Wednesday, November 02, 2005


TERRORISM, INNOCENCE, HEROICS

David was a terrorist to Goliath. Didn't fight fair using a sling. No, that's not right! He was a hero. It's not how you fight but the killing of innocents that marks terrorism. Some say woman, children, and businessmen are innocents. Can property be innocent? Are some people really just property of others?

Slain farmers' families were innocent when they occupied and fenced hunting lands of the Apache Nation that had been cleared by the US army. No! They were usurping from the Apaches. Nat Turner was a terrorist when his guerrillas raided slave plantations. The owners were innocents. Laws said so, but slaves didn't write laws.

Were the mothers and children of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Hanoi innocents and the bombers terrorists? No. The pilots were heros, and those people weren't innocent. There was a war and lives of tomorrow's heros had to be saved. Besides, the targeted people supported their country's evil. Well, at least some must have. There was a homeland to be saved by destroying another. If not, foreigners would have soon been in hero neighborhoods raping mothers and sisters. Anyhow, all that stuff was long ago and best forgotten.

Well then, let's bring it up to date and consider what has changed. Todays invaders are not now taking anything from anyone. Well, just oil. Camels can't drink it and the price of gasoline is too high. Walk? Don't be silly, I'd never get where I wanted to go and that wouldn't be fun.

Did the people working at the World Trade Center and twin towers generally support or at least not oppose actions of their ultimate employers? Did they accept benefits from the global money handlers housed there? Were they innocent? Is anyone not wearing a military uniform innocent? Are any innocent of the actions of a nation who are not effectively engaged in actions to oppose it? What if there are no means of opposition without risk to oneself? How much risk acceptance buys innocence? Does paying taxes that support that disliked decrease one's innocence?

Were the kids dancing merrily before the boom in a Jerusalem night club innocent while their brothers occupied lands of suicide bombers? Where the kids wearing the bombs innocents, heros, or terrorists when they believed they were defending their homeland and families in the only way they could?

All conflict is ugly and brutal. People are maimed and die. Land is made ruin. There is no right and no wrong. Rules for conduct of warfare and designations of terrorism, innocence, and heroics are formulated in self serving motivation by intellectuals, politicians, and military chiefs not directly risking themselves in struggle. They are ignored by direct participants. For them, there are no innocents, terrorists, or heros, just death, destruction, and attempts at survival.

The jargons of power and war have no inherent meaning and tell more about those uttering them then the intent of their use.


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