Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do

It’s Not Terrorism When WE Do It ….

The United States is arguably the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, although we call it “self defense” and fighting “humanitarian” wars.

But when other people – especially brown-skinned people who wear funny clothes – do the same things that we do, we label it as terrorism.

Mark Selden – Bartle Professor of History and Sociology at Binghamton University – explains:

American politicians and most social scientists definitionally exclude actions and policies of the United States and its allies” as terrorism.

For example, the American military  indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see this),  calling it “carefully targeted strikes”.  When others do it, we rightfully label it terrorism.

When Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target  people attending funerals of those killed – or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured by –   previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism.  But the U.S. government does exactly the same thing, without any criticism by government apologists.

Torture is a recognized form of terrorism.  The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this).

But the government and its lackeys tried to say that American waterboarding in the “war on terror” was not torture.   When asked during his 2008 presidential bid whether waterboarding was torture, Rudy Giuliani answered:

It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.

Indeed, we have a long history of using bombs and violence as a way to scare the civilian populations into seeing things our way.

But that is never labeled terrorism by the U.S.  Instead, anyone who simply disagrees with U.S. policy (including those with the nerve to criticize the wars on brown-skinned people throughout North Africa and the Middle East planned 20 years ago) may be targeted with the  terrorist  label.

Why Are the American People So Easily Fooled?

As the Atlantic points out:

Since 9/11, many Americans have conflated terrorism with Muslims; and having done so, they’ve tolerated or supported counterterrorism policies safe in the presumption that people unlike them would bear their brunt. (If Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD sent officers beyond the boundaries of New York City to secretly spy on evangelical Christian students or Israeli students or students who own handguns the national backlash would be swift, brutal, and decisive. The revelation of secret spying on Muslim American students was mostly defended or ignored.)

In the name of counterterrorism, many Americans have given their assent to indefinite detention, the criminalization of gifts to certain charities, the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens, and a sprawling, opaque homeland security bureaucracy; many have also advocated policies like torture or racial profiling that are not presently part of official anti-terror policy.


It ought to be self-evident that non-Muslims perpetrate terrorist attacks, and that a vanishingly small percentage of Muslims are terrorists, but those two truths aren’t widely appreciated in America. That doesn’t mean they won’t reassert themselves, for terrorist attacks have always been with us; the tactic has never been exclusive to a single ideology for very long; and the power the state marshals against one sort of terrorist is sure to be first to hand when another sort strikes.


Having flattened so many laws (and a good many innocents) in pursuit of the terrorist, the American majority is naturally loath to focus its attention on a terrorist who looks, talks, and dresses as they do. It is particularly uncomfortable for those in the country who feel most reflexively safe when “an American” is beside them on a plane, instead of a bearded man with a turban. Watching [the Sikh temple massacre], that subset of Americans was put in a position to realize that a day prior they’d have identified with the terrorist more than his victims.

And so they quickly looked away.

History shows that when people try to ignore terrorism done to others – pretending that it doesn’t effect them – they end up vulnerable, alone and exposed.

And letting our fear of terror get out of hand makes people stupid.

And it should be clear that the failure to really investigate 9/11 (and the government’s bumbling incompetence or worse) has led to the spread of terrorism.  Specifically, there was state support for 9/11 from at least one government … and yet we haven’t changed our foreign policy based upon that fact.  And if people knew that 9/11 was preventable,  they would demand real national security, instead of the ruthless global war and shameless fear-mongering which has been the government’s response to those attacks.

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  • The saying goes: “Ones’ terrorist could be others’ freedom-fighter”.

    For example, one of Israel’s “freedom fighter”, Feivel Eliash 91, a Polish Jew, was among the group of Jewish terrorists who blew-up Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on July 22, 1946. The terrorist-bombing killed 92 Arab, British, Greek, Armenian and Jewish civilians and wounded 58. Feivel Eliash was a member of European Jewish militant group, Irgun Tzvai Leumi, headed by Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin.

    Now, his grandson, Niv Elis, Breaking News Editor and blogger for the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post admits that his grandfather was indeed a Jewish terrorist.


  • Ernesto Jones

    It’s certainly possible to define terrorism broadly enough to encompass American military policy, but then the word has no useful meaning.

    Terrorism is intentionally targeting innocent civilian non-combatants for the purpose of eliciting terror in a population and causing them to bend to the will of the perpetrator. The American military doesn’t do that.

    • jay joffe

      that’s exactly what they do ernesto. open your eyes. the u.s. military terrorizes the u.s. public. the n.d.a.a. is not there for nothing.

    • Kirk Patrick

      Not the besto from Ernesto. The US official policy is that it’s ok for us to rape children with instruments covered in battery acid in front of their parents to get a confession from someone ACCUSED of terrorism but who is PROBABLY INNOCENT. This is TARGETING INNOCENTS. Blowing up a wedding where there MIGHT BE one terrorist is TARGETING INNOCENTS. Also, see the TSA – do you not see them targeting EVERYONE FOR SCANNERS??

    • Let’s see…

      – The assassination campaign in Vietnam did that.

      – That was the object of mass bombing of cities in the Second World War, to work on civilian morale.

      – The U.S.A. participated in that part of the blockade targetting civilians during the First World War (granted, its main objective was war making capacity, but still it had collateral damage).

      – There was pacifying the Philippines.

      – Does Sherman’s March to the Sea in the 1860s count?

      – How do the Mexicans feel about Winfield Scott’s methods?

      – The invaders deliberately burned out civilian areas of Canada during the British-American War, and not in response to British measures either.

      – And the rebels viciously suppressed the Loyalists in the 1770s, though strictly speaking that wasn’t the U.S.A. doing it but a founding expression of the U.S.A. (tu quoque, “you did it too”, is not a rebuttal; even if the Loyalists did it, it’s something the rebels put into the country they were creating).

    • Bob MO

      Hiroshima is one example

  • gozounlimited

    And your afraid of an illustrious pseudo boogeyman when your own government wants you dead? Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to ‘prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens’ by the federal government.

    In other words,

    In the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens.

    read more: http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/us-government-proposes-law-making-it-illegal-for-them-to-kill-you-8378/

    • gozounlimited

      Maybe you should hold onto your weapons….. looks like you are going to need them.

    • Bev

      Rep. Dennis Kucinich is brave and good to work so hard to benefit and protect all Americans. Support and protect him.

      And, he has a new Action PAC to increase the power of regular people together.

      Kucinich is interviewed at current:

      Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) talks about changing the system and empowering the little guy in politics. His new Kucinich Action PAC provides a way to counterbalance big money, allowing people to give money to candidates who support issues of peace, jobs, fair trade, health care and a clean environment. “These are the kinds of things that are being frustrated by politics for sale,” says Kucinich.


      I am pleased to announce the formation of Kucinich Action, a new organization dedicated to empowering individuals to engage with the political process.

      With this new organization, we endeavor to build a powerful grassroots movement to return the power to the people in our political system. Kucinich Action is a natural evolution of what our movement has been doing: standing up, speaking out, acting on our beliefs, and changing the outcome on behalf of the people. We will also empower individuals with the skills to participate and engage in the process of government decision making at all levels.

      With this new organization, we will courageously advocate for dynamic initiatives and identify and support bold, independent-minded leaders – leaders who are strong enough and wise enough to advocate and implement the policies to transform our communities, our nation, and our world.

      Throughout history, we have seen individuals rise up and change the direction of our nation. Together, we can strengthen our communities, create peace, regain our liberties, reform monetary policy, conserve the air, water and land, and reclaim our nation.

      It is time to take charge.
      Join the movement


      He is also determined to have the public/government take control of money creation away from bankers’ debt money (you can never get out of debt when your money is debt).



      Announcing the 8th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference
      at University Center in downtown Chicago, Sept. 20-23, 2012

      Register by phone at (224) 805-2200

      The American Monetary Institute proudly announces its 8th annual Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago. Our conferences launched the modern grass roots movement for U.S. monetary reform and thereby World reform. You are invited to attend this important meeting in beautiful downtown Chicago. Our money system clearly needs a serious overhaul to secure economic justice, peace and prosperity as we enter the 3rd Millennium. True reform, not mere regulation, is necessary to move humanity away from a World dominated by fraud, warfare and ugliness and toward a World of justice and beauty. You can avoid discouragement and join with us in this adventure to achieve positive money results for America and the world.

      Don’t be discouraged because the villians who created the present crisis, have manipulated governments to bail them out. The media, which has made such “errors” possible, and the economic theories behind banker activities already stand accused in the public mind.

      Main Themes of the Conference: Implementing Monetary Reform now!

      The Conference examines the essential elements of monetary reform needed to place time on the side of justice. We focus on Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED, HR 2990), introduced into Congress on September 21, 2011, which contains the necessary provisions to achieve real and lasting monetary reform.

      We continue examining the problem of usury. Is it a necessary part of “free market economics?” Is it a destroyer of nations? Or is it both? The deeper concept of usury is an anti-social misuse of the money mechanism for private gain. This classical definition of usury is how our present privatized monetary system malfunctions.

      A Different Kind of Monetary Conference

      The situation in which real monetary reformers find ourselves is that after years of study, we already know most of the broad shapes that monetary reform must take. These views have stood the test of time, and challenges from those with less experience or operating under misconceptions or pursuing non-reform agendas. It is time to implement the elements that must be part of good reform.

      What are these broad national parameters supported by over 3000 years of history? That the control of the money system must shift away from private control toward governmental control. Away from commodity money notions; away from fractional reserve banking – using debt for money. Towards money issued interest free by government and spent into circulation for the common good. All serious reformers understand that we must replace our private credit system with a government money system, ending what is known as fractional reserve banking. Anything less should be viewed as a diversion, at this critical time.

  • Battlefield Earth

    Its high time that the world realizes what has been going on. The blue marble has in fact turned black.

    The present day system cannot survive without some major elements that have built it to become a monster or time bomb bound to self destruct eventually

    In my opinion the following are those major elements:
    1) The mainstream corrupt corporate media – poisoning the mind of the masses.
    2) The corporations – not all but many – especially the bigger ones with resource exploitation and world dominance set as priorities on the list of their very objectives.
    3) The greedy world of reckless finance – banks – creating money out of thin air and enslaving the masses
    4) The money worshipping politicians
    etc etc.

    Well it has been the usual course of action of the western governments when they go to war without a sensible purpose – well money and power is all that matters today – so they do have a purpose. But this purpose of theirs is not worth getting fuelled, funded and supported by the people.
    The game heavily depends on public opinion – you all know that very well – mess up their minds so much that they do not oppose or protest every time you take your army to war in another innocent country – at least – not guilty enough to be punished by inhuman warfare and bombs etc.

    So its time for the masses to wake up and stand firm against the ruthless aggression of the globalist elite.

    Deny what ever they tell you – especially if you’ve just switched on the CNN or BBC or FOX etc.

    And please, for God’s sake , all of you keep religion out of it. It has nothing to do with killing innocent civilians. No religion teaches to kill without a legal purpose. Its the ideology that governs life. Since no religion propagates such ideas, the militants ( presented as the Villains) opposing the western armies (as the Heroes) must be following some other ideology. Well they get their dollars and ammunition from the somewhere outside for sure.

    Wake up every one…… A very good post by the way.

  • Battlefield Earth

    Once again , as I wrote earlier, Terminology plays a key role on messing up the mind of the audience.

    Since when did killing people by the hundreds become humanitarian or just??

    So, Criminalise WAR, especially the American type : Pick on the little guy !

  • Battlefield Earth

    Here is a list of some examples of the double standards employed widely by the media, the government and its allies (or apologists or pets !)

    1- Nato forces bomb a city – they are fighting extremism and doing the right thing

    Al-Qaeda or some other CIA funder group does the same – thats why nato is bombing the cities

    An individual or a group defends itself by firing back – Terrorists , Extremists, Insurgents !

    2- The government and the too big to fail banks don’t pay off their debt – They are trying their best to solve the problems of the economy. Thats why the people need to pay more taxes.

    The common man doesn’t pay off the debt – He is a criminal; his house is taken away and he’s left helpless, plunging deep into debt by the day. He cant even borrow to buy food etc.

    3- Qadafi , Saddam or Assad kill CIA funded insurgents – They are ruthless dictators punishable.

    Obama and Bush seize the rights of citizens and kill them directly or indirectly – They are doing every thing for the greater good and Democracy.

    4- The US intervenes every where to establish democracy there.
    Its closest ally Saudi Arabia is a monarchy.

    5- Hitler was a ruthless fascist
    But Truman was a hero – he ordered for Nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    6- Russia is bad as it is providing support to Syrians to defend themselves
    USA and UK are heroes as they provide support to insurgents to destabilize the Assad regime – ruining the peace prevailing in the country prior to Nato intervention attempts.

    7- Israel bombs cities of Palestine killing unarmed children, women and men

    Palestinians fight back killing 1 Israeli for every 100 Palestinians killed – they are terrorists deserving punishments. One Israeli soldier is worth more than 1000 Palestinians in exchange.

    It will consume many pages if I were to write all of such examples.
    The point is its the image thats being built inside the mind of the innocent audience to keep them asleep and indifferent to the actions and policies of the government.

  • Listen to this Son of an Israeli General, tell exactly what it is, that Zionists in America are supporting:

    Jewish Man Exposes Israel’s LIES

  • Reality Check: The U.S. Government created ‘Al-Qaeda’?

  • http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/forum/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=CMPmarijuanaparty&Number=6665&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5

    That is a link to my trip, so far, through the infinite tunnel of deceits …

  • vera

    George Bernard Shaw put it best: If you mow down all the laws to get to the “Devil”, what will you do when the “Devil” turns around…? (my version as remembered) . The “devil” is in quotes (the true use of quotation marks, which is that it is said to be so, but not necessarily is–something the generally illiterate population, including those with degrees, seem to no longer know also..) because there is also the question if what one is following is truly that, or projected onto AS that, in order to mow down all the laws as an excuse. Ye gods, folks, do you really want to live and then die this blindly–and meanheartedly???