Using the word "terrorism" is a terrorist act. 7.19.2005

From Little Green Footballs: CBC Defends Band on T Word
‘Terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’: Exercise extreme caution before using either word.

Avoid labelling any specific bombing or other assault as a “terrorist act” unless it’s attributed (in a TV or Radio clip, or in a direct quote on the Web). For instance, we should refer to the deadly blast at that nightclub in Bali in October 2002 as an “attack,” not as a “terrorist attack.” The same applies to the Madrid train attacks in March 2004, the London bombings in July 2005 and the attacks against the United States in 2001, which the CBC prefers to call “the Sept. 11 attacks” or some similar expression. (The BBC, Reuters and many others follow similar policies.)

Terrorism generally implies attacks against unarmed civilians for political, religious or some other ideological reason. But it’s a highly controversial term that can leave journalists taking sides in a conflict.

By restricting ourselves to neutral language, we aren’t faced with the problem of calling one incident a “terrorist act” (e.g., the destruction of the World Trade Center) while classifying another as, say, a mere “bombing” (e.g., the destruction of a crowded shopping mall in the Middle East).
As CBC News editor-in-chief Tony Burman has pointed out: “Our preference is to describe the act or individual, and let the viewer or listener or political representatives make their own judgment.”

The problem with this attempt to be "neutral" by refusing to call terrorism "terrorism", it in fact takes sides--with the terrorists, who while may be spinning tails designed to undermine democracies by attacking the hand holding the spear (the population of the democracies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan), know what terrorism is.

Terrorism is easily defined as a style of attack and a military strategy. Terrorism is a deliberate attack on civilians designed to terrorize a population in order to influence the political process of that country. And despite it's current muslim religious associations, it is a calculated strategy designed originally as a response by a weaker force against a stronger standing military under the control of a democratic power. Terrorism makes no sense against dictatorships: random bombings in China may offend the sovereigns who run that country but the fear of it's population is not a factor. But terrorism against democracies can influence elections as we saw in Spain a few months ago.

By denying using the word terrorism against a deliberate attack against civilians designed to terrorize the civilian population, the press is in fact siding with the terrorists--because they give a strategy of deliberate attacks against civilian populations the same legitimacy given attacks against military units who are using civilians as "shields" in their war. And this sort of equivalency has deep political reprocussions: it essentially sides with those forces who deny civilization and the rules of civilized combat (which try their best to avoid, not terrorize, civilian populations) by elevating them to the same moral plane as those who wish to promote civilization even at the most difficult times.

This equivalency comes from the same morally bankrupt theories which gave us an extreme form of multiculturalism which insists that somehow the West (with our strives towards gender equivalency and open debates on homosexual rights) is equivalent to the culture of the Arabs of the Middle East (who practice "honor killings" against their women and execute their homosexuals).

Equivalency must have it's limits, and those limits must be based on some foundational rules--otherwise, "equivalency" is nilhism, not compassion or understanding. By embrasing the nilhistic form of equivalency in it's philosophies, the Left has betrayed it's own moral principles.

posted by William Woody at 9:49 AM

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