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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Who is a Terrorist? Durable Link to this BLOG
Just Who is a Terrorist?

Everybody agrees terrorism is bad, but nobody seems able to define terrorism.

Discussion over dinner in a restaurant:

He: Are Kamikaze pilots suicide terrorists?
She: No, they were soldiers fighting war.

He: So, if you bomb civilians it is terrorism, if you bomb military targets, it is war?
She: You are mostly correct; the attack on Pentagon is the exception, because civilian plane/passengers were used.

He: The Palestinians might be refugees, but aren't they civilians?
She: They are indeed civilians, but they patronize terrorists making it difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between terrorists and non-terrorists. Don't you recall the Palestinian celebrations after the Sept-11 attacks?

He: I want to change my definition of terrorism. Can I say rather than using target (military or civilian), can I use the origin instead?
So if soldiers fight it is war, if civilians fight it is terrorism?
She: Wouldn't that exclude the State as terrorist? By your definition, even Gandhi would be a terrorist!

He: Mumble, Mumble...
So, are you saying supporting a cause, the fight for which becomes violent, makes one a terrorist? I supported African National Congress during their violent protest against the apartheid. Does that make me a terrorist?
She: Mumble, Mumble...

Links for the day

• BBC: Rice has more genes than humans.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, April 5, 2002
Last Modified: 1/29/2003

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