Terrorism: The word that now only means violence which isn’t ours.
By E.F Nicholson
The word “terrorism” has now lost all its meaning and value. Maybe it never had much in the first place but over the last 14 years it has become more and more of a blanket term that our governments carefully select as to who it gets used for and how best to use it to evoke fear in the public. The dictionary definition of terrorism is
“The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”
That said, I am still not sure what is the term for
The official or authorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims
I guess it’s called protecting our interests. The word “our” of course means “theirs” being the political class.
Who decides what is official or unofficial and how do we determine what authority can legitimately authorise the use of violence and intimidation continues to remain a very subjective process. In political terms and international law in the late 1930s, the League of Nations defined terrorism or what constitutes a terrorist act was as follows:
“Criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular people or a group of people or the public in general”.
So you could say that broadly speaking, the difference between a criminal and terrorist, is the terrorist uses violence and intimidation for a wider political agenda unlike the criminal that uses it for personal gain.
Then to be considered a terrorist organisation, it would be actions of a “group of people” who intend to create a state of terror in the minds of public by the use of violence and intimidation. The US state department has a list of what it defines as “Terrorist Organisations.” Obviously getting on that list is not a good thing but how it gets decided, or agreed upon, is totally an arbitrary thing. How you get off of it, is also an arbitrary thing. There is no formal international judicial process that concludes this verdict, rather it can be any organisation that the US state department decides to categorize. Getting on that list means you’re on the list of groups to destroy, you can’t trade, you are never given any legitimate voice and ultimately you are not recognised as anything other than a terrorist organisation. Hamas is currently on this list, who were in fact voted democratically to lead the people in Gaza. Being on that list makes it convenient to keep them as a pariah. David Cameron, when delivering his love bomb to the deceased Nelson Mandela, forgot to mention the Tories, during the 80s, saw him as a terrorist and his political party as a terrorist organisation.
Yet despite the broad subjective and arbitrary labelling what has brought the emptiness of the word “terror” to my mind, is what’s happening in Australia at the moment. Words are powerful and words are charged with emotional meaning and association, the word terror and terrorism in particular. The new laws, the Abbott government (with spineless bi-partisan support) has put through, are carefully named “Anti-Terror”. Not anti-crime or anti-violence but anti-terror. They are claiming this huge extension of power and reduction of accountability is required to thwart the growing menace of terror, which they claim, surrounds us and hides in the clear light of day. To then amplify this even further we have this facile “terror alert” ramped up to level “super scary” letting us know officially when we should be most scared and wary of getting randomly beheaded. Followed in lockstep loyalty to the political agenda is Australia’s mainstream media, talking about it, reporting, analysing and continuing to fuel the public’s fears even further. Yet you would think about what’s at stake there would be cause for far more objection and rejection of what is being proposed. As we witness a rewriting of the check and balances regarding how our governments’ security forces interact with the public built solely on the premise that this is what’s required to keep Australian safe from terror.
So what is this threat for which ASIO needs new power to do warrantless spying, the criminalising whistle-blowers and journalists and essential shut down of free speech? Well, so far we have their “word”, which is as rock solid as ice-cream and we then have a single arrest. After a coordinated national swoop down involving 800 officers across major cities in Australia, it has produced one single arrest for a supposed plan of ISIS motivated beheadings. Coincidently, as I explored in previous articles last week, this terrorist plot is just by chance foiled after we commit troops to another war and put forward these new anti-terror laws, fighting these very same terrorists. Wow, what a coincidence. I would imagine if 800 police officers swarmed houses randomly across the country they would uncover all sort of weird and criminal activity. My guess is given the access to ASIOS, it has to do with people’s personal internet and mobile conversation and communication, whoever this guy was supposedly talking to and if it was ISIS, he would be flagged and monitored a long time ago. Yet he was left sitting there like a ripening peach just waiting for the right time to be taken from the tree.
So because this person’s plan, let’s not forget that this is not actual violence, had a political agenda, he gets labelled as a terrorist rather than a crazy madman and the government gets to rewrite laws about our freedom and see themselves as justified in going overseas to bomb another country and kill further civilians. If you remember when news first broke about the horrifying mass murder in Norway committed by Anders Behring Breivik , based on the initial account Fox News the bastion of fair and balanced were already calling a possible Muslim terror attack. That some crazy Jihadist had gone on a terror campaign killing dozens of people. Yet when it was finally revealed this was a Christian on a crusade to rid the world of Muslims and any of their sympathisers, the word terrorist was suddenly dropped from the reporting. Yet here was a person that even had manifesto outlying his political reason for his killing spree. He was, by every modern day definition, a “terrorist”. Yet Christian terrorist just doesn’t fit the narrative of the status quo. So he was given the label “serial killing psycho” or something along those lines. The same happened when Brauch Goldstein stormed a mosque and opened fire, killing 29 worshippers and wounding more than 125 in the Cave of Patriarchs in the West Bank. Again done for political reasons aimed very much at invoking fear and terror in the existing Muslim community. Just like Breivik it seemed impossible to apply the definition of terrorist to this act that occurred. Glenn Greenwald describes this well
“Labelling the violent acts of those Muslim Others as “terrorism” – but never our own – is a key weapon used to propagate this worldview. The same is true of the tactic that depicts their violence against us as senseless, primitive, savage and without rational cause, while glorifying our own violence against them as noble, high-minded, benevolent and civilized (we slaughter them with shiny, high-tech drones, cluster bombs, jet fighters and cruise missiles, while they use meat cleavers and razor blades). These are the core propagandistic premises used to sustain the central narrative on which the War on Terror has depended from the start (and, by the way, have been the core premises of imperialism for centuries). That is why those most invested in defending and glorifying this War on Terror become so enraged when those premises are challenged, and it’s why they feel a need to use any smears and distortions (he’s justifying terrorism!) to discredit those who do”
This danger of terrorism that is in our midst, is a danger that Attorney General Brandis claims is as serious or maybe even more serious than the USSR having hundreds of nukes poised ready to destroy earth and all its inhabitants. So he wants the public to believe that maybe 20 Muslim extremists living in the western suburbs of Sydney, armed with some knives and internet fuelled delusion of fighting a Jihad, is greater than the threat of eminent nuclear annihilation? Then ISIS, this so called “global terror threat” is group of 15,000 extremists 10,000 km away who have created an imaginary country for themselves, with no air force, no navy and no legitimacy in the international community, armed only with the weapon we gave them, is somehow a threat to the Australian public? Really Mr Brandis, really??
So let’s be clear that there may be some threat from these ISIS sympathisers but in relation to all the other threats we face here and abroad, it is minuscule. This is ruse, a long-con, a Goebbels inspired piece of propaganda aimed at creating a legal structure for the crooks who run this country to steal and pilfer more and be even less and less accountable. The word terror is just part of modern day lexicon of Orwellian newspeak, like collateral damage and military advisors or humanitarian missions. These words constitute a language of deception and subterfuge. If you have ever come into contact with a genuine narcissist, you have to remind yourself all the time to think the opposite of everything they say, when they say
“I am such a trusting person”
You think “you cannot be trusted”
They say “why it is that everyone seems so selfish”
You think “they are selfish”
And “actually the truth is I am the victim here”
Then you know “they are perpetrators for sure”.
The same goes with our government.
“We are going to bomb Iraq and Syria to help them”
Means “They are going to Iraq and Syria to help themselves”.
“You are not safe from the terrorists in your midst, you need us to protect you”
Is really “You are not safe from us, you need to protect yourself from what we do to you”
“These new anti-terror laws won’t target journalists”
Is really “These anti-terror laws will specifically target journalism”.
And on it goes
As the truth is in the last 60 years the biggest instigator of terror have been the former Soviet Union, Chinese communist government and NATO. In particular, the last 20 years U.S and its allies have terrorised the whole world.
Imagine living in Yemen or parts of Pakistan and have the hum of drones above you day and night never knowing when a missile could be dropped, never knowing on who and why it is happening in the first place. It would be like walking down the main street of a town knowing there was sniper in the building that will, every day, kill at least 7 people. How terrifying would it have to be to live like that every day?
Could you imagine being a normal family living in Bagdad the day “shock and awe” came raining down on them, electricity down, communication with other family member gone, bombs going off everywhere, people screaming, people dying, panic everywhere, looting mayhem. You, with your 3 kids and you mother in law huddled in your lounge room, how utterly terrifying would that have been for the 3.8 million population of Bagdad. Then to find out that it is just the beginning, as a whole Pandora box of destruction and bedlam gets unleashed, that up until this day has still not been put to rest.
This are just two examples from dozens of direct or by proxy horror stories we have created in our name. We have instigated illegitimate and unauthorized violence and intimidation for political and financial interests, “terrorism” while convincing the public that this is all for their safety and wellbeing, is a masterpiece of mass manipulation.
As it us, our government and their allies that are the terrorist and they wreak terror on any government or people that do not bend to their whim and support and prop up the terrifying regimes that do. The only difference between the horror brought about by the Nazi party and the horror brought about by western governments over the last 50 years is that the west is way better at its propaganda. If Goebbels could witness how we get away with, what we get away with, he would get green with envy and that says it all.