Total Posts:9|Showing Posts:1-9
Jump to topic:

"Terrorism" is essentially a useless label

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/20/2015 11:29:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I mean seriously, the definition is so vague and broad that it encompasses a whole host of behaviour we would not traditionally call terrorism (including gang shootings, school shootings, etc.). We already have perfectly useful labels for various acts of violence and "terror groups" such as Jihadists, Islamic fundementalists, Gangs, Christian extremist, etc. etc.

Further, this label gets misapplied a lot, especially to Islamic groups. Even Al Qaeda - such as the bombings of the SS Cole, or Charlie Hebdo shootings etc. neither of those examples were done with the intent to cause terror, they were done with the intent to simply kill, for religious reasons yes, but clearly not to cause terror.

I assert we should stop using this label, it is a useless blanket statement which only serves to obfuscate the real causes and issues at work.
ironslippers
Posts: 509
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2015 2:37:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 11:29:49 AM, Envisage wrote:
I mean seriously, the definition is so vague and broad that it encompasses a whole host of behaviour we would not traditionally call terrorism (including gang shootings, school shootings, etc.). We already have perfectly useful labels for various acts of violence and "terror groups" such as Jihadists, Islamic fundementalists, Gangs, Christian extremist, etc. etc.

Further, this label gets misapplied a lot, especially to Islamic groups. Even Al Qaeda - such as the bombings of the SS Cole, or Charlie Hebdo shootings etc. neither of those examples were done with the intent to cause terror, they were done with the intent to simply kill, for religious reasons yes, but clearly not to cause terror.

I assert we should stop using this label, it is a useless blanket statement which only serves to obfuscate the real causes and issues at work.

I agree
terrorism is media meme concocted by the Bush administration to create a fearful, compliant population to push forth the crazy idea that Iraq was domestic threat.
So...
I went shopping instead
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,279
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2015 10:29:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 11:29:49 AM, Envisage wrote:
I mean seriously, the definition is so vague and broad that it encompasses a whole host of behaviour we would not traditionally call terrorism (including gang shootings, school shootings, etc.). We already have perfectly useful labels for various acts of violence and "terror groups" such as Jihadists, Islamic fundementalists, Gangs, Christian extremist, etc. etc.

Further, this label gets misapplied a lot, especially to Islamic groups. Even Al Qaeda - such as the bombings of the SS Cole, or Charlie Hebdo shootings etc. neither of those examples were done with the intent to cause terror, they were done with the intent to simply kill, for religious reasons yes, but clearly not to cause terror.

I assert we should stop using this label, it is a useless blanket statement which only serves to obfuscate the real causes and issues at work.

It's basically a smear term for the psychologically manipulative tactics which are typical of asymmetrical warfare. For example, those running a S&A campaign say: 'oh, we have to inflict some collateral damage on the civilian population in order to have the desired psychological effect on our enemies.' By a technicality, that's not terrorism, because they aren't targeting civilians, even though, in the end, they're still killing them for psychological effect. A charged term which always applies to the weaker side in a conflict is pretty useless when it comes to detached analysis.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2015 10:42:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/21/2015 10:29:57 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 6/20/2015 11:29:49 AM, Envisage wrote:
I mean seriously, the definition is so vague and broad that it encompasses a whole host of behaviour we would not traditionally call terrorism (including gang shootings, school shootings, etc.). We already have perfectly useful labels for various acts of violence and "terror groups" such as Jihadists, Islamic fundementalists, Gangs, Christian extremist, etc. etc.

Further, this label gets misapplied a lot, especially to Islamic groups. Even Al Qaeda - such as the bombings of the SS Cole, or Charlie Hebdo shootings etc. neither of those examples were done with the intent to cause terror, they were done with the intent to simply kill, for religious reasons yes, but clearly not to cause terror.

I assert we should stop using this label, it is a useless blanket statement which only serves to obfuscate the real causes and issues at work.

It's basically a smear term for the psychologically manipulative tactics which are typical of asymmetrical warfare. For example, those running a S&A campaign say: 'oh, we have to inflict some collateral damage on the civilian population in order to have the desired psychological effect on our enemies.' By a technicality, that's not terrorism, because they aren't targeting civilians, even though, in the end, they're still killing them for psychological effect. A charged term which always applies to the weaker side in a conflict is pretty useless when it comes to detached analysis.

Can you clarify please:

1. What is an S&A campaign
2. Expand a bit on "assymetric warfare" - I presume you are talking about the balance of power.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,279
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2015 11:14:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/21/2015 10:42:29 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/21/2015 10:29:57 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 6/20/2015 11:29:49 AM, Envisage wrote:
I mean seriously, the definition is so vague and broad that it encompasses a whole host of behaviour we would not traditionally call terrorism (including gang shootings, school shootings, etc.). We already have perfectly useful labels for various acts of violence and "terror groups" such as Jihadists, Islamic fundementalists, Gangs, Christian extremist, etc. etc.

Further, this label gets misapplied a lot, especially to Islamic groups. Even Al Qaeda - such as the bombings of the SS Cole, or Charlie Hebdo shootings etc. neither of those examples were done with the intent to cause terror, they were done with the intent to simply kill, for religious reasons yes, but clearly not to cause terror.

I assert we should stop using this label, it is a useless blanket statement which only serves to obfuscate the real causes and issues at work.

It's basically a smear term for the psychologically manipulative tactics which are typical of asymmetrical warfare. For example, those running a S&A campaign say: 'oh, we have to inflict some collateral damage on the civilian population in order to have the desired psychological effect on our enemies.' By a technicality, that's not terrorism, because they aren't targeting civilians, even though, in the end, they're still killing them for psychological effect. A charged term which always applies to the weaker side in a conflict is pretty useless when it comes to detached analysis.

Can you clarify please:

1. What is an S&A campaign

Shock and awe, or rapid dominance. It's a doctrine used by the powerful side in an asymmetric conflict. It's basically a combination of displays of overwhelming power and complete dominance of the battlefield, which cause the opponent to lose the will to fight. Collateral damage is a given.

2. Expand a bit on "assymetric warfare" - I presume you are talking about the balance of power.

Basically, it's warfare which isn't symmetric. In symmetric warfare, the two sides have similar capabilities and use similar tactics. It's also known as conventional warfare. Examples would be WWII, the War of the Roses, and the Thirty Years' War. Unconventional warfare, on the other hand, is characterized by a large discrepancy of capabilities and, usually, strategy and tactics. Examples would be the Second Punic War, the Eighty Years' War (the geuzen), and Vietnam.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Midnight1131
Posts: 1,643
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/23/2015 8:13:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Definition of terrorism off of Oxford Dictionaries.

the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

So every government that went to war ever. They need to really fix the definition, or stop using the word.
#GaryJohnson2016
#TaxationisTheft
#TheftisTaxation
Episteme
Posts: 2
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/24/2015 4:54:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Quite a number of labels are questionable. However, labels regarding certain acts are not necessarily 'useless'. The term 'terrorism' is not necessarily useless because certain acts that have occurred that have caused terror (otherwise known as 'intense or overpowering fear' according to freedictionary.com). Etymologically any number of acts could be considered terrorism if we were to take the term terror from its root origin (which is still important because it provides a basis for the use of the term even if that basis is still only mildly in usage). The term 'terror', from 15th Century Old French means, 'something that intimidates, an object of fear'. (This is all from the Online Etymology Dictionary.) This is the historical definition of 'terrorism'.

"terrorism (n.)
1795, in specific sense of "government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France" (March 1793-July 1794), from French terrorisme, from Latin terror (see terror).

General sense of "systematic use of terror as a policy" is first recorded in English 1798 (in reference to the Irish Rebellion of that year). At one time, a word for a certain kind of mass-destruction terrorism was dynamitism (1883); and during World War I frightfulness (translating German Schrecklichkeit) was used in Britain for "deliberate policy of terrorizing enemy non-combatants."


To a certain extent, yes, the US government is guilty of the 'systematic use of terror as policy'. Should we say that it has terroristic like tendencies? Sure, why not? It fits the definition. So do many other countries and groups, though as well. Just because it's a relatively broad definition doesn't mean it shouldn't be used.

The FBI has their own definition for the term 'terrorism'. In summary, you're a terrorist if you intimidate civilians, want to influence policy, and do this by means of mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. You have to fit all three to be considered a terrorist or someone who has committed an act of terrorism.

https://www.fbi.gov...

What do all of these definitions have in common? The main connections are the terms 'intimidation' and 'fear'. Yes, many governments in general are guilty of this, however, so are many people and groups. Considering this, since governments have been guilty of the general definition at some point, why can't we say that they are all have terrorist tendencies? The definition of the term 'terrorism' isn't that vague. Dictionary.com's definition is, 'the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes'. This is even closer to the FBI's definition of terrorism and is much clearer. So, considering this, if we were to simply keep the term, 'the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes,' then we have a workable definition for a term that can be applied to those individuals, institutions or groups regarding terrorist acts.

In conclusion, the term 'terrorism' isn't useless. Unfortunately, it is used in ways that do not correspond to the definitions provided. That's a separate issue though. Yes, definitions change over time, however, using it in situations when the act potentially doesn't fit the common definition is misleading.
Shield
Posts: 201
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/26/2015 1:18:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Terrorism doesnt really even require violence. But I wouldnt say the label is useless. Terrorism is the initiation or attempted initiation of mass hysteria. You could call the propogation of the Y2K myth terrorism. You could call 9/11 terrorism. You could call a cop shooting an unarmed person terrorism. etc etc
The proudest moment of my life was when i traveled a thousand miles for love and brought that love back with me those same thousand miles. Nothing that has ever happened, nor ever will, will ever take that pride away from my heart.