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Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism

  1. Dec 11, 2005 #1
    I hear this term and I wonder, what in the world are they talking about?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism
    Except for perhaps "Any policy of intimidation", and even that is a stretch, since I don't see how spray painting SUV's is intimidating.

    Even the most radical eco groups, ELF and ALF have never caused bodily harm to anyone, their actions are always directed toward property. in spite of this the FBI has declared that eco terrorists are the greatest domestic terrorist threat. :confused:

    Is this just more of the same movement to stifle and crush any opposition to the corporate acquisition and dispensation of all the worlds resources?

    Is there a credible threat from people who rescue puppies?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/09/n...30a7fb399&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss


    http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/07/08/kavanagh/index.html?source=daily

    I feel that this is a more accurate description of the whole "eco-terrorism" hype.

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2005/9/30/161855/060?source=daily

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    Just to be clear:

    -.... are you saying that people are using the word "terrorism" wrong when they call these actions "eco-terrorism" or just that it's not bad enough terrorism to put much effort into stopping it?
    -Also, are you saying that "their actions are always directed toward property" just because they've never succeeded in killing someone or because they've actually never tried to kill anyone?
    -And do you consider arson a crime that could potentially kill people and does that matter if the answer is yes?
    -Also, you may want to check out dictionary.com's definition, which has a very slight difference from the ones you posted above, but makes a big difference to your point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2005
  4. Dec 11, 2005 #3
    Again this is a case of semantics. Although I don't agree with or condone the actions of the environmentalist, calling them terrorists is a bit extreme.

    Yet the total damage done by the eco's pales in comparison to say, that which is done by drunk drivers.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Well drunk drivers aren't considered "domestic terrorist threats" for one...

    It's fairly easy to minimize the idea of how dangerous eco-terrorists are when you ignore everything they do (ie bombings, large-scale arson...) and drop it down to "they just spray-painted SUV's". But hey, who am i to say that no one should be blindly appologizing for eco-terrorists considering all they are doing is shoveling toxic gases into the air via their "peaceful protests"
     
  6. Dec 11, 2005 #5

    Astronuc

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    I guess the term is accurate for some who employ "Any policy of intimidation."

    And yes, the Bush administration and many supporters do use "terrorist" and many other words, e.g. liberal, in a perjorative sense, when describing anyone who disagrees with the policies or views of the administration.

    However, I do view activities like vandalism and arson, particularly to coerce or initimidate the victims to accept one's socio-political views as being more or less terrorism. Such activities are simply wrong, and undemocratic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2005
  7. Dec 11, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

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    I gotta throw in that I think that definition is waaaaaay too broad. Couldn't we say a school yard bully is a terrorist then? I mean it's one of the more perfect definitions in my opinion. But why the hell are we arguing over what does websters say or what does some other dictionary say who is and isn't a terrorist? I some madman goes around bombing schools and hospitals and government buildings just for the fun of it in his own mind, are we not going to call him a terrorist? I mean unless we're arguing infront of some comittee on how to word a specific bill in Congress, i don't see the point in such semantics (or however you spell it).

    As do democrats... and people on this forum... neo-con comes to mind...
     
  8. Dec 11, 2005 #7
    But drunk drivers never the less are a threat that is many times more likely to affect the life of an ordinary citizen. Like I said: it is all in the semantics of the term.

    Personally I am a lot more worried about drunk drivers than I am about eco' thugs. So what should we call drunk drivers? Inebriated life threatening non terrorist road hazards.:rolleyes:
     
  9. Dec 11, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

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    But you're trying to argue over the term "terrorist" based on whether or not the damage done by it is comparable to anything else in the world. We might as well call the ocean a terrorist.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2005 #9
    Eco-terroist are really hurting the eviroment and not helping eviroment.When they do somthing like burn down a constion site for a arparment complex where a forest used to be there causing more tree's to be cut down and the fire could cause a grass fire or forest fire to happen.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    Yah when you're trying to get the masses to get something good done... blowing things up and setting fires and making people fear you is NOT the way to do things especially when they have shown that they will target anyone they feel is active in something they disagree with. The methods ok if you're like... Hitler trying to get the masses to go out and do bad things because being nice and asking people to do it isn't the preferred method in that case. But in this case, you're suppose to be trying to get people to work with you and be like "yay look at all the good things you're doing, i want to join".
     
  12. Dec 11, 2005 #11

    Nooooooooo lets leave the ocean and the sky out of this.:smile: The only difference between eco terrorists and drunk drivers is intent. Eco's know that they are going to cause damage, and exactly where and when.

    Drunks don't have the mental faculties to realize that they will cause damage. Yet they do cause damage and many of them do it multiple times. And the damage they do is far in excess of what the eco'thugs do.

    OK, how about if we call the DUI's: unwitting perveyors of carnage resembling certain terrorist acts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2005
  13. Dec 11, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    Yah and thats a huuuuuuuuuuuge difference. It's like the difference between tripping over a rock and accidently pushing someone off a cliff (haha no really, not just as lie to get out of going to jail) and literally tossing someone off a cliff. Its the difference between an accident and murder.


    Well, I've never seen a terrorist act that resulted in large pileups in I-5... and I don't want to be calling infractions "UPCRCTS" from now on :) A much better acronym must be formulated

    I'm tryen to figure out if POOP can be expanded tos omething... "The cop gave me a ticket for pooping". No one will want to drive drunk after that.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2005 #13

    loseyourname

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    Off topic, but I always wondered if that would be the perfect way to get away with murder. Get your victim to come with you to a cliff, push him off, and tell the police he slipped. How would they ever prove otherwise?

    Back to the topic, it seems to me that the operative difference between a terrorist and a regular person who simply likes to instill fear in people is that a terrorist uses violent criminal activity in an attempt to use fear to institute policy change. Eco-terrorists are certainly terrorists in that sense; they commit violents crimes in the overt attempt to scare people into changing policy, both governmental and business policy.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2005 #14

    Pengwuino

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    Yah I think thats a decent way of defining terrorists. A private citizen who uses violent criminal actions and acts of intimidation in order to change an organization's policies.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2005 #15
    If we aren't going to consider "Eco-Terrorists" terrorists when they burn and vandalize "property" in order to coerce and frighten people then I guess we shouldn't consider the KKK terrorists when they burn and vandalize property in order to coerce and frighten people.
     
  17. Dec 11, 2005 #16

    Pengwuino

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    But haven't KKK members killed people in the name of the organization?

    But then again the KKK aren't trying to change any public policy (or if they are, its a rather unrealistic goal).
     
  18. Dec 11, 2005 #17
    The KKK definitely have sociopolitical goals. They may realise that there is no way they are going to achieve their desires through legislation but they deifinitely will attempt to set a social precedence and use their intimidation tactics to get what they want regardless of legislation. That is, if black people are afraid to live in a certain town it doesn't matter what the law states they wont be living there anyway.

    Eco-terrorists feel that they can not get things done through legislation so they might as well attack the organizations they have a problem with directly. Regardless of what the government says a corporation is not going to continue activities in a certain area where they are constantly plagued by eco-terrorist attacks which cost them money in damages and delays.

    As far as the KKK killing people, I have no idea. Obviously they have in the past and I'm sure that members of the organization since have done so but whether or not there has been a conspiracy to murder by the organization any time in recent history is a different story.
     
  19. Dec 11, 2005 #18
    Eco-Terrorists are sometimes justified. Destroying property is hardly an extreme crime. Terrorism towards life is a different matter.
     
  20. Dec 11, 2005 #19

    russ_watters

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    How would the realistic-ness of the goal matter?
     
  21. Dec 11, 2005 #20

    russ_watters

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    When/Why?
    So..... what? Does that make it ok? Does the risk of killing someone with arson matter?
     
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