Was the London killing of a British soldier 'terrorism'?


#1

Was the London killing of a British soldier ‘terrorism’? | Glenn Greenwald

Two men yesterday engaged in a horrific act of violence on the streets of London by using what appeared to be a meat cleaver to hack to death a British soldier. In the wake of claims that the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the killing, and a video showing one of the assailants citing Islam as well as a desire to avenge and stop continuous UK violence against Muslims, media outlets (including the Guardian) and British politicians instantly characterized the attack as “terrorism”.That this was a barbaric and horrendous act goes without saying, but given the legal, military, cultural and political significance of the term “terrorism”, it is vital to ask: is that term really applicable to this act of violence? To begin with, in order for an act of violence to be “terrorism”, many argue that it must deliberately target civilians. That’s the most common means used by those who try to distinguish the violence engaged in by western nations from that used by the “terrorists”: sure, we kill civilians sometimes, but we don’t deliberately target them the way the “terrorists” do.But here, just as was true for Nidal Hasan’s attack on a Fort Hood military base, the victim of the violence was a soldier of a nation at war, not a civilian. He was stationed at an army barracks quite close to the attack. The killer made clear that he knew he had attacked a soldier when he said afterward: "this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."The US, the UK and its allies have repeatedly killed Muslim civilians over the past decade (and before that), but defenders of those governments insist that this cannot be “terrorism” because it is combatants, not civilians, who are the targets. Can it really be the case that when western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, that’s not “terrorism”, but when Muslims kill western soldiers, that is terrorism? Amazingly, the US has even imprisoned people at Guantanamo and elsewhere on accusations of “terrorism” who are accused of nothing more than engaging in violence against US soldiers who invaded their country.


#2

Greenwald makes some good points here. Was this horrible act of violence terrorism? If it fits the definition as given to him from his twitter followers,

““terrorism” means any act of violence designed to achieve political change, or more specifically, to induce a civilian population to change their government or its policies of out fear of violence.”

Then how is the American foriegn policy anything but terrorism?


#3

Very good point. Attacking a soldier is not terrorism.


#4

Trolling against America. Great. Why not just move to a place you like.


#5

I think it is.

““terrorism” means any act of violence designed to achieve political change, or more specifically, to induce a civilian population to change their government or its policies of out fear of violence.”

I think even small scale attacks like this that were premeditated and inspired by a countries policies counts as terrorism. They killed this man in response to the countries actions in the name of radical Islam. If that isn’t terrorism then I can easily make a case for why the 9/11 attacks weren’t and act of terrorism.


#6

Didn’t attack him on a battlefield. The Muslims attacked him in the middle of a public street. Terrorism.


#7

Bingo.


#8

[quote=“newshutr, post:6, topic:39580”]
Didn’t attack him on a battlefield. The Muslims attacked him in the middle of a public street. Terrorism.
[/quote]Absolutely well said.


#9

We attack people on streets, funerals etc.

Are we the only ones who get to decide what a battlefield is? So just to clarify, if we attack people and kill innocents (the man killed in London wasn’t innocent he’s a soldier) then that’s okay because that’s a battlefield but if they bring the fight to us then it’s terrorism.

Seriously…


#10

Why would anyone feel the need to even ask if this was an act of terrorism?


#11

The man was a soldier. Was the World Trade Center a military installation? One is war, the other is terrorism. The man in London attacked no civilians.


#12

Ask this question of your CO when you get into the military and see what kind of reaction you get.


#13

Because we like to use our brains and question things.


#14

I will.


#15

You seem to be planning on creating for yourself the worst time that you could have in the military, aren’t you?


#16

Asking stupid questions is not a productive way of using one’s brains.


#17

I don’t plan on being in a group with a CO who I even have to ask this question to. You already know my plans in the military and the group ill be with doesn’t consist of regular joes.


#18

Yeah well that’s like your opinion man.

But if you’re not going to say anything that’s valid then I’m going to stop replying


#19

[quote=“BullsOnParade, post:17, topic:39580”]
I don’t plan on being in a group with a CO who I even have to ask this question to. You already know my plans in the military and the group ill be with doesn’t consist of regular joes.
[/quote]First I doubt you really are going to join and secondly I think if you do manage to have the courage to join you are in for a big surprise if you think you are going to control things.


#20

This thread is about the London killing and has literally nothing to do with my personal ambitions. PM me if you want to talk to me about that.