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Nouns are better than adjectives

Reader comment on item: I Give Up: There Is No Terrorism, There Are No Terrorists

Submitted by Brenton Kitterman (United States), Jun 3, 2015 at 15:04

"Terrorism", like any word, is only a verbal symbol and designation for the real thing. We don't need and can never have a "precise definition." Loaded or not, it's still the most useful word we have to encompass this current, newly expanding style of warfare.

It's a social control method practiced by groups descending the evolutionary tree. Military experts call it a form of "asymetric warfare." The source of the word came from the Latin verb "terrere," meaning to frighten. Terrorism –rule by fear- was so embedded during the Dark Ages that it became the norm. And it took the Age of Enlightenment to give us enough perspective to realize that. It is therefore not better to use adjectives like "violent, murderous, Islamist, and jihadi." They will blur our focus. They are less precise than a noun like "terrorism."

The word "terrorism" is best because it also covers the full range of uses: from the "terrorist" individual, group and organization, that uses"terror" as a weapon to "terrorize" others into subjugation or slavery; to the larger tribes or cultures who need "terrorism" as a means of social control. There is "state terrorism," where the government is petrified of the individual mind, as when Goebbels proclaimed, "Jewish intellectualism is dead," and books and art were burned. There are clear "terrorist supporting states," which are exporting their devolutionary philosophy. There are "terrorist organizations" and "terrorist apologists," whose obsessive single-minded support of Palestine is only a transparent pretext for bashing the Middle East's first and last outpost of democracy, giving support to its surrounding anti-democratic terrorism apologists.

Looking at the world map, it's even apparent there are growing geographical regions that could now be defined as "terrorland," much as we once used the term "tomorrowland" to define a brighter future. Americans, among others, have been born into and existed in this "tomorrowland" so long we don't call it that. And once terror and "terrorism" returns to parts of the world as a form of governing, where it was once eradicated, it will also lose its meaning for those living in its midst. Instead of giving up the term, we should capitalize it and print it in bold face. We should post it on the current world map with circles and arrows. The goal should be to keep those circles from enlarging.

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