Monday, January 05, 2009

What is Terrorism?

From Wikipedia:

"Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.[1] At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism.[2][3]Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants."

Israel recommensed its bombing of the Gaza Strip. The bombing is aimed at the Palestinian "terrorists" who have been suicide bombing Isreal. Here's the rub, what is "terrorism" and what isn't? In my opinion, if you use the above definition from Wikipedia, I'd argue that Isreal and the United States are both very guilty of acts of terrorism, just as flagrant as the acts of the Palestinians. How is it that remote bombing of a villiage that kills men, women, and children is not considered "terrorism" by either of our governments? How can the other governments of the world allow this bombing to continue? Personally looking at these pictures of children with bleeding heads, and the untargeted bombing done by these rockets sure as hell looks like the same kind of pictures I see when someone blows themselves up in the middle of a town square. Is it the willingness of the "terrorist" to commit suicide that bothers us? If that is the case, then isn't it worse to deny the reality of a soldier in an American army? The reality being that they are out there risking their lives every day, and yes, sure it isn't intentional suicide, but to me there is something more frightening; the concept of random and pointless death. The soldiers in the Israeli and American armies are just as willing to die for their cause as the suicide bomber are, in fact, that's the job discription every soldier has agreed to- either willingly or unwillingly. Sure, many of these men return unscathed, but that concept of the randomness in life and death never really leaves.

Anyway, I just wanted to rant about semantics. Killing is killing- no matter how you do it, especially when innocents die in the process.

UPDATE:

I thought that it might be good to end with a quote from the Economist who quotes Israel's deputy chief of staff as saying, "By the time we're finished, there won't be a Hamas building left standing in Gaza."

Sounds a little, oh I don't know, extreme...but I guess only the enemies are the extremists.

{Pictures are from the Associated Press and Getty Images respectively.}

1 comment:

Ray said...

I guess what they say is true
"If you fight extremists long enough
the extremist becomes you"

Historical oppression is no reason to oppress
Quite the opposite
the logical mind would guess

Failing a trial by fire...

Since when did two wrongs make a right?