Saturday, August 19, 2006

All war is terrorism


“Thousands of so-called bomblets, smaller than a hand grenade but far more deadly, have turned homes, schools and even hospitals in southern Lebanon into virtual minefields...” NYTimes, 19 August 2006
Photo: http://www.aeronautics.ru/clusterbombdetonation01.jpg

The intent of all warfare is to destroy every semblance of normal life for the enemy.

The intent of all terrorism is to destroy every semblance of normal life for the enemy.

The tools of warfare are bombs and other explosives, wielded by one side against the other.

The tools of terrorism are bombs and other explosives, wielded by one side against the other.

The victims of warfare are civilians and non-civilians—men, women, and children—and all infrastructure that serves them.

The victims of terrorism are civilians and non-civilians—men, women, and children—and all infrastructure that serves them.

The results of warfare are death, suffering, destruction, both of those targeted and of those merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The results of terrorism are death, suffering, destruction, both of those targeted and of those merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Warfare is directed by war-planners and funded with the resources of one population against another.

Terrorism is directed by terror-planners and funded with the resources of one population against another.

The only differences between war and terrorism are that war pretends to be civilized and constrained by international agreements intended to reduce harm to civilian non-combatants, when the vast bulk of the casualties are in fact civilian non-combatants; and, in war, the bombs are far larger and deadlier, and they have incomparably larger resources to draw upon.

Terrorism, in contrast, makes little or no pretense of precise targeting, aiming instead for mass casualties of whatever sort.

But, there is little difference between the two in terms of results and overall intent, and in fact, most modern warfare as actually practiced is more similar than different, when compared to terrorism. Modern warfare is by far the “winner” in terms of the magnitude of suffering it can deliver.

Ultimately, a bomb is a bomb is a bomb, and life and limb are destroyed no matter its source. Whether the bomb is delivered by a body wearing it, or is a left-over bomblet from a cluster bomb, the results are the same. And regardless of what religionists of any faith decree, no good and just god would sanction such mayhem as that being dealt to the little children unlucky enough to be blown to bits by a bomb, no matter its origin.

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