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Definition of Terrorism - no less difficult than Rape or Robbery

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

Submitted by Robert (United States), Oct 12, 2015 at 16:30

Merriam-Webster defines the term "Terrorism as follows:

"the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism

Without the acceptance of the intrinsic importance of the concept

How does the United States justify its support of "freedom fighters" deemed to be "fighting" Assad?

How does one justify any Revolution, or War, without this concept?

Were our Founding Fathers all terrorists? Were military service men in the World Wars all terrorists?

And how are we to decide that the PKK is, or is not, a "terrorist organization"?

The point of maintaining the validity of the term "terrorism" is to justify violence in "just wars," both civil and among states or countries. In an act of "terror" there is no military objective. The distinction between a civilian and a soldier, or policeman, is abolished. The aim is to frighten people in order to achieve a political end - precisely because there are no sufficient military forces or available appropriate military targets.

A more interesting question is - how does one distinguish between "terror" and "genocide"? Isn't now every act of "terror" in the strict sence also an act of "genocide" in accordance with the definition which the UN adopted upon Lempkin's petitioning?

See this:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The source is this:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007043

It seems to me that it's better to use the word "genocide" whenever an act of "terrorism" is consistent with the above definition of "genocide." Notice that genocide is broader in its scope, and probably encompass substantially many, if not most, contemporary acts of "terror." Aren't the Israelis currently and contemporarily the victims of "genocide" whenever an act of Palestinian "terror" occurs? Aren't the victims in Syria and Irac currently too the victims of "genocide"?

So it's more import, Daniel Pipes, to revisit the more useful definition of "genocide" than the overused term "terror." Don't you agree, Daniel Pipes? More than 250,000 dead casulties in Syria alone - an it seems that no one (but me) asks if this so-called "terror" isn't in fact "genocide" ?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

No doubt genocide and other terms also are difficult to define; but I have not conjured with them as I have with terrorism and so am not expressing views on them.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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