Tuesday, August 01, 2006
n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
If a state employs these same tactics, is it not terrorism? For example, China is in violation of a laundry list of Human Rights statutes. Most of these violations come in the form of political oppression, and the squashing of political resistance. Is this not terrorism? Is this not the unlawful use of force and violence to achieve a a goal for idiological or political reasons. If the "terrorist" is recognized as state by other nations, does that free it of terrorist implications? Where is the line drawn?
Remember the title given to the strategy of the US campaign against Iraq? President Bush's famous tagline on the front page of every paper had it as Shock and Awe. Is that not using violence, or at least the threat of violence, by an organized group against people AND property with the intention of intimidating a society for political reasons. In this case, the political reason was "democracy in the Middle East." In any case, we all learned that the campaign was a lot more than just a shock and awe treatment. The Department of Defense of the United States lists civilian casualties of the current Iraq war between 39,000 and 44,000. That is a clear use of violence against people or property.
I'm not saying Hezbollah is clear of wrong doing. They are just as guilty as anyone else I have mentioned. They are without a doubt responsible for the Marines barracks bombing 22 years ago. They also have a nasty rap in Northern Israel, and have tormented innocents there for a long time. However, they too are a massive part of the Lebanese government, and the Lebanese infrastructure. They contribute health care and education to a large population of Southern Lebanese, and they also keep the area safe from crime. They are armed, they have a political and military agenda, and they are arab. Those three things seem to add up to the only definition of terrrorist that this administration knows. We have no qualms in dealing with new friends China. President Reagan and the American public had no issue with our terrorizing of South and Central America. We certainly have never had any qualms with any regime in Israeli national history.
The Israeli government is now responsible for the deaths of over 500 Lebanese civilians (estimated account, it varies from every media outlet, but all agree the number will certainly shoot up once many of the bodies are pulled from the rubble.) The Israeli government is also responsible for the decimation of the entirety of the newly rebuilt Lebanese infrastructure. They have hit schools, shelters, roads, airports, and apartment buildings. Offices and businesses, which have just started to return from the devastation of the Lebanese Civil War, have already been bombed out again. The videos and reports on CNN, Al-Jazeera, and the BBC all show no sign of Hezbollah really taking a hit from this. Hezbollah are taking a cowardly way about attacking Israel by sneakily firing rockets into civilian cities, but don't believe that Israel is really making this many "mistakes." The massive hits we have seen leveling Beirut, Tyre, and Bint Jabiel have been carefully calculated and executed attacks. Israel is employing the same tactic Hezbollah is using, but they are not labeled terrorists. Sure, the media is starting to come down on their government harder every day, but where is the outrage and animosity? When Iraq did this to Kuwait 15 years ago it took the US and the UN less than one month to counter-strike Saddam Hussein. If Lebanon was oil rich, would we be calling Israel terrorist supporters?
We need to get our hypocrisies straightened out, and open our minds a little. The Arab world is garnering more and more hate for the US, we are creating new generations of Osama bin Laden's and Hassan Nasrallah's with our blind involvement and support for Israel. It is time we take a new approach to the war on terror. The war on terror will be won with jobs, food, and peace. Delaying cease fires, expediating laser-guided missile shipments, and military occupation creates more hate and violence. Not only are we not winning this war, we are giving it away. We're retreating and leaving stockpiles of weapons. I'm not looking to support Hezbollah or any other violent group for that matter, but let us look at all the angles before we are so quick to label and destroy.
Only three nations list the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist group. The United States, Israel, and Canada. The United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia only list the armed wing of the group. The European Union, Russia, China, and the rest of the world do not. Israel is not listed as a terrorist group anywhere in the world.
The photos provided by bbc.com, cnn.com, wikipedia.org. The first is the attacks on 9/11, second one is a photo of Hassan Nasrallah, the third of body bags after the attacks in Qana yesterday.