From the Comments: How, Exactly, Does One Define Terrorism?

From longtime reader –Rick, who starts off by quoting Dr Delacroix:

“Thanks to your influence, I have become more conscious of what I mean by terrorism. It includes intentionality and blindness toward the (civilian) victims. Thus, I have revised my concept of terrorism. I will be more precise in the future.”

One immediate problem I have with this is the use of force by the Allies in retaliation to the evil and unjustified use of force and murderous policies of the Axis powers in World War II. With “an intentional and blind lack of consideration of civilian casualties”, retaliatory force such as the bombing of Dresden and the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan would not have occurred and as a result, our enemies may have, instead, developed and used such strategies and weapons on us. Without efforts to annihilate the enemy and obtain an unconditional surrender, WWI, WWII, or perhaps even the American Civil war may have ended up with a decades long cease fire form of a truce as we have between North and South Korea that commits America to spending billions to keep troops and support systems in Korea as we shrink our military forces on a global scale.

Your inclusion of intentionality and blindness makes the actions taken by the allied forces in response to similar or worse actions by the enemy nations of Japan and particularly Germany make the Allies no more than terrorists for their defensive actions taken to suppress hostile nations and restore some semblance of peace to the planet.

So, depending on your view of history and warfare necessities, you may need to revise your definition even further – or not.

Dr Amburgey also adds his thoughts on Dr Delacroix’s statistical reasoning. One thing I have noticed, reading through this dialogue again, is that Dr Delacroix and other imperialists are much more interested in wielding arbitrary rules, norms and even definitions to advance their aims. Once the imperialist is called out on his arbitrariness (amongst other things), however, he begins to accuse his debate partners of dogmatism (amongst other things).

3 thoughts on “From the Comments: How, Exactly, Does One Define Terrorism?

  1. “How, Exactly, Does One Define Terrorism?”

    I think the answer lies to which party is in power. Throughout history, however, it has been the politics of altruism [looking out for the poor, suffering little guy and putting his needs above our own in terms of where to expend American blood and treasure] and pragmatism the abandons rules, laws and entire core belief philosophies in deference to expedience over working through a problem intellectually and honestly.

    An example can be found in the way people choose to accept a definition without its underlying principle or foundation:

    Altruism defined as I apply it:
    Altruism defined by Webster

    Pragmatism defined as I apply it:
    Pragmatism: defined by Webster

    Notice how Webster makes no mention of the self [how does one pursue one’s happiness when on must dedicate oneself to the benefit of others?

    Notice who Webster makes no mention or attempt to tie what is sought to reality, but, instead implies that reality becomes what one compromises as opposed to what is.

    Consider rent control….the government compromises to limit rents to a specific price but ignores the reality of immutable costs involved in providing and maintaining rental properties and how such policies and economic ignorance [read a political expediency for votes] ultimate hurt those who are prophesized to benefit…the poor…by creating shortages in building new rental properties because they are not profitable and by a slow accretion of low income properties by those who are well off by passing units from friend to friend or relative to relative or simply by holding onto a larger using than needed because it is cheaper than a smaller unit once children have grown and moved out.

    We don’t see the damage done right away, but it is inevitable and anyone who is principled, honest, thoughtful and economically savvy knows the outcome, but for votes and political compromises ignore reality and favor immoral pragmatism for the greater good [ the equally immoral altruism noted above]

    Just my opinion. By the way, you can read Ms. Rand’s views on libertarians and choose for yourself if those views are justified or not. This might be fertile ground for another debate.

    Best wishes to all and thanks for the opportunity to learn.

Please keep it civil

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