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Thread: When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist?

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    When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist?

    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/edit...ryreferr.shtml
    Last edited by Bluebird; 10-07-2005 at 22:45.
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    This is not the BBC I recognise and have watched for the last week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jchidg1
    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...
    "Have regard for your name, since it will remain for you longer than a great store of gold."
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    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    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.
    Last edited by Bluebird; 11-07-2005 at 00:14.
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    Britanski Soldat Guest
    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………………………..

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingwillhe
    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?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebird
    So, in other words, there is (still) no apparent, legal, definition, to this word?
    How many people have been successfully prosecuted for "terrorism"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingwillhe
    How many people have been successfully prosecuted for "terrorism"?
    In a democracy or an authoritarian regime?
    It isn't premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingwillhe
    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.
    Last edited by koba65; 11-07-2005 at 03:16.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britanski Soldat
    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.

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    Motive vs. Actions.....

    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.
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    What is terrorism?



    It is infliction of Pain to achieve political end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    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.
    "Have regard for your name, since it will remain for you longer than a great store of gold."
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