Do you believe in terrorism?


Normally open July 4th only---the one day a year when partisan politics, religion, etc. are acceptable topics on this Board (within reason). The forum is now closed.

Is an act which meets your definition of terrorism ever morally justifiable?

Poll ended at Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:21 am

Yes
2
14%
No
12
86%
 
Total votes : 14

Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:15 am

Here's a good article on how the word terrorism has become meaningless in the American lexicon.
There's a great paradox in the American political landscape: the word that is used most frequently to justify everything from invasions and bombings to torture, indefinite detention, and the sprawling Surveillance State -- Terrorism -- is also the most ill-defined and manipulated word. It has no fixed meaning, and thus applies to virtually anything the user wishes to demonize, while excluding the user's own behavior and other acts one seeks to justify. All of this would be an interesting though largely academic, semantic matter if not for the central political significance with which this term is vested: both formally (in our law) and informally (in our political debates and rhetoric). . . .

The reason no clear definition of Terrorism is ever settled upon is because it's virtually impossible to embrace a definition without either (a) excluding behavior one wishes to demonize and thus include and/or (b) including behavior (including one's own and those of one's friends) which one desperately wants to exclude.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn ... /terrorism
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:09 pm

Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby Daisy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:21 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?

At the time, yes. Was Gerry Adams a terrorist?
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:03 pm

Daisy wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?

At the time, yes. Was Gerry Adams a terrorist?

Absolutely! But both Turner and Adams were justified in their actions IMO. Here's the thing. If a nation, a sub-national group or a lone individual have a legitimate grievance for which non-violent tactics have proven ineffectual, and they do not possess war-making capability, the only option left to them is terrorism. Don't ever overestimate the power of nonviolent protest. If Ghandi had faced Hitler, he would have been just another dead Indian.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby BillVol » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:09 pm

Ask Nelson Mandela if he believes in terrorism.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:21 pm

BillVol wrote:Ask Nelson Mandela if he believes in terrorism.

He certainly didn't spend 27 years in prison for sitting in at lunch counters. As a matter of fact, when the finally caught him, he was plotting to blow up a passeneger train.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby Marlow » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:27 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
There's a great paradox in the American political landscape: the word that is used most frequently to justify everything from invasions and bombings to torture, indefinite detention, and the sprawling Surveillance State -- Terrorism -- is also the most ill-defined and manipulated word. It has no fixed meaning, and thus applies to virtually anything the user wishes to demonize, while excluding the user's own behavior and other acts one seeks to justify. All of this would be an interesting though largely academic, semantic matter if not for the central political significance with which this term is vested: both formally (in our law) and informally (in our political debates and rhetoric). . . .

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said in this thread a very short while ago.

And once a word has lost its way, it ceases to serve ANY function in debate - rendering this entire thread . . . moot*. :roll:

* second denotation = of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:35 pm

So 12 people answered "no" to the question in my original post. Out of curiosity, I would appreciate it if the no's stated their definitions of terrorism in concise and unambiguous language. Pego kinda sorta gave a definition but it has some wiggle room in it. Here's my definition so you get an idea of what I'm looking for:

    Terrorism - violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby CookyMonzta » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:50 pm

I gather the definition (the first part of it, especially) also applies to rogue states as well. The current regime in Syria uses the same tactics in order to break the will of the people. That is just one, among many examples you can find from 1933 onward.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby Pego » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:32 am

jazzcyclist wrote:So 12 people answered "no" to the question in my original post. Out of curiosity, I would appreciate it if the no's stated their definitions of terrorism in concise and unambiguous language. Pego kinda sorta gave a definition but it has some wiggle room in it. Here's my definition so you get an idea of what I'm looking for:

    Terrorism - violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.


This is too narrow. For example, the white supremacist asshole that shot up the Sikh temple in Milwaukee just because he hated people wearing turbans was a terrorist in my book.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:34 am

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:So 12 people answered "no" to the question in my original post. Out of curiosity, I would appreciate it if the no's stated their definitions of terrorism in concise and unambiguous language. Pego kinda sorta gave a definition but it has some wiggle room in it. Here's my definition so you get an idea of what I'm looking for:

    Terrorism - violence against innocent civilians for the purpose of intimidating, coercing or breaking the will of a government; or for the purpose of disrupting or influencing a democratic process in order to promote or oppose a political agenda.


This is too narrow. For example, the white supremacist asshole that shot up the Sikh temple in Milwaukee just because he hated people wearing turbans was a terrorist in my book.

He's a terrorist in my book too, similar to the KKK, a group that also carried out racial, ethnic and religious motivated murders. The fact that he may have been ignorant about the religious affiliation of Sikhs is besides the point. The main point is that, like the KKK, he was opposed to racial, ethnic and religious tolerance in our society. That falls under the category of "promote or oppose a political agenda". Keep in mind that not only do hate groups hate minorities, they also hate the laws that protect them. Also, didn't that attack happen as a reaction to another terrorist attack that had recently taken place?
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