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« Missing Headlines | Main | Official State Sponsored Palestinian Propaganda from South Africa »

November 29, 2007


Brett Chatz

The myth needs to be shattered: Terrorism is terrorism period

Murder, mayhem and carnage and intimidation against a civilian population cannot be justified regardless of the cause.

This comes as a shock to liberation movements and their military cadres the world over.

With so many groups currently listed on the world’s terrorist chart including: Baader-Meinhof, Red Brigades, IRA, ETA, LTTE, Shining Path, PKK, Hamas and others, why are some people still pussyfooting around the issue?

Terrorism is an exceptionally difficult concept to define and the choice of words used has to be precise. Words like killed or murdered have different definitions which are imperative to understanding the definition itself. Killing is justifiable in terms of the law but murder is not. To an unsuspecting observer the two concepts have the same end result, but they are radically different.

Terrorism targets both military and non-military in its wide-reaching network. No-one is safe and the choice of target is oftentimes indiscriminate. While planned attacks against military personnel are carried out, this does not detract from the terrorist component of the act. Guerilla warfare and highly organized militia character many terrorist organizations today.

It is important to understand some basic rules of engagement used by traditional military as opposed to terrorist groups

According to the Geneva Convention, a fighting force may not intentionally target civilians in combat. However, the presence of civilians doesn’t protect military; the presence of military endangers civilians. This is subject to two conditions:

• Discrimination: You must use all means at your disposal to discriminate between military and non-military targets given that you are not to target civilians in the first place

• Proportionality (A widely misunderstood concept by the media)
It has nothing to do with the amount of force used against your enemy: it has everything to do with the target of your attacks. If the military is relatively certain that a potential target is against an enemy military operation, then the amount of force used against such a target does not in any way violate the terms of the Geneva and Hague Conventions.

Terrorists are not freedom fighters because they do not play by any rules of engagement. Quite the contrary, they are a law unto themselves because they:

• Take civilian hostages
• They do not treat POWs according to internationally accepted standards
• They do not recognize neutral territory and citizens’ rights in those states
• They do not respect the dignity of diplomats and government representatives

All the left-leaning liberals out there, you decide - where does Hamas slot in?


Sadly, i think the UN general assembly would actually pass it.

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