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zyncod

Is "terrorism" a valid war tactic?

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Ps - People in democracies are more liable for the actions of their governments as they have a direct say in the actions of said governments. Furthermore' date=' the World Trade Center was the largest monument in the world to the Western notion of "free market capitalism." That building had been targeted for terrorism since the 70s, had a previous attack in 1993, and had armed guards in the lobby. The people that died were not working in a schoolhouse in Iowa.[/quote']

 

BullS**t. Each individual has a vote, not much else. Using your logic, I could conclude that all Arabs are guilty for the suicide bombings and justify using nuclear weapons to exterminate them. They aren't in a democracy, but I sure do see many of them cheering when they are successful, and they don't seem to try and stop them. We can bomb Mosques, since their religion is the "cause" of their fight, etc. The WTC was just a high profile target. They will attack anything, no justification needed, and there is no justification for it.

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Somehow I feel alot of condescension reading through this thread. I guess its always better to never mention "you" in a heated debate else it may be that others can take it as a personal attack.

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Somehow I feel alot of condescension reading through this thread.

 

 

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.

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I think bascule meant to say that some revolutionary patriots can be considered as terrorists who have won the war. Better phrased, a terrorist can become a revolutionary patriot if he succeeds. One is a subset of the other. It's not to say that all revolutionary patriots are terrorists.

Ok, I think that it could have been worded more precisely.

Similarly, F16s dropping heavy bombs all over your town can be "terrorizing". This is probably going to get comments on the collateral damage vs intended civilian targets, but I rest.

The problem for me here is that an F16 could be dropping bombs in some way that wouldn't be considered terrorism, unless you are using the term loosely. So if it dropping bombs on a nearby military base, then you would say that it is simply taking part in normal warfare, the purpose is to defeat the enemy through the use of force. On the other hand, if it were bombing suburbs in order to cow the population, then you could call it terrorism, the purpose is to cause terror in the enemy populace. I'd suggest that the word 'terrorism' be used in those situations where the intention is to cause terror, rather than where people are terrorised.

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I'm not sure what you're trying to say here or how you've come to a conclusion on things, but I was simply trying to make a point on the thread's topic and my stand is: Terrorism is a valid war tactic..
If you said "guerrilla warfare" was a valid war tactic, I buy it. It can be more effective than "terrorist warfare" and without the disgrace of purposely killing innocent people.

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Terrorism is not a valid war tactic.

 

Terrorism is the deliberate targetting of civillians with the purpose of disrupting their lives and cowing them. Warfare is the targetting of military objectives with the aim of destroying the enemies ability to wage war. The important thing to understand is intent. The intent of a war is to break the enemies military, the intent of a terrorist campaign is to break the people.

 

George Washington was a revololutionary, not a terrorist. His army waged a military war against military forces and military objectives, he did not target civillians. That some can't seem to comprhend this simple difference is a matter of concern.

 

A roadside bomb that hits a military convoy is not terrorism ( although it may be part of a wider terrorist campaign) as it has a military objective, a bomb in a marketplace is terrorism as there is no military target involved.

Terrorism is a valid war tactic. It is effective. It works when you have no means to go to war otherwise

Is it? Did it work for the many Communist terrorist groups of the 70's? Worked well for the Palestinians, has it? Worked for the IRA did it? Terrorism is ineffective as a means to defeating a military opponent.

 

There is a simple reason for this. The purpose of any military tactic is to decrease the ability or will of the enemy to fight. The indiscriminate attacking of women and children increases the will of the military and police to get you. You make it personal. Attack a military buiding or a military unit, they will fight you, that's what they're paid to do, but hit civillians and they'll fight harder to stop you because if they don't, their family might be next.

 

I will only add that the test of validity for a war tactic is that it does maximum damage to the enemy with minimum losses for your own side. "Damage" of course may be defined in a number of ways. In the case of Iraq, who are the terrorists doing maximum damage to? So who is their enemy?

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"I don't think anyone is really disputing that terrorism is literally valid, in the sense that it is effective and "fits within the definition of war". The question is whether it carries moral/ethical validity, as an option in wartime."

 

the topic of this thread is "is 'terrorism' a valid war tactic?" i was responding to that question. it does not matter whether terrorism carries ethical and/or moral validity because ethics and morals vary from person to person. as well, ethics and morals alone are not what drives one to make decisions in life.

 

one who commits a terrorist act may not have the same ethics/morals as anyone else. there is no moral "right" and moral "wrong." there are differences in opinion.

 

one who commits terrorist acts does not necessarily justify these actions ethically and/or morally. however, this person can see the marginal benefits involved in any particular terrorist act and may use these benefits as justification for his/her actions.

 

i would also like to clear up something else:

"Terrorism is the deliberate targetting of civillians with the purpose of disrupting their lives and cowing them. Warfare is the targetting of military objectives with the aim of destroying the enemies ability to wage war."

 

sorry, but i cannot accept these definitions. it seems that you have considered your own ideals and molded these definitions to fit your argument.

 

according to merriam-webster's dictionary:

 

warfare:

"1 : military operations between enemies : HOSTILITIES, WAR; also : an activity undertaken by a political unit (as a nation) to weaken or destroy another <economic warfare>"

AND

"2 : struggle between competing entities : CONFLICT"

 

in this day and age, we have taken a more broad view of warfare than that seen in the first part of the first definition. we have a war on drugs, a war on hunger, a war on aids, a war on poverty, and a war on just about everything we don't like. except homelessness, but that's because there is no money in it. we can see that warfare can be waged militarily AND economically. terrorism includes, but is not limited to military operations that prompt military response. we can say that in this sense, terrorism involves military operations between enemies. we can also say that with terrorism, political leaders (osama bin laden for example) take action to weaken/destroy other political leaders. the pentagon was attacked on september 11th, 2001. also, he weakened the image of the US in the world. politically, the US suffered losses. by the second definition, warfare is much more broadly defined. struggle between competing entities? i already mentioned this, but i reiterate: terrorism includes, but is not limited to military operations that prompt military response. conflict. a crucial point is that it does not matter who is targeted: military targets, civilians, whomever. regardless of who is targeted, the targets are meaningful to the government that is supposed to defend them. thus, the loss of these targets, regardless of their status, is a loss to their government.

 

terrorism:

"the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"

terrorism-->terror as means of coercion. but what is terror?

 

terror:

"1 : a state of intense fear"

AND

"4 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands"

a state of intense fear? so terrorism is:

"the systematic use of bringing about a state of intense fear especially as a means of coercion." this includes bombing people.

 

interestingly, one could very easily extrapolate that the US is far more guilty of terrorism than any other group. consider every war in history. even the "cleanest" wars have fit within the definitional confines of "terror"-ish wars. forces meet. one side wants a piece of land. the other side wants that same piece of land. violence ensues. one side cripples the other side militarily. the government of the losing side is afraid that its nation will be ravaged, its citizens raped, its villages burned and its coffers plundered. even if the opposing army is composed of a bunch of really nice guys who wouldn't do that. the government of the losing army is thus intimidated into granting the demands of the winning government (ie, recognizing the control of the victors over certain territories)

 

thus, all war is terrorism. therefore, all terrorist acts are valid as war tactics. so fancy that.

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Bud that's all well and good except for one thing: The subject of a thread is not its title, but how the first poster defines the subject.

 

Motivations aside (for now)' date=' is terrorism valid? [b']I am defining terrorism as the murder of innocents in the cause of furtherance of a political goal.[/b] I would also like to point out that the firebombing of Tokyo, Dresden, and Hamburg in WWII, and to a lesser extent Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as the political message was more direct here), were orchestrated in the hopes of demoralizing the German and Japanese citizenry to the extent that the citizens would support a radical shift in the policies of their governments (i.e, surrender).

 

Since all of these campaigns resulted in the slaughter of, for the vast majority, innocents, I fail to see the difference in tactics between these campaigns and 9/11. At least 9/11 resulted in the deaths (aside from public safety personnel) of those who willingly chose, however tacitly, to further the cause of their home governments; that is, the dominant rule of the US version of the "free market economy." Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo resulted in the deaths of, again for the vast majority, women and children that had the choice of either complying with the edicts of their government or dying. To be honest, given the choice of means (not motives), I would choose Al Qaeda over the US government.

 

So in fact you're the one who's changing the subject.

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too bad the definition provided by the poster is inaccurate. i was pointing out this fallacy.

 

i also did address the issues at hand in ways that are not exclusive to another topic. do you have comments?

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Uh huh.

 

I don't have a problem with your opinion at all, bud, and I think your points along those lines are perfectly valid. As I said above, I don't think anyone is really disagreeing with that.

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Here:

 

I don't think anyone is really disputing that terrorism is literally valid, in the sense that it is effective and "fits within the definition of war".

 

You went on to extrapolate on the subject at length, which I thought was interesting and I agree with those points as well (which are basically saying the same thing, but it's well-put).

 

My opinion is that when we look back on this period in history, say a century from now, we'll probably see that at this point the "book was still out" on "terrorism" as a successful means of bringing about change. At this point it sometimes works, and it sometimes does not. Often the changes brought about are not what the terrorists intended for them to be, they tend to generate hatred for the terrorists, and when they do fail, they fail in a rather absolute way (for the terrorist).

 

And perhaps more to the point, when terrorism succeeds, it's not necessarily (or in my opinion ever) because of the effort made by the terrorists. It succeeds for reasons which have more to do with moral backbone and motivation on the part of the people being affected.

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Bud, say what?

thus, all war is terrorism.

Why do I get the feeling that that was the conclusion you wanted to reach? You spread the definition of terror so wide that it no longer defines anything.

even the "cleanest" wars have fit within the definitional confines of "terror"-ish wars.

"ish"? That allows a pretty broad generalisation for your definition doesn't it? Please define "ish".

 

If we go back to Websters, we find "War" defined as; "a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations" As a terrorist org is not a nation or state, it cannot have a "War". Interestingly, the second definition is "a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end", using "war on disease" as an example. I must admit I don't really agree with this one as it's useage has come about more from politicians sound bites than anything else. I find the whole "War on ....." to generally be an excuse for pollies to spend much and achieve little, while still looking like they're "doing something". Yes, I know, I'm a cynic.:D

 

Perhaps we are also talking at cross purposes. Your view seems to depend on the result of the action, whether it causes "intense fear", or not. Mine is based on intent. Military action (war) may result in intense fear in the enemy populace, but the intent is to destroy the enemies military capabilities. Whereas the intent of a terrorist is to cause fear in the civillian populace.

 

Where I think mine is the better definition is that in yours, if an action of mine causes fear, then it is a terrorist act. Is showing my pet spider to an arachnophobe a terrorist act? Or just a prank? (A very bad and malicious one, I'll grant and I wouldn't do it.) In mine, intent is all important.

 

As an aside I was interested in your comment;

one who commits terrorist acts does not necessarily justify these actions ethically and/or morally. however, this person can see the marginal benefits involved in any particular terrorist act and may use these benefits as justification for his/her actions.

It touches an area I've sometimes wondered about. "Can a person commit an act that they view as immoral?" If they can justify the act to themselves, then do they now view it as "moral"? Not talking about terrorism in particular here, just wondering about things in general. Your thoughts?

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"Why do I get the feeling that that was the conclusion you wanted to reach? You spread the definition of terror so wide that it no longer defines anything."

is there a point to be made here? if so, please feel free to disprove my logic. note: all definitions seen above came from http://www.m-w.com

 

""ish"? That allows a pretty broad generalisation for your definition doesn't it? Please define "ish"."

the -ish in this case is effectively meant to say that even the "cleanest" wars can be classified as terrorism.

 

"If we go back to Websters, we find "War" defined as; "a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations" As a terrorist org is not a nation or state, it cannot have a "War". "

by this definition, there cannot be a war on terrorism. also, there cannot be a war on drugs, a war on poverty, etc for that matter. unless you consider small tribes to be states/nations, a whoooole lot of conflicts that are historically viewed as "wars" never happened. do you still agree with the above definition or do you believe it is too specific?

 

"terrorist org is not a nation or state, it cannot have a "War"."

please note that we're discussing the validity of terrorism as a war tactic, not whether or not terrorist organizations can have wars.

 

"Military action (war) may result in intense fear in the enemy populace, but the intent is to destroy the enemies military capabilities. Whereas the intent of a terrorist is to cause fear in the civillian populace."

i disagree with the first part. the intent of war is to bring about enough fear in a government (see definition of terrorism) in order to force them to give up their cause and make concessions (see definition of terrorism). if they don't have an army to defend themselves, well, they should be afraid of the other army that could rape, burn and pillage. interestingly, japan made concessions only after the US targeted civilians in tokyo (firebombing) and nagasaki and hiroshima (nukes) (see terrorism). i feel like i'm repeating myself.

 

"Is showing my pet spider to an arachnophobe a terrorist act? Or just a prank?"

it is a terrorist act if "terror" is defined by any of the first two definitions stated by webster, those being:

"1 : a state of intense fear

2 a : one that inspires fear : SCOURGE b : a frightening aspect <the terrors of invasion> c : a cause of anxiety : WORRY d : an appalling person or thing; especially : BRAT"

it is also a "prank," as it is a "malicious act."

 

"It touches an area I've sometimes wondered about. "Can a person commit an act that they view as immoral?" If they can justify the act to themselves, then do they now view it as "moral"? Not talking about terrorism in particular here, just wondering about things in general. Your thoughts?"

absolutely. consider the concept of marginal benefits. if one has, say, two options and both are "immoral" to that individual, if exhibiting rational behavior, this person will choose the option that is less immoral in his/her opinion.

 

I don't think anyone is really disputing that terrorism is literally valid, in the sense that it is effective and "fits within the definition of war".

apparently some people disagree with me:rolleyes:

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Not your logic, but your basic assumptions are erroneous. Boiled down the logic is;

Assumption 1. All wars are intended to cause fear.

Assumption 2. All actions that cause fear are terrorism.

 

Conclusion: All wars are terrorism.

 

Unfortunately, if you reread the MW definition of "war", there is no mention of any intent to cause fear, hence ( by the definitions) Assumption 1 is invalid.

the -ish in this case is effectively meant to say that even the "cleanest" wars can be classified as terrorism.

It also means that you can define anything you want to as "terrorism". Definitions define, they are not approximations with any meaning you wish to ascribe to them.

 

As to the "War on of the day", no I don't think they are wars. They are called that as a marketing ploy and it sounds good on the 6 o'clock news.

please note that we're discussing the validity of terrorism as a war tactic, not whether or not terrorist organizations can have wars.

If you can't have a "war", how can you have a "valid war tactic"? If it is impossible for you to play footballl, how can you have "valid football tactics"?

i disagree with the first part. the intent of war is to bring about enough fear in a government (see definition of terrorism)

Might I suggest using the definition of war to define war, not the definition of terrorism? The idea that the purpose of war is to cause fear in the opposing government or populace is not mentioned anywhere. Unless you can cite a reference or two I can only assume that it's your opinion and not a definition.

 

Japan did not make concessions after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their surrender was unconditional. They were holding out for concessions from the Allies. The concessions wanted were for the Government of Japan to continue and no War Crimes trials for the leaders of the military. It was the Emperor that ordered the surrender in order to save the lives of his people, not the government.

 

On the other thing.

this person will choose the option that is less immoral in his/her opinion.
So does this mean he would consider the lesser option to now be "moral"?

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"Unfortunately, if you reread the MW definition of "war", there is no mention of any intent to cause fear, hence ( by the definitions) Assumption 1 is invalid."

 

why does a leader back down when he/she figures that he/she has lost a war? please enlighten me.

 

"It also means that you can define anything you want to as "terrorism"."

anything? cupcakes aren't terrorism. these nouns aren't verbs. their mass manufacture isnt necessarily terrorism either.

 

"If you can't have a "war", how can you have a "valid war tactic"? "

hiroshima. nagasaki. tokyo. a million other examples. it is a valid war tactic, in that it gets results. it also is terrorism.

 

"Might I suggest using the definition of war to define war, not the definition of terrorism?"

 

once again i ask you to enlighten me. please tell me why a leader would ever back down if he/she feels that he/she has lost a war.

 

"Japan did not make concessions after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their surrender was unconditional."

 

Main Entry: con·ces·sion

Pronunciation: k&n-'se-sh&n

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin concession-, concessio, from concedere to concede

1 a : the act or an instance of conceding b : the admitting of a point claimed in argument

 

Main Entry: con·cede

Pronunciation: k&n-'sEd

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): con·ced·ed; con·ced·ing

Etymology: French or Latin; French concéder, from Latin concedere, from com- + cedere to yield

transitive senses

1 : to grant as a right or privilege

2 a : to accept as true, valid, or accurate <the right of the state to tax is generally conceded> b : to acknowledge grudgingly or hesitantly

 

japan made concessions.

 

"It was the Emperor that ordered the surrender in order to save the lives of his people, not the government."

 

Main Entry: em·per·or

Pronunciation: 'em-p&r-&r, -pr&r

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French empereor, from Latin imperator, literally, commander, from imperare to command, from in- + parare to prepare, order -- more at PARE

: the sovereign or supreme male monarch of an empire

 

Main Entry: mon·arch

Pronunciation: 'mä-n&rk, -"närk

Function: noun

Etymology: Late Latin monarcha, from Greek monarchos, from mon- + -archos -arch

1 : a person who reigns over a kingdom or empire: as a : a sovereign ruler b : a constitutional king or queen

2 : one that holds preeminent position or power

 

Main Entry: rul·er

Pronunciation: 'rü-l&r

Function: noun

1 : one that rules; specifically : SOVEREIGN

 

Main Entry: 1sov·er·eign

Variant(s): also sov·ran /'sä-v(&-)r&n, -v&rn also 's&-/

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English soverain, from Old French, from soverain, adjective

1 a : one possessing or held to possess sovereignty b : one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere c : an acknowledged leader : ARBITER

 

Main Entry: sov·er·eign·ty

Variant(s): also sov·ran·ty /-tE/

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural -ties

Etymology: Middle English soverainte, from Middle French soveraineté, from Old French, from soverain

1 obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it

2 a : supreme power especially over a body politic b : freedom from external control : AUTONOMY c : controlling influence

3 : one that is sovereign; especially : an autonomous state

 

"So does this mean he would consider the lesser option to now be "moral"?"

not necessarily

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Here's an analogy for you. Let's say you're playing poker and someone raises your bet by a large margin. You look at your cards and decide that the amount of money you could lose is not worth the amount you could win. As a result, you fold. Now did you fold because you're a spineless cowards who is afraid of losing? Did you fold because the troubles that calling may bring just aren't worth it?

 

In the case of the losing leader backing down from the fight, it's not always becasue he's afraid. The VAST majority of the time it's just because the fight is no longer worth it. He gives in and realizes that he would have to do too much work to get a minimal benefit. As a result, he stops. He 'folds his hand' so to speak. He's not afraid. He just doesn't have the ability to continue on. That's not fear. That's using one's brain. If you quit playing a certain sport because you suck at it, you're not quitting because you're afraid. You're quitting because you suck and the results aren't worth the effort.

 

Not fighting because you can no longer compete (War) is a LOT different than not fighting because you're afraid to do anything (Terrorism).

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potential marginal costs vs potential marginal benefits? sounds like this economic principle is the main principle of all decision-making! if you don't call it's because you're afraid of losing the money you could potentially bet. a leader who backs down is afraid of losing more than the value of the stakes at hand. he is forced to make concessions.

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why does a leader back down when he/she figures that he/she has lost a war? please enlighten me.

How about showing why your assumption is valid? So far you haven't even come close to proving your assertions.

"If you can't have a "war", how can you have a "valid war tactic"? "

hiroshima. nagasaki. tokyo. a million other examples. it is a valid war tactic, in that it gets results. it also is terrorism.

How does the response bear relevence to the question?

once again i ask you to enlighten me. please tell me why a leader would ever back down if he/she feels that he/she has lost a war.

What has this to do with using the dictionary definition of terrorism to define war? You are sidestepping the question.

japan made concessions.

No, they surrendered.

Main Entry: 1sur·ren·der

Pronunciation: s&-'ren-d&r

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): -dered; sur·ren·der·ing /-d(&-)ri[ng]/

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French surrendre, from sur- + rendre to give back, yield -- more at RENDER

transitive senses

1 a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand <surrendered the fort> b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2 a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner b : to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

intransitive senses : to give oneself up into the power of another : YIELD

synonym see RELINQUISH

 

There is a world of difference.

 

And the point of all the definitions of sovereign, monarch and emperor was?

 

Are you going to show some evidence that the purpose of war is to cause fear in the opposing government or not? You've mentioned the old "rape and pillage" bit a few times. I will grant that this fear may be valid if you can show some actions by the militaries of the US, GB, Australia, Canada, France or Germany where they have done this in the recent past (say 300 years). If this can be shown, then there may be reason to fear it in the future, if not, then fear of such actions could only be classified as ....

Main Entry: pho·bia

Pronunciation: 'fO-bE-&

Function: noun

Etymology: -phobia

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

potential marginal costs vs potential marginal benefits?

Exactly. Value of the thing v it's cost. Such decisions can be made on the basis of pure logic, there is no need to introduce the emotion of fear into the equation. As a general who retreats to regroup doesn't do so out of fear, he does it because staying and getting your army slaughtered is bloody stupid. It has no point, there is normally no advantage to be gained from it. There is advantage in retreating, regrouping and counterattacking. Logic, not fear rules.

 

On the other, I'm wondering if I was clear. When I said the immoral becomes moral to the person I meant "at this time". I didn't mean that the "don't steal" moral would be permanently removed, just temporarily. Is that what you meant by "not neccessarily"?

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Perhaps we are also talking at cross purposes. Your view seems to depend on the result of the action, whether it causes "intense fear", or not. Mine is based on intent. Military action (war) may result in intense fear in the enemy populace, but the intent is to destroy the enemies’ military capabilities, whereas the intent of a terrorist is to cause fear in the civilian populace.

 

I agree with you that intent is important, but the result is real. When we announced that we would bring "shock and awe" to Iraq, were we only shocking Saddam? Did we drop papers with the definition of war, so the people would not be afraid? When we impose economic sanctions on a country, who suffers and what reaction do we want?

 

I fail to see how anyone can view the atomic bombings as a military act. Can you imagine if Germany had dropped one on New York City? We would list it above the Holocaust as the worst war crime ever! The intent was to save lives? Well, suicide bombers may save lives also. Less soldiers fighting on either side.

 

The terrorists are fighting to their strength. I don't agree with their intent or their results, but I understand why they don't engage our military directly. I'm sure the British thought the colonials should have fought them on their terms, but we couldn't afford to do that.

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"How about showing why your assumption is valid? So far you haven't even come close to proving your assertions."

through definitions, i have. i need not reiterate.

 

"How does the response bear relevence to the question?"

slowly read again. maybe a third time if need be. if you still aren't sure, take a guess. i cannot further explain this, as the points are actually clear as day.

 

"What has this to do with using the dictionary definition of terrorism to define war? You are sidestepping the question."

i suppose i was waiting for you to say "fear," in which case you would be admitting that war=terrorism. if you can answer with another word not synonymous with "fear" and actually defend your argument, you win. here's your chance!

 

"No, they surrendered."

japan surrendered. they made concessions. hey, they did two things at once! now there's multitasking for you!

 

"Such decisions can be made on the basis of pure logic, there is no need to introduce the emotion of fear into the equation. As a general who retreats to regroup doesn't do so out of fear, he does it because staying and getting your army slaughtered is bloody stupid. It has no point, there is normally no advantage to be gained from it. There is advantage in retreating, regrouping and counterattacking. Logic, not fear rules."

the general retreats because he is afraid he will lose. losing when he could just regroup and possibly win later is indeed stupid, and he is afraid to do so.

 

"I didn't mean that the "don't steal" moral would be permanently removed, just temporarily."

so the person believes something is immoral, then for the fleeting moment that it takes to make the decision believes it is moral, then immediately after making the decision belives that the decision is immoral once more? possible for those with ridiculous mood swings. otherwise, not so

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through definitions, i have. i need not reiterate.

None of the definitions of war that have been cited mention "fear" in any way shape or form. It is so far only your unsupported opinion that wars are intended to cause fear.

"How does the response bear relevence to the question?"

slowly read again. maybe a third time if need be. if you still aren't sure, take a guess. i cannot further explain this, as the points are actually clear as day.

Again I think we may be talking at cross purposes again. My intent in the original comment was to show that an organization that cannot have a "war" under the definition of the term could not have a valid "war tactic". Just as a car (which cannot fly) can have a valid "aerobatic manouvre".

i suppose i was waiting for you to say "fear," in which case you would be admitting that war=terrorism. if you can answer with another word not synonymous with "fear" and actually defend your argument, you win. here's your chance!

Main Entry: 1war

Pronunciation: 'wor

Function: noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English werre, from Old North French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra strife; akin to Old High German werran to confuse

1 a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period of such armed conflict (3) : STATE OF WAR b : the art or science of warfare c (1) obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic : soldiers armed and equipped for war

2 a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease> c : VARIANCE, ODDS 3

- war·less /-l&s/ adjective

There you go, definition of war that has no synonym for fear in it. That was easy.

 

Unfortunately, it's you who have to prove your point. My contention is that "war" and "terrorism" are two distinctly different things and the definitions of the two concepts bear that out. Your contention that they are the same should be able to be demonstrated by the definitions. All you need to do to prove your point is find a definition of "war" that defines "war" as intending to cause fear. (Or even mentions it for that matter)

 

If you feel that you have done this, could you please rereference which definition of "war" uses the word "fear"?

japan surrendered. they made concessions. hey, they did two things at once! now there's multitasking for you!

While an Unconditional Surrender is conceding every point to your opponent (without asking what these points are) it is not "making concessions". In the definition we find;

b : the admitting of a point claimed in argument

Note, "a" point, not "all points". Concession is a relative term whereas Unconditional Surrender is an absolute. They both appear to come from the same roots however.

the general retreats because he is afraid he will lose. losing when he could just regroup and possibly win later is indeed stupid, and he is afraid to do so.

My contention this the retreat is good tactics, fear doesn't enter into the equation. You're saying the general is afraid, could you show a reference to support this idea?

 

On the other thing, I meant that the person still views the theft as "immoral", but it's okay "this time".

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once again, war: "2 a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end"

 

terrorism: "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"

 

terror: 1 : a state of intense fear" and "4 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands"

 

so ONCE AGAIN i will explain this clear-as-day logic:

if war is a state of hostility and conflict and terrorism is the systematic use of terror (state of intense fear, violence committed by groups to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands) then war must be terrorism. if we insert the definition of terror into the definition of terrorism "(f o g)(x) style" we get, effectively, the following:

the systematic use of bringing about a state of intense fear/committing violent acts in order to coerce a population or government into granting the demands of terrorists. since the definition of war can be perceived broadly, the only potential limiting factor would be the definition of terror.

 

"an organization that cannot have a "war" under the definition of the term could not have a valid "war tactic"."

is a licensed driver who lacks a car no longer a licensed driver?

 

"b : the admitting of a point claimed in argument

Note, "a" point, not "all points". "

above is a"concession" definition of concession. now what happens when we make "concession" plural? WOAH. A POINT BECOMES MULTIPLE POINTS!!!!!!!!!11111

 

"You're saying the general is afraid, could you show a reference to support this idea?"

do you think it's humanly possible? shall i do a study and interview generals as they lose battles? of course i can't. however, it continues to be completely logical despite your stubbornness.

 

"On the other thing, I meant that the person still views the theft as "immoral", but it's okay "this time"."

naturally. this person wouldnt make the decision if he/she didnt view it as "ok" at the time

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We seem to be bogged down by clashing definitions in this thread. While it helps to define what war is before deciding if terrorism is a valid war tactic, the definitions of war are proving to be a bit elusive. Is there a way to move past this or is this thread done?

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I've been thinking it's kinda baked for a couple days now, for what it's worth.

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