Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do
Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do
By Washington's Blog / washingtonsblog.com

It’s Not Terrorism When WE Do It

The United States is arguably the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, although we call it “self defense” and fighting “humanitarian” wars.

But when other people – especially brown-skinned people who wear funny clothes – do the same things that we do, we label it as terrorism.

Mark Selden - Bartle Professor of History and Sociology at Binghamton University – explains:

American politicians and most social scientists definitionally exclude actions and policies of the United States and its allies” as terrorism.

For example, the American military  indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see this),  calling it “carefully targeted strikes”.  When others do it, we rightfully label it terrorism.

When Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target  people attending funerals of those killed – or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured by –   previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism.  But the U.S. government does exactly the same thing, without any criticism by government apologists.

Torture is a recognized form of terrorism.  The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this).

But the government and its lackeys tried to say that American waterboarding in the “war on terror” was not torture.   When asked during his 2008 presidential bid whether waterboarding was torture, Rudy Giuliani answered:

It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.

Indeed, we have a long history of using bombs and violence as a way to scare the civilian populations into seeing things our way.

But that is never labeled terrorism by the U.S.  Instead, anyone who simply disagrees with U.S. policy (including those with the nerve to criticize the wars on brown-skinned people throughout North Africa and the Middle East planned 20 years ago) may be targeted with the  terrorist  label.

Why Are the American People So Easily Fooled?

As the Atlantic points out:

Since 9/11, many Americans have conflated terrorism with Muslims; and having done so, they’ve tolerated or supported counterterrorism policies safe in the presumption that people unlike them would bear their brunt. (If Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD sent officers beyond the boundaries of New York City to secretly spy on evangelical Christian students or Israeli students or students who own handguns the national backlash would be swift, brutal, and decisive. The revelation of secret spying on Muslim American students was mostly defended or ignored.)

In the name of counterterrorism, many Americans have given their assent to indefinite detention, the criminalization of gifts to certain charities, the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens, and a sprawling, opaque homeland security bureaucracy; many have also advocated policies like torture or racial profiling that are not presently part of official anti-terror policy.

***

It ought to be self-evident that non-Muslims perpetrate terrorist attacks, and that a vanishingly small percentage of Muslims are terrorists, but those two truths aren’t widely appreciated in America. That doesn’t mean they won’t reassert themselves, for terrorist attacks have always been with us; the tactic has never been exclusive to a single ideology for very long; and the power the state marshals against one sort of terrorist is sure to be first to hand when another sort strikes.

***

Having flattened so many laws (and a good many innocents) in pursuit of the terrorist, the American majority is naturally loath to focus its attention on a terrorist who looks, talks, and dresses as they do. It is particularly uncomfortable for those in the country who feel most reflexively safe when “an American” is beside them on a plane, instead of a bearded man with a turban. Watching [the Sikh temple massacre], that subset of Americans was put in a position to realize that a day prior they’d have identified with the terrorist more than his victims.

And so they quickly looked away.

History shows that when people try to ignore terrorism done to others – pretending that it doesn’t effect them – they end up vulnerable, alone and exposed.

And letting our fear of terror get out of hand makes people stupid.

And it should be clear that the failure to really investigate 9/11 (and the government’s bumbling incompetence or worse) has led to the spread of terrorism.  Specifically, there was state support for 9/11 from at least one government … and yet we haven’t changed our foreign policy based upon that fact.  And if people knew that 9/11 was preventable,  they would demand real national security, instead of the ruthless global war and shameless fear-mongering which has been the government’s response to those attacks.

4.5 ·
3
What's Next
Trending Today
Dear Democrats: An Open Letter from a Sanders Supporter to Democrats Calling for "Unity". This is What it Looks Like from My Side
unknown Redditor · 44,856 views today · Dear Democrats, As the absurd Trump convention grinds on, somewhere in Philadelphia I imagine there is an army of volunteers inflating one hundred thousand colorful balloons...
Jon Stewart Has Some Choice Words for Conservative Pundits Double Standards
13 min · 14,885 views today · Some stories, like the ouster of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, are too big for one late night host to tackle alone.
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 13,450 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 11,253 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Wetiko - The Cannibalistic Disease Consuming Our Planet and Society
4 min · 10,264 views today · Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit or thought-form driven by greed, excess and selfish consumption. It deludes it host into believing that consuming the...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 9,834 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
“You Can Have Your Weak Nominee If You Wish” – the Sanders Endorsement Backfires on Hillary Clinton, Empowers Sanders in One Masterstroke
Saib Bilaval · 8,201 views today · Ultimately, what the Sanders endorsement has proved is what the candidate was arguing from the beginning – that it was not Sanders and his campaign that was holding Hillary...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 7,718 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Alex Jones and Roger Stone Interrupt the Young Turks Republican National Convention Coverage
4 min · 6,530 views today · Alex Jones and Roger Stone interrupted The Young Turks live coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In Part 2, The Young Turks explained what...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 6,239 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Cultural Sickness That Needs to Be Named
Joe Brewer · 6,151 views today · All over the world there is a feeling that something is deeply wrong. It is often felt more than seen, an unnamed darkness that keeps millions (even billions) of people...
A World War Has Begun - Break The Silence
John Pilger · 5,950 views today · I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is...
Why Being Lonely Is Crucial for Survival
4 min · 4,838 views today · We all know it sucks to be lonely, but is it actually essential for our survival? Here's more on why loneliness might be a good thing.
The Demoralized Mind
John Schumaker · 3,732 views today · Western consumer culture is creating a psycho-spiritual crisis that leaves us disoriented and bereft of purpose. How can we treat our sick culture and make ourselves well? asks...
In Our Nature: A Beautiful Spoken Word Tribute to the Wonder of The World
3 min · 2,804 views today · A spoken word film about enjoying nature and spending more time outdoors. Our environment and our climate is what keep us alive. If we look after our planet, it will look after...
The Scientific Way to Train White People to Stop Being Racist
Katherine Kirkinis and Sarah Birdsong · 2,414 views today · No one wants to be called fragile. And if you’re white, what you feel reading the title of this article may be indicative of the term. “White fragility” refers to white...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 2,404 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness (2011). Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use...
A Great Hot Air Balloon: Donald Trump and Fascist Kitsch
Maximillian Alvarez · 2,333 views today · With Trump securing the Republican candidacy, the question unavoidably rises if a fascist is now running for president. The short answer is: “No, but…”
The Problem With Society Isn't Greed. Greed Is a Symptom of a Deep Need Going Unfulfilled
Charles Eisenstein · 1,630 views today · A lot of people reacted to my comment on Facebook the other day that greed is more a symptom than a cause of our current system, with all its inequities. I’m asked, What is the...
US-Led Airstrikes Kill as Many Civilians as Nice Attack But Get No Front Page Headlines
Adam Johnson · 1,590 views today · A coalition airstrike reported on Tuesday that killed at least 85 civilians—one more than died in the Nice attack in France last week—wasn’t featured at all on the front pages...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do