July 08, 2005

The Price of Scare Quotes

Meanwhile, Meryl is angry. I was merely going to leave her a comment about her post, but then Haloscan flubbed up and wouldn't let me, or maybe I offended it somehow (no, I swear I did not call Haloscan a skank but, oh, aren't you just some funny, funny people for suggesting it) . . . and then I thought, I really oughtta just link it.

Because she's right:

I feel terribly for our British friends. But I maintain that Al Qaeda has been directly influenced by the world's refusal to call palestinian terrorism what it is: Terrorism. Bombings in Israel have been shown to work, especially in the area of public relations. Yasser Arafat, mass murderer of Jews, was fęted the world over and actually won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Europeans are secretly (openly, now) dealing with Hamas. They refuse to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

As long as the world allows certain groups to use terror as a weapon and go unpunished for it, any group that wishes to do the same will continue to do so.

Until the world recognizes all terror for what it is—and that includes terrorism in Iraq, and especially terrorism in Israel—the terror groups will keep bombing civilians.

Let's stop ignoring the T-word, and call a terrorist a terrorist, and a terror attack a terror attack—no matter where it occurs.

This is what the current favorite terror euphemisms--"insurgent," "militant," "activist"--do: They help us devalue suffering. They make it bearable. They make it "okay." They turn blood and body parts and missing fathers, mothers, and children into "just another" bombing. Just another day in Israel. Just another day overseas. Just another day in "that part" of the world. What? Oh, it's okay, dear, it's nothing, just another explosion, yeah, Israel or somewhere--I don't know, you ask me, that whole part of the world's a mess anyhow.

It is not okay. Remember that the next time the news crawl mentions a deadly attack by Hamas militants. Remember how you felt when.

Posted by Ilyka at July 8, 2005 02:00 PM in hell is other people

They want to kill us. It's as simple as that. Some might want to convert -- they want to kill.

And our political correctness will ensure we're killed with ease.

Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but I firmly believe it.

Posted by: Margi at July 8, 2005 07:42 PM

I've read a good deal about Just War Theory, and it says, if you are engaged in a just war, you are supposed to try to minimize casualties of non-combatants. Terrorism tries to maximize casualties to non-combatants to make a political statement. Because I ascribe to the just war theory, terrorism is never justified.

Orwell said something along the lines of "Are there any Gandhis in Russia?" He also said Gandhi was successful because he could always get publicity, which is why we know of no Gandhis in Russia. Times have changed, no more USSR, the Internet, etc., Gandhi's methods can once again be successful.

Orwell was critical of Gandhi, but at least Gandhi showed a way to achieve his goals without violence. I pray that a Gandhi will show up in the Arab world, to show them the answer to their problems is not Bin Laden.

Posted by: Mark at July 9, 2005 06:59 PM

That's something to definitely pray for Mark. Ilyka, I feel your rage, Meryl's, Mark's and everyone else's because it burns deep within me as well. When I heard a Fox News guy say that the bus bombing reminded him of those "we hear about in the Middle East," I was screaming at the TV -- "You mean in Israel." Can't remember the last time I heard about one in the territories, in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, in Lebanon, etc. And Fox is one of the good ones. Sheesh.

Posted by: esther at July 11, 2005 12:49 AM