but you can tell what they mean, no?

    The term "harassment" also works, but some of the things kids do with online stalking, posting naked pics of someone around school, online campaigns to make their life miserable

    these things are really bad and I wouldn't object to calling it "Schoolyard terrorism"

    override367 on
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I am pretty comfortable understanding terrorism as "acts of war prosecuted by non-state actors."

    War is a violent conflict between two state actors/political group.

    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    They can verge into each other, as for example a group of terrorists can become organized enough to simply be understood as a sovereign political group. (Examples: Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban—are they terrorists, or are they sovereign groups who can declare war?) Warfare can also arguably verge into police action—that is, the controlled use of force by a sovereign state against individuals under its jurisdiction.

    Also: "war on terror" is the stupidest thing ever.

    Qingu on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    War[/i] is a violent conflict between two state actors/political group.

    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    So given a scenario where one state violently, illegally, and immorally attempts to annex another state - Iraq invading Kuwait, for example - and the civilians of the invaded nation fight back, they become "terrorists?"

    I'm really not okay with that. "Terrorism" carries with it too many negative immoral connotations. The only way to resolve it is to say "Sometimes terrorism is admirable" which I don't think many people are prepared to accept.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    That is actually closer to the definition of an insurgency.

    Jephery on
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jephery wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    That is actually a definition of an insurgency, not terrorism.

    Hey I didn't write that, but I agree with you.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I also think that it's ridiculous that a civilian picking up a rifle and shooting a solder is always "terrorism" regardless of the context while a soldier planting explosives in a movie theater is never "terrorism."

    I'm going to straight-up Godwin the thread here. Qingu's definition means that any civilian who plotted to kill Adolph Hitler (anybody seen Inglorious Basterds?) was a terrorist.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    For terrorism to be terrorism, I think it has to be committed against civilian targets. I'd argue that the bombing of the USS Cole was not terrorism although 9-11 obviously was.
    One of the targets on 9/11 was the Pentagon; another was presumably the White House. Those certainly count as non-civilian targets.

    Also, most wars have involved targeting civilians or at least callous disregard for them. And oftentimes, in wars, civilians are targeted because they are considered to be part of military production. In al-Qaeda's warped ideology, the WTC constituted an engine of war for the worldwide Zionist kufr conspiracy against Muslims—much in the same way that blowing up Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed thousands of civilians but were justified because they were supposedly sites of military production.

    Qingu on
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, it all depends on the point of view

    kdrudy on
    tvsfrank.jpg
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    I also think that it's ridiculous that a civilian picking up a rifle and shooting a solder is always "terrorism" regardless of the context while a soldier planting explosives in a movie theater is never "terrorism."

    I'm going to straight-up Godwin the thread here. Qingu's definition means that any civilian who plotted to kill Adolph Hitler (anybody seen Inglorious Basterds?) was a terrorist.

    Weren't they though? Terrorists against Nazi Germany?

    kdrudy on
    tvsfrank.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    War[/i] is a violent conflict between two state actors/political group.

    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    So given a scenario where one state violently, illegally, and immorally attempts to annex another state - Iraq invading Kuwait, for example - and the civilians of the invaded nation fight back, they become "terrorists?"

    I'm really not okay with that. "Terrorism" carries with it too many negative immoral connotations. The only way to resolve it is to say "Sometimes terrorism is admirable" which I don't think many people are prepared to accept.
    I'd go the other way: neither terrorism nor war are ever admirable.

    To the extent that war should ever be prosecuted, it should resemble police action as closely as possible.
    I'm going to straight-up Godwin the thread here. Qingu's definition means that any civilian who plotted to kill Adolph Hitler (anybody seen Inglorious Basterds?) was a terrorist.
    I did not see the movie though I think I know what happens.

    Assuming a non-Hitler-suicide alternate universe, yes, of course shooting up a movie theater with a political leader in it is terrorism. An example of not-terrorism would be what actually happened—sovereign forces arresting, trying, and executing Nazi leaders for war crimes.

    Qingu on
  • Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I think for terrorism defining it is almost too difficult. To me it seems like the Supreme Court take on Pornography, you know it when you see it.

    Element Brian on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The French Resistance in WW2 was absolutely terrorism.

    Sometimes terrorists aren't the bad guys

    override367 on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    War[/i] is a violent conflict between two state actors/political group.

    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    So given a scenario where one state violently, illegally, and immorally attempts to annex another state - Iraq invading Kuwait, for example - and the civilians of the invaded nation fight back, they become "terrorists?"

    I'm really not okay with that. "Terrorism" carries with it too many negative immoral connotations. The only way to resolve it is to say "Sometimes terrorism is admirable" which I don't think many people are prepared to accept.
    I'd go the other way: neither terrorism nor war are ever admirable.

    So let me get this straight - you don't believe that there's a moral justification for self-defense?

    A soldier breaks down the door to a civilian's home. The civilian shoots the soldier. At that moment, you're claiming that (a) the civilian is now a terrorist and (b) the civilian's actions were not admirable.

    I recognize that this is a semantic debate, but this is pretty silly.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Terrorism is, in many, many cases, insurgents who lose.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jephery wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    That is actually closer to the definition of an insurgency.
    I think this is an example of unclear boundaries, as I mentioned earlier.

    A terrorist verges into an insurgent. In turn, an insurgent—if the insurgency is strong and organized enough—verges into a soldier in a civil war.

    Similarly, a terrorist verges into a soldier for Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, etc; which, if such organizations are recognized as valid and sovereign states, would verge into a "soldier" in an international war.

    I don't really see much difference in terms of the acts perpetrated; the differences have more to do with the political status of the organization the supposed "terrorist" belongs to.

    Qingu on
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    War[/i] is a violent conflict between two state actors/political group.

    Terrorism is a violent act/acts by a non-state actor against a state/political group.

    So given a scenario where one state violently, illegally, and immorally attempts to annex another state - Iraq invading Kuwait, for example - and the civilians of the invaded nation fight back, they become "terrorists?"

    I'm really not okay with that. "Terrorism" carries with it too many negative immoral connotations. The only way to resolve it is to say "Sometimes terrorism is admirable" which I don't think many people are prepared to accept.
    I'd go the other way: neither terrorism nor war are ever admirable.

    So let me get this straight - you don't believe that there's a moral justification for self-defense?

    A soldier breaks down the door to a civilian's home. The civilian shoots the soldier. At that moment, you're claiming that (a) the civilian is now a terrorist and (b) the civilian's actions were not admirable.

    I recognize that this is a semantic debate, but this is pretty silly.

    That's not terrorism, I don't think you could consider a spur of the moment action like self-defense to be terrorism

    kdrudy on
    tvsfrank.jpg
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I do think a great many of the insurgents in Iraq/Afghanistan aren't terrorists. Some guy grabbing his gun because he is pissed off that a US bomb vaporized his family and going and shooting the nearest convoy - is that guy a terrorist? I'd argue no

    override367 on
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Terrorism is a tactic used by insurgency, most terrorists are insurgents, not all insurgents are terrorists

    And yeah, terrorism is a pre-planned operation or act by a non-state actor to incite fear or terror to bring about political change.
    I do think a great many of the insurgents in Iraq/Afghanistan aren't terrorists. Some guy grabbing his gun because he is pissed off that a US bomb vaporized his family and going and shooting the nearest convoy - is that guy a terrorist? I'd argue no

    Exactly, he's an insurgent

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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    Assuming a non-Hitler-suicide alternate universe, yes, of course shooting up a movie theater with a political leader in it is terrorism.

    Hey, I'm the one that argued that the definition of terrorism is contingent upon whether or not it targets civilians. (Although, I'd like to change that to "non-combatants.")

    There is no reason, based on your definitions, to specify a "movie theater" and in fact that weakens your point. You've argued that terrorism is action against a state or political group - if there are no members of the state or political group in that movie theater, then shooting up a theater is not terrorism by your definition.

    There's a lot of silliness going on.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My definition is 'extralegal action or threat of action taken in order to force someone to submit to your worldview out of fear for their lives'. I'm pretty sure I left a loophole somewhere, but there you go.

    Gosling on
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  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Gosling wrote: »
    My definition is 'extralegal action or threat of action taken in order to force someone to submit to your worldview out of fear for their lives'. I'm pretty sure I left a loophole somewhere, but there you go.

    It's way too broad

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Only sort of relevant but I just watched this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obSOmABJorw

    It's a 5 parter that's really informative, many of these "Taliban" are literally just guys that are pissed off the US is in their country. They had absolutely no affiliation with any islamic militants before bombs dropped in their towns and villages.

    override367 on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I think what bothers me the most is that we're taking a word that is, generally speaking, one of the worst things we can call a person or action, and explicitly saying that states are exempt from it and in fact typically victimized by it.

    That's a linguistic sleight of hand that, in a Newspeak sort of way, establishes states as actors of implied moral superiority in any conflict involving civilians.

    For instance, defining terrorism as "violence by civilians against a state" - and refusing to acknowledge other definitions - means that in any discussion of Israel vs Palestine, we refer to the Palestinians as "terrorists" no matter how careful or hamhanded their tactics, while the Israels are never terrorists no matter how many children they mortar. Regardless of how you feel about Israel or Palestine, this is not the way to have a fair debate.

    It shouldn't matter whether the actor is state-sponsored or not; the moral status of the action depends on the combatant or non-combatant status of the victim. Pretending that terrorism is not a deeply morally loaded word does not exempt us from that consideration.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    So let me get this straight - you don't believe that there's a moral justification for self-defense?

    A soldier breaks down the door to a civilian's home. The civilian shoots the soldier. At that moment, you're claiming that (a) the civilian is now a terrorist and (b) the civilian's actions were not admirable.
    Shooting a soldier breaking into your home is different than shooting a random intruder. The intruder is not acting as the representative of a sovereign state. So shooting the soldier (instead of surrendering) would basically be indistinguishable from declaring war on the state the soldier represents.

    So yes, I guess it would be terrorism. However, I think what you're really asking is if I think such an act would be justified. And that depends entirely on the goals of the state's use of force. If they are trying to commit genocide against a rival civilian population then yes, obviously, terrorism in self-defense against a genocidal state would be the lesser of two evils.

    However, most wars in recent history, while callously disregarding or even targeting civilian lives, have not specifically targeted civilians. We are prosecuting wars that involve our soldiers performing actions exactly as you described; I do not think it's morally acceptable for an Iraqi or Afghan civilian to shoot at an American soldier kicking down his door because the soldier is not trying to kill or even harm said civilian.

    Qingu on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    Shooting a soldier breaking into your home is different than shooting a random intruder. The intruder is not acting as the representative of a sovereign state. So shooting the soldier (instead of surrendering) would basically be indistinguishable from declaring war on the state the soldier represents.

    We can't assume the actor knows this.
    Qingu wrote: »
    I do not think it's morally acceptable for an Iraqi or Afghan civilian to shoot at an American soldier kicking down his door because the soldier is not trying to kill or even harm said civilian.

    We can't assume the actor knows this either.

    Feral on
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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Here's a good one, for example: does the victim of terrorism have to be a civilian in order for it to be terrorism?

    Yes.

    Can you commit acts of terrorism against a military target, and if so, what separates that from a traditional military attack?

    No.
    Uniforms?

    I've always thought the best definition of terrorism is 'a violent act against civilians to produce fear and influence a political outcome'

    911 - Terrorism
    USS Cole - Not Terrorism
    Firebombing of Dresden - Not Terrorism
    Grupo Colina - Terrorism

    Deebaser on
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Deebaser wrote: »
    I've always thought the best definition of terrorism is 'a violent act against civilians to produce fear and influence a political outcome'

    911 - Terrorism
    USS Cole - Not Terrorism
    Firebombing of Dresden - Not Terrorism
    Grupo Colina - Terrorism

    <3

    I was starting to feel kind of lonely in here.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Here's a good one, for example: does the victim of terrorism have to be a civilian in order for it to be terrorism?

    Yes.

    Can you commit acts of terrorism against a military target, and if so, what separates that from a traditional military attack?

    No.
    Uniforms?

    I've always thought the best definition of terrorism is 'a violent act against civilians to produce fear and influence a political outcome'

    911 - Terrorism
    USS Cole - Not Terrorism
    Firebombing of Dresden - Not Terrorism
    Grupo Colina - Terrorism

    The attack against the Pentagon on 9/11 wasn't terrorism then?

    I think you guys are just too muddled in the negative connotation of terrorism. Because you agree with someone's goals does not make then not a terrorist.

    kdrudy on
    tvsfrank.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    I think what bothers me the most is that we're taking a word that is, generally speaking, one of the worst things we can call a person or action, and explicitly saying that states are exempt from it and in fact typically victimized by it.

    That's a linguistic sleight of hand that, in a Newspeak sort of way, establishes states as actors of implied moral superiority in any conflict involving civilians.

    For instance, defining terrorism as "violence by civilians against a state" - and refusing to acknowledge other definitions - means that in any discussion of Israel vs Palestine, we refer to the Palestinians as "terrorists" no matter how careful or hamhanded their tactics, while the Israels are never terrorists no matter how many children they mortar. Regardless of how you feel about Israel or Palestine, this is not the way to have a fair debate.

    It shouldn't matter whether the actor is state-sponsored or not; the moral status of the action depends on the combatant or non-combatant status of the victim. Pretending that terrorism is not a deeply morally loaded word does not exempt us from that consideration.
    While I agree with you re: semantics, I think it matters a great deal whether violence comes from individuals or state.

    I think that, ideally, the ability to use violent force should be concentrated in the hands of state actors. This idea is the fundamental basis of police action. If you are in trouble, or threatened, or are in a situation where the use of force might be necessary—you're not supposed to use force yourself; you're supposed to summon representatives of the state. This is important because such representatives are ideally bound to obey a socially-determined code that dictates the extent and manner of force they can use—whereas a civilian using force in such a situation would not obey anything except their ad hoc whims.

    In practice, of course, police officers may act like vigilante thugs. State actors may act like vigilante thugs. Israel, as you note, is a good example; another example would be the United States' recent use of a drone attack to "avenge" an attack on CIA headquarters.

    However, I do think there is a sort of moral superiority when force is carried out by a state as opposed to an individual—having nothing to do with the act itself mind you, but rather with the scheme of organization and accountability that leads to the act. In other words: all things being equal, I am more morally comfortable with acts of force by state actors than by individuals.

    Qingu on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    kdrudy wrote: »
    The attack against the Pentagon on 9/11 wasn't terrorism then?

    The use of a civilian airliner as the weapon makes that a lot murkier.

    Had Al-Qaeda used a missile instead of a Boeing, then I would be perfectly comfortable saying that no, it wasn't terrorism, it was an act of war.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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