Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Definition of terrorist

Definition of terrorist In my post about Liberty, I used a quote from Lincoln where he defines liberty in two conflicting ways. In politics and economics, the same word can have different meaning to different people. I have run into this problem with the term, terrorist. Some people’s terrorist is another persons ‘freedom fighter’. This is where the different definitions of Liberty come into play. A terrorist is one who engages in terrorism. However, Wikipedia says that terrorism has no internationally recognized definition. It defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a form of coercion. Common definitions are those acts designed to create fear and target non-combatants. (Civilians) No wonder a clear definition escapes us. Warfare has always targeted civilians and many times acts that were against international law at one time are recognized as valid today. (Unrestricted submarine warfare is a classic example) Wikipedia has pointed out that studies have found more than 100 definitions of terrorist. This very lack of a recognized definition of ‘terrorist’ is why I call our enemy ‘terrorists’ of today, Islamic nationalists instead. Other ‘terrorists’ are present throughout the world today, but the enemy of the United States that is acting as a national entity are the Islamic nationalist groups that the United States recognizes as ‘terrorist’ organizations. (And many that are not formally recognized) This way, we avoid the Liberty definition problem and narrow the definition to the war at hand. The first rule of warfare is to know thy enemy. If we define our enemy as those entities that are acting in the interests of a National Islamic government that ‘occupies’ land and controls ‘waters’ but has no internationally recognized national government, we can be more effective in the war that is being waged against us. Osama Bin Laden is a classic example of an Islamic nationalist. Remember how no nation would accept the body? Iran only wanted to ensure that his body was treated in accordance to Islamic tradition. (Law) The source of that law, the Koran, is not a very flexible document, nor is it very tolerant. The excessive violence in the penalties of the violation of its rules is a very good indicator. Hence, the extreme violence of many of it’s adherents. These are the ones that I am calling Islamic nationalists. These are the ‘terrorists’ who kill in the name of Allah as loyalty to the religion and it’s body of law that overrides the authority and responsibilities of the modern national government.

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