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
This Painting Captures a Disturbing Truth about the History of Our Education System
2 min · 19,522 views today · The truth is chilling. But it is a history we should never forget. This is a clip from the feature documentary "Schooling the World." Thanks to the generosity of the...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 10,061 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 6,476 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...
Brené Brown on How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative
Brené Brown · 5,242 views today · The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves, says Brené Brown. But beware—they're usually fiction.
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 5,176 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages
Jocelyn Mercado · 4,517 views today · Trees are considered sacred in many cultures. Tree worship, in one form or another, has been practiced almost universally by ancient peoples in every corner of the globe.
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 3,361 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,909 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 2,656 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...
Thich Nhat Hanh: No Enemies
Thich Nhat Hanh · 1,857 views today · Without communication, no real understanding can be possible. But be sure that you can communicate with yourself first. If you cannot communicate with yourself, how do you...
A Thousand Rivers: What the Modern World has Forgotten about Children and Learning
Carol Black · 1,553 views today · The following statement somehow showed up on my Twitter feed the other day: “Spontaneous reading happens for a few kids. The vast majority need (and all can benefit from)...
How to Resist the Pressures of Conformity
10 min · 1,524 views today · The social psychology of conformity affects us all, but there are ways to maintain our independence, as explained in this animated short.
The Four Mantras of True Presence
Thich Nhat Hanh · 1,372 views today · These simple mantras can help us overcome suffering
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 1,309 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 1,136 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Understanding Patriarchy
bell hooks · 1,057 views today · Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation. Yet most men do not use the word “patriarchy” in everyday life...
Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object?
3 min · 1,024 views today · How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object? Spoken...
Found: Libertarians' "Lying To Liberals" Guide Book
Mark Ames · 981 views today ·
We've Been Protesting for Decades. What's It Going to Take to End Police Brutality?
Tai Amri Spann-Wilson · 915 views today · On #BlackLivesMatter, moral injury and activism
North Dakota Gov Cuts Water Supply to Native Americans as DAPL Protest Swells in Number and Spirit
Lauren McCauley · 906 views today · Thousands join protest camp as supporters are holding a rally in Washington D.C. on Wednesday outside of Army Corps hearing
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do