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Is firing on troops terrorism?(4 posts)

Is firing on troops terrorism?PdxMark
Oct 9, 2002 1:05 PM
Is it really "terrorism" when a person fires upon soldiers? Does it matter if the troops are armed when fired upon? Not that I endorse anyone firing on our troops, but it doesn't sound to me like "terrorism" if someone shoots at soldiers, especially armed ones.

If it IS terrorism when someone shoots at a soldier, is it terrorism when a robber shoots at a cop? What if the robber plans to use the money to fund a conventional terrorist attack on civilians?

It seems that we don't call these shooters soldiers because we don't want to legitimize their cause or for legalistic reasons relating to how they would have to be treated if captured. But what other words do we have? Terrorist. Criminal. Soldier. Anything else?
In this case, I think so.czardonic
Oct 9, 2002 2:42 PM
If you are refering to the Kuwaitis who fired on the Marines, that is.

By the new definition of terrorism, i.e. "anyone who is isn't with us", it is an open and shut case. Getting back to the actual definition of terrorism, I think the case can still be made. It sounds like this was not a case of opening fire on what they mistook as an invading force. If they did indeed know that the Marines were not participating in an act of aggression, and their goal was to make some kind of political statement, then firing on them was an act of terrorism. At least as much so as the bombings targeted at soldiers in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. It was an underhanded attack by an undeclared enemy outside of a theatre of war with no legitimate strategic aim other than to demoralize the enemy.

Criminals, on the other hand, are not terrorists unless there is some kind of political or ideological motivation for their crime.
Good points. From definitions it sounds like lawfulness is keyPdxMark
Oct 9, 2002 3:05 PM
Terrorist - One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism

Terrorism - 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.

But with such a broad definition, shouldn't we be careful about the lawfulness of any aggression we initiate? Whose law applies? The winner's?
In my view, the legality is secondary.czardonic
Oct 9, 2002 3:27 PM
I can think of a few situations where legal acts might be used to terrorize.

Rather, the intent to use fear to further a political or ideological agenda is where I draw the line.

From a moral standpoint, I think that we should be very careful about aggression that we initiate. From a practical standpoint, as much as I disagree with the sentiment, might does make right.