Good terrorists or bad terrorists?

05.21.03

Once again, Gil Troy gets it right when he claims that there are no “good” or “bad” terrorists; they’re all “bad” terrorists:

Of course, terrorism was supposed to be aimed at “legitimate” targets – Israeli kids munching pizza, American secretaries booting word processors, Australian teenagers bogeying in a nightclub. By exporting terror, the Saudi kingdom was supposed to be buying a certain immunity from it. In the more moderate Kingdom of Morocco, until this weekend, terrorism was something that happened elsewhere. But is anyone surprised that such a tactic, once perfected and applauded, could not be controlled? A society that can so demonize the “other” as to celebrate enemy deaths, risks distorting its political culture. A political culture that celebrates wading into crowds or apartment compounds and blowing up civilians wherever they might be, whoever they are, risks teaching its members that when arguments fail, it is OK to resort to violence, even against your neighbours.

[ . . . ]

Supporting terrorism comes with no immunity clause – those who support terror today risk being terrorist targets tomorrow.

The irony here, of course, is that people always love a weapon when it is useful for them, but wouldn’t want their enemies to use it against them. We saw that as being the case with the Atom Bomb, for example. At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union had to acknowledge that they had enough weaponry to destroy the world hundreds of times over, and eventually began destroying some of their bombs. Now, we have another weapon – terrorism – that’s much harder to control, contain, or destroy. And the parts of the world who have been encouraging and exporting it are only now facing up to the fact that they are targets, too.

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