Sunday, February 23, 2020

A warped definition of terrorism

Nov 26. 2017
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Who is a terrorist? Most people would probably say it is a Muslim who deliberately kills civilians.

I’ve not once heard the murderers in Myanmar who are committing atrocities against Muslims called terrorists. I don’t even recall Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot being called terrorists. Apparently atrocities committed by the state are not terrorism.

Ironically Israel can kill thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese civilians but it’s not terrorism because they’re doing it in the name of “fighting terrorism”! But what about the atrocities committed by the Israelis before Israel was a country – such as the blowing up of the King David Hotel? Oh that wasn’t terrorism, it was freedom fighting!

America’s genocide in Vietnam and Iraq, Ronald Reagan’s funding of death squads in Latin America and Philippine President Duterte’s demented drug war have also never been called terrorism.

Writer Sam Harris says America and Israel don’t commit terrorism because they don’t want to kill civilians. In other words, it’s fine to kill even a million civilians as long as you can argue there was a terrorist mixed in there among them and the civilians just got in the way.

If we want to defeat terrorism we need to have enough courage to adequately define it.

Eric Bahrt

Chiang Mai

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