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To you, what is terrorism?

  1. Sep 13, 2004 #1
    What exactly does terrorism mean to you?

    Here is are a couple of definitions:
     
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  3. Sep 13, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    Both look good to me. What definition would you use?
     
  4. Sep 13, 2004 #3
    To me, this is insufficient. The "unlawful" bit is silly. The legality is generally made by the victor in any case.

    The final section needs "violence" added to it:
     
  5. Sep 13, 2004 #4

    russ_watters

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    Winner of what? For international terrorism, the "unlawful" comes from international law. The winner and loser don't have any ex post facto say in that. For domestic terrorism, citizens of any country are subject to the laws of that country. Sure, if the terrorists win they get to make a new country with their own laws, but the catch-22 if they lose is of their own creation, so its not really an issue with the definition
    You misunderstand the grammar. That part is talking about the goal of the violence: Violence causes intimidation which caused political change.

    Anyway, there is little disagreement here over the substance of the definition. So we're pretty much in agreement about the definition on face value...now back to the application...
     
  6. Sep 13, 2004 #5
    "This is done through..."
     
  7. Sep 13, 2004 #6
    For me it's German schlagermusic.
     
  8. Sep 13, 2004 #7
    Get rid of the 'lawfull' part of the first definition and its spot on. Saddam Killed 5000 people and wounded 10,000 more in Halabja, March 16, 1988 because the kurds supported iran in their latest war, that was lawfull according to Saddam. If thats not terrorism then 9/11 sure isn't.
     
  9. Sep 13, 2004 #8

    plover

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    Smurf:
    You seem to be equating state brutality and oppression with terrorism. While these two things have a similar degree of moral repulsiveness, I wouldn't say they are the same.
     
  10. Sep 13, 2004 #9
    Plover: Why not?
     
  11. Sep 14, 2004 #10

    plover

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    The distinction I'm referring to is more or less a question of power dynamics. Repressive governments, terrorists, and also mafia-type organizations all engage in what can be labelled 'terror tactics', but the motivations and context for each are somewhat different.

    A government that deals with dissent, unrest, or ethnic conflict through brutality, which can range from a tolerance for indiscriminate violence on the part of police and security forces through systematic genocide of 'undesirable' segments of the population, is, as a rule, operating from a position of power (otherwise the regime would almost certainly be toppled). The state has control of the economic and production resources of the country, and may have enough power to demand legitimacy internationally. The repressive tactics are used to keep the regime in power.

    The terrorist, on the other hand, is, as a rule, trying to change something. The desired change could be local such as removing an occupying or colonizing force from one's country, or simply subverting one's own government for grievances that might be either real or imagined. Terrorists can also act to alter the international stage, some being driven by ideology (religious or otherwise), others acting at the behest of a state.

    A mafia operates outside the law, but is usually intertwined with a certain community which may receive benefits and protection from it, but which may also bear the brunt of the violence.

    There are probably other distinct categories of groups that use terror tactics, e.g. drug cartels and street gangs maybe.

    I'm just trying to summarize my impressions here—there's no organized study behind this. I imagine other approaches might yield equally valid typologies. It would be interesting to hear other perspectives.
     
  12. Sep 14, 2004 #11
    state terror is terror
    MAD is terror [cold war]
    fire bombing citys is terror [ww2]
    the kent state shootings were terror
    russia has used terror in cheznea war


    "freedom fighters" useing terror is terror
    PLO has a reason to fight zionists but uses terror
    viet cong used terror

    criminals use terror
    mob bombing is terror
    kkk linching was terror

    terror is terror
    reason can be just or evil
    terror is still terror

    law enforcement uses terror of prison to enforce laws

    terror is terror
     
  13. Sep 14, 2004 #12

    russ_watters

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    That's where the caveat I mentioned applies: it is unlawful according to international law.

    ray b - in my opinion, when you widen a definition like that you make it utterly useless.
     
  14. Sep 14, 2004 #13
    Terror in principle is an offensive action when the microhistory and macrohistory, quantitatively relative to one another, determines the militant action offensive. For example, in the microsense, an immediate assault upon an invading army is not defense, unless in the macrosense of history changes the quantitative relative sense of the microsense of invasion attack to defense. Although, taking energy and social physics in mind, even a defensive attack may be entropic depending upon it's methods and timing used, so then even a fair retaliation can become terror. All retaliation in this sense must be intelligent or becomes the entropy that determines terror. Simply put, terror is an attack that only makes things worse in the overall micro and macro sense. But unless both can be quantified in the sense of diplomatic balance, either side may assert fairness in the attack, and it can't be proven to be a terror attack or not.

    With this in mind, 911 could be considered as not being a terror attack, but only the brutally honest will endeavor considering find the proof for and against such a claim, most notably American dogmatists.

    Some would say terrorism is a secretive attack. But secrets only convey distance from being known or stopped through defense, and jets dropping bombs are as secret as explosives tied around the waste, there targets are nearly equal in collateral damage. Distance becomes the relative variable in militant attacks that conveyed in sense of power or secretiveness, both in principle are equivalent. David slew Goliath, and his sling is terrorism to some today. The brute giant is terror to others. Iraq is the David of the Bible today. Look upon there spirit to defend the brute retard invading.

    These words nearly have terror in there sound, but I'm not sure of there history, so it may only be coincidence.

    Territory. Military.
     
  15. Sep 14, 2004 #14

    Gza

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    Omin, your post makes me wonder if we might need a section called "political theory development" :rofl: Kidding of course.
     
  16. Sep 14, 2004 #15
    Ugh!

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
     
  17. Sep 14, 2004 #16
    Yes, you have to be kidding. Political theories that don't represent the physics in efficiency lead to murder and entopy in diplomacy, which results in bad, bad business. Terrorism, dimished trade and bad economy is an idicator fools are in power. It takes intelligence to dimish these.
     
  18. Sep 14, 2004 #17

    plover

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    ray b:
    In some cases you're listing things that would be defined as 'terror tactics' (e.g. kkk lynching), in others you're listing things that are terrifying but not exactly terror tactics per se (e.g. MAD). In any case, defining 'terror' is not the same as defining the groups that practice it. My impression is that you are listing various things that you place in a single moral category, the next question is: what are the differences between people whose actions fall into that moral category, and given those differences, how is each best confronted?
     
  19. Sep 14, 2004 #18
    I belive the means justiphy the end
    if someone thinks that the end justiphy the means and uses terror
    then they are a terrorest

    maybe with the best of intent, but they still are a terrorist
    but remember the kkk , they thought they were defending
    their way of life, and white women from a fate worse then death

    same goes for tailgunner joe
    or the people who built and ran the MAD system
    btw I can't think of any idea more terrorist then MAD
    ever in all of history
    sure it "WORKED" and good came of it
    because "the other guy blinked"
    but that only justiphys the end
    remember they targeted CITYS not military bases
    so it fits the terror label

    as a hippy peace marcher, we tryed to confront the beast
    stop the war, ban the bomb, ect
    did we win NO
    but we tryed
    seeing the problem is the first part of solution
    will we ever stop terror NO
    but that doesnot mean do not try
    but our own goverment's terror is part of the problem
    nobodys right if everybodys wrong
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  20. Sep 14, 2004 #19

    plover

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    ray b:
    If you are responding to me (which seems probable, but not certain), then you have misunderstood what I've been saying. Nothing that I have said is a justification for any kind of brutal acts or policies. All I have said is that it is useful to distinguish the different contexts in which such acts occur, and the motives of the people who commit them. You can use the word terrorist as you like, but as generally used in English, the word refers to a few specific types of political criminals. There are other words for other types (tyrant, death squad, racist, etc.).

    Do you honestly think I was defending the KKK or MAD? If you disagree with my word choice then fine, but don't attribute things to me I didn't say.
     
  21. Sep 14, 2004 #20
    No, A terrorist is someone who performs violent acts with the concious intent of causing fear in other members of the same group they are performing violent acts against. In Al Quaedas Case, they're targetting americans, Saddam was targetting Kurds and KKK were targetting blacks, (I don't know much about the KKK so im not sure about this one) its still terrorism.
     
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