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UNITED NATIONS - U.N. diplomats have revised their blueprint for reforming the world body to include a definition of terrorism, indicating nations are moving toward consensus on a contentious global issue.
World leaders are to consider the plan at their summit in September and, if approved, the definition could break the impasse over a comprehensive treaty against terrorism.
This treaty has been stalled for approximately five years as nations have wrangled over the definition of a terrorist. Some countries have drawn up specific characteristics of terrorism, while other's simply label them as "insurgents" or freedom fighters. Although the United Nations is not known best for defining criminal international problems, (i.e. genocide) it seems that they have boiled down the terminology that determines who is a terrorist and who is not (at least on an international scale).
transcripts.cnn.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> transcripts.cnn.com...
Since the split, a separatist force has emerged in Kashmir, a force India labels as terrorists, and one Pakistan calls freedom fighters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the terrorist? Kashmiris who have suffered 75,000 deaths at the hand of the Indian security forces, or the Indian security forces that have engaged in terrorism against the people of the state of Kashmir?
QURAISHI (on camera): The Pakistani government says that it does not support any movement that targets civilians. They repeatedly condemn the attack on India's Parliament, saying that that is terrorism.
Still, President Pervez Musharraf may be facing quite a dilemma. Public support for what many Pakistanis call the freedom struggle in Kashmir is still very high.
Foreign Terrorist Organizations are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.
The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the State Department (S/CT) continually monitors the activities of terrorist groups active around the world to identify potential targets for designation. When reviewing potential targets, S/CT looks not only at the actual terrorist attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.
Legal Criteria for Designation
(Reflecting Amendments to Section 219 of the INA in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001)
It must be a foreign organization.
The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)),* or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)),** or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.
Legal Ramifications of Designation
It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated FTO. (The term "material support or resources" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b) as "currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.)
Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
posted by Benevolent Heretic
In my opinion, a terrorist is someone who uses terror as a weapon against innocent people.
[Edited by Don W]
If an army invades a country and the country's people (and their allies) fight back against the invaders . . They are not terrorists.
If an army invades a country [as in the US in Iraq?] and the country's people purposefully take the lives of innocent people to threaten and manipulate the invaders [as in the insurgents?] , they are terrorists. [brackets are my own words]
If a person intimidates and tortures people to get information, they're a terrorist [as at Abu Ghraib?]. If a group kills a bunch of innocent people to make a point, they're terrorists. In my opinion, unless you are straightforward fighting for your freedom or what's rightfully yours and you're killing innocent people (innocent until proven guilty) then you're a terrorist.
Many people have said that the world changed on September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly it did for many people and in many ways. Since then, the US and its Coalition of the willing have entered into a War on Terror. Deciding the merits of this war or those who struck the US on 9/11 is a larger topic than this WebQuest can tackle. However, we can increase our understanding by looking more closely at what we think about terrorism. To start with, we can view two videos that capture two sides of the Arab view:
These powerful videos capture the feelings of many Muslims around the world.
Okay, so what's the point here? In an atmosphere where almost any group can be called a terrorist, it's important to move beyond sound bites and look more closely at real examples of what are considered Terrorist acts. Why should you bother? Without a doubt you will be paying for the current War on Terror and you may even be called upon to fight in it. So let's get clearer on what we're talking about...
The main question you will be asked to find an answer for is:
Question: What is terrorism? Is there such a thing as a 'just cause?'
Task: As a team you will survey a collection of definitions, then apply what you have learned to individual examples (or Cases) of terrorism. Finally, through a group process, you will evaluate this range of real life cases to decide what terrorism is exactly and if it is ever justified and if so, under what conditions. At the end of the activity, you may be asked to explain your own personal understanding through an Insight Reflector on the topic. Don't forget to review the Evaluation Rubric for this WebQuest.
It is hard, we are then told, to know exactly where the line exists between terrorists and the brave would-be liberators of oppressed people–freedom fighters. Besides, many nations in the world have come into existence after lengthy struggles for liberation. Many pundits assert that the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is purely a matter of perception. When our guy kills in battle, he’s a freedom fighter; when our enemy does, he is a terrorist. Similar acts get different labels depending on who is doing the labeling.
In making a judgment on freedom fighters versus terrorists, there is more at work than a "perception." I am convinced that there is a metaphysical difference, not just a perceptual one, between these two descriptors. It is helpful to get at the difference with an analogy, a consideration of the important difference between two of the seven deadly sins: greed and envy.
Though often lumped together and seen simply as the desire of one person or group to possess what another owns, greed and envy are not identical. Greed has to do with acquisition–we desperately want what another has. Theft is the culminating sinful act of greed. Envy, on the other hand, is not directed at some item we want that belongs to another, but at that other person or group. Its aim is destroying the happiness of others. Envy seeks not to acquire but to destroy, rejoicing in the misfortune of others. Vandalism and arson are two of the best examples of acts that have their roots in envy. While greed can be assuaged, envy can not. It is never satisfied until its object is destroyed.
posted by Benevolent Heretic
Well, donwhite, do you have an answer to the original question? Because I'd like to hear your definition of terrorist, too. [Edited by Don W]
posted by ronishia
“ . . some good points have been made so far. What I have noticed is that defining a terrorist is not easy and nor it should be either. what’s one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter . . “ [Edited by Don W]
Okay, so what's the point here? In an atmosphere where almost any group can be called a terrorist, it's important to move beyond sound bites and look more closely at real examples of what are considered Terrorist acts. Why should you bother? Without a doubt you will be paying for the current War on Terror and you may even be called upon to fight in it. So let's get clearer on what we're talking about.. Question: What is terrorism? Is there such a thing as a 'just cause?'
In making a judgment on freedom fighters versus terrorists, there is more at work than a "perception." I am convinced that there is a metaphysical difference, not just a perceptual one . .
posted by grover
I understand fully there are times we must fight . . but don't *prettify* it with words like honor or patriotism or justice...its ugly . . That is what makes Iraq so bad in my mind . . It is a war of choice we did not have to fight and it was sold with a false bill of goods . . the Taliban . . you either help us or you get out of the way, then silently sent in the special ops. [Edited by Don W]
Originally posted by RedGolem
The only problem that I have is trying to bring freedom fighter into the discushen.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
A freedom fighter is one who fights for his or anothers' rightful freedom.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
The way I see that is that they're fighting for the freedom to choose their government whether or not that government believes in personal freedoms that we have in the US.
If Iraqis (for example) wanted Saddam as their leader, then they should have the freedom to choose that.