Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Convenient definitions of terror

In a paradigm where we have declared "war" against an elusive and amorphous enemy....a war that strains the normal framework of the definition....when infrastructure and officials of our Government are attacked, is it really an act of terror?

Or is it an act of war?

"It’s hard to define because one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist." George H.W. Bush, on supporting the Contras and UNITA.

Seems that we like to have it both ways, since we like to think that we get to define the rules.


  1. Probably, unfortunately the murky definition and parameters allow for bombastic rhetoric in order to pander to voters and special interests.

  2. "War on Terror" is a terrible formulation and a guarantee of endless (and hopeless) war.

  3. It get's even muddier than that with the definition of the term "act of war" which is implied to mean a nation perpetrates an aggressive and overt act against our sovereignty. When a terror affilliate that has no flag or turf, so to speak commits this type of "act" we tend to think of it in terms of "legal/police" frameworks. Something that needs to be legal adjudicated vs. aggressive military action.


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