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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:45 AM
Original message
Please help settle family argument about terrorism

OK I know there are lots of people here who have read and know a lot more than me, so if this is a stupid question, then whatever.

But here is the argument. My dad says that the reason the UN and everybody else says they don't want to make a legal definition of terrorism too legal etc because it would make it easy for the enemies of Israel and America to try to make their military occupations fit it, and I said that it seems like to me that the way it works out in reality is that anybody that fights back if America or Israel bombs or invades or occupies them is automatically a terrorist.

He says that is not so, that there have been a lot of cases where people fought back against America and Israel and were not terrorists, and I asked him to name some, but that didn't go over too well, and it didn't seem like a good idea to push it.

And please before you tell me to google, I did, and I couldn't find anything, so again, if this is stuff that everybody knows, then please help me become part of everybody.

TIA
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Cuba is not "terrorist"
That's all I can think of off the top of my head.



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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. Terrorism is a subjective measure at best
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 12:56 AM by Selatius
It is used a bit like "murder" is used with anti-death penalty activists. They argue that it is equally "murder" for the state to sanction a person's death just as it would be if a person killed another with a gun or a knife or some other way. Likewise, many argue war is state-sanctioned mass murder.

"One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist." -- ???

We can only argue with each other over tactics we find acceptable. If we were arguing about blowing up buses and trains and airplanes full of unarmed people, I think we can find some ground over that being unacceptable and harmful to our cause.

If we argued over simply attacking soldiers, police officers, and government facilities of, for example, the regime that we oppose, we are more likely than with the previous example I mentioned going to come to a consensus on them being valid targets. At least, they would be considered "more valid" than blowing up civilians.

Some people don't care, though. If I blew up 24 civilians in the process of killing 3 or 5 US soldiers, some would say "the price is worth it." For me, though, I wouldn't say the same thing.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. Did they consider VC to be terrorists? NVA certainly was an 'army'
The problem is that what your father says was more true 'in his day' than it is today in yours, where the US is only physically fighting those it defines as terrorists, because states are too weak to fight it or Israel themselves, because they are larger targets without a superpower sponsor.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. I'm not sure if I understand that, but I am going to think about it

And thanks! This is exactly the kind of thing that reminds me I don't know enough about this, or anything else, either. :)
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. This is the funniest thing I have read for a long time, thank you. Now...
to answer. I am laughing at the whole thing, you did a very good explanation. Terrorists are now defined as "them", not "us". Yes, in the past those fighting against the USA were not labeled "terrorist", but the way the bush administration uses it, they are. "Terrorism" is a vague thing that is defined in many different ways. And realize I am laughing not at you but you wrote that very well, thank you. Good luck with your dad too. And welcome to DU.
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NavyDavy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. you said it better than me, which it seems no matter how I
try someone always makes it sound better than I can....: (
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. Maybe in the past it was easier because they were communists

And that has more definite rules, like what makes a dog a German Shepherd? But now, calling them terrorists just seems too vague, like saying whether someone is a good singer, or whether blue is a pretty color. It is a matter of opinion. But it has gotten very controversial to call it a matter of opinion. It is like everybody has to agree that if you shoot back if America or Israel bombs you, then you are a terrorist. They really think that the people should just sit there and not fight back!

OK, see, this is I guess getting to the root of my problem with all of this. People in other countries feel the same way about their country that we do. If somebody came in and invaded America, of course everybody would fight back! Nobody would be grateful to be bombed!

So how did it get to where so many people now just accept this idea that to fight back is terrorism, if you are bombed by America or Israel? It is something that does not make any sense to me, and it is WEIRD to see almost everybody just act like of course they are terrorists! They tried to shoot down our warplane!
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NavyDavy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. its true not everybody was labeled a terrorist that fought against the
US of A, well up until B**h stole the presidency. remember "if your not with us you are with the terrorist" speech?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. You get the prize for best explanation.
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NavyDavy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. thank you....I humbly accept....jk
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
7. it's a misplaced argument, IMO....
Identifying everyone who opposes American foreign policy or American hegemony in their region of the world as "terrorists" is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Well, that is the opinion I have been coming to

But it is a kind of scary one to have, for instance, I could never say something like that to my dad, I think he would call Homeland Security on me. I am serious. And he is not some crazy Fox News type either. I think you have to be careful saying something like that just about anywhere, at least in America, talking to Americans.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. This is why we keep bombing third world countries
They keep electing leaders who, for some reason or another, don't want to bow to US business interests. Then we have to take "corrective" action. It can take the form of an invasion, or it can take the form of a military coup supported by the US, or it can take some other form. If they will simply submit, everything will be better, but they are so stupid. They never submit. They always insist on resisting us.

We bring them democracy. We bring them technology. We bring them the comforts of civilization, and we bring them capitalism, but these idiotic savages throw it back in our faces. They hate it; they find it alien. We will always try, though, because what we bring to them is best for them.

:sarcasm:
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
12. If a "terrorist" kills you...
...you're dead.

If a "democracy" kills you...you're dead.

See the difference...
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. I really wish you hadn't said that

Because "democracy" is another thing. Is it still a kind of government where everybody gets a vote? Or just another word for a country that America approves of? Like in the Middle East, all the countries that are America's supposed friends, if you read about them, they are not democracies, and the more you read about it, the more it seems like we spend a lot of money keeping them from being democracies. And if they WERE democracies, we would not like who they elected. So they are not allowed to be democracies. But the reason for the war on terror, besides protecting America, is supposed to be spreading democracy. But not if they elect people America doesn't approve of. OK I better shut up, or I will get Democratic Underground in trouble for going against the Patriot Act!

Anyway, thanks for helping me understand it, I think.
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poverlay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. Aaaah... Beautifully said. n/t
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
14. The reason is...
they have to leave grey areas for legitimate rebellion against oppressive regimes.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. OK but does it matter who is being oppressed?

Because a Palestinian or a Lebanese person might say that Israel is an oppressive regime, and an Iraqi person might say that America is an oppressive regime.

So I think that your answer is good, but it also makes me come back to the same question.

And I can tell you that my dad would say, it makes you come back to the same question because you are talking about terrorists now, they are opposed to America and Israel!
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. It's one of those...
Beauty (or in this case Terrorism) is in the eye of the beholder.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
15. FlavaKreemSnak
dang, I'm hungry.

Seriously, sounds like you're picking up on some well established non-verbal ques. Hope the politics are not dividing your family like they have divided the citizenry and the many religions, after the 9-11 unity period.
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Oversea Visitor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
18. When you have BIG GUNS AND BOMBS
and a BIG ARMY.

And the other side cannot stand up to you in a fair fight.

And when they resort to attacking you when they able too.

They are either insurgent or terrorist.

They are the result from occupied territory.

And as long as the people there view that they are under foriegn occupation

There will always be what we called Terrorist.

So the WAR on Terror as define by the enlighten chimp, has resulted in the creation of Terrorist.

When there were once but hundreds we now talk in hundreds of thousands maybe millions.

Who can say how peasants are there not in America that are really digusted.

Some goes cuckoo as in Seattle incident. Gee this is America.

So how much more cuckoo is there outside America.

Some of them dream of 70 virgins as many like to say as they give you a blow job (KABOOM)

Oopps another sucide bombers bite the dust.

It is sometimes such a disconnect to really think that this people all giving blow job will be thinking of 70 virgins.

Maybe one who think their thoughts will be DIE!!! DIE!!! you evil devil whore sheeper

But maybe smart people will like to say TERRORIST are people that hate you because of your freedom democracy and Liberty.

Strange how one get more of them when they get liberated from their freedom and their choice of goverments.



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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
20. Here's the solution: Have Israel and the US STOP
'making their military occupations' fit the definition of terrorism.

It's not the definitions that are the problem, it's US and Israeli actions.

I get so sick of people who have no logical reasoning skills blame a problem on semantics or on the definition of something. The solution to the problem is to fix the problem, not whitewash it, or redefine it, or muddle it with specious arguments.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I think that you are right about all of that

But you know that if you say that to people, they will call you anti-American, or even a terrorist sympathizer.

And it is very scary to me that almost everybody just does not even think about it, they just take it for granted, anybody that will fight back if America bombs them, or if Israel invades them, etc, well that is a terrorist.

Anyway, thanks for your answer, I am glad to know that somebody else has noticed it.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:02 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thanks, everybody for helping me with this.

I don't think that any of your answers are something I can discuss with my dad, so I guess the family argument will have to stay unsettled. It makes me sad that this is probably all stuff that I had better not talk about with my family at all, but I am glad that I get to talk about it here!

Thanks again (Have to go to bed now, I have an early day tomorrow!)
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 03:03 AM
Response to Original message
25. I thought that St. Ronnie said something like
one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I may be wrong, but that is what I recall.... Depends upon who's ox is being gored.
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Karmakaze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
26. Actually, there is nothing wrong with the proper definition...
Main Entry: terrorism
Pronunciation: 'ter-&r-"i-z&m
Function: noun
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

This should probably more correctly include the phrase "use of terror against a civilian population" but the meaning is the same. Terrorism is banned by the laws of war, BUT terrorism has nothing to do with who or what organisation does it. The US Army uses terrorism all the time - hence their term for the attack on Baghdad "Shock and Awe". They specifically stated that the purpose of the bombing was to shock and awe the people of Iraq with the power of the US military to destroy, and thus influence them to turn against their leaders.

THAT is terrorism.

Terrrorism also includes walking onto a bus with a bomb strapped to your chest and detonating it. The scale is different, but the intention is the same - to coerce the targeted population to meet your demands by instilling terror in them.

In a legal war, weapons are used specifically to defeat the enemy's ability to make war. Therefore firing a missile at a tank is totally legal. However you can not use the civilian population of the enemy to force their leaders to stop making war, thus bombing a water treatment plant is totally ILLEGAL. Yet both the US and Israel do it, and it fits the definition of terrorism. There is no military neccesity in denying civilians water or sanitation. That is done purely to coerce civilians to change their leadership's policies and thus fits the definition of terrorism.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. And that is why the UN doesn't want to define it?

I don't like to say it, but if America and Israel are at war against terrorists, doesn't that make them at war with themselves and with each other?

(I know I said I was going to bed but I couldn't sleep.)
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twenty4blackbirds Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:17 AM
Response to Original message
27. IRA in Ireland/UK used terrorist tactics against UK
This is from memory and so not backed up with things like reliable sources & urls:
IRA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Republican_Army

It could be that one reason why historically USA doesn't want "terrorist" defined is because then IRA couldn't get financial&political support from USA against UK.

Way back before IRA aimed towards 'political respectablity', the group conducted terrorist tactics against some of the population. After some political respectability, there were splinter groups who achieved the Omagh bombings of 1998 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/northern_ireland/late... - iirc this was where one bomb set off and killed people, and the second bomb went off when rescuers came to help victims of the first bomb.

The other guys explained it better...
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