Sunday, June 16, 2013

Terrorist Mumbo-Jumbo

Just who and why and where are terrorists? This is a concept that makes no sense to me. One person’s terrorist is another person’s hero. Terrorists exist only by definition and who is a terrorist depends upon who is doing the defining. Hezbollah and Hamas are defined as terrorists by the United States and Israel but are not considered terrorists by Russia, China, and Arab states. Israeli settlers are terrorists by almost any definition of terrorists as they attack Palestinians, kill them, destroy their homes and villages, destroy their orchards, and obviously attempt to drive them away (if not into extinction). Israel itself clearly employed terrorism in the early years of its existence (and probably still does depending upon your point of view).
If a Muslim were to blow up a building in the U.S. it would surely be defined as an act of terrorism, whereas if an American citizen blows up a building it is not so considered. Iran is constantly referred to as supporting terrorism but you rarely see them accused of any acts of terrorism apart from supporting Hamas and Hezbollah who are terrorists only in the eyes of the U.S. and Israel. If a Muslim were to enter a primary school and, using an assault rifle, kill twenty or more children and adults it would surely be considered a terrorist act, but if the same thing is done by a non-Muslim American citizen it would not be similarly considered (only the act of a deranged person or someone out for revenge or etc.).
Although there is no legal definition of terrorism in criminal law it is usually considered an act of terror, using fear and violence, as a means of coercion, especially if it targets civilians rather than combatants. So how are we to consider drone strikes if not acts of terror? They certainly kill civilians and are intended to create fear (or at least do create fear even if not intended to do so). If gangsters run a protection racket using fear and coercion it is not considered an act of terror. And what about George Washington, the “father of our country,” who was one of the wealthiest men in America, having accumulated his wealth by ordering the destruction of entire Indian villages, including their crops, and stealing their land?
It is obvious that terrorism is a term with essentially no meaning, or meaning only in the eyes of those who want to label something terrorism. Sit was that Bush/Cheney could order an all-out “war on terrorism” that would allow them to do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted whenever they wanted and however they wanted. Carte blanche to murder, torture, steal, rape and pillage, whatever. It has been said somewhere or other that when Bush/Cheney lied us into the “war” on Iraq, Bush at least (if not Cheney also) were not aware there were both Sunnis and Shiites. This raises the interesting question, does anyone in the U.S. even care if there are both forms of religion? I think not.
So if no one cares about this religious distinction why are we involved in supporting the Syrian rebels who are apparently Sunnis attacking the Shiite regime of Assad? In fact I think we don’t care about their religious views, except insofar as they have to do with Iran. Iran is a predominantly Shiite culture as opposed to the predominantly Sunni Arabs who do not want Iran to gain any power or influence in that part of the world (and, of course Iranians are also not Arabs). I suspect that the U.S. and Israel wouldn’t care what religious group was involved as long as they were opposed to Iran. Hezbollah, fighting against the rebels to protect Assad are apparently not considered terrorists at the moment (I guess), but if they were attacking Israel they would certainly be considered terrorists. So it is that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists but the U.S. and Israel are not even though they all engage in terror, fear, killing civilians, and what-have-you. Iran is a terrorist state but Israel and the U.S. are not. Similarly, Afghans who fought against the Russians were patriots and heroes, when they fight against the U.S. they are terrorists. It’s all mumbo-jumbo to make us believe that black is white, white is good but black is not, we are loyal patriots, they are cowardly terrorists, good is what we do, bad is what they do, up is down and down is up, and it is all simply a matter of good versus evil, nothing in between, no shades of gray, after all, God is on our side, and our God is superior to all other gods. Sigh!
 “Well, I never heard it before, but it sounds uncommon nonsense.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


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