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Old 12-27-2013   #89
gdi
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gdi is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West-Central Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
(1) is as others have pointed out a recent/current definition, not one for all time: the original "terror" was carried out by the state and we still refer to a "reign of terror"

(2) Political policy? Or the behaviour of society as a whole?

(3) No. The definition must ALWAYS be fluid and open to dispute. Otherwise it's too easy to hijack

(4) "If you kill 1 of us, we'll kill 10 of you" That's pretty much what happened at Oradour and I really have some difficulty in applying the label "terrorist" to the resistants who killed a German general and not to the "state actors" who killed 600-odd men, women and children.

Terrorism is the use of terror, i.e. deliberately harming/killing some innocent people, or forgetting completely about proportionality, or imposing extremely brutal collective punishment, in order to make sure that others don't even consider arguing with you, or to make them give in to your demands. With this definition, states can't weasel out. For example, "terror bombing" is a phrase widely (and accurately) used to describe so-called "strategic bombing", as conducted by both sides in World War Two.

Trying to pretend that states cannot carry out terrorist acts and policies is a REALLY good way of obscuring the debate. And no, I don't think that's simplistic.

Cheers,

R.
As I said:

1) I noted that others used a definition of "that which causes terror", and the one I prefer is the recent/current one. I generally choose that definition for any word; it seems best suited to the time in which I exist.

2) One, many times, begets the other. Genrally I would say political policy because the actors, by this definition, lack adequate political power to see their will carried out. It should not surprise you that the political policy of those in power can greatly influence the behavior of the society as a whole.

3) Must be fluid to avoid being hijacked? It can only be hijacked when it is fluid. Academics will define the topic, agree on it, debate and test the merits of various hypotheses and observations. If everyone can define the topic to suit their own whims and wishes, research and understanding cannot be furthered.

4) Surely you didn't think that I would label the resistants terrorists either; I would apply the term terrorist to neither party in your example. People fighting for their lives directly against atrocity, are far from terrorists in my book.

Quote:
Trying to pretend that states cannot carry out terrorist acts and policies is a REALLY good way of obscuring the debate. And no, I don't think that's simplistic.
I think that is quite simplistic; as I have tried to point out, you conflate the label with the act. Your implication that by "pretending" states cannot commit "terrorist" acts one is condoning State atrocities and crimes, or is allowing them to weasel out of such a label, simply serves to make my larger point. The real debate is about heinous and cruel acts against humankind, not about whether you get to pin your most vile label on the perpetrator. Focusing on the definition of the label rather than the act IS the obfuscation.