terrorists vs. murderers

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No. The dictionary defines this very clearly. "Murder" is the killing of a human under conditions specifically set forth in law. In the USA that includes deliberate intent or premeditation, or occurring during the commission of a serious crime. (U.S. law distinguishes between first-degree and second-degree murder but there's no need to go into that here.)
    Again, no. A vigilante is one who takes the law into his own hands, for example for exacting revenge without bothering to notify the authorities, waiting for a trial, and hoping the defendant is found guilty.
    Once again, no. Execution is the carrying out of a judgment or a sentence directed by a formal court. In the USA it must be handed down by a judge.
    Hey, I despise cops as much as the next unrepentant hippie, but once again this is the Linguistics subforum so we are obliged to play by the rules of the language. In the USA, the police are an organized civil force (i.e., recruited, vetted, selected and directed by the civilian branch of government) for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
    You're batting zero today. An army is the military force of a nation (i.e., recruited, vetted, selected and directed by the military branch of the government), trained and armed for war, and ready to make war (in the USA, at least theoretically) when ordered by the civilian government .
    "Terrorism" is a relatively new word with no stable consensus definition. However, one that most would accept is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." A terrorist is, therefore, one who uses violence and threats to intimidate or coerce those he regards as his enemies, especially for political purposes.
    You're finally more-or-less right. More clearly stated: an underground organization composed of groups of private individuals, working as an opposition force in a conquered country to overthrow the occupying power, usually by acts of sabotage, guerrilla warfare, etc.
    The American definition focuses on "a battle against established forces of tyranny and dictatorship." The British definition is considerably different in spirit, not just wording: "a militant revolutionary." This definition includes rebels who attempt to bring down any established government, even one that the vast majority of their countrymen regard as democratic and benevolent. Many of today's "freedom fighters" would insist that they are fighting the battle described in the American definition, but their countrymen would insist that they are "militant revolutionaries" who do not represent the will of the populace, but instead are hoping to install a government which the populace regards as abhorrent. This surely applies to most of today's Islamic terrorist groups, as well as the militias of the drug lords in Latin America.
     
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    General comment: The point of my original note was that terrorist has a certain amouunt of glamour, while murderer does not. I suspect many foreigners who went to Syria to join ISIS felt good about themselves. I doubt if this would be true if they were called murderers.
     
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  5. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    What in the hell are you talking about?
    You cannot even speculate their reasons for having joined a terrorist group - why try to?
    IF by "glamour" you mean infamy, or even solidarity I might be more inclined to agree. Try and find a single terrorist who perceives their life as "glamorous", and I'll eat my words.
     
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  7. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    The Saudi royal family?
     
  8. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    The House of Saud are not actively involved in terrorism. There have been invalidated claims in the past few months stating that they "advocate terrorism." - which wouldn't even be the same as being a 'terrorist' in the first place.
     
  9. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    Technically true I suppose.
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Charles Manson.

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  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Osama bin Laden was a member-by-marriage of the House of Saud. Since he was a loose cannon likely to bring dishonor to the House, it's likely that King Abdullah had spies among Osama's henchmen making sure the King knew his whereabouts every day.

    If this is true, then given that the King did not actually prevent Osama from carrying out the 9/11 attacks, it would not be unreasonable to say that he was, indeed, involved in terrorism, and this involvement was somewhat more than "passive."

    Furthermore, in addition to virtually all of the planning of 9/11 being performed by a Saudi... the majority of the funds for 9/11 came from Saudi businessmen and government accounts, and the majority of the hijackers were Saudis. Again, in a country like Saudi Arabia, it's inconceivable that the King was not aware of all this.

    I think it's time to stop considering Saudi Arabia as our ally.
     
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  12. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    Do you have a source for this information? Particularly the portion about 9/11.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There's no controversy over Osama (a Saudi) being the mastermind, and the identities and nationalities of the 9/11 hijackers are a matter of record--something like 2/3 of them were Saudis, as I recall.

    The only statistic open to question is the source of the financing. This was Osama's project and he was a Saudi, so it's hardly remarkable to suggest that he hit up his Saudi friends for the resources. Of course there are other ultra-wealthy Muslims, for example the Sultan of Brunei and those corporate moguls who build skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi.

    Perhaps some of the money for the 9/11 plot came from their bank accounts, but I've never seen anyone accuse them of being anti-American.

    The population of Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has quite a well of disdain for our country. It's not hard to find a photo of a street protest in one of the country's major cities, in which the citizens are carrying signs denouncing the "Great Satan," i.e., the USA. After all, this is the place where it's illegal to build a Christian church.
     

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