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Bluebird
10-07-2005, 22:43
Well, as I had a lazy Sunday at home today - I decided to do some catching up on things on the net. Hereby, I came across an intersting blog, which led me to this and posting this post. So, without further ado - here it is.

The BBC--It's "Terrorism" When it Happens to You:

Not long ago, the BBC said that it never used the words "terrorism" or "terrorist" because, and I quote, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Thus, for example, if Hamas blew up a bus in Tel Aviv, the "T" words were never used. But, in the aftermath of the London bombings, go ahead and search the BBC's website for "terror," "terrorism," and even "terrorist." It turns out that when Islamic fanatics are blowing up trains and buses in YOUR city, one man's terrorist is another man's terrorist. Hat tip to HonestReporting.com for bringing this to my attention.

So, I dug a little further - and as the man (above) suggested, I went into the BBC search engine - typing in the word "Terror"....Very interesting.....

Terror

We must report acts of terror quickly, accurately, fully and responsibly. Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgements. The word "terrorist" itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution. We should let other people characterise while we report the facts as we know them.

We should not adopt other people's language as our own. It is also usually inappropriate to use words like "liberate", "court martial" or "execute" in the absence of a clear judicial process. We should convey to our audience the full consequences of the act by describing what happened. We should use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as "bomber", "attacker", "gunman", "kidnapper", "insurgent, and "militant". Our responsibility is to remain objective and report in ways that enable our audiences to make their own assessments about who is doing what to whom.

I leave you to make of it what you will....

To me, this smacks of political correctness, gone mad and pervading the corridors of a (or what was) a great institition.

However, how times have now changed the vernacular, at the BBC there.

Sources:

http://volokh.com/posts/1120959543.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/edguide/war/mandatoryreferr.shtml

jchidg1
10-07-2005, 23:22
This is not the BBC I recognise and have watched for the last week.

Bluebird
10-07-2005, 23:26
This is not the BBC I recognise and have watched for the last week.Me too....Till I read their editorial policy(s), I'd never had guessed. Follow the link(s), in my post...

J.D.
10-07-2005, 23:36
You didn't clearly seperate your words from those you are quoting so I may be wrong but you seem to be saying that 'to define your terms is political correctness'.

From your use of 'smacks of' I take it that you dislike political correctness, at least political correctness for the sake of political correctness anyway. A thinking man's perspective I would say. Hence I have trouble imagining these two ideas being in the same head.
Could you clarify your position for me?

Bluebird
11-07-2005, 00:08
You didn't clearly seperate your words from those you are quoting so I may be wrong but you seem to be saying that 'to define your terms is political correctness'. And, here (although this is off topic) one could even argue, the toss over what is (exactly) political correctness?

From your use of 'smacks of' I take it that you dislike political correctness, at least political correctness for the sake of political correctness anyway. A thinking man's perspective I would say. Hence I have trouble imagining these two ideas being in the same head.
Could you clarify your position for me?I have no objection to rules and guidelines....That's all for the common good and sense. And you raise a good question cum-point. And, yes, dead you're right, I am against political correctness for the sake of it.

However, I am not sure where the BBC gets off on the fondations for its rules on covering such acts....That is/was until (unfortunately) recently, apparently.

Now, I could be getting into hot water here, because I've gone out and said what I think, about their editorial policy(s) regarding their coverage of such events....and, here, I'm not using the T-word.

But, I'm prepared to go with it...As Mr. Blair often says..."It's all part of the territory," If you want to go public with what you want to say, that is.

My apologies, if I had not made any quotes clear though.

"Terror," was the word, I'd typed into their search engine, and under that heading was what was written. That's not my handiwork there.

And, "It's "Terrorism" When it Happens to You." Was the title and subject of the blog...Again, not my handiwork.

The other thing is this...If this thread runs, for a while at least, then I feel I will have chosen a topic worthy of debate. I hope that this proves to be so.

Britanski Soldat
11-07-2005, 00:28
For what it is worth, the official UK Government definition of terrorism is:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate Governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives.

Make of that what you will………………………..

Kingwillhe
11-07-2005, 00:30
For what it's worth, the UN has been struggling to apply a legal definition to this for two years now.

Not very helpful I know.

Bluebird
11-07-2005, 00:36
For what it's worth, the UN has been struggling to apply a legal definition to this for two years now.

Not very helpful I know.So, in other words, there is (still) no apparent, legal, definition, to this word?

Kingwillhe
11-07-2005, 00:40
So, in other words, there is (still) no apparent, legal, definition, to this word?
How many people have been successfully prosecuted for "terrorism"?

koba65
11-07-2005, 02:29
How many people have been successfully prosecuted for "terrorism"?

In a democracy or an authoritarian regime?

koba65
11-07-2005, 02:37
How many people have been successfully prosecuted for "terrorism"?

In UK (just for the present WOT):

"Key Facts and Statistics

• Police records show that from 11 September 2001 until 31 March 2005, 732 people were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Charges
• 121 of these were charged under the Act. Of these, 46 were also charged with offences under other legislation.
• 138 were charged under other legislation. This includes charges for terrorist offences that are already covered in general criminal law such as murder, grievous bodily harm and use of firearms or explosives.

Convictions
• 21 Individuals have been convicted of offences under the Terrorism Act "

In the US - 400 were arrested and charged - 200 convicted, however, of the 200 convicted on 39 were convicted of the charge of being engaged in terrorism. The other convictions, while related to terrorism were for making false statements, harboring fugitives, aiding and abetting.


Germany has convicted 6 for terrorism.

J.D.
11-07-2005, 07:40
For what it is worth, the official UK Government definition of terrorism is:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate Governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives.

Make of that what you will………………………..

interesting aspect here. All the government has to do is say that what they are doing is legal.

I thought the point of this thread was about journalists throwing the word about haphazardly, like the government seems to do a lot. But being a political machine governments like to choose any convenient word (often baselessly) to steer the masses in their desired direction. Journalist should avoid such uses to stay impartial, which includes not being a mouth piece/patsy of the gov.

doogiecb
11-07-2005, 09:19
First I think people tend to throw the phrase "terrorists" out now as anyone who is taking voilent actions that differs from their personal view while those being labeled as "terrorists" tend to think of themselves as hero's or revolutionaries fighting for the "better cause."

In my opinion you should define a terrorist / revulotionary / patriot / etc. by who is it that their actions are directly aimed at .... if innocent civilians then they are terrorists, but if govt. or military then I do not necessarily think they should be labeled as terrorists.

That is just my opinion, I'm not wanting to get into a whole discussion about according to this definition then such & such was a terrorist, but now what about an eye for an eye, etc. .... because every govt. & every society has performed some injustices to innocent civilians at some time.

adilkayani
11-07-2005, 19:57
It is infliction of Pain to achieve political end.

Bluebird
11-07-2005, 20:48
interesting aspect here. All the government has to do is say that what they are doing is legal.

I thought the point of this thread was about journalists throwing the word about haphazardly, like the government seems to do a lot. But being a political machine governments like to choose any convenient word (often baselessly) to steer the masses in their desired direction. Journalist should avoid such uses to stay impartial, which includes not being a mouth piece/patsy of the gov.I thought the point of this thread was about journalists throwing the word about haphazardly, like the government seems to do a lot. Thanks, me too.

Bluebird
11-07-2005, 21:00
First I think people tend to throw the phrase "terrorists" out now as anyone who is taking voilent actions that differs from their personal view while those being labeled as "terrorists" tend to think of themselves as hero's or revolutionaries fighting for the "better cause."

In my opinion you should define a terrorist / revulotionary / patriot / etc. by who is it that their actions are directly aimed at .... if innocent civilians then they are terrorists, but if govt. or military then I do not necessarily think they should be labeled as terrorists.

That is just my opinion, I'm not wanting to get into a whole discussion about according to this definition then such & such was a terrorist, but now what about an eye for an eye, etc. .... because every govt. & every society has performed some injustices to innocent civilians at some time.If innocent civilians then they are terrorists, but if govt. or military then I do not necessarily think they should be labeled as terrorists.Some good points made, but how and why do you qualify that (above) statement? People, in the armed forces, are people too.

In days of (not so) old, one mostly understood where the fronts were, and who their enemy was - and there were, by and large, some rules of engagement.

True there were partisans and guerilla tactics and groups, involved. But, mostly one understood where the other person was or could be coming from - and as a rule, innocent people were not blown to smithereens.

Anyhow, you've made some good points, and I'd (for one), be interested to hear a little more on your thoughts.

Bluebird
11-07-2005, 21:07
It is infliction of Pain to achieve political end.Actually, the question was, and still is, "When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist?" Not what is, "Terrorism?"

And as J.D. said, "I thought the point of this thread was about journalists throwing the word about haphazardly, like the government seems to do a lot."

That's what this thread's all about.

koba65
12-07-2005, 09:09
Actually, the question was, and still is, "When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist?" Not what is, "Terrorism?"

And as J.D. said, "I thought the point of this thread was about journalists throwing the word about haphazardly, like the government seems to do a lot."

That's what this thread's all about.

You can't really discuss a journalist's correct or incorrect usage of the word "terrorist" without defining "terrorism."

doogiecb
12-07-2005, 19:19
If innocent civilians then they are terrorists, but if govt. or military then I do not necessarily think they should be labeled as terrorists.Some good points made, but how and why do you qualify that (above) statement? People, in the armed forces, are people too.


Your making me scratch my head and think a little deeper now, gees.

I would argue that as people in the military are people too, when they decided to enter (volunteer or mandatory) they understand that certain risks exist with this position. The same could be said for taking a government job you (depending on the level) there are some risks that should be anticipated.

The risk from terrorists you take by entering the military or government is that it is quite possible others in your institution have committed percieved harm against some other group that may take a terrorist action. This is what I based much of my comment on.

A very niave statement I know, but I've wondered why more groups had not tried to resolve their injustices though the methods of civil disobedience that were eventually successful in getting India independence, improving civil rights in America, and ending aparthied in South Africa .... Niave comment :rolleyes:

Bluebird
12-07-2005, 19:45
You can't really discuss a journalist's correct or incorrect usage of the word "terrorist" without defining "terrorism."So, then Koba, what's your definition, of that word and let's roll out this debate.

Bluebird
12-07-2005, 19:51
Your making me scratch my head and think a little deeper now, gees.

I would argue that as people in the military are people too, when they decided to enter (volunteer or mandatory) they understand that certain risks exist with this position. The same could be said for taking a government job you (depending on the level) there are some risks that should be anticipated.

The risk from terrorists you take by entering the military or government is that it is quite possible others in your institution have committed percieved harm against some other group that may take a terrorist action. This is what I based much of my comment on.

A very niave statement I know, but I've wondered why more groups had not tried to resolve their injustices though the methods of civil disobedience that were eventually successful in getting India independence, improving civil rights in America, and ending aparthied in South Africa .... Niave comment :rolleyes:That's a pretty good answer....Care to add your own reaonsings, on about your own (last) comment though? Anyone else care to try to answer that one too...???

J.D.
12-07-2005, 21:14
Civilized warfare, (I know oxymoron), says only military targets are legitamate targets. So a FREEDOM FIGHTER would not be a terrorist if he goes for the same targets as recognized civilized armies do. Civilian causualties are only acceptable if they are collateral damage.


I think I could live with this definition, except the freedom fighters will probably abuse the details of the definition the same way that current governments do.

Kingwillhe
12-07-2005, 22:09
In UK (just for the present WOT):

"Key Facts and Statistics

• Police records show that from 11 September 2001 until 31 March 2005, 732 people were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Charges
• 121 of these were charged under the Act. Of these, 46 were also charged with offences under other legislation.
• 138 were charged under other legislation. This includes charges for terrorist offences that are already covered in general criminal law such as murder, grievous bodily harm and use of firearms or explosives.

Convictions
• 21 Individuals have been convicted of offences under the Terrorism Act "

In the US - 400 were arrested and charged - 200 convicted, however, of the 200 convicted on 39 were convicted of the charge of being engaged in terrorism. The other convictions, while related to terrorism were for making false statements, harboring fugitives, aiding and abetting.


Germany has convicted 6 for terrorism.

I bow to you sir. I had a long complicated opinion piece in the making, but you blew me away with facts. I hate that.

Bluebird
12-07-2005, 22:53
I bow to you sir. I had a long complicated opinion piece in the making, but you blew me away with facts. I hate that.Me too...One must compliment Koba, whether one agrees or disagrees with his point of view; on the way and detail, in which he states his case...Always factual....I think that his real name's Dr. Spock....

Errr, what's the figures for the UK, by the way....???

tbill
14-07-2005, 20:55
I don't see the word terrorism used by the BBC. (http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/12/nbbc12.xml)

What are you guys talking about? Go back to work and Amazon.com: 1984 (Signet Classics) (9780451524935): George Orwell, Erich Fromm: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31FNWHA224L.@@AMEPARAM@@31FNWHA224L

surfsky
15-07-2005, 08:45
Ok lets try this one, the United States Government defines the Ku Klux Klan as a Terrorist Organization. It should be considered a terrorist organization. I think they are the US equivalent to Islamic Extremist (Terrorists), although the KKK is not quite as ambitious.

The KKK claims the North illegally invaded the South. They believe that the South should be free. During the time of the US Civil War there was some international support for the South to secede. The KKK has not blown up buildings, flown planes into building or killed civilians during rush hour. The US still claims that they are a terrorist organization. You know myself, or no one else would claim that the KKK was a "freedom" fighter.

But somehow we have defined a group of people that are as backwards as the US KKK, as "Freedom Fighters."

Yes, they may be fighting for a Middle East free of western influence, but everyone who has been there knows it is the world’s equivalent to “Deliverance”.