The Rabid Conservative

Think Right, Act Right, Be Right.

The Conservative Underground: Day 10

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If it’s not terrorism, then what is it?

I’m referring to today’s interview between Chris Cuomo of ABC and William Ayers on Good Morning America. During his interview, Bill Ayers was questioned by Chris Cuomo as to whether his activities as part of the Weather Underground are deemed acts of terrorism. Ayers said, “It’s not terrorism because it didn’t target people”.

In the ’60’s, as a Weatherman, Ayers’ and his associates planted explosive devices at the Pentagon, at the NYPD, and attempted to do so at the Capitol. Ayers is unrepentant of these acts and even on 9/11, wishes his group could have done more. In these acts, two NYPD police officers were killed as well as three Weathermen (because of their inability to use explosives). However, Ayers disagreed with Cuomo’s definition of terrorism because it didn’t involve the specific targeting of people.

So, I did some checking into the actual definitions of terrorism and noted some very interesting argument and debate as to what is terrorism and what is not. In 2005, the UN wrestled with this because of different opinions about whether it was violence directed at just people (as Ayers maintains) or if it involved the destruction of property, whether the motivation was directed at influencing a government or if it included religions or ideological reasoning, and whether the intent was to kill people or merely to frighten.

The etymology of the word, “terrorism” suggests that the intent is to frighten someone into changing behavior, with the first instances showing up in 1793 during the French Revolution. With that definition, we notice that it revolves around whether the use of violence is legitimate and legal (for example, soldiers could not be accused of terrorism if their war has legitimacy – even though that is even subjective, based on who is being tried)

Today, the definition of terrorism, as a matter of governmental policy, is mired on interpretation and reminds me of SCOTUS Justice Stewart’s 1964 opinion about pornography: “I can’t really define it, but I know it when I see it.” I’m afraid the same can be said about terrorism.

The US (which really, is whose definition is the only one that really matters since these acts occurred in the US), deems terrorism as any violent or life-threatening act that in violation of criminal law which appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population to influence Government policy, affect gov’t conduct by mass destruction assassination or kidnapping (Title 18 USC Section 2331)

The UK and the EU agrees with this position, attempting to advance a political, religious, or ideological cause by intimidation involving serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangering life, or creating a serious risk.

However, while western society seems to have arrived at some basic consensus over what terror is, the rest of the world, particularly those in radical Islamic circles, have a different opinion, again, because of the legitimacy question. Radicals don’t see terrorism as such because they believe that the Quran gives them the license to commit violence, because it’s legitimate when attacking infidels.

As for me, I see that Ayers is dancing around the truth and is being intellectually dishonest (which is dubious for an academic as he is). He doesn’t want to admit what many in this country would agree to be terrorism, that, while he wholly disagreed with what was going on Vietnam, with 2,000 soldiers per month getting killed over there, that his actions were, indeed, acts of terror.

People like Bill Ayers disgust me no end. He admits that what the Weathermen did was “over the line in a political and legal sense and even in an commonsensical manner”. Yet, he does not regret anything that he did, because in his distorted view of reality, his acts of terror and demonstration were wholly legitimate.

Tell that to the NYPD officers you killed, Mr. Ayers. You’re as contemptible as they come and I can’t believe you are a citizen of this country. I’m a patriot. You’re far less.

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Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm

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