First, I want to make it clear that I am not Israel-bashing here. Part of my family and half my friends are Jewish, and I wish Israel and other countries in the middle east could work things out.
But many newspapers in Canada and Europe (but not most American media, as far as I know) refuse to use the word “terrorist” because it is a hypocrital value judgement. They use the words “insurgent” , “combatant” and fighters". There is a bitter debate going on in the media.
American minutemen in the revolution were farmers who could appear in a minute, fire from hiding at British troops, and then quickly go back to their fields as if nothing had happened. Remind you of the Viet Cong “terrorists”?
The question is, how do you define “terrorism”?
There is a joke that a cult is a religion that is not pwerful enough to have political clout.
Is terrorism what you do when your enemy has a well-financed military and you do not?
Here is a working definition I heard: “Torrorism is the use of violence against innocent civilians and their property in order the effect a desired social and political change in a state perceived as an enemy.”
When the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were well aware that the Japanese were looking to negotiate peace. The bombings used the deaths of half a million innocent civilians to effect the following change. The Japanese dropped all demands for negotiations and accepted complete surrender.
What was the purpose of firebombing Desden, in MARCH of 1945, when Germany surrendered a couple of months later? Some 250 thousand Germans were roasted alive in an attempt to effect a desired social and political change in a state perceived as an enemy. In fact it did not have an iota of effect on the Nazi leadership.
September 11 was clearly a case of the use of violence against innocent civilians and their property in order the effect a desired social and political change in a state perceived as an enemy.
All of the nuclear powers have missiles in silos whose only purpose onceactivired is to kill innocent civilians in anothger couintry in the hundreds of millions. Is this “terrorism”?
Rockets and sucide bombs against Israel, are clearly terrorism under the above definition. But Israel claims it goes after military targets. That being the case, why is the number of Palestinian civilians killed by the Israelis many times greater than the number of Jewish civilians killed by the Palestinian “terrorists”? Are Israelis the gang that can’t shoot straight? I don’t think so. Do they go after mi;litary targets but lob a few into heavily populated areas for revenge? Or to effect changs in social attitudes of Palestinians?
Does anyone have a definition of “terrorism” that they would like to propose and try out.