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Homicide Bombers: Let's call them what they are...

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by R. Williams (United States), Sep 9, 2004 at 11:28

Re: "They're Terrorists - Not Activists" by Daniel Pipes, and related circumlocutions.

Well, the most obvious instance: a "suicide bomber" who becomes a "martyr".

Why not: "homicide bomber" who becomes a "sacrificial pawn"?

The first locution transfers the moral high ground to the killer, not to the victims.
The second locution properly shifts the focus from a debased act that every society should repudiate, to the victims. Almost by statistical definition, those killed by homicide bombers are victims: a) they are typically not armed; b) they typically have done nothing to adversely affect those who have killed them.

Call it: "murder", or "homicide", but don't turn it into a presumptively laudable act of altruism.

Homicide bombers kill the just and unjust alike. Their acts have nothing to do with morality. By definition, since they know not whom they kill, their homicides don't add any information back into the process. Their acts are utterly selfish.

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