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What or when is something terrorism?
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Posted 9/23/10 , edited 9/25/10

amersfoort wrote:
And thank you Papagolfwhiskey, you explained to me what terrorism is.
However I would now like to continue with: What do you personally think what terrorism is?


Okay I'll bite. I'll start with a Ghandi quote of my own:



It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
-- Mahatma Gandhi


In the full context he goes on to say why the above better in his view. Basically, that he holds hope for the violent man to become nonviolent but sees no hope for the impotent.

At it's rawest most elemental form. Terrorism is an attempt to get your own way through an "Or Else..." usually an "or else..." that is presumed to be frightening to the person or institution you mean to have your own way with. At it's core, it is bullying. I personally have a visceral hatred of bullies. And yet I also see the need sometimes for violence. How do I reconcile this? Well for one thing I consider the 'having your own way' and the 'or else...' in context.

"Don't talk to the cops about what you saw me do, or else I'll kill your family" - I think is pure terrorism.

"Don't stand up to me, or else, I'll inflict my expensive lawyer on you." -- Is a cowardly and ulitimately ludicrous attempt at terrorism but yes it's still bullying and terrorism.

But what if 'your way' is something like "don't hurt me", "leave me alone", "No, I won't give you my money, just because"?
What if 'your way' is something like "Rapist! let go that woman!", or "Mugger! don't hurt that old man!"

I think it's alright to use violence in personal self defense and in defense of others. and sometime the 'or else' is not a threat but natural consequence of the situation. If you are a policeman for example, and you tell someone to 'Drop the gun' they are carrying. You could argue that there is an unspoken "or else I'll shoot you!". But a sane police officer doesn't want to inflict this 'or else' he's privately praying "don't do it. don't do it. see reason. I HAVE to stop you. Let's do this peacefully" and when the culprit instead raises the gun, his getting shot by the cop is not an 'or else' so much as it is a natural consequence of the situation.

Most of the time, personal non-political, terrorism is called other things. Usually crimes and always negative: Bullying, Extortion, Robbery, Domestic Violence, especially extortion, which is the crime of taking some material benefit with a threat, and can include white collar terrorism:

"Sleep with me, or you lose your job."

Which might be hard to prove or make stick after the fact, but to my mind is still Extortion ergo Terrorism.

When we step away from the personal and into the realm of the relations between nations and into the realm of politics, things become murky. One way to keep it simple is to say everything the other guy does is terrorism and nothing I do is terrorism. All sides in many of the conflicts today are guilty of that. Everyone likes to point at the other guy and say HE is the terrorist he did THIS and THAT. oh? I did THE OTHER but that's just War/Freedom fighting/Justice/A day at the office.

I'm going to keep this general or historical, to avoid getting political myself. I've thought about this, and it's unfortunate but I think I may even conclude that some people and organizations I continue to admire may have been guilty of terrorism in the past.

Since I accept the premise of nations. I tend to adhere to the Westphalian paradigm that makes them masters of their own territory and unalterable except through diplomacy or war. I also think more along Bismark's lines that Nations do not have 'friends' they have needs and interests. Also think think the diplomacy is operating on credit, you only have so much good will or respect accorded to you. it's a pool that runs out and then you have to pay cash. And the coin of nations is blood. Your citizens have to be willing to kill or die in the national interest. Ghandi won because his people were more willing to die than the British were to kill. Nonviolent Jews in Europe in the 30's and 40's lost because Hitler and Stalin and their many minions had no problem with cold blooded executions in job lots. Some Norwegians successfully engaged in non-violent dissent against Hitler's regime for a number reasons related to Hitler's prejudices (he was dealing with Nords; his ideal Aryans) and the resources the Nazi's could spare for what was already a pacified conquest.( I once wrote a fairly long (as such things go) undergraduate paper on dissent and nonviolent protest I could expand on this topic at another time if people wished)

When you're at war, your aim as a nation is to convince the other nation that he is defeated. That not only does he have something to LOSE if this goes on, but that he also has nothing to gain. While the individual soldier's job may be, according to Patton "...not to die for your country but make the other son of a bitch die for his.” The job of the army and the nation at war is to achieve peace, to make the other nation say “I give up”. Often that means the enemy fears the consequences of continuing and in that regard it could be considered terrorism but I don't see it that way. Once war starts, The only way it ends without a winner and loser is if both sides get tired of it simultaneously. And even then, war is so costly on so many levels that to a large measure even the winners lose. War should very much be a last choice when there is no other recourse.

I don't consider many things done in war to be Terrorism. The threat of death is a given. Offering to take a soldier alive if he drops his gun is an act of mercy. Sometimes an uncomfortable one at that. We have 'rules of war' dictated by treaties that many nations have signed and that neutral nations in a war observe and enforce. These rules dictate what kinds of weapons you can bring to battle, how to treat prisoners etc. Violation of these rules may be a war crime but it isn't necessarily terrorism.

For example. It's against the rules to fight under a false flag. You can't pretend to be your enemy and you can't pretend to be a non-combatant. At least not while firing a gun. It was not terrorism for the It was not terrorism for the Maquis to wait until the last second before revealing themselves as fighters. It WAS against the Geneva Convention and they could have been (and usually were) legally executed for it.

Similarly it wasn't Terrorism to blow up a train yard or a communication hub or assassinate an effective leader. If such acts were done to deny the resources of transport, communications and leadership. It wasn't necessarily terrorism for OSS, SOE and Maquis agents to shoot traitors and informers, these people were a real threat to those agents. However there was I'm sure terrorism meant in such acts to keep others from doing the same.

A sniper's mission is very much a psychological one. He is a force multiplier. One soldier with skill picking off soldiers when they are vulnerable forcing them to remain tense and alert at all times, teaching them to fear movement or exposure, can 'pin' a much larger force in place and render it ineffective. There is terror in that. But fear of death is part of war. As long his targets are also combatants I don't consider it terrorism.

The fire bombing of Dresden could be considered an act of terrorism. It was in part Vengeance for the destruction of Coventry. A vengeance more ardently sought because Churchill has guilt on his heart. He chose to protect the secret of fact that the Allies had just cracked the German's highest level codes over protecting the citizens of Coventry and I'm sure that choice haunted him. It was meant to take out a critical industrial centre (which it failed to do) but the firebombing also had a goal of 'Demoralization', ie Terror.

There are scholars today (some 60+ years after the fact. In the peace of their academic halls) who argue that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime. One for which no one on the Allied side was called to book.

But I think I'm digressing. What do I think is Terrorism? (remember this is my opinion not a legal one)

Not war, especially not a war of defense. (we can argue who is defending from whom on another thread like you ask)

Not many things that happen in a conflict zone except deliberate targeting of civilians known to be civilians. This emphatically does not include mistakes, errors, or civilians being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It does include deliberate attacks on areas or places where there is currently no combat occurring and the majority of the casualties of the attack are known to likely be civilians. If you deliberately hide among a civilian population while the fighting is going on. Then, while you might not be a terrorist, their blood is on YOUR hands, NOT the hands of the soldiers who kill those civilians trying to get at you.

Throwing a grenade into a room during urban combat is not terrorism. Throwing a grenade into the middle of a crowded marketplace on sales day IS terrorism.

Going to War is not necessarily terrorism. Threatening war. Especially when you have a demonstrably more effective military with greater power projection, just to get something you cannot justifiably ask for, that IS terrorism in my mind.( I discuss a modern example of this and why it happened in popcornpuff's thread on Terrorism attributed to a particular state)

Exploding or sabotaging military installations during a war and of the nation with whom you are at war, is not Terrorism. Blowing up civilian structures especially religious ones or medical ones when there is no evidence that such flags are being abused by enemy combatants is a war crime at best and Terrorism if it was meant to achieve some aim associated with spreading fear.

Wow... that's really long winded because it is complex and situational. However I think I know when I or the people I care about are being bullied and I'll always call that terrorism

I think the best answer to terrorism is to defiantly keep doing whatever it is the terrorist doesn't like.

Someone takes hostages to you make you pull out of a war zone. Double your troop commitment.
Someone blows up your subway system. Fix it fast and double your ridership next business day.
Someone makes an announcement that it is not safe for you, his enemy to ride in planes, go to shopping malls or occupy tall buildings?

I SAY, Book some FLIGHTS, Max out your credit card. CLIMB SOME STAIRS!

That is all.

(minor edit for grammar and spelling added the italicized sentence.)
(second edit; correct a few minor but irritating spelling errors.)
(third edit minor expansions and references, I'm bored; Amersfoort are you online? you are the one who asked me to answer you.)
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Posted 9/23/10 , edited 9/23/10
An example of the good will being finite and blood being the coin. Is the relation between your nation and ours.

Canadian Soldiers where the bulk of the troops and also (avowed by many, including Montgomery and Patton) to be the best troops involved in freeing Belgium and the Netherlands from the Nazi grip. In addition we hosted your royal family and even alienated a lot of land outside the hospital where your queen was born so that she could be born purely Dutch. As a nation we, payed in blood and land for your freedom and to this day your government sends ours so many tulip bulbs that there is now an annual Tulip Festival on the Banks of the Rideau Canal. (In Ottawa).

But I get the impression (perhaps mistaken) that your generation doesn't remember that. or at least isn't as embarrassingly profuse in it's gratitude and welcome.

That good will was earned in blood. But with time and perhaps the friction that occurs between two sovereign nations that good will also get's used up.
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Posted 9/23/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:

An example of the good will being finite and blood being the coin. Is the relation between your nation and ours.

Canadian Soldiers where the bulk of the troops and also (avowed by many, including Montgomery and Patton) to be the best troops involved in freeing Belgium and the Netherlands from the Nazi grip. In addition we hosted your royal family and even alienated a lot of land outside the hospital where your queen was born so that she could be born purely Dutch. As a nation we, payed in blood and land for your freedom and to this day your government sends ours so many tulip bulbs that there is now an annual Tulip Festival on the Banks of the Rideau Canal. (In Ottawa).

But I get the impression (perhaps mistaken) that your generation doesn't remember that. or at least isn't as embarrassingly profuse in it's gratitude and welcome.

That good will was earned in blood. But with time and perhaps the friction that occurs between two sovereign nations that good will also get's used up.


Poor Canadia, nobody acknowledges all your achievements lol.
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Posted 9/23/10 , edited 9/23/10

Allhailodin wrote:

Poor Canadia, nobody acknowledges all your achievements lol.


You kidding? Wearing a maple leaf in the Netherlands was a free ticket all kinds of freebies and thanks. And well still get sent the tulips.

Only becuase you americans are affraid to wear your own flag outside of the country, the Maple leaf thing doesn't work so well. Just be careful you don't run into an REAL Canadians. We can spot you Yanks in a flash.

Unlike the United States, our great friend and closest trading partner, The Dutch have a very good idea of who we are and what we've done.



Posted 9/23/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

Poor Canadia, nobody acknowledges all your achievements lol.


You kidding? Wearing a maple leaf in the Netherlands was a free ticket all kinds of freebies and thanks. And well still get sent the tulips.

Only becuase you americans are affraid to wear your own flag outside of the country, the Maple leaf thing doesn't work so well. Just be careful you don't run into an REAL Canadians. We can spot you Yanks in a flash.

Unlike the United States, our great friend and closest trading partner, The Dutch have a very good idea of who we are and what we've done.
Oh~ Canada~ Our true to human nature land~
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Posted 9/23/10
What or when is something terrorism? This such a stupid topic what is terrorism and going into it is so vague. Playing stupid is another thing. If you can not understand what terrorism is most the post about that have been may by such a person has been misleading. On some various topics.
Posted 9/23/10

MakeThoseDonuts wrote:

Interesting... do you think Calvinism is still as influential today (under the Obama administration)?

On a side note, I'd like to add to my previous post and say everyone's brainwashed. No mind is free from external influences. To label an act as "terrorism" is always going to be subjective. Heck, I personally think the mere presence of foreign embassies in other countries is a lesser form of terrorism. Educating (not indoctrinating!) people will give them the tools to decide for themselves what is or isn't terrorism... maybe they'll understand that no one likes being motivated by fear... and when you spread it around it always comes back to you.

No more U.S. military... let's dismantle it today! They could all come back here and money gained from scrapping America's war machines could best be spent on... oh I don't know... eradicating poverty!
If anything, it's only being champion by the rhetoric from both the Republicans and the Tea Party, IMHO. When the Obama administration have a different idea:

For years, we have heard accusations that someone has a "September 10 mindset", implying that they don't understand the threat we face. I argue that the greater risk is being stuck in a "September 12 mindset." On that day after the horrible attacks of 2001, we lived with a deep sense of fragility as we waited in fear for the next attack. Over the subsequent days and years, however, Americans returned to their daily lives, just as the people of London went back down into the subways after their own attacks. We learned that resiliency is an essential and powerful weapon against terrorism. It means knowing that there may be another attack, but refusing to live in, or make decisions based upon, fear. When politicians and policymakers fall back on that September 12 mindset of fear to convey their message and promote their policies, they undermine that essential public resiliency.(citation)
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Posted 9/24/10
Islamic leader are liars and have absolutely know intention of keep there word the terror war has been going on from the final years of that CLOWN MAHMOUD'S DEATH I figured he had a dream to take over the world with his trash. Islam has spread through violence and intimidation. Why would any religion the influence of another why the death penalty teaching only the Koran make good fools to do his biding. Fear of death is to keep people in line that in itself is terror. ------------------------------------------------------------- The word anger is a understatement for me Rage is more fitting to me. I read the peaceful post from the Quran but no mentioned of the post that came later on. Lying is a way of life for Muslims to speak to Non Muslim. Yes there plenty of silly christians out there and believe the world is 6000 years old. But they do not go around killing Non believers in Name of Christianity. If they do they get put down like the wild animal that they are. The Quran = terror when will people wake up It took 9-11 to wake me up what need a nuke to go off in some major city. I do not want to see any half way fought wars. Nothing get resolved and taking the Word of any Islamic leader is a fools game. If Islam what to no what real fear and terror is let them act again Then unleash the full force of the US military Until muslim start to burn the Quran themselves. So far it been constrained to where are soldier are being on the short end of the stick Ya were the monster that try not to kill civilians to bad Muslim do not care who they kill.
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Posted 9/24/10
terrorism = when some one kill innocents.
if people just stop making weapons then terrorism would be less .
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Posted 9/24/10

tarakelly wrote:

Islamic leader are liars and have absolutely know intention of keep there word the terror war has been going on from the final years of that CLOWN MAHMOUD'S DEATH I figured he had a dream to take over the world with his trash. Islam has spread through violence and intimidation. Why would any religion the influence of another why the death penalty teaching only the Koran make good fools to do his biding. Fear of death is to keep people in line that in itself is terror. ------------------------------------------------------------- The word anger is a understatement for me Rage is more fitting to me. I read the peaceful post from the Quran but no mentioned of the post that came later on. Lying is a way of life for Muslims to speak to Non Muslim. Yes there plenty of silly christians out there and believe the world is 6000 years old. But they do not go around killing Non believers in Name of Christianity. If they do they get put down like the wild animal that they are. The Quran = terror when will people wake up It took 9-11 to wake me up what need a nuke to go off in some major city. I do not want to see any half way fought wars. Nothing get resolved and taking the Word of any Islamic leader is a fools game. If Islam what to no what real fear and terror is let them act again Then unleash the full force of the US military Until muslim start to burn the Quran themselves. So far it been constrained to where are soldier are being on the short end of the stick Ya were the monster that try not to kill civilians to bad Muslim do not care who they kill.


Off topic but had to be said.

Islamic fundamentalism terrorism is a real threat on the world stage but I will like to call you out for painting all Muslims (and even Christians) as liars or evil or even using 9-11 to illicit an emotive response. Plenty of American lives were lost including American Muslims lives and there are plenty of American Muslim soldiers fighting on the front lines against these fundamentalist terrorists themselves. It should be noted that America do have Muslim Allies, notably Turkey, Egypt and Kuwait (remember Desert Storm). Countries with significant Muslim majority also have problems with these fundamentals themselves what with Indonesia and even Malaysia who had to deal with the Al-Maunah arm heist.

It should be noted that hostages taken by terrorists who were Muslims were taken care of, and often released. These terrorists wants to gather support from 'Muslims worldwide for their action and hope that all Muslims to bear arms with them. But do not be fooled, these same terrorists have no qualms about killing and extortion of Muslims themselves, eg roadside bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq.

There is always a general reason why someone would bear arms and become influenced to be terrorists or suicide bombers themselves and its important to understand and get to the matter of this problem rather than solve everything by force of arms. I can understand someones disdain for religion or lack of belief in one but to illicit violence on a group just because they have a different view or due to the actions of the extremists within them. I dare say your view match those of the terrorists themselves.

PS: Always be careful of people who express hate or violence to a group whether it is racial, ethnicity or religion. In WW2, Jewish leaders express it best when they fled to Japan and was threatened when the Nazi government demanded the Japanese government to hand over Jewish immigrants. The Jewish leaders warn that the Germans believe themselves as the superior race and it was a matter of time before the Germans after having done away with the Jews will go after the Japanese next. The Japanese government understood this and resisted German's call to deport them.

PS2: Another example is the communist insurgency in Malaya after WW2, who were a terrorist group hiding in the Malayan jungle. The majority of them were Chinese and were claiming to help the Chinese community oppose the British oppressors and have assisted significantly against the Japanese in WW2. Despite these claims, these communists were brutal, and extorted from rural communists and murder those who were unable to pay to them. Plenty of Straits Chinese opposed these communists and join the British troops and special services to combat these terrorists.


neko-cat wrote:

terrorism = when some one kill innocents.
if people just stop making weapons then terrorism would be less .


A pure thought but unfortunately naive.
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Posted 9/24/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

Poor Canadia, nobody acknowledges all your achievements lol.


You kidding? Wearing a maple leaf in the Netherlands was a free ticket all kinds of freebies and thanks. And well still get sent the tulips.

Only becuase you americans are affraid to wear your own flag outside of the country, the Maple leaf thing doesn't work so well. Just be careful you don't run into an REAL Canadians. We can spot you Yanks in a flash.

Unlike the United States, our great friend and closest trading partner, The Dutch have a very good idea of who we are and what we've done.



I acknowledge you Canada, I acknowledge your land, your natural gas, oil, and methane clathrates, and your trees.
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Posted 9/24/10

Allhailodin wrote:

I acknowledge you Canada, I acknowledge your land, your natural gas, oil, and methane clathrates, and your trees.


It always comes back to material wealth with you doesn't it?


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Posted 9/24/10 , edited 9/24/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

I acknowledge you Canada, I acknowledge your land, your natural gas, oil, and methane clathrates, and your trees.


It always comes back to material wealth with you doesn't it?



Not always. But if there is a profit to be made, you can bet my brain is executing a thread on how to get in on that.

But actually my acknowledgement of Canada came from my buddy tasking me with "If the US annexed Canada how would you divide it into no less than 25 states", so in that process I found that Canada was largely undeveloped and abundant with resources".
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Posted 9/27/10 , edited 9/27/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


amersfoort wrote:
And thank you Papagolfwhiskey, you explained to me what terrorism is.
However I would now like to continue with: What do you personally think what terrorism is?


Okay I'll bite. I'll start with a Ghandi quote of my own:



It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
-- Mahatma Gandhi


In the full context he goes on to say why the above better in his view. Basically, that he holds hope for the violent man to become nonviolent but sees no hope for the impotent.

At it's rawest most elemental form. Terrorism is an attempt to get your own way through an "Or Else..." usually an "or else..." that is presumed to be frightening to the person or institution you mean to have your own way with. At it's core, it is bullying. I personally have a visceral hatred of bullies. And yet I also see the need sometimes for violence. How do I reconcile this? Well for one thing I consider the 'having your own way' and the 'or else...' in context.

"Don't talk to the cops about what you saw me do, or else I'll kill your family" - I think is pure terrorism.

"Don't stand up to me, or else, I'll inflict my expensive lawyer on you." -- Is a cowardly and ulitimately ludicrous attempt at terrorism but yes it's still bullying and terrorism.

But what if 'your way' is something like "don't hurt me", "leave me alone", "No, I won't give you my money, just because"?
What if 'your way' is something like "Rapist! let go that woman!", or "Mugger! don't hurt that old man!"

I think it's alright to use violence in personal self defense and in defense of others. and sometime the 'or else' is not a threat but natural consequence of the situation. If you are a policeman for example, and you tell someone to 'Drop the gun' they are carrying. You could argue that there is an unspoken "or else I'll shoot you!". But a sane police officer doesn't want to inflict this 'or else' he's privately praying "don't do it. don't do it. see reason. I HAVE to stop you. Let's do this peacefully" and when the culprit instead raises the gun, his getting shot by the cop is not an 'or else' so much as it is a natural consequence of the situation.

As always I see points on wich I agree upon, but also things I do not agree with, let's start.
Violence sure is tolerable when someone defends him/herselve or others, however, the violence should only be used to make sure the aggressor is no more a threat. In other words: Priority number 1: Keep yourself and others alive, Priority number 2, Keep the aggresor alive.


Most of the time, personal non-political, terrorism is called other things. Usually crimes and always negative: Bullying, Extortion, Robbery, Domestic Violence, especially extortion, which is the crime of taking some material benefit with a threat, and can include white collar terrorism:

"Sleep with me, or you lose your job."

Which might be hard to prove or make stick after the fact, but to my mind is still Extortion ergo Terrorism.

I would see this too as a form of terrorism, but I would prefer to use the term blackmail.

When we step away from the personal and into the realm of the relations between nations and into the realm of politics, things become murky. One way to keep it simple is to say everything the other guy does is terrorism and nothing I do is terrorism. All sides in many of the conflicts today are guilty of that. Everyone likes to point at the other guy and say HE is the terrorist he did THIS and THAT. oh? I did THE OTHER but that's just War/Freedom fighting/Justice/A day at the office.

I'm going to keep this general or historical, to avoid getting political myself. I've thought about this, and it's unfortunate but I think I may even conclude that some people and organizations I continue to admire may have been guilty of terrorism in the past.

Since I accept the premise of nations. I tend to adhere to the Westphalian paradigm that makes them masters of their own territory and unalterable except through diplomacy or war. I also think more along Bismark's lines that Nations do not have 'friends' they have needs and interests. Also think think the diplomacy is operating on credit, you only have so much good will or respect accorded to you. it's a pool that runs out and then you have to pay cash. And the coin of nations is blood. Your citizens have to be willing to kill or die in the national interest. Ghandi won because his people were more willing to die than the British were to kill. Nonviolent Jews in Europe in the 30's and 40's lost because Hitler and Stalin and their many minions had no problem with cold blooded executions in job lots. Some Norwegians successfully engaged in non-violent dissent against Hitler's regime for a number reasons related to Hitler's prejudices (he was dealing with Nords; his ideal Aryans) and the resources the Nazi's could spare for what was already a pacified conquest.( I once wrote a fairly long (as such things go) undergraduate paper on dissent and nonviolent protest I could expand on this topic at another time if people wished)

I'm not sure, but do you support the needs of militairy here? Infact, do you support the idea of nations gaining anything using wars?

When you're at war, your aim as a nation is to convince the other nation that he is defeated. That not only does he have something to LOSE if this goes on, but that he also has nothing to gain. While the individual soldier's job may be, according to Patton "...not to die for your country but make the other son of a bitch die for his.” The job of the army and the nation at war is to achieve peace, to make the other nation say “I give up”. Often that means the enemy fears the consequences of continuing and in that regard it could be considered terrorism but I don't see it that way. Once war starts, The only way it ends without a winner and loser is if both sides get tired of it simultaneously. And even then, war is so costly on so many levels that to a large measure even the winners lose. War should very much be a last choice when there is no other recourse.

Depends entirely on what kind of war, some wars are simply done too eradicate the other, not for convincing that the other party has lost.

I don't consider many things done in war to be Terrorism. The threat of death is a given. Offering to take a soldier alive if he drops his gun is an act of mercy. Sometimes an uncomfortable one at that. We have 'rules of war' dictated by treaties that many nations have signed and that neutral nations in a war observe and enforce. These rules dictate what kinds of weapons you can bring to battle, how to treat prisoners etc. Violation of these rules may be a war crime but it isn't necessarily terrorism.


For example. It's against the rules to fight under a false flag. You can't pretend to be your enemy and you can't pretend to be a non-combatant. At least not while firing a gun. It was not terrorism for the It was not terrorism for the Maquis to wait until the last second before revealing themselves as fighters. It WAS against the Geneva Convention and they could have been (and usually were) legally executed for it.

Similarly it wasn't Terrorism to blow up a train yard or a communication hub or assassinate an effective leader. If such acts were done to deny the resources of transport, communications and leadership. It wasn't necessarily terrorism for OSS, SOE and Maquis agents to shoot traitors and informers, these people were a real threat to those agents. However there was I'm sure terrorism meant in such acts to keep others from doing the same.

A sniper's mission is very much a psychological one. He is a force multiplier. One soldier with skill picking off soldiers when they are vulnerable forcing them to remain tense and alert at all times, teaching them to fear movement or exposure, can 'pin' a much larger force in place and render it ineffective. There is terror in that. But fear of death is part of war. As long his targets are also combatants I don't consider it terrorism.

The fire bombing of Dresden could be considered an act of terrorism. It was in part Vengeance for the destruction of Coventry. A vengeance more ardently sought because Churchill has guilt on his heart. He chose to protect the secret of fact that the Allies had just cracked the German's highest level codes over protecting the citizens of Coventry and I'm sure that choice haunted him. It was meant to take out a critical industrial centre (which it failed to do) but the firebombing also had a goal of 'Demoralization', ie Terror.

Churchill said afterwards: Have we become beasts?
Do you not think that the awnser should be yes?


There are scholars today (some 60+ years after the fact. In the peace of their academic halls) who argue that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime. One for which no one on the Allied side was called to book.

But I think I'm digressing. What do I think is Terrorism? (remember this is my opinion not a legal one)

Not war, especially not a war of defense. (we can argue who is defending from whom on another thread like you ask)

Not many things that happen in a conflict zone except deliberate targeting of civilians known to be civilians. This emphatically does not include mistakes, errors, or civilians being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It does include deliberate attacks on areas or places where there is currently no combat occurring and the majority of the casualties of the attack are known to likely be civilians. If you deliberately hide among a civilian population while the fighting is going on. Then, while you might not be a terrorist, their blood is on YOUR hands, NOT the hands of the soldiers who kill those civilians trying to get at you.

Throwing a grenade into a room during urban combat is not terrorism. Throwing a grenade into the middle of a crowded marketplace on sales day IS terrorism.

How is throwing a grenade in a room with people you do not know, and do not know their intentions not a act of terrorism?

Going to War is not necessarily terrorism. Threatening war. Especially when you have a demonstrably more effective military with greater power projection, just to get something you cannot justifiably ask for, that IS terrorism in my mind.( I discuss a modern example of this and why it happened in popcornpuff's thread on Terrorism attributed to a particular state)

Exploding or sabotaging military installations during a war and of the nation with whom you are at war, is not Terrorism. Blowing up civilian structures especially religious ones or medical ones when there is no evidence that such flags are being abused by enemy combatants is a war crime at best and Terrorism if it was meant to achieve some aim associated with spreading fear.

Wow... that's really long winded because it is complex and situational. However I think I know when I or the people I care about are being bullied and I'll always call that terrorism

I think the best answer to terrorism is to defiantly keep doing whatever it is the terrorist doesn't like.

Someone takes hostages to you make you pull out of a war zone. Double your troop commitment.
Someone blows up your subway system. Fix it fast and double your ridership next business day.
Someone makes an announcement that it is not safe for you, his enemy to ride in planes, go to shopping malls or occupy tall buildings?

I SAY, Book some FLIGHTS, Max out your credit card. CLIMB SOME STAIRS!

That is all.

(minor edit for grammar and spelling added the italicized sentence.)
(second edit; correct a few minor but irritating spelling errors.)
(third edit minor expansions and references, I'm bored; Amersfoort are you online? you are the one who asked me to answer you.)


This might not be a satysfing reply, my apologies for that, I have very litle time on my hands.

However, if any form off: Do it my way or else. is terrorism (wich it is in my eyes), then how is war not terrorism?
It's terrorism with rules, and ofcourse those rules will be broken.
Who made up rules for a action that involves murdering people? And when did that person think that ANYONE will follow those rules when their lives are in great danger?

Any war is terrorism, it uses fear, murder, and violence to get what that country wants. it is not a whole different situation then you being a thief in someone elses house.

Ofcourse if you are the defender, you should be able to defend yourself with the neccesery actions, however this means defending yourself on your own territory, a pre-emptive strike is a act of aggression and thus terror.

I'm so sorry for this excuse of a awnser, I honestly hope I can tell you more, but at the time I cannot.
(homeworkhomeworkhomework)

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If you cannot understand what terrorism is maybe just open your eye's. Making terroristic threat will be answered here in the U.S by the Law. Country making Threats should be held had accountable such as North Korea and Iran. The leader has stated he want to wipe out Israel and there working on nuclear bomb 2+2=4 not to hard to understand. Do I want to see other countries with Nukes no I do not never had. Would I hand some to Israel after Iran made one yes I would. It would be a stalemate situation. the more nuke the bigger chance a government may really use them or are forced to use them once hit. Dose any one remember the cold war?
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