Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How Do You Define Terrorism?

Interestingly, I had not head about this incident until today's whitehouse press briefing. Perhaps the Seattle readers can relay a better description of what transpired.

Two question that came to my head after reading this question was: A) How do we define terrorism and terrorist actions? And, B) What do you think?
Q Thank you. Last Friday, a Muslim American denouncing Jews and Israel took a 13-year-old girl hostage at the Jewish Federation Center in Seattle and shot six women, one of them dead. Yet, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities refuse to call this terrorism. The President says we're in a war on terrorism. Can you or the President better define terrorism so the American people can understand just who or what it is we are fighting?

MR. SNOW: Les, I hate to use the murder of innocents as an attempt to make a debating point about terror. And I'm not going to do it.
Really, when the entire W, Rove and Co administration has built it's reputation on the foundation that they are the "best" qualified terrorist fighters. How can you believe any of their rhetoric that they can stop any of it at all?

3 comments:

isabelita said...

Well, you know I am a Seattlite. Here is what I can offer as a synopsis:
This young man was a Pakistani/American, whose well-off parents live, ironically, in eastern Washington, in what is called the Tri-Cities, in the Red side of our fair state. (Ten to one they voted for Bush.) He showed increasing signs of mental illness over the years, and somewhere along this awful trajectory, actually became a baptized Christian. It has been reported that before this savage attack on completely innocent people, he had drifted away from the Christian church he'd joined.
It was reported that he put a gun to the 13 year old's head, forcing his way into the Jewish Federation building, shouting that he was a Muslim American who was angry with Israel, then opened fire, killing one woman, and wounding five other women, including a pregnant one. A 23 year old woman who had been wroking there as the receptionist and office manager remains on a ventilator, with a bullet lodged in her spine.
Frankly, I think this was a hate crime by a mentally ill young man. There was another deadly shooting spree earlier this summer by a young white dude from Montana, another mentally unstable loner/loser who marched into a house rave party and killed several people before shooting himself when a police officer told him to drop his weapon.
The bottom line to me? Not terrorism, but rather insufficient funding for mental health, which started being cut during the Reagan years, institutions and programs closed down, throwing sick people out on the streets.
Yes, I blame the fucking Repubs and fellow traveling libertarians and all who have gone along with the drift of the USA into whatever the fuck we're drifting.
Any other questions?

windspike said...

Thanks for filling in the gaps Isa, but I am leaning more toward calling this an act of terrorism...When some one goes postal, isn't that the point? What about folk like Klebold and Harris (sp?) at Columbine?

Anonymous said...


One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter

In the context of the contradiction, neither of the above is a terrorist since they both stand for something.

Terrorists are people who attack a civilian population without any particular objective other than to terrorize. The best example of this was the Beltway Sniper(s).

To the extent that 'terrorists' have articulated a policy they're not really terrorists. We know what they want but we don't agree that they should have it. Osama bin Laden wants the west out of Islamic lands, among other things. Hezbollah wants Israel eliminated as a state. It isn't necessary for these actors to put forward their argument in advance of every attack.

Terrorists are naieve

The common definition of 'terrorist' is someone who thinks they can change the world. Marcus Aurelius said, You can't change yourself so why would you bother trying to change anyone else? The only people more naieve than terrorists are people who think they can change terrorists minds. You can't. You have to kill them. There will be collateral damage.