The systematic use of violence to attempt to achieve ideological goals


Terrorism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, or threat of violence targeted against innocents or non-combatants to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, to bring about compliance with specific political, religious, ideological, and personal demands. The targets of terrorist attacks typically are not the individuals who are killed, injured, or taken hostage, but rather the societies to which these individuals belong. Terrorism is a type of unconventional warfare designed to weaken or supplant existing political landscapes through capitulation or acquiescence, as opposed to subversion or direct military action. The broader influence of terrorism in the modern world is often attributed to the dramatic focus of mass media in amplifying feelings of intense fear and anger. State terrorism more specifically refers to violence and threats of violence, embargoes and other forms of terrorism against civilians by the government of a state. ..."


A Democratic Dictatorship, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, May 2006
"Bush's other justification for the assumption and exercise of omnipotent powers is his role as commander in chief of the armed forces during a time of war. What war? The 'war on terrorism,' which, again ironically, was the same type of war that Hitler declared after terrorists struck the Reichstag with a firebomb."
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Democracy
Boogey Bull, by Charley Reese, 28 Nov 2006
"... since there is no conceivable circumstance where all the terrorists in the world would collect in one convenient killing ground, you will never eliminate terrorists by military means. Terrorism is a product of politics and of injustice, real or perceived. Since human beings have no choice but to act on their perceptions, whether the injustice is real or perceived doesn't matter."
Emergencies: The Breeding Ground of Tyranny, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Examines the long history of "emergency powers" claimed by U.S. Presidents, including recent examples such as sanctions stemming from the International Economic Powers Act and the so-called War on Terror
"Consider the so-called war on terrorism. Justice Department prosecutors have been quick to apply the 'terrorism' statutes to cases that clearly do not involve anything resembling 'terrorism.' Conservatives are even calling for editors of the New York Times to be arrested and tried for aiding and abetting terrorism by revealing that the NSA was monitoring and recording telephone conversations without obtaining warrants."
Freedom, Security, and the Roots of Terrorism against the United States, by Richard Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Oct 2001
Reflections on the 11 September attacks a few weeks after, discusses the reasons for the terrorist attacks and proposes certain measures to deal with the situation
"... few Americans seem willing to ask the deeper and more fundamental question of why it is that America is the constant target for terrorist attacks around the world and now at home. ... The fact is that America has aroused the anger of these terrorists and others like them who are waiting in the wings because of American political and military intervention around the world. ... Every foreign intervention undertaken by the U.S. government, therefore, produces a potential underground army of terrorists who now believe that winning their domestic battles requires defeating the foreign interventionist power."
How It All Began, by Charley Reese, 15 Jan 2007
"... terrorism is a tactic. When the Clinton administration decided to bomb Serbia, that was practicing terrorism. If you want to know what real terror is, just wait until, God forbid, you're on the ground and somebody is dropping high explosives on you. A human being is defenseless against an aerial attack. You can't, of course, declare war on a tactic ..."
How Star Wars Can Lead America Off the Dark Path, 4 May 2017
Examines the first two Star Wars trilogies, drawing parallels to 20th and 21st century U.S. and world history, and draws lessons from the films that could help the United States from "giving in to the dark side"
"They also want our indiscriminate violence to radicalize Muslims in order to boost their recruitment. Also like the Sith, the terrorists want to breed antagonism. As ISIS proclaimed in its own official magazine, the strategy of its terrorism is to polarize the whole world into two warring camps (Islamists and Crusaders) locked in a black-and-white clash of civilizations, with no 'gray zone' in between. 'If you're not with me, then you're my enemy,' said Anakin after he turned, echoing a sentiment expressed by President Bush, and explicitly seconded by Osama bin Laden."
It's Not War, by Sheldon Richman, 9 Oct 2006
Counters George W. Bush's contention about a "decisive ideological struggle" by contrasting it to what happened during World War II
"President Bush tells us that in the 'war on terror' our very civilization is at stake. ... he has not asked for 'sacrifices.' He realizes that if he imposes sacrifices, the fragile support for his 'war on terror' will evaporate. ... America is not under siege. There is no threat to its integrity as a society. No barbarians stand at the gates ready to overrun and subjugate us. What we call terrorism is not war, but criminal action. "
John Gilmore on inflight activism, spam and sarongs, by John Gilmore, Mikael Pawlo, GrepLaw, 18 Aug 2004
Topics discussed include: terrorism, the drug war, encryption, censorship, spam, the end-to-end principle, the right to travel, anonymity, secret FAA/TSA rules, blogs, copy protection, free software and the EFF
"[Is terrorism wrong] depends on the definition of terrorism. I like the CIA's definition of terrorism from Stansfield Turner's book 'Secrecy and Democracy'. It was something like, 'violence or force directed at a small group of people with the intent to influence a much larger group'. By that definition, the US government practices terrorism every time it arrests a medical marijuana smoker 'because it sends the wrong message to kids'. Is that wrong? I think so."
Machiavelli and U.S. Politics, Part 4: War, by Lawrence M. Ludlow, 22 Aug 2005
Part of a six-segment series examining The Prince vis-à-vis contemporary U.S. politics; this article covers Machiavelli's simple advice on war and contrasts it with that of James Madison and Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan
"The next time you send money to your favorite charity, make sure that the U.S. government has not placed it on the hit-list of charities that are suspected of assisting terrorists. Of course, the U.S. government determines the definition of 'terrorism' as well as what constitutes a friendly rather than an enemy nation — which can change from moment to moment."
Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran, by Karen Kwiatkowski, James Harris, Josh Scheer, 27 Feb 2007
Interviewed by James Harris and Josh Scheer of Truthdig; topics include possible conflict with Iran, the Pentagon situation prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Office of Special Plans, Vietnam, terrorism and neoconservatism
"Terrorism is, obviously it has a political intent, but terrorism almost always, in fact I think in every case, when the political solutions are offered, when the politics change, when the people themselves change, terrorism stops. Terrorism to the extent that it is a crime, should've been treated like a crime, but instead we made it a war. Well there is no war with terror, terrorism is a tactic, you don't make war against a tactic."
Slipped His Moorings, by Charley Reese, 9 Sep 2006
"Bush has so distorted his view of reality, he does not seem to realize that ... the people he calls terrorists — Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah — participated in free elections. Even his so-called war on terror is phony. You can't wage a war against a tactic. Most of the groups he labels as terrorists are local groups with local grievances and don't think twice about us."
Related Topic: George W. Bush
The Case for Optimism, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Oct 2001
Relates the change in people's behavior after the September 2001 attacks, some standing up for principle whereas others were following the herd
"Doesn't the separation between what one is willing to espouse and to live by also help to explain the current American experiences with terrorism? As long as American bombs were falling in other parts of the world, and no pain was being inflicted at home, most Americans were content to ignore the human costs of such activities. But now Americans are facing the harsh realities that my students had to encounter in the prospects for their grades: ideas have consequences ..."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 3, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Jul 2004
Historical account of Ireland from 1912 to 1921, including the formation of the Irish Assembly, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty that concluded the Irish War of Independence
"Committed to direct violence, the IRA began a campaign of terror, to which the Northern Protestants responded by attacking Catholics. The British met IRA terror with terror. ... In August 1920, the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act was passed, relieving British forces in Ireland of almost all legal restraint. They tortured prisoners, sabotaged industries, killed family members of rebels, and shot civilians, including children."
The Control Cult, by Butler Shaffer, 21 Apr 2007
In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, comments on those who believe the causal factors can be identified and controlled by the state, and how this extends not just to gun ownership but many other areas
"In the months following 9/11, the control freaks came forth with their seemingly endless laundry list of additional mechanisms of control with which they promised to fight the 'terrorist' bogeyman. More police powers to enter people's homes — even without their knowledge; more wiretaps; more surveillance cameras in more places; more x-ray cameras; more background checks; more systems for probing into the human mind for motives and dispositions — an area of research now being perfected in England."
The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age, by Paul Craig Roberts, 29 Dec 2006
Compares past and present attitudes toward the truth and the impact of propaganda and other government actions on those attitudes
"Recently, Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, said that freedom of speech is inconsistent with 'the war on terror.' If it takes a police state to fight terror, the country is lost even if Muslim terrorists are defeated. Americans have far more to fear from a homeland police state than from terrorists."
Related Topic: Freedom of Speech
The Endless War on Terrorism, by Jacob Hornberger, 1 Sep 2004
Reflects on President George W. Bush response ("I don't think we can it") when asked about the War on Terror
"The president was right the first time — the federal war on terror can no more be won than the federal war on drugs can be won, and efforts to 'win' the war are only making matters worse for the American people. ... Thus, the reason the president felt the war on terrorism will never end is he simply cannot imagine a scenario in which the U.S. government isn't meddling and intervening and killing in the Middle East and he simply cannot imagine that the foreigners get upset over it anyway."
The Power of Propaganda, by Paul Craig Roberts, 27 Dec 2006
Discusses the history of Chile from 1970 to 1990, covering Salvador Allende's election and the military coup d'état that resulted in the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, comparing the latter's actions to George W. Bush "war on terror"
"Unlike Bush's war on terror in which US troops are fighting abroad, Pinochet was confronted with an indigenous terrorist movement. Chilean terrorists engaged in assassinations and bombings of public infrastructure. Pinochet was able to put down real terrorist movements with less damage to Chile's civil liberties than Bush's trumped-up 'war on terror' has caused to America's. ... To achieve reconciliation among Chileans, both terrorists and the military government were amnestied."
Related Topic: Chile
The U.S. Empire Provokes Terrorism, by Sheldon Richman, 8 Aug 2013
Examines the claims and behavior of the Obama administration in response to "terrorist chatter" supposedly intercepted by them
"The United States has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for a dozen years, but not because the former rulers are a direct threat to the American people. ... Al-Qaeda doesn't need Afghanistan. Bin Laden wasn't found there. Al-Zawahiri presumably isn't there. And the latest alleged unspecified threat comes from Yemen, 2,000 miles from Kabul. Doesn't that expose the 12 years of American-inflicted death and destruction, not to mention the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, as a monumental waste of life and treasure?"
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Lew Rockwell, 1 May 2007
Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state
"Terrorism is not something that any of us likes. We would all like to see a world without violence and bloodshed. This hardly distinguishes our generation from any that preceded. What is unique about our moment is that we live under a regime that has come to believe that the government itself can produce this result for us if we only give the government enough power, money, and managerial discretion to accomplish this goal."
U.S. Regime Change, Torture, and Murder in Chile, by Jacob Hornberger, 24 Nov 2004
Discusses the unwelcome reception given to George W. Bush on a visit to Chile and various reasons for Chilean animosity towards the U.S. government, contrasting it with general opinion about these matters in the U.S. and the inaction in Congress
"Come to think of it, the 'We're here to support you and not ask questions' attitude of Congress toward the president and the Pentagon in the U.S. government's 'war on terrorism' is no different than it was when the U.S. government was 'regime changing' and participating in the murder of an American journalist during the dark days of Chile's 'war on terrorism.'"
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Chile
War, the God That Failed, by Lew Rockwell, 15 May 2004
Contrasts the general reaction to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse vs. the mass deaths caused by the 2003 Iraq War, and the rationalizations made about the war with the excuses made by early Bolsheviks
"In Karbala, just yesterday, for example, US tanks rolled around one of Islam's holiest cemeteries in one of Islam's holiest cities, firing at anything that moved. ... Anyone who believes that such activities constitute 'anti-terrorist' measures is a blooming idiot. In fact, such activities, and this war in general, could not have been better designed to create and inspire global terrorism."
Related Topics: Communism, Iraq War (2003), War
Why They Hate Us, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Feb 2008
Examines the myth that the United States is hated because Americans "are free and represent democracy"
"Every imperial power has been the target of what is called 'terrorism.' But this term itself should make us suspicious. To be sure, horrific crimes against innocents are included under that label. But one must ask how legitimate the concept is in light of the fact that applying it to any U.S. conduct is impermissible virtually by definition."
Related Topics: Imperialism, United States

Cartoons and Comic Strips

Antiterrorism, by Clay Bennett, The Christian Science Monitor, 2006
Casualty Quiz, by Dan Wasserman, The Boston Globe, 25 Jul 2006
He says if you don't take a bite ..., by Wiley Miller, 21 Sep 2006
Invading Iraq, by Clay Bennett, The Christian Science Monitor, Oct 2006


Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil
    by James Bovard, 2003


Enough Is Enough!, by Ron Paul, 17 Nov 2010
Short speech announcing new legislation to curb the TSA and the notion that Americans have accepted being treated like cattle
Related Topic: Transportation