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Author Topic: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder  (Read 1642 times)

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Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« on: March 24, 2010, 07:02:08 PM »
I am continuously questioning what it means to be a terrorist or promote terrorism. Why is it a guy that flies his plane into the pentagon is a terrorist, but not a guy that flies his into the IRS?

Most recently:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/24/sarah-palins-pac-puts-gun_n_511433.html

Why is Sarah Palin allowed to put gun sights (the laser beam that helps set targets) onto Representatives of the US Congress? Is this not a terroristic threat?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 07:27:41 PM »
I dunno.

I do find it depressing to think that folks like that are people like her are regarded as 'leaders'.  My brother ran for office in the last election and it seemed to me the old crowd in the GOP was more helpful to the other side than his. Add in the arrival of a latecomer to the race that they stupidly backed and no wonder they lost. It seems to me that the worse enemy the GOP has is the leadership of the GOP.

I mean you got a bunch of embezzling, manipulative democrats running my home state and STILL they can't get their act together enough to take office. Add in people doing things like what Glen Beck, Anne Coulter and now Sarah Palin and it's annoying to see how things are going.

I wouldn't call what she is doing at 'terroristic' but it's definitely STUPID.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 07:59:16 PM »
Because Terrorist is just a buzz word used by Government to slander enemies.

Offline Merlyn

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 08:38:06 PM »
No it's not just a buzz word.  And since I'm too lazy to look it up right now I'll just write out what I am 99% sure the definition of terrorist is (more or less anyway, don't complain at me if you look it up and mine isn't the exact same).

A terrorist is someone who uses fear, usually through violent and flashy attacks, to attempt to control, influence, or destroy an enemy.

So no I wouldn't declare this as being a terrorist attack.  Possibly inciting violence, but not terrorism. Now if she said 'I am going to kill every Democrat in or running for office' and then one suddenly dies in a car bomb, or similar bloody or high profile incident, then it would be terrorism.  I think this is just Palin showing her rather low IQ such as referring to Obama as the black Biden.  Or having notes written on her hand about the things she stands for.  As well as many other numerous comments from the last presidential race.

Now before anyone starts yelling at me I am an independent and hate all political parties equally.  And I very much support equal rights.  I would not be opposed in any way to a female president or to women holding political positions.  But I do oppose people that show a lack of intelligence and speaking skills allowed to work in any way for our government... other than maybe filling envelopes.

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Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 09:22:21 AM »
Dictionary.com defines terrorism as the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

I don't think Palin has quite crossed the line into terrorism, but her language and imagery is decidedly militant, and it wouldn't be too hard for those who support her to go that step further into actual threats.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 03:04:17 PM »
Considering that you can get thrown out of sporting events for shining laser pointers at the players, should Congress be any different?

Offline Merlyn

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010, 01:39:19 PM »
Heh, that just made me think about being able to buy tickets to watch congress.  And stopping by the concession stand on the way to buy a beer and hot dog.  Now that would be a government for the people.  XD

But anyways back to topic.  Didn't Palin resign from government anyway.  Just like a little child that had a temper tantrum.  'You didn't give me vp so I'm not gonna be your governor'?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2010, 03:02:29 PM »
Heh, that just made me think about being able to buy tickets to watch congress.  And stopping by the concession stand on the way to buy a beer and hot dog.  Now that would be a government for the people.  XD

There are stations where you can watch a live feed of Congress.  Some kind of CSPAN affiliate according to my cable lineup. 

Quote
But anyways back to topic.  Didn't Palin resign from government anyway.  Just like a little child that had a temper tantrum.  'You didn't give me vp so I'm not gonna be your governor'?

She resigned from the governor's office, yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she's given up on politics altogether.  She's currently providing political commentary on FOX, and has stated in February that she has not 'closed the door' on running for office in 2012.  *cues up an REM song*

Offline Farmboy

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 06:27:09 PM »
I guess letting insurance companies have spending caps on health insurance is worth killing for. I guess they want to be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions so badly that they will fight to be denied. I guess they prefer to watch health insurance companies rake in windfall profits during a time of recession, and just as they are doing for their oil companies, they will kill to protect the right of insurance companies to take advantage of us. So, I guess they must all own stock in insurance companies, and their stock is more important than seeing our country have health care on a level with the rest of the world. I guess...

But yes, they are terrorists. If you throw a brick through a window with a Barry Goldwater quote that says "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." then you are a terrorist, because you are manipulating policy with fear. And come to think of it, isn't that what the LIE about yellow cake uranium was, too? An attempt to manipulate from fear? In fact, isn't it true that fear is their only weapon? So yes, in this environment, you must either denounce violence or the very threat of violence for political purposes, or you, like Sarah Palin, are being seditious, and condoning terrorism.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 06:28:14 PM by Aislin »

Offline September

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 06:32:42 AM »
I had to double check the date to make sure this thread isn't an April Fool's joke.  You lot seriously think that using "gun sights" to mark target states on a map is terrorism?



=



?

Offline September

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 06:39:46 AM »
I am continuously questioning what it means to be a terrorist or promote terrorism. Why is it a guy that flies his plane into the pentagon is a terrorist, but not a guy that flies his into the IRS?

There seem to be varying definitions of terrorism but I think this makes sense to me: violence against civilians, to achieve a political end, by non governments.

I think the IRS guy was just pissed off at the IRS, isn't that right?  He wasn't part of any political movement that I know of.  Maybe that's why.

Online Vekseid

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 06:55:16 AM »
The uproar on the left over this photo is grasping at straws, to me. There's plenty of dangerous agitation to focus on.

There seem to be varying definitions of terrorism but I think this makes sense to me: violence against civilians, to achieve a political end, by non governments.

I think the IRS guy was just pissed off at the IRS, isn't that right?  He wasn't part of any political movement that I know of.  Maybe that's why.

"Calculated use of violence against civilians to achieve political ends."

Considering he cited a specific (and yes, broken) law, I would say that qualifies. Even though the IRS agent who died was a war vet, at the time he was still a civilian.

Offline September

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2010, 07:05:33 AM »
I'm not sure why, but the Joe Stack thing seems to ping low on my terrorism-o-meter.  More a lone nutjob than an actual terrorist for me, not sure why or where I draw the line.  Does anybody else feel that way or are you all comfortable labelling him a domestic terrorist?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2010, 07:23:23 AM »
Stack used a weapon intended to cause extreme damage and loss of life (a plane) against a building used for government work (the IRS building) in order to protest something the government did/does (collect taxes).

Other than the thankfully low loss of life, how is this less of a terrorist act than detonating a Ryder truck packed with explosives in front of offices of the FBI, SSA, DEA and ATF in order to protest the government actions at the Branch Davidian ranch in Waco?

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2010, 07:26:59 AM »
A component in terrorism is fear. Blowing up a building is one thing, but doing it to instill, cultivate and heighten fear for political means is another.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2010, 07:33:23 AM »
Doesn't the act of deliberately blowing up a building with people in it by itself instill fear?  I'm only speaking for myself, but the idea of some guy potentially taking me out because he's feeling pissy at Uncle Sam - or his girlfriend, or some 'cause' is more than just unsettling.  (at one point, I worked tech support in an AIDS research facility.  Yes, there was at least one bomb threat in the couple of years I was there.)

Online Vekseid

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2010, 08:14:24 AM »
I'm not sure why, but the Joe Stack thing seems to ping low on my terrorism-o-meter.  More a lone nutjob than an actual terrorist for me, not sure why or where I draw the line.  Does anybody else feel that way or are you all comfortable labelling him a domestic terrorist?

I'm not sure what sort of argument "one nutjob cannot inspire terror" is. He had no sect, therefore no conspiracy. I'm sure that comforts Vernon Hunter's family and other workers elsewhere whose places of employment receive routine threats.

Offline September

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2010, 08:29:20 AM »
I'm not minimising what he did - murder and attempted mass murder - it just seems to me that his suicide note was more a mentally ill ramble than a real manifesto.  The Stack thing seems closer to Columbine than 9/11 to me, if that makes sense.

Offline Xanatos

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2010, 12:26:23 PM »
If you guys want to argue fear then any murderer who kills and causes fear is a terrorist, thus any murdering psycho is a terrorist. Gangs are terrorists; I fear going to LA (partly) for the HUGE gang problem they have there. Mafia causes fear, thus they are terrorists by your definition. People fear China! Your blurring the lines far to much, FAR to much. China is not a nation of terrorists just because they cause fear intentionally or unintentionally. Terrorists have political statements or are factions that oppose governments/ethnic groups and attempt to wreak havoc upon them. The IRS bomber was a luny who attempted murder, he is stretching the line far to much. Terrorism is probably exactly as the U.S. government says it is, plain and simple. Otherwise we need to start calling anyone who causes fear a terrorist...

Online Vekseid

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2010, 01:01:06 PM »
If you guys want to argue fear then any murderer who kills and causes fear is a terrorist, thus any murdering psycho is a terrorist.

If it's for a political end,  and the victims are civilians, then that's the definition of it. "Person who attacks civilians and causes fear for a political end." They will have varying magnitudes according to their degree of 'success', but the definition does not require that they work with others, or with an extragovernmental group. The definition is clear and unambiguous.

1) Were the targets civilians?
2) Was the goal political in nature?

Offline Asuras

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2010, 07:09:32 PM »
Quote
The definition is clear and unambiguous.

1) Were the targets civilians?

USS Cole?

edit:

Quote
2) Was the goal political in nature?

I think a lot of people would call it terrorism if someone rigged a building to blow up and demanded money, regardless of any political motivations. Or Colombian drug cartels or other organized crime kidnapping people and demanding that prisoners be released.

At any rate, I'm just arguing that it is ambiguous.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 07:21:19 PM by Asuras »

Online Vekseid

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2010, 07:32:35 PM »
USS Cole?

Not everyone agrees it was terrorism

Quote
edit:

I think a lot of people would call it terrorism if someone rigged a building to blow up and demanded money, regardless of any political motivations. Or Colombian drug cartels or other organized crime kidnapping people and demanding that prisoners be released.

At any rate, I'm just arguing that it is ambiguous.

Or call it a ransom demand.

Yes, semantics are fluid, but the accepted definition of terrorism is clear enough that we can draw boundaries with it.

Offline Farmboy

Re: Terrorism: In the eye of the beholder
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2010, 11:32:55 AM »
What about the Oklahoma Tea Party crowd who want to start a militia? Isn't that sedition? I'm lost as to how they can have defenders who think it is somehow patriotic. Sure, while their guy was POTUS, some of us protested his policies by walking around with signs, but this is going too far!
http://www.salon.com/news/tea_parties/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/04/12/us_tea_party_militia