By Kamala Sarup
Anyone who supports terrorists is a terrorist too. I suppose one could define terrorists as of the first order, second order, etc., but that gets too fine for me. However, we have to be careful to distinguish people or groups. In all countries, some groups are positively terrorists, but not necessarily the government, meaning its leaders and administrators.
It's easy, but illogical, to go from individual actions, to group actions. Ascribing terrorism requires great care.
"The problem I have with explicit or implied definitions of terrorist here and elsewhere is that the definition includes anyone who kills someone the definer likes. Therefore, the definitions of terrorist become contradictory. Terrorist and terrorism then becomes merely pejoratives to sling at each other.
I always liked the definition by Salman Rushdie of terrorism as the "murder of the innocents". Therefore, a terrorist is one who murders innocents. "Innocents" in this context are those who are not actively engaged in warfare, i.e., noncombatants. By contrast, military and police and the politicians who are engaged in warfare are *NOT* the innocents; they are combatants. Terrorists themselves would have to considered combatants for the sake of consistency," said Stanly to me recently.
Using the Rushdie definition, when the combatants of one group kill those in similar groups , then this is terrorism. Let's call this kind of murder. Using the Rushdie definition, the only way I can see to define a "terrorist" would be one in which its terror direct the killing of innocents (noncombatants). " he further added.
Stanly further added "Using the Rushie definition, the 9/11 murderers were terrorists. So were their directors. Going back into history, when the USSR under Stalin killed invading Germans, it was not practicing terrorism; it practiced warfare. Continuing, the US and Iraqi governments' military and police killing of Iraqi terrorists and vice-versa is warfare, not terrorism. When either of the combatants intentionally kill innocent civilians, it is terrorism. When they inadvertently kill innocent civilians in the process of killing or capturing each other, it is not.
We see that every day on the political scene: The single reason for US waging wars in Iraq, for example, is to protect the democracy and oil in that region. So all this relevant talk about to establishing democracy and freedom, improving civil rights, removing a vicious dictator, etc., etc.