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define terrorist

Reader comment on item: Does the [New York] Police Department Profile? Should It?
in response to reader comment: Muslim countries have the largest number of terrorists per capita....

Submitted by Abdul Rahman Reijerink (Australia), Jun 30, 2006 at 11:35


that is rather a sweeping claim that canonly be proven with partisan evidence I suspect.

One man's terrorist is anothers freedom fighter, another man's terrorist is anothers admired head of state or war hero.

case in point.

"Bomber Harris", he thought nothing of intentionally bombing civilian areas because it was a cost efficient way of harming production. It probably was. Did that make it a moral way to wage war? To this day, my Dutch father has deep feelings of rage towards this man because of the bombings he had to endure as a boy, like millions of other Europeans because of the moral bankruptness of this man's attitude to waging war.

Another case from the same conflict, shooting civilians/sailors in distress in the water ended up not being classified as a war crime so that German uboot mariners had to be freed for doing this in war crimes trials beacuse US submariners testified on their behalf saying they did it too! That was the reason, not because shooting helpless people in the water is ok, but because the allies did it too. That was the criteria for determining what constituted a warcrime anything "they" did the "we" didn't.

Was that terrorism or not?

Our SAS trained elite Kopassus soldiers in Indonesia back in the 90's in advanced jungle warfare/anti-insurgency techniques, which as many people know Australia is very good at. Straight after training, Kopassus would hone these skills killing civilians, this is when Indonesia was an out and out facist regime. Is the govenrment of the day responsible in any way for these atrcoities since they aided and abbetted them? If they could claim ignorance the first time, what about subsequent times? Does that make the foreign minister Gareth Evans a terrorist? This was all reported in our press.

What about the support of the US for "drug war" maneovers in Columbia? Spraying coffee crops of peasants, even killing them, to drive them off the land in a bid to gain control of it for big business interests with links to Cocaine drug warlords.... is this terrorism?

Or the Israeli agents who helped set up IBM computers and sophisticated (for the time) software that monitored domestic electricty consumption to find printing presses and other "criminal activity" in some latin american dictatorship (can't remember which but it is in the official documentary record not just lefty ones). This activity directly aided and abetted the death squads who killed such dangerous figures like priests and union leaders, struggling to get what we take for granted... democracy. Were they terrorists?

The list just goes on.... South Africa in the 80's perpetrated a massive war on Angola and then South West Africa, over a million people were killed, just to maintain their bastion of privilege. Was that terrorsim or not, or how about the Apartheid regime itself, proped up with random arrests killings and the whole state apparatus (ie army and police... violence/terror), was that terrorism?

The illegal war of (then VP) Bush snr on Nicaragua, how about that? He traded illegaly with the Iranians to do it because he was going against the express wishes of Congress. The contras were hardly moral agents worthy of any backing, the only oppositon worthy of support were the indiginous people. Was that terrorism?

Do the tax payers who funded all this activity count as terrorsists, what if they knew and either didn't care or actually supported it, would that make them terrorists too?


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