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The first time I awoke to the abuse of language in the use of the word “terrorist,” it was in 2005 in Chile, where Mapuche activists protesting private companies openly stealing and destroying their ancestral land were being prosecuted by the government under anti-terrorism laws, and sent to prison for 10 years.

(On a side note: at the time, I was appalled by what I felt was an unbearably harsh sentence for relatively minor offenses.  Now, living in the USA, I almost find myself thinking the government of Chile was lenient.  For what I see in terms of sentencing in the USA, even the 14 years spent in a dungeon by Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo – my childhood reference for inhumane imprisonment – seems, in comparison, a piece of cake…)

To go back to the main subject, I wish people would stop overusing and abusing words such as terrorist and terrorism.  “These terrorists” this and “those terrorists” that.

Are the goat herders in the Middle East that the government is actively droning terrorizing you?  Do you wet your pants and have trouble sleeping at night thinking about them?  Do they disrupt your daily life? If not, well, it might be time to admit that they are not terrorists to you.

On the other hand, don’t you think children in that region are terrorized by the American killer drones?  That they cannot sleep tight at night and that they wet their pants when they hear one of them flying overhead?  If so, then American drones, and Americans by extension, are terrorists to them.

The war on terror is truly a war of terror and it is worth asking ourselves who is terrorizing who in the world right now.

In this country, I feel like Americans are more likely to be terrorized by SWAT teams storming into their homes on the lamest excuses and keeping them at gunpoint, than by any foreign enemies the government has been making up for far too long.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    There is a war going on for your mind. If you are thinking, you are winning. - The Flobots

    by ArianeChenard on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:17:34 PM PDT

  •  In the book "The Forgotten Soldier"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    ... by Guy Sajer, he, a soldier of the Wehrmacht in Nazi Germany, described the Russian fighters who ambushed his train as "terrorists."

  •  diary title abhorrent and/inexcusable (0+ / 0-)

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:54:30 AM PDT

    •  Just as we once called every victim of the (0+ / 0-)

      war in Vietnam who was over a specified very young age a VC, we now call everybody we kill in drone strikes a terrorist, even when those are signature strikes. This policy was openly announced quite a  while ago. Those all those parents' sweet little childs have become, by the stroke of hollow rhetoric, sweet little terrorists. The administration made that call, the diary simply makes it clear what the position entailed.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:50:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hey. I'm not defending our conduct at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris

        merely objected to false diary title
        and took issue because I don't take intentional dishonorability lightly, and didn't trust motive for the diary's appearance.
        Why would you misread me so poorly? Did you see any response from the diarist?  Lotsa topics afford opportunities for drawing kogs into connecting with ulterior manipulators. That's the way it read to me.

        Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

        by renzo capetti on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:07:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          renzo capetti

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:05:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  s' ok. u may c post differently. . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enhydra lutris

            1st time I marched on washington was 1962, as anti-war movement came together, up from nothing. By the time the Anti-War and Civil Rights Movements became nation wide and merged, we were really getting somewhere.
            Then the assassins took too many away..
            And the reactionaries went to war against the counter culture. They relentlessly pursued dissent and used the deceptive treachery still wrought today.

            Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

            by renzo capetti on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:18:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I get annoyed at misuse of "terrorist" too (0+ / 0-)

    and was thus profoundly annoyed by your misuse in this very diary.

    "Terrorism" has a very specific meaning: the use of violence against non-military targets as a means of intimidation to achieve a specific political or sociopolitical goal.  It does not mean simply "causing extreme fear or terror."

    Fear is subjective; the definition of terrorism is not.  A statement like "they are terrified of us and therefore we are terrorists to them" is a conflation of the adjective terrifying and the noun terrorist, and a gross misuse of the latter.

    Note: this is not about whether American drone attacks in the Middle East are morally defensible or strategically sound.  It's not even about whether American drone attacks in the Middle East can reasonably be called terrorism.  It's that if they are terrorism, it is not because of how scary they are.

    •  No, it's because of how scary they are and the (0+ / 0-)

      intent to change specific political and sociopolitical goals with that terror, which is why we launch these attacks. We are not killing these people just for grins.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:46:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent first diary on the use and misuse (0+ / 0-)

    of "terrorism."

    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:59:36 PM PDT

  •  Thank you all for your comments. (0+ / 0-)

    I used a title I knew would shock a few and wouldn’t necessarily win me friends, but it’s an important subject that I believe is at the root of a lot of evil and cultivated misunderstanding in the world right now.

    I just want to clarify that I didn’t say

    A statement like "they are terrified of us and therefore we are terrorists to them"
    I said:
    “don’t you think children in that region are terrorized by the American killer drones?”
     

    And then described children with symptoms terrified people have (peeing in their pants, not being able to sleep at night, etc.), because if you are being terrorized, with drones or otherwise, chances are, you are terrified.

    And maybe it's not a widely shared sentiment, but to me, if you don't qualify drone attacks as terrorist attacks (from the perspective of the recipient), I don't know of many things that would fit the definition.

    There is a war going on for your mind. If you are thinking, you are winning. - The Flobots

    by ArianeChenard on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:48:04 PM PDT

    •  My impression (0+ / 0-)

      from the phrases "they are not terrorists to you" and "American drones [...] are terrorists to them," following questions about whether or not the people in question were terrified, was that you were saying that the concept of terrorism is subjective and dependent on that fear.

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