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TERRORIST or NOT ?

By delmoi in MLP
Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 06:40:39 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Here's a pretty cool site, Am I a terrorist or not, basicaly takes historical and current figures and lets you decide if there a terrorist or not. What surprized me were the quality of the submissions, which include a couple paragraphs on the history of the person you just rated. The range is pretty wide too, from Ossama Bin Laden and Patty Hearst to Guy Fawkes and Sam Addams. And we can't forget. darth vader,Ken Star and of course Cats


This site actualy manages to ask the rather important question "what is a terrorist", and it's fun.

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Poll
Worst terrorist
o Osama Bin laden 9%
o Darth vader 21%
o Erie 0%
o George Washington 24%
o Bill Clinton 7%
o Hitler 36%

Votes: 41
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Am I a terrorist or not
o Ossama Bin Laden
o Patty Hearst
o Guy Fawkes
o Sam Addams
o darth vader
o Ken Star
o Cats
o Also by delmoi


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TERRORIST or NOT ? | 17 comments (14 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
Our Freedom Fighter = Their Terrorist (4.91 / 12) (#3)
by M0dUluS on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:35:47 PM EST

"By the mid- 1980s, the AP [Associated Press - a news agency supplying reports to the international media] used 'terrorist' about Arabs but rarely about the IRA in Northern Ireland, where the agreed word was 'guerrillas', presumably because AP serves a number of news outlets in the United States with a large Irish-American audience.
The BBC, which increasingly referred to Arab 'terrorists', always referred to the IRA as 'terrorists' but scarcely ever called ANC bombers in South Africa 'terrorists', probably because the BBC, in it's wisdom had decided that the ANC's cause was more 'justified' that the Palestinian's or the IRA's.
Tass and Pravda, [Tass being the Russian version of AP] of course, referred to Afghan rebels as 'terrorists'.
The Western press would never do this, even though the Afghan guerrillas - 'freedom fighters' or 'insurgents' were alternative descriptions - murdered the wives and children of Communist party officials, burned down schools and fired rockets onto the civilian population of Kabul.
A startling example of double standards occurred in September 1985, when a British newspaper reported that an airliner carrying civilian passengers had been 'downed by rebels'. Something wrong here, surely. Terrorists destroy civilian airliners. No one was in any doubt about that in 1988 when a bomb exploded aboard a Pan Am Boeing 747 over Scotland, killing all on board."
"But 'terrorism' no longer means terrorism. It is not a definition; it is a political contrivance. 'Terrorists' are those who use violence against the side that is using the word."
"To adopt the word means that we have taken a side in the Middle east, not between right and wrong, good and evil, David and Goliath, but with one set of combatants against another. For journalists in the Middle East, the use of the word 'terrorism' is akin to carrying a gun.
Unless the word is use against all acts of terrorism - which it is not - then it's employment turns the reporter into a participant in the war. He becomes a belligerent."
(From "Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War" by Robert Fisk page 439)

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
media spin (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by kraft on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 03:29:28 AM EST

Very nice qoute. Perhaps you are also familiar with FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting? They try to monitor the press, and account for unfair/unprofessional reporting. Worth checking out.

Anyway, they release a provocative newsletter, Media Beat, written by Norman Solomon. On oct 4th, the title of Media Beat was
Media Spin Revolves Around the Word "Terrorist"

But -- in sharp contrast -- Reuters has stuck to a distinctive approach for decades. "As part of a policy to avoid the use of emotive words," the global news service says, "we do not use terms like 'terrorist' and 'freedom fighter' unless they are in a direct quote or are otherwise attributable to a third party. We do not characterize the subjects of news stories but instead report their actions, identity and background so that readers can make their own decisions based on the facts."

Since mid-September, the Reuters management has taken a lot of heat for maintaining this policy -- and for reiterating it in an internal memo, which included the observation that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." In a clarifying statement, released on Oct. 2, the top execs at Reuters explained: "Our policy is to avoid the use of emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we attempt to report accurately and fairly."
[...]
Sadly, the evenhanded use of the "terrorist" label would mean sometimes affixing it directly on the U.S. government. During the past decade, from Iraq to Sudan to Yugoslavia, the Pentagon's missiles have destroyed the lives of civilians just as innocent as those who perished on Sept. 11.
[...]
It's entirely appropriate for news outlets to describe the Sept. 11 hijackers as "terrorists" -- if those outlets are willing to use the "terrorist" label with integrity across the board. But as long as news organizations are not willing to do so, the Reuters policy is the only principled journalistic alternative.


For me this is perfect. I wish CNN, BBC et al would maintain a similar policy. Makes them seem pretty biased in this light, doesn't it?

--
a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#17)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 12:34:53 PM EST

for the link, I don't go to FAIR as often as I should! They seem like they're very balanced and analytical. There are a couple of other places which I look at:
The Institute for Public Accuracy
Mediachannel
Indymedia This last is essentially a jumping off point for further analysis. A lot of stuff on it is just crap: opinion pieces, trolling etc., but they do also have genuine independent reports. You've got to use your mind and analyze and sort!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Sorry, +1 (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by SPrintF on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:53:25 PM EST

I'm very tired of this subject, but this is short enough and thought-provoking enough that I'm going to allow it.

For my part, I don't think the current instance of the problem is too complicated. The guys who flew the planes into the WTC are the bad guys. The guys who put them up to it should be killed.

I believe that introspection and examination of one's own motives is a good thing. But one shouldn't be afraid of making decisions and taking action.

Why? (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by jd on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 02:49:44 PM EST

Why should the guy who put them up to it be killed? Didn't these guys have free choice? Sure they did! At ANY TIME they could have said no. Even once they'd taken over the aircraft, they could have flown ANYWHERE. They had maximum fuel and a light load, and had they so wished, could have gone anywhere in the continent.

To argue that the person who gave the orders is responsible would be like saying that if someone e-mailed you a note telling you to play hopscotch on the Interstate, that they were guilty of murder should you go ahead & do it & get run over.

No, you can't pass the buck like that. Whoever gave the orders is responsible for the orders, but is NOT responsible for what happens thereafter. Otherwise, the country would be run by every nutcase who thought themselves Napoleon. After all, they're giving orders too!

To kill someone, simply because we disagree with the actions of their associates, is not to achieve justice. It is to achieve revenge. And an ironic revenge, at that. For those who stand accused would argue that their actions are in retaliation for our own.

We are retaliating over retaliation over some retaliation done as a product of retaliating for some Middle Eastern event nobody even gives a shit about any more.

My message to you, and to ALL who believe that violence is the answer, I say this: So did those who piloted the planes into the World Trade Towers. What makes YOUR revenge holier than theirs? When will people finally get sick of being on this mindless cycle of violence, kick the spokes in, and walk into some better alternative?

That doesn't mean ignore the acts. I've seen a lot of pathetic bullshit about how we've got to beat them up, 'cos they beat us up, and that the only alternative is to keep letting them beat us up.

Muhatma Ghandi didn't think so. From what little is known, Jesus Christ didn't think so. In fact, few serious philosophers, psychologists, military strategists, aid workers, 12-steppers, humanists, theologins or historians would agree with this "eye for an eye" mentality. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and we'll all be blind and toothless.

There ARE alternatives, which ensure our security AND which ensure that people are held accountable for their actions. Each of the aforementioned groups have promoted one or more such alternatives. If America isn't hearing any, then it's because America doesn't want to.

[ Parent ]

Right, sort of. (none / 0) (#15)
by Ludwig on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 12:51:09 PM EST

To use another example, Charles Manson shouldn't be in prison, since he didn't kill anyone. He just told other people to do it. Telling people to do something illegal isn't usually itself illegal. However, there are exceptions, and I think Bin Laden & the Taliban might be one.

Nuremberg established that authorities giving criminal orders are just as culpable as those that execute them, sometimes more so. To quote Justice Robert Jackson (no relation):

The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched....

The case as presented by the United States will be concerned with the brains and authority in back of all the crimes. These defendants were men of a station and rank which does not soil its own hands with blood. They were men who knew how to use lesser folk as tools. We want to reach the planners and designers, the inciters and leaders....

It is not the purpose in my part of this case to deal with the individual crimes. I am dealing with the common plan or design for crime and will not dwell upon individual offenses. My task is only to show the scale on which these crimes occurred, and to show that these are the men who were in the responsible positions and who conceived the plan and design which renders them answerable, regardless of the fact that the plan was actually executed by others....

The Charter recognizes that one who has committed criminal acts may not take refuge in superior orders nor in the doctrine that his crimes were acts of state....

By all accounts, Bin Laden isn't just a guy who said some crazy thing that someone else decided to act on, and the guys hijacking the planes weren't ordinary Joes making their own decisions. (I think they would've been considered mentally ill, especially in light of their education and class. If you convince a retarded person to rob a liquor store, you're the one responsible.) In any case, our motive in attacking Afghanistan isn't "revenge," it's to deny violent anti-American factions the resources necessary to carry out significant violence against us, and to deter future attacks by giving potential ringleaders pause before they carry out actions that might result in the world's most powerful military coming down on them and theirs like a ton of bricks. The value and efficacy of this strategem are open to debate, but painting it as mere revenge is simpleminded.

[ Parent ]
The case of calling it revenge (none / 0) (#16)
by jd on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 08:57:08 AM EST

I do see what you're saying, but collective responsibility has led to many a kangaroo court, as well as fairly placing that responsibility.

However, here are the points that raise so many red flags over what's being done, that some serious questioning (IMHO) is imperitive:

  • Several "training camps" attacked were actually villages. This CNN report describes independent verification that the purported targets aren't everything the US says they are.
  • The US has refused a trial of bin Laden by a third country - something they agreed to with the suspected Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing.
  • The US won't tell anyone what this supposed evidence is against bin Laden. We know, already, that there have been leaks, over this "war", and we know that the Governments who are supposed to have this information have more leaks than a Welsh pride festival. Yet we are expected to keep believing that everything's so locked down that not even one teensy scrap of a hint could possibly escape. Methinks the Emperor is wearing his New Clothes.
  • When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, they did so after extreme provocation by the US. Further, the attack was well-known to members of the British and American Governments, who elected to withold the information, to ensure that America would retaliate. The key word here is "retaliate". How, exactly, do you retaliate over a situation you've manufactured, in the first place?

So, we have a situation where it "turns out" that the US Intelligence knew damn well that these guys were on a suicide run, but "neglected" to say anything or do anything. We have a situation where "soft targets" (eg: villages) are getting trashed. (And don't tell me that was by mistake. I'm pretty damn sure that the special forces of Britain and the US can tell the difference between a drill seargent and a farmer. Further, the pilots damn well should be able to figure it out. If we wanted drone missions, we'd send drones. They're cheaper.)

The lack of any actual evidence, and the admission by the US Government that the evidence they claim to have would NOT stand up in court, is pretty damning in itself. What it means is they want this guy dead, they want him dead now, and they don't give a shit about procedure.

These factors, to me, reek of revenge mentality. A need to get this guy, no matter what, no matter how, and worry about the nicities later. If it were any worse, I'd seriously question if our beloved leaders were psychotic. This fanatisism is definitely splitting with reality, and it's scary.

[ Parent ]

Memepool Rocks (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by jayfoo2 on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 07:31:48 PM EST

I saw this on memepool a few days ago, damn funny.

I was surprised to see Cookie Monster from Sesame Street on there though, he was scoring almost 5. Add that in with Bert showing up on that poster and that's a lot of muppet in the mix. I wonder...

Quick clarification regarding Vader (5.00 / 3) (#7)
by tmoertel on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 07:46:18 PM EST

He's clearly not a terrorist; he's a project manager. That's all.

Give the guy a break.

--
My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]


I must say... (4.40 / 5) (#8)
by GreenHell on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 09:02:43 PM EST

...I enjoy he 'Dossier' for Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-khwarizmi... I'll quote it for those who don't want to vote and see what it says afterwards...

Wow, this guy must really be a terrorist. I mean, the Muslim name, the turban? Well if you gave this guy anything other than a 1, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Al-khwarizmi was a mathematician and astronomer who introduced hindu numerals and concepts of algebra into western mathematics. Without this guy, you'd be rating pictures from I to X.


and as of writing, he's got a 6.23 above Guy Fawkes' 5.89

-GreenHell
This .sig was my last best hope to seem eloquent. It failed.
The site informed me (none / 0) (#9)
by Verminator on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 08:40:25 AM EST

that Ken Starr was born on my birthday. I'm not sure if I like this. He may have to 'back off' and leave July 21st to me.
If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state subsidized alcohol! And our powerlifting team better kick ass!
rating (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by Ludwig on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 11:25:31 AM EST

Only problem is that the "Hell, I Dunno" option shouldn't have a voting value associated with it. It pulls down the scores of heinous-but-obscure terrorists and makes things like the Arab mathematician's 7-point-something score possible.

Uhh (none / 0) (#12)
by fluffy grue on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 10:11:02 PM EST

I think that's kind of the idea - play on peoples' conceptions, and point out to them that their prejudices are probably wrong.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Uhh (none / 0) (#14)
by Ludwig on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 12:09:32 PM EST

Well, maybe. I didn't really have any preconceptions about, say, Avraham Stern, though, aside from an assumption that he was Jewish and had a photo taken in the 30s or 40s. I only knew about the mathematician/astronomer guy because I read the comment here first. If I'd rated him a 5, admitting I'd never heard of him, and then gotten that dossier response deriding my supposed prejudice, I'd've been a tad cheesed off. It wouldn't keep me up nights, but still. Thought it was worth mentioning.

[ Parent ]
TERRORIST or NOT ? | 17 comments (14 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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