Reuters: “[…] after the worst guerilla attack in Europe since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of a U.S. airliner killed 270 people.“
Fuck a duck! Lockerbie bombing - guerrilla attack?! Madrid bombings - guerrilla attack?!
Guerilla Attack is when you take a hike through the jungle and a bunch of gorillas throw bananas at you. Terrorist Attack is when a bunch of degenerates decide it’s really cool to blow up a lot of people on their way to work. Get the difference? PC run mad or just plain stupidity? In any case fuck you Reuters!
And this is inappropriate why?
From Merriam-Webster :
I tell you, after the revolution the first against the wall will be those anal-retentive buggers who think a quote from M-W is the final word on word usage. And if you can’t see how Guerilla Attack lends these despicable acts of terrorism an air of acceptablity (a whiff of the exotic freedom figher even) which is the last thing we want to give them, you might want to check out this entry in M-W.
In any case, terrorist attacks like those of Al Qaeda, Hamas etc. are no more warfare than are the killings of Ted Bundy. You can’t just go out and kill a lot of people and then claim it’s war. War has rules, one of which say it’s illegal to purposeful target civilians. At best Al Qaeda members can be called war criminals, but we don’t have to do that; let’s just stick to sick terrorists.
I dunno. How many guerrilla bands do you suppose have signed onto the Geneva Convention?
Tell you what. If just Back Street Boys and all the other boy-bands would have signed the Geneva Convention, life would have been much better all around. No more audio torture. Don’t suppose Ted Bundy signed the convention either? Gee I suppose he’s a guerilla figher then…
Maybe This is the one time in my life I get to feel smart, but when I hear Guerilla followed by Attack. I use the context of the word Guerilla and I think something along the lines of:
In the context of this story I think some evil asshole who just killed a bunch of innocent people. If someone reads this story and reads Guerilla as freedom fighter. There was something wrong with that person to begin with.
Perhaps it’s because the word ‘terrorist’ has been so overwhelmingly grasped by politicians of all sides and stripes to describe their enemy (e.g. Palestinians calling IDF ‘terrorists’; the ‘War on Terror’, etc.) that its use would indicate some kind of political affiliation. Having said that, and though I normally defend Reuters, in this particular case it’s pretty fucking cut and dried that this was an act committed by terrorists.
Sorry, I don’t get the same connotations as you do from when I read the word “guerilla.” The dictionary definition does, in this case, pretty much sum up when comes to mind when I hear that word. Plus I don’t see what it all has to do with PC.
A guerilla can engage in terrorism and a terrorist can engage in guerilla warfare, but the two are not interchangeable. Specifically targeting civilians is terrorism. I think the Reuters copy editor was simply weary of using the word terrorist over and over again and felt the need for some variety. True the description was imprecise, but only uptight, paranoids like our friend WinstonSmith here are likely to blow a blood vessel over it.
Oh so this is what you’re bitching about. Why didn’t you say so in the first place? That “gorillas throwing bananas” wisecrack made you sound like the fucking imbecile, that’s all.
Okay so if you want a serious answer, no I don’t see why that lends it an air of acceptability. I don’t think there is any “good” war. Really - how is it any different than any other kind of serial mass murder?
You see, it’s the insidious way the media can affect perception through word choice. Today, it’s guerillas, tomorrow, it’s rakish freedom-fighters, and soon…WHAM! Full public sympathy and exceptance!
Next thing you know, Islamic terrorists are lining up outside your front door wanting to marry your pool and swim in your sister. Is that the kind of world YOU want to live in? IS IT???
I disagree with Reuters on this issue. But FWIW, here’s its explanation:
One thing in this explanation is misleading. Reuter’s general policy against evocative terms may be “longstanding”, but the change from terrorist to guerrilla is more recent. It got some press when it happened, and my recollection is that it was about 5 years ago.