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(en) ACTS OF TERRORISM, ACTS OF WAR

From kk abacus <kk_abacus@yahoo.com>
Date Sat, 15 Sep 2001 01:35:37 -0400 (EDT)


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ACTS OF TERRORISM,     ACTS OF WAR

  From Venomous Butterfly
http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/vbutterfly.html

The recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, along with the one near Camp David in
Pennsylvania, were undoubtedly acts of terrorism. The
perpetrators of these acts hijacked passenger planes
full of people and crashed them into buildings without
giving a thought to the passengers of the plane or the
visitors who frequent the World Trade Center. The
indiscriminate nature of its violence, justified with
a political rationalization, is what distinguishes
terrorism from other forms of violence. But if one
thinks about this too carefully, some frightening
parallels become evident. What, after all, is the
bombing of hospitals, orphanages, residential areas,
rice paddies, rural villages–if not indiscriminate
violence? Yet this is the practice that the United
States government carried out in Viet Nam and Iraq,
and that the United Nations forces largely under U.S.
control carried out in Yugoslavia. Oh, of course,
there were good reasons for these acts, political
rationalizations to justify these acts of
indiscriminate violence. Yes, the parallels are,
indeed, frightening. But these actions carried out by
the U.S. government were acts of state, police
actions, acts of war–and this apparently distinguishes
them from acts of terrorism.
In this light though, the words of Senator John McCain
are telling. Speaking of the attacks on the World
Trade Center, the Pentagon and Camp David, he said,
"These attacks clearly constitute an act of war." But
if acts of terrorism can be acts of war, then the acts
of indiscriminate violence carried out by the United
States government and its allies in the Viet Nam war,
in the Gulf war, in the "police action" in Yugoslavia
must all be considered acts of terrorism–unless the
definition of the act changes depending on who does
it. 
In fact, if we look at the origin of the word
terrorism, we find that it traces back to the Reign of
Terror in France in the 1790’s, when the newly
established republican state used indiscriminate
violence to destroy all resistance to its rule whether
from the old aristocracy or from the underclass who
dreamed of taking the revolution much farther than the
mere founding of a republic. Thus, terrorism, in its
origin, was a practice of indiscriminate violence
carried out by a state to reinforce its power.
Furthermore, this new French state was supposedly a
democratic state–a rule by the people. According to
the ideology of democracy, the state is the people.
For the French state established in the 1790’s, this
meant that all enemies of the state were enemies of
the people, and this was sufficient justification for
the indiscriminate violence of the Reign of Terror.
But the equation of the state with the people provides
justification for terrorism in another way. If a
people are the state that rules them, then an attack
against those people is an attack against their state.
The method of warfare carried out by democratic states
throughout the world indicates that this is precisely
the thinking of the leaders of those states–to bomb
hospitals, schools, orphanages, rice paddies,
residential areas is to bomb the Yugoslav, Iraqi,
Vietnamese states. Should we then be surprised when
the contenders for state power who lack the resources
of the United States government use this same
horrifyingly democratic logic with the means they have
at their disposal? Though these people may not yet be
established in power, their acts can rightly be
considered acts of a state in potential–acts of war,
and so, due to the current methodology of war, acts of
terrorism.
The American state will use these recent acts to
justify intensified repression, the democratically
accepted suppression of freedom. Acts of revolt will
be painted with the brush of terrorism. But real
terrorism is always an act of indiscriminate,
rationalized violence aimed at the establishment and
enforcement of power. Thus one can rightly equate acts
of war, police actions and acts of terrorism. All are
acts of state–actual states or potential states. And
only the destruction of the state can bring an end to
terrorism. If, as Bush says, "we have seen evil", it
is in the terrorism the state imposes on our lives day
after day.

Venomous Butterfly
http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/vbutterfly.html


=====


Killing King Abacus http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/
Hot Tide Page  http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/analysis.html

Pagina Exceso http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/exceso/exceso.html


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