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The systematic use of violence to attempt to achieve ideological goals

Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a financial, political, religious or ideological aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity during the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-89) after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings] and again after the 11 September 2001 attacks and the 2002 Bali bombings.

Notable Topics


9/11 Could Have Been Prevented, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Apr 2004
Counters the claim that Islamists hate the U.S. because Americans love freedom and suggests that a non-intervenionist foreign policy could have prevented the Sept 2001 attacks
What makes the terrorist threat so frustrating is that it was entirely foreseeable. Anti-interventionists warned about it for many years. But the overseers of the imperial agenda smugly believed they could pursue their objectives with impunity ... the Bush administration — and the "bipartisan" political establishment as a whole — made sure that Americans would draw only lessons that did not threaten the interventionist program. Anyone who attempted to point the finger at those policies was stigmatized as an appeaser or terrorist sympathizer. By and large, the news media fell into line.
Bill Clinton and the Bogus Iranian Threat, by Sheldon Richman, 8 May 2014
Another chapter in the Iran "manufactured crisis" saga (based on Gareth Porter's book): how the Clinton administration was influenced by Israelis in framing U.S. policy towards Iran
The [Clinton] administration charged Iran with abetting international terrorism ... But was there evidence? ... terrorism? "Reflecting both the hostility toward Iran within the national security bureaucracy and the influence of the Israeli line on its Iran policy, the Clinton administration also adopted the same a priori assumption that Iran was a threat to the issue of terrorism," Porter writes. In other words, Clinton didn't need evidence. Porter provides several examples of Iran being falsely blamed for terrorism committed by someone else. The pattern of blame without evidence persists.
Related Topics: Bill Clinton, Iran, Israel
The Bill of Rights: The Rights of the Accused, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Feb 2005
Discusses the various clauses of the Sixth Amendment, with the rationales behind them and citing relevant court decisions
Is the Sixth Amendment relevant today? You bet it is, especially given the Pentagon's use of military tribunals in another country, Cuba, for people accused of terrorism. Ever since their arrest, people accused of terrorism at Guantanamo Bay have been indefinitely detained and denied the right to counsel, due process of law, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and even the right to know exactly what they are being charged with ... Moreover, the federal government is doing everything it can to deny accused terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses and to summon favorable witnesses ...
The Bill of Rights: Trial by Jury, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Jan 2005
Explains why a trial by a jury of ordinary people was considered an essential constitutional guarantee and discusses jury nullification in real and hypothetical cases
Might the Supreme Court uphold ... such laws under the president's "wartime" powers ...? ... [C]onsider the members of Congress, the FBI, and the U.S. armed forces. How many of them have publicly questioned the Pentagon's incarceration of American citizens who are labeled "terrorists" or "unlawful combatants" in the "war on terrorism" or the Pentagon's denial of habeas corpus, right to counsel, and due process to such detainees? ... [H]ow many have publicly opposed the sham, kangaroo proceedings ... for the Guantanamo detainees who have been accused of terrorism? ... Answer: Not very many.
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.
China: From Brutal Oppressor to Terrorist Victim, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Dec 2003
Describes how both the U.S. and Chinese governments changed their policies with respect to certain "terrorist" groups, in particular, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in China, to suit their own ends
Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage stunned the international community when he announced that the U.S. government had added the East Turkestan Islamic Movement [ETIM] to its official list of terrorist organizations ... Two weeks later the United States and China announced that the United Nations had added ETIM's name to the official UN list ... No evidence is required to add an alleged terrorist group to the UN list. Instead, it is an "honor" program: each member government of the United Nations effectively takes another government's "word" that some group is actually terrorist.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, China, Iraq War
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 3, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, 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
The Irish Republican Brotherhood ... soon became known as the Irish Republican Army, or IRA. 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. The newly recruited forces ... burned down the center of the city of Cork ... 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 Confession Backfired, by Paul Craig Roberts, 17 Mar 2007
Discusses world reaction to the "ridiculous" confession of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, admitting responsibility for "31 planned and actual attacks", and posits that the U.S. government has virtually nothing on the hundreds of detainees in Gitmo and elsewhere
The vast majority of detainees ... are hapless persons who happened to be outside their tribal or home territories and were kidnapped by criminal gangs or warlords who profited greatly at the expense of the naive Americans who offered bounties for 'terrorists.' The US government does not care that innocent people have been ensnared, because the US government desperately needs both to prove that there are vast numbers of terrorists and to demonstrate its proficiency in protecting Americans by capturing terrorists. Moreover, the US government needs 'dangerous suspects' ... to keep Americans in a state of supine fearfulness ...
UpdThe Control Cult, by Butler Shaffer, 21 Apr 2007
Comments, in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 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 such as "global warming"
In the months following 9/11, the control freaks came forth with their ... 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 ...; 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. Any objections offered by the handful of people who see the dangers inherent in police-states were casually dismissed ...
The Critical Dilemma Facing Pro-War Libertarians, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 14 Feb 2007
Discusses the contradictions faced by U.S. libertarians and conservatives who endorsed or encouraged imperial and interventionist foreign policies following the attacks of 11 Sep 2001
On one side ... were those libertarians who [argued] the only real long-term solution to terrorism ... lay in reining in the federal government's actions overseas, by ... bringing home U.S. troops stationed overseas, dismantling the military-industrial complex ... and prohibiting federal meddling in ... other nations. On the other side [were those who said:] This was no time to analyze ... U.S. foreign policy ... This was the time to hike military spending ... and unleash the CIA and the U.S. military to fight an enemy—terrorism—that arguably was more dangerous than the communist threat ...
Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Sep 2006
Discusses what would become the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA); note: in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled section 7 of the MCA unconstitutional, which led to the MCA of 2009
No matter how often federal officials couch their "war on terrorism" as a real war, they cannot avoid the discomforting truth: terrorism is a federal criminal offense, a law that was duly enacted by Congress. It is on the federal statute books. It is a criminal offense for which the feds have indicted and prosecuted many people—and continue to do so. Since terrorism is a federal criminal offense, it should not surprise anyone that people who have been accused of terrorism have been guaranteed all the procedural rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights during their criminal prosecution.
A Democratic Dictatorship, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, May 2006
Posits that "ever since 9/11 Americans have been living under dictatorial rule", examining the justifications given by Bush for exercising dictatorial powers
Under this power, all the Pentagon has to do is [have] the president [sign a document] labeling any particular American a "terrorist" ... Does the person who is labeled a "terrorist" have the right to appeal ...? No. Even if the [person] is a newspaper editor, a prominent celebrity, or a well-known anti-war critic, the president's determination is final. ... Are there any restraints on the ... type of punishment ...? No. Since [they] consider a terrorist to be an illegal enemy combatant, they refuse to be bound by the Geneva Convention, which provides long-established protections for prisoners of war.
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, holding that "In America, truth has become partisan"
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. The vast majority of the world's terrorists are the recent creations of Bush's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and of Israel's invasion of Lebanon and brutality toward the Palestinians. Bush is simultaneously creating terrorists and a police state. It serves no one but the police to make their power unaccountable. ... The challenges that America faces are not terrorism and oil supply.
Related Topics: Middle East, Freedom of Speech
Emergencies: The Breeding Ground of Tyranny, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, 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
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 ... we can rest assured that ... this latest hunt for "terrorists" by examining individual financial transactions of ordinary businessmen will result in the conviction and imprisonment of people who are engaging in normal business activity.
The Endless War on Terrorism, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 1 Sep 2004
Reflects on President George W. Bush response ("I don't think we can win 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. ... 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 ... In declaring that the war on terrorism can never be won, President Bush should have also mentioned that, coincidentally, the big beneficiary of all this is the federal government ...
Freedom, Security, and the Roots of Terrorism against the United States, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, 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.
"Free-Speech Zone", by James Bovard, The American Conservative, 15 Dec 2003
Provides various examples of "free speech zone" incidents as well as reactions in the U.S. and overseas
The Secret Service is duty-bound to protect the president. But it is ludicrous to presume that would-be terrorists are lunkheaded enough to carry anti-Bush signs when carrying pro-Bush signs would give them much closer access. And even a policy of removing all people carrying signs—as has happened in some demonstrations—is pointless, since potential attackers would simply avoid carrying signs. Presuming that terrorists are as unimaginative and predictable as the average federal bureaucrat is not a recipe for presidential longevity.
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, by Dan Sanchez, 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"
[The terrorists] also want our indiscriminate violence to radicalize Muslims in order to boost their recruitment. Also like the Sith, [they] 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 [George W.] Bush, and explicitly seconded by Osama bin Laden.
Is Obama Trying to Alienate Muslim-American Youth?, by Sheldon Richman, 7 Oct 2014
Examines the Obama administration's contradictory stances on the Islamic State (ISIS) and its outreach efforts towards young American Muslims
When Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited Ohio ... to offer help to the Muslim community against the allure of ISIS, "he faced ... a group of mostly Muslim leaders and advocates," the New York Times reports. "They complained of humiliating border inspections by brusque federal agents, F.B.I. sting operations that wrongly targeted Muslim citizens as terrorists ..." ... administration officials "have found that security rules put in place to defend America from a terror attack have played a role in alienating young Muslim men and women — the exact group being courted by the Islamic State."
Related Topics: Middle East, Barack Obama, Syria
It's Not War, by Sheldon Richman, 9 Oct 2006
Counters George W. Bush's contention about a the "war on terror" being a "decisive ideological struggle" by contrasting it to how Americans behaved during World War II
[One] sees a dramatic disconnect with Bush's words and assertions of power ... "Everything" hasn't changed since 9/11 ... Bush must know that what he says about the conflict is not true. There is no other way to explain why 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. It becomes war only if we make it so.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, World War II
A Legacy of Anti-Terrorist Failure in Lebanon, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Oct 2006
In the wake of a July 2006 invasion of Lebanon by Israeli forces, details Israeli and U.S. involvement in Lebanon, starting with the 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and the 1983 attacks on the U.S. embassy and Marine HQ
In June 1982, a terrorist organization headed by Abu Nidal (the Osama bin Laden of the 1980s) attempted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London. Nidal's forces had previously killed many Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) officials in numerous bomb and shooting attacks, since they considered Yasir Arafat a traitor for his stated willingness to negotiate with Israel ... Though the Israeli army initially justified the incursion as seeking to "root out terrorist nests" ... the subsequent occupation by the IDF would spur terrorist attacks on Israeli forces far beyond what Israel suffered before the invasion.
Related Topics: Israel, Lebanon, Ronald Reagan
A Letter From Butler Shaffer, 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 followed the herd, but in the end finding some cause for optimism
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 (to borrow from Richard Weaver).
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 ... Americans have been told by government officials "to watch what we say" and that "if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists." ... Furthermore, we are constantly reminded that the terrorists "hate us for our freedom and values."
The Most Absurdities per Kilo, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Feb 2006
Describes Operation Pipe Dreams, a group of raids led by the Department of Justice to confiscate drug paraphernalia, and particularly the attack on Tommy Chong's residence, subsequent arrest and sentencing
[A]s the U.S. government prepared to invade Iraq, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge raised the terrorist alert to the orange level and declared that “specific protective measures will be taken by all federal agencies to reduce vulnerabilities." Ridge added comfortingly, "It's probably not a bad idea to ... arrange some kind of a contact plan, [so] that if [a terrorist] event occurred ... the family [could] get in touch ..." Attorney General John Ashcroft, ... urged Americans to go about "with a heightened awareness of their environment and the activities [i.e., potential terrorist attacks] ..."
Obama's Iraqi Fairy Tale, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 28 Mar 2014
Examines, in detail, Obama's 26 March 2014 remarks about the 2003 Iraqi invasion compared to Russia's annexation of Crimea
Journalist Dahr Jamail writes,
According to the Bush administration at the time, the siege of Fallujah was carried out in the name of fighting something called "terrorism" and yet, from the point of view of the Iraqis I was observing at such close quarters, the terror was strictly American. In fact, it was the Americans who first began the spiraling cycle of violence in Fallujah ... The protesters had simply wanted the school vacated by the Americans ... But then, as now, those who respond to government-sanctioned violence are regularly written off as "terrorists." Governments are rarely referred to in the same terms.
Obama's Willful Foreign-Policy Blindness, by Sheldon Richman, 30 May 2013
Analyzes President Obama's 23 May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, later comments on Memorial Day and the reactions from Republicans
Obama says he wants to understand the roots of terrorism, but he just repeats bromides. "These threats don't arise in a vacuum," he said ... Obama shows no understanding that Muslim violence has been a response to generations of Western and most recently American efforts to maintain hegemony in the Muslim world. These efforts have consisted in direct overt and covert intervention, backing for brutal and corrupt dictators and monarchs, and enabling of Israel's repression of the Palestinians. From Osama bin Laden on down, the perpetrators of anti-American violence have consistently said so.
The Open Society and Its Worst Enemies, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 16 Jan 2015
Considers the 7-9 January 2015 attacks in Paris and contrasts the choice between an open, free society and imperialistic, militaristic foreign intervention
It's self-serving and disingenuous for the rulers of NATO countries to blame so-called "terrorism" on Islamic fanaticism. (The quotation marks indicate my reluctance to use a political term rigged so as never to apply to the U.S. government's conduct.) ... Politicians cynically exploit the public's understandable fear of violence ... So to whom do the people direct their anger—their rulers, who created these enemies, or "the terrorists" ...? You know the answer, and so do the perpetrators. The purpose of "terrorism" by marginalized groups is always the reaction and polarization it provokes.
The Politicians Are Scaring You Again, by Sheldon Richman, 16 Oct 2014
Comments on scaremongering efforts by Obama administration as well as opposition offiicials in order to gain support for military action against the Islamic State
What about terrorism? Veteran foreign correspondent Reese Erlich, who has been in northern Iraq recently, debunks the fearmongers ...: "IS [ISIS] is a vicious, un-Islamic, ultra-right-wing group ... But ... IS poses no more of a terrorist threat to the American people than al-Qaida and its offshoots." ... the Department of Homeland Security warns that "lone wolf" terrorism by "self-radicalized" Americans is more to be feared than an ISIS plot. The best way to avoid terrorism is to stop dropping bombs on Muslims. Meanwhile, everyone should take a deep breath. The risk of being a victim of terrorism is miniscule.
Related Topics: Barack Obama, Politicians
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. According to the Rettig Commission, Chile's struggle with terrorism resulted in 2300 (both sides) dead and missing. Pinochet's detainees number less than Bush's ...
Related Topic: Chile
The Reagan Roadmap for Antiterrorism Disaster, by James Bovard, CounterPunch, 8 Oct 2003
Details events before and after the 23 Oct 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut
At 6:20 A.M. on Sunday morning, October 23, 1983, a lone, grinning Muslim drove a Mercedes truck truck through a parking lot, past two Marine guard posts, through an open gate, and into the lobby of the Marine headquarters building in Beirut ... The explosion left a 30-foot-deep crater and killed 243 marines. A second truck bomb moments later killed 58 French soldiers. ... A surprise attack on a troop concentration in a combat zone does not fit most definitions of terrorism. However, Reagan perennially portrayed the attack as a terrorist incident and the American media and political establishment accepted that label.
Slipped His Moorings, by Charley Reese, 9 Sep 2006
Discusses George W. Bush's distorted view of reality based on his comparison of bin Laden with Hitler, Stalin and Lenin
Bush has so distorted his view of reality, he does not seem to realize that that most of our 'allies' in the Middle East are dictators, and 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
Somalia: US Foreign Policy and Gangsterism, by Justin Raimondo, 29 Dec 2006
Provides background on Somalia from 1993 to 2006 (the warlords period up to the Islamic Courts) and insights into the Ethiopian invasion backed by the United States
This latest American turnabout ... came about largely as the result of an imaginary confrontation between U.S. officials and supposed "terrorists." It happened a year ago, when U.S. government personnel investigating possible terrorist infiltration of Somalia landed at a makeshift airport just outside Mogadishu. No sooner had their plane set down uneasily on the tarmac than they heard shooting, and, assuming they were under fire, beat an unceremonious retreat. As far as the U.S. government was concerned, this was clearly an ambush, pulled off by terrorist elements possibly associated with al-Qaeda.
Related Topics: Ethiopia, Somalia
Trivial Dispute: Obama versus the Interventionists, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 30 May 2014
Examines Barack Obama's speech at the 2014 West Point graduation and points out the scant differences between him and those advocating military intervention, in arguments for continued U.S. meddling in other countries' affairs
More generally, the noninterventionist position recognizes that the threat of terrorism, which Obama says is the principal threat Americans face—is a direct consequence of long years of U.S. support for repressive, corrupt regimes in the Muslim world, the bombing and embargoing of Iraq, and the bankrolling of Israel's injustices against the Palestinians. Even American military officials acknowledge that antiterrorist measures—like drone killings in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia—create more enemies than they eliminate.
The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 21 Oct 2005
Examines whether foreign invasion, terrorists taking over the government and the federal government, through the President and its orders to a "loyal and obedient" standing army, are plausible threats to the freedom and well-being of Americans
Despite widespread fears to the contrary, there is no possibility that terrorists will conquer the United States, take over the government ... At most, they are able to kill thousands of people, with, say, suicide bombs but they lack the military forces to subjugate the entire nation or any part of it. Equally important, while the troops claim that they are protecting us from "the terrorists," it is the troops themselves — or, more precisely, the presidential orders they have loyally carried out — that have engendered the very terrorist threats against which the troops say they are now needed to protect us.
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 and counsels changing the interventionist foreign policy
Let’s remember that the "war on terror" (George W. Bush's label) is an industry from which many both inside and outside the government profit handsomely. Since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. response has poured trillions of dollars into the government-industrial complex. Agencies have multiplied and grown, and bureaucrats have acquired new power and prestige. None would want to give any of it up. But if things were to become too quiet, those Americans who pay the bill might wonder if it's all worth the great cost. Quietude breeds complacency. So a little heightened alert, from the complex's point of view, would be welcome.
U.S. Regime Change, Torture, and Murder in Chile, by Jacob G. 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 lack of action by Congress
Chileans remember the decades of military rule in their country, characterized by middle-of-the-night arrests, ... torture, executions, disappearances of suspected terrorists, and other human-rights abuses that eerily bring to mind the U.S. military's "war on terrorism" policies ... [T]he "We're here to support you and not ask questions" attitude of Congress toward ... 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, Iraq War
Warring as Lying Throughout American History, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Feb 2008
Recounts how U.S. Presidents and their administrations since James Polk have been deceitful about wars and military engagements
On May 4, 1986, Reagan bragged, "The United States gives terrorists no rewards and no guarantees. We make no concessions; we make no deals." But the Iranian arms-for-hostage deal that leaked out later that year blew such claims to smithereens. On November 13, 1986, Reagan denied initial reports of the scandal, proclaiming that the "'no concessions' [to terrorists] policy remains in force, in spite of the wildly speculative and false stories about arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments. We did not—repeat—did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages nor will we."
War, the God That Failed, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 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 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. Here is a place that is home to the shrine to Mohammad's cousin Ali Ibn Abi Talib, and Shiite teaching is that people buried here immediately enter paradise. 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, War
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state; talk given at the Wisconsin Forum in Milwaukee
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 [it] enough power, money, and managerial discretion to accomplish this goal ... [B]ut there is no way that the American government can kill every person on the planet who resents US imperialism. The attempt to do so will generate more, not less, terrorism.
What's to Lose?, by Sheldon Richman, 20 Apr 2007
Explains the benefits to most Americans if the U.S. government would admit defeat and withdraw its troops from Iraq, contrary to George W. Bush's claims
The losers would include the gang of neoconservatives who envision America as a "benevolent hegemon," a good empire that is indispensable to bringing order and enlightenment to the benighted people of the globe ... While it was rationalized as a way to make Americans safe in an unruly world, we can see clearly now that it has done the opposite. It has created terrorists and the rationale for terrorism. Even the government admits that terrorism is on the rise. The terrorist risk to Americans was always small, but if anything, the neocon strategy has made the risk larger not smaller.
Why They Hate Us, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Feb 2008
Examines the myth that the United States is hated because Americans "are free and represent democracy", suggesting Americans ought to "get curious" about what their government has done to foreigners over the last century
A country keeps itself safe from terrorism first by not forcibly imposing itself on others. Every imperial power has been the target of what is called "terrorism." But this term itself should make us suspicious ... [H]orrific crimes against innocents are included under that label. But one must ask how legitimate the concept is in light ... that applying it to any U.S. conduct is impermissible virtually by definition. Something is wrong when the United States in the eyes of many Americans is incapable of committing terrorism, but any resistance to U.S. impositions is condemned with that term.


'V for Vendetta', by Butler Shaffer, 20 Mar 2006
Review of the 2006 film V for Vendetta, praising both the story as well as the cinematography
Prior to my attending this film, I encountered reviews by a few statists who saw the film as a "defense of terrorism." Such a comment reveals more about the reviewers than of the movie itself. Any kind of resistance to tyranny is bound to strike terror into the hearts of members of the established order. Thus were the American colonials and Mohandas Gandhi "terrorists" to the British; the Warsaw ghetto uprisings and the French underground movements "terrorist" actions to the German government; and the organized resistance of Algerians acts of "terrorism" to the French.
Related Topics: Anarchism, V for Vendetta


The Antiwar Republican, by Ron Paul, Scott Horton, 4 Apr 2007
Transcript and MP3 audio recording; topics include foreign policy principles, isolationism, the Bush Doctrine, the "war on terror", the British sailors captured by Iran, presidential authority over state National Guard units and Guantanamo Bay detainees
Paul: ... So the war on terrorism is real. There is a clash, but I think we would be out of danger, if we would never have imposed our will on them by going over there and being in their face. I happen to believe almost everything that Osama bin Laden wrote about why they attacked us. It was nothing more than blowback for our policies over there–having bases on holy land. I think we would be a lot better off if we just had a more neutral policy . The war on terrorism would probably fade. Al-Zawahiri has been reported as writing ... that he hopes and prays we don't leave Iraq.
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
# First, I think we need to establish your take on terrorism. Is terrorism wrong?
It 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.
Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran, by Karen Kwiatkowski, James Harris, Josh Scheer, 27 Feb 2007
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; includes audio and transcript
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: ... The problem is ... it engenders hatred for Americans, contempt for Americans. It makes every American in the world a target for terrorism ...
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.

Cartoons and Comic Strips

Antiterrorism, by Clay Bennett, The Christian Science Monitor, 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
Partial contents: The First American War on Terrorism - Blundering to 9/11 - Plunder and Proclaim Victory - Salvation through Surveillance - Groping to Safety - License for Tyranny - State Terrorism and Moral Clarity - The Drugs-Terrorism Charade


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

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Terrorism" as of 29 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.