Author Topic: What is Terrorism?  (Read 175 times)

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Offline Id82

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What is Terrorism?
« on: December 12, 2017, 01:25:30 pm »
There's a discussion going on at reddit right now where a conservative is claiming that the mass shootings at places like Sandy Hook, Aurora Colorado, Las Vegas and so on are not terrorism because they are not politically motivated, and that Muslim terrorists can only be defined as terrorism because they are politically motivated.
I think he's full of shit, but what do we define as terrorism? The dictionary defines it as mainly politically motivated.
The right wants this big label of ISLAMIC TERRORISM to ring loud and clear across the country. What this accomplishes I don't know other then vilifying over a billion people in the world.
Is terrorism and death by a terrorist attack something that has to be politically motivated, or could any mass murderer be considered a terrorist even if they don't have some political motivation?
I would argue that not every murder is terrorism but nearly every mass murder is. Even Serial killers could be considered terrorist for creating fear and uncertainty in society. David Berkowitz created a slight panic where people were afraid to go out at night back in New York city in 1977. If the murders created a state of fear and confusion in society I would say that's terrorism no?
These mass murderers which have been on the rise have created a cohesive fear of death and uncertainty where more security is raised and people become more afraid of everyone else.
I feel the right doesn't want to label Stephen Paddock, James Eagan Holmes, Adam Lanza as terrorists to be able to move the goalposts and say no white people can be terrorists.
I wanted to see what your guys opinions on this is.

Online Art Vandelay

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 09:35:59 pm »
I'd say it definitely does have to be politically motivated. It's the political aspect of it, and not mass killing, that defines terrorism. You're terrorising people into doing want you want them to do. It's right there in the name. So no, run of the mill serial killers and mass murderers who did it just because they felt like it aren't terrorists. Yes (this should really go without saying), white people can be terrorists if they attempt to intimidate society into whatever it is they want, just like Muslims. However, saying that every violent fuckwit is a terrorist just renders the word meaningless.

Offline Kanzenkankaku

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 11:06:47 pm »
Art is entirely correct. Someone like Lanza or Paddock isn't a terrorist because they didn't have a political goal they were just horrible people and/or had severe mental illnesses. White people obviously can be terrorists, for example Dylan Storm Roof and Tim McVeigh were terrorists because they wanted to start a race war with their attacks. Or any attacks by groups like the IRA during the Troubles in Ireland would also be terrorism because they wanted to use murder and terror to take the North back from the UK.

Offline Id82

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 11:12:26 pm »
But the fact that it created terror in their communities and in society doesn't count for anything? Or is terror or to terrorise different from an act of terrorism?

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 12:09:43 am »
Essentially, yes. It has to be politically motivated to count.

Honestly, I'm not sure why exactly you want to broaden the definition to the point of meaninglessness this badly. It already covers all politically motivated violent scare tactics, regardless of the race and/or religion of the perpetrator(s), so this strikes me as a non-issue.

Offline Kanzenkankaku

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 01:04:14 am »
But the fact that it created terror in their communities and in society doesn't count for anything? Or is terror or to terrorise different from an act of terrorism?

Well yeah that's why its a different word in the dictionary with a specific definition. Being terrorized is being in a state of being in extreme fear and distress. Terrorism can cause people to be terrorized but its not the only thing that can do that to people. Terrorist attacks are about politics and/or religion and are done in service of an ideology. They never found an ideological connection for some of the examples in the OP.

Offline Id82

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 01:37:16 am »
 Fair enough. I just hate how the right tries to label a whole group of over a billion people all with different backgrounds, nationalities and different denominations as terrorists, but will turn around and say there are no white or Christian terrorists.

Offline Eiki-mun

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 02:58:22 am »
Fair enough. I just hate how the right tries to label a whole group of over a billion people all with different backgrounds, nationalities and different denominations as terrorists, but will turn around and say there are no white or Christian terrorists.

Dylan Roof. James Alex Fields. Or, if you want to go a little farther back, Timothy McVeigh. Cliven Bundy.

It's not hard to find white/Christian terrorists and I didn't even look.
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Offline Tolpuddle Martyr

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 02:58:53 pm »
Was Elliot Rodger a terrorist? He certainly had a "cause"- he's worshipped as a saint amongst some "Incel" communities like the former r/Incels and PUAHate.

Offline Skybison

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Re: What is Terrorism?
« Reply #9 on: Today at 01:33:41 am »
I honestly don't consider Elliot Rodger to be a terrorist exactly because although he was a bigot he wasn't really trying to accomplish anything, just kill for the sake of killing.  A terrorist  is someone like Yasser Arafat or something who kill as a means to an end, rampage pseudocommandos like Paddock, Rodger kill just to kill.  Even a pseudocommando more unquestionably a terrorist like Breivik I'd argue has very little in common with the Arafats of the world, but a lot in common with the Paddocks and Lanza's.