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How do you define terrorism?

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posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:09 AM
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The word terrorism has been thrown around the board for a long time. I'm sure that everyone has their own definition of the word and actions behind it.

But I have three questions to ask:

1)Is a terrorist defined by a country or by the acts and political beliefs of the people involved?

2)Who is considered a terrorist and why?

3)Are terrorists any different from freedom fighters?

4)Do people in power only have the right to call an opposing group terrorists? If the opposing group fights against the beliefs of the state, are they considered terrorists by the most powerful of a nation?

[edit on 21-7-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:15 AM
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Definitions of terrorism:-

The Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism as "a policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorising or condition of being terrorised."
Webster's New International Dictionary defines terrorism as the "act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; specif.: a The system of the Reign of Terror. b A mode of governing, or of opposing government, by intimidation. c Any policy of intimidation
The definition of the term in the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (2nd edition) begins:
Term with no agreement amongst government or academic analysts, but almost invariably used in a pejorative sense, most frequently to describe life-threatening actions perpetrated by politically motivated self-appointed sub-state groups.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines terrorism as "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

However the UN has yet to come up with it's own definition.



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:21 AM
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So, if "terrorists" are considered a "sub group" which "intimidates" the government with their political ideology, then it is a question of power in terms of determining who is considered a terrorist or not.

Is it not true that an "act of terror" would have to be defined by those in power as well?



[edit on 21-7-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
So, if "terrorists" are considered a "sub group" which "intimidates" the government with their political ideology, then it is a question of power in terms of determining who is considered a terrorist or not.

Is it not true that an "act of terror" would have to be defined by those in power as well?
[edit on 21-7-2006 by ceci2006]


I think this is where the problem lies, as IMO a government can infact terrorise just as much as any "sub group" but by definition they cannot be held responsible. As if any government has morally got the upper hand. It's rediculous.



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:52 AM
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So, a government who "thinks" they morally have the upper hand (but yet commits terrorist attacks) naturally would not consider themselves to be terrorists. Therefore, they are free to "terrorize" the people as much as they please--depending on the degree of their acts.

Yet, at the very same time, the same government can blame a group who professes to be freedom fighters against that very same body as terrorists.

Then the question needs to be asked where is the line of demarcation? For the people who support the government (who commits terrorizing acts), they would name any opposing party terroristic because they would naturally believe what the government says.

So does history and time also have a hand in defining who are freedom fighters and who are terrorists?



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 06:14 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
So, a government who "thinks" they morally have the upper hand (but yet commits terrorist attacks) naturally would not consider themselves to be terrorists. Therefore, they are free to "terrorize" the people as much as they please--depending on the degree of their acts.

Yet, at the very same time, the same government can blame a group who professes to be freedom fighters against that very same body as terrorists.

Then the question needs to be asked where is the line of demarcation? For the people who support the government (who commits terrorizing acts), they would name any opposing party terroristic because they would naturally believe what the government says.

So does history and time also have a hand in defining who are freedom fighters and who are terrorists?


I think that the word "terrorist" is very much an impact word nowadays to grab the attention of people and so much have we become sensationalised by this word that it seems almost an alarm bell in our collective .s.

I completely agree with what you are saying and realise that history and time infact, do IMO have a major hand in defining who are "terrorists" and who are "freedom fighters." It has been only in the last 5 years for me that this word "terrorist" seems to have exploded on the scene, but it just depends on how the media spins it and what you personally think.

I'm sure the Iraqis who want the forces out of their country would be labeled "terrorists" by the US but "freedom fighters" by their countrymen and in opposition the US forces would be called "freedom fighters" by the US and "terrorists" by many Iraqis.

[edit on 21-7-2006 by Xeros]



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 06:30 AM
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Well, the reason why I asked this question is that the term continues to be "thrown around" blindly by not only the people who argue about "terrorists", but also in the U.S. government and the media.

The word "terrorist" has exploded on the scene since 9/11 (and most simularly, 7/7). So, I wonder if it is because of the government that people believe who are "terrorists" and aptly name them so.

Or is it the fact that "terrorism" is seen entirely as a premise cooked up by people in power to subjugate others in fear. In that way, the government is "terrorizing" their citizens. However, the citizens do not see the "fear mongering" that is going around in the press as being "terrorized". Yet, they still are scared that a "terrorist act" (as defined by the government) is going to happen.

So, I wonder if this terminology is a determination of who has the more powerful ideology or is it just an act by a government to subjugate its people to get them to do what they want.

Fear, of course, is a great motivator for the national populace to adopt whatever the government proposes.

Therefore, power plays a mighty hand in determining who is a terrorist and who isn't.

As a result, people who believe the "fear tactics" cannot truly be objective when calling another group who runs contrary to governmental policy terrorists. They are simply the mouthpieces of the "fear mongering" tactics by those in power.

In short, that is why I wonder how easily people can brand others as terrorists without standing apart from the situation objectively.

Or can someone who is "terrorized" be objective?



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Well, the reason why I asked this question is that the term continues to be "thrown around" blindly by not only the people who argue about "terrorists", but also in the U.S. government and the media.

The word "terrorist" has exploded on the scene since 9/11 (and most simularly, 7/7). So, I wonder if it is because of the government that people believe who are "terrorists" and aptly name them so.

Or is it the fact that "terrorism" is seen entirely as a premise cooked up by people in power to subjugate others in fear. In that way, the government is "terrorizing" their citizens. However, the citizens do not see the "fear mongering" that is going around in the press as being "terrorized". Yet, they still are scared that a "terrorist act" (as defined by the government) is going to happen.

So, I wonder if this terminology is a determination of who has the more powerful ideology or is it just an act by a government to subjugate its people to get them to do what they want.

Fear, of course, is a great motivator for the national populace to adopt whatever the government proposes.

Therefore, power plays a mighty hand in determining who is a terrorist and who isn't.

As a result, people who believe the "fear tactics" cannot truly be objective when calling another group who runs contrary to governmental policy terrorists. They are simply the mouthpieces of the "fear mongering" tactics by those in power.

In short, that is why I wonder how easily people can brand others as terrorists without standing apart from the situation objectively.

Or can someone who is "terrorized" be objective?


To me that has summed it up more perfectly than I ever could. I can't really say much more personally but just to go with what you know and see it from all angles before passing judgement.



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 08:07 AM
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1)Is a terrorist defined by a country or by the acts and political beliefs of the people involved?

Terrorism is act of terror with the intention to gain idealogical, religious or political gain.

2)Who is considered a terrorist and why?

If you commit an act of terror for the above listed reasons....then you are a terrorist, imo.

3)Are terrorists any different from freedom fighters?

Depends on how justified the cause is and who their intended targets are.

4)Do people in power only have the right to call an opposing group terrorists? If the opposing group fights against the beliefs of the state, are they considered terrorists by the most powerful of a nation?

Well, yeah, the state will probably consider them terrorist. The definition I gave above is generally accepted by most governments, schools and SME's.


Sporty

[edit on 21/7/2006 by SportyMB]



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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one can certainly debate all the academic fine points

pretty much like the Texas rep. Mr Paul did here;
www.fas.org...

but about last week, i was looking over documents, and found this interesting
sentence contained in H.R. 3162 Uniting and Strengthening America,
appropriate tools to intercept and obstruct terrorism (Patriot) Act of 2001


the 1st session held in DC, Wed, 3 Jan 2001...
...To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and worldwide,
To enhance law enforcement investagatory tools and for other purposes
...blah blah & yada yada....(then follows this 'official definition') - ->>
terrorism- (any activity) causes death or bodily harm to others.

but, nothing's as simple as it sounds, there's probably dozens of other
explainations of/ definitions of/ generalizations about 'terror' in dozens
of other gov't documents...so that lawyers will have all sorts of
precidents to cite what may include 'terror'-isms & 'terror'-ists



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 04:00 AM
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wouldn't a better question be:
"mommy, where do terrorists come from?"

because when i checked most (if not all) groups the US gov't describes as terrorist are from the middle east

the interhamwe (sp) militia in the congo and rwanda aren't classified as terrorist, but they still commit outright atrocities on a daily basis.

so do terrorists not come from places that we don't even want to touch politically?



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 05:36 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
wouldn't a better question be:
"mommy, where do terrorists come from?"

because when i checked most (if not all) groups the US gov't describes as terrorist are from the middle east

the interhamwe (sp) militia in the congo and rwanda aren't classified as terrorist, but they still commit outright atrocities on a daily basis.

so do terrorists not come from places that we don't even want to touch politically?


Well, someone learnt something fwom daddy today called Pwopogandar, say it with me.......Pwop........o......gan...........dar. As stated in my previous posts, terrorism cannot and will not be anything to do with a goernment or a state. (Pwopogandar?)
Basically whoever suits the bill. I mean If we can condone Israels actions against the terrorists now (England) We should have waded into Dublin with bombs years ago. It's pure BS!

[edit on 26-7-2006 by Xeros]



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