Friday, May 24, 2013

London Woolwich attack terrorism?

23 May 2013

Ninety-five percent of the news report headlines accused the brutal attack on the London streets as a terror attack or "act of terrorism".  Although the incident was a brutal one, I tend to disagree, what does terrorism mean and how is it defined?  Yes, the attackers yelled, "Allahu Akbar" and cited Islam during the attack, but they were also avenging the continuous UK violence against Muslims.

Terrorism is an act of violence that deliberately targets civilians as in the embassy bombings, subway bombings, the bombing of airplanes.  This term is used in the effect to distinguish the difference between how the western world "targets" civilians and how terrorists target civilians.  We use F-16's, helicopters and drones.  They blow up their bodies to take as many people with them as possible.

The London attackers are quoted as saying, "A British soldier, and eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth."  This means that the attackers focused the attack on a British soldier, not civilians.  The difference between us and "them" is in the terms.  We attack combatants are the targets not civilians on their soil and land.  Western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, yet it is not called an act of terrorism.  The U.S. has prisoners in Guantanamo merely because of act of violence not terrorism.  Yet, we have been known to commit horrible acts of violence against the same prisoners.

Okay, the solder was not in uniform or on duty.  Yet, the western nations kill people in their sleep, in their homes, while shopping or eating at a cafe and this is not terrorism?  The U.S. has redefined the word "militant" as any military aged male in a strike zone.  It is all about the lingo.

The identification terms have been widely broadened to make killing just about anyone okay.  We don't even have to wake them up from their sleep before they are shot.  How can killing a soldier from a nation who is at war an act of terrorism?

Was not the US shock attack on Baghdad an act of terrorism?  One of the attackers said, "The only reason we killed this man is because they are killing Muslims daily."  It was an act of vengeance and retaliation.  It was an act to gain attention to the western nations about their cause to try to get people to wake up and stop their violence.

During the Reagan administration the United States funded and supported Central American milita's that murdered civilians.  Our drones terrorize the local populations so they stop to harbor those that the western nations deem to be terrorists.  There are government sanctions on trade and food to practically starve out populations in the attempt to force them to change their governments and policies.

The problem with the news and others freely using this term is that the word is packed with political, cultural and emotional punches that put the conversation to a halt and can justify just about any action that is deemed desirable.  I have looked in depth on this word when I first started covering the conflict between the Israeli's and Palestinians and still ask the same questions.

I boil it down to this, "An act of violence by any Muslim in retaliation against any violence acted against Muslims."  The news reports could have said, "Muslim hacks  UK soldier in London streets in retaliation against the killing of elderly Muslim earlier this month."

The headlines read last month something like this:  Elderly Muslim stabbed in apparent anti-Muslim hate crime."  Was there any hint of terrorism in that headline or the following paragraphs?  The answer is no there was not.  My question is this:  what makes one act a terrorist act and the other simply an Anti-Muslim hate crime?

Something to think about.

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