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Mislabeling

With all of the turmoil going on in the world today, CNN and other news outlets have to spend a lot of time reporting on the latest skirmish somewhere. They are also spending a lot of time telling us who is right and wrong and how we should feel about it. Take, for example, the following story that could have run on CNN if the time was right...


Earlier today, a group of about 150 masked and well-armed rebels overpowered the guards at the docks, broke in to three cargo ships there and destroyed the cargo that had yet to be unloaded. As the cargo was being destroyed a large group of onlookers cheered. The cargo, which was primarily staple supplies, was destined for the people of the small struggling country.
The leader of the rebels was quoted as saying that the they were merely attempting to ensure that their point was heard and to let the world know that the occupying government was not welcome.
In response, the leader of the administration said that the rebels were not doing anything but hurting themselves.

This story could have happened in Iraq. It could have happened in Afganistan. The leader of the rebel group could be any villainous person that thrives on disorder and chaos.

Most people seeing this story would definitely think that these rebels are terrorists. That is what the commentators on CNN or any of the major media outlets would probably say. These people, whether it be the Iraqis or the Afgans, are only hurting themselves. At least that is what we are led to believe...

In reality, that story is about the Boston Teaparty. The rebel leader was Samual Adams, a prominent journalist of the time. The leader of the administration was King George III of England.

That kinda puts the whole thing in a different light, doesn't it? One simple twist and the good guys become the bad guys and the bad guys are suddenly the benevolent protectors that are coming in to save the world.

What irks me is that the media is quick to label anyone who doesn't see things the way that they think we should a fanatic or militant. They label anyone in civilian clothes that shoots at a soldier in a combat area a terrorist. While they may be right, that person could be a fanatic or could be a terrorist, they are quick to throw the label around. And it is the labels that are the hardest thing to get past.

Were the American colonists terrorists? If the current media were reporting on the situation, then the answer would be yes. The British stood in straight lines in bright red uniforms and the American militia, who were mostly farmers in civilian clothes, stood behind trees and shot at them. They were practicing the best warfare that they could against a much better armed and organized army. Sounds a lot like what is going on in Iraq right now. That doesn't necessarily make them terrorists.

"You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way." - Will Rogers, Dec. 23, 1929

Comments

You got your facts right, but totally missed the point. Yep, they stood behind trees, not behind children in school. The didn't hang the children of dissenters from lamposts. The folks at the boston tea party didn't slit women's throats to get access to weapons so they could blow up the cobblers and breadmakers to scare the shit out of everbody.

Buy yourself a dictionary and look up the word terrorist. Then go back to your July 28 comments and remind yourself about the corruption of the english language.

Actually, I think you missted the point of the post. I think you and I are on the same page. I don't think that the people that were throwing tea in the harbor were terrorists at all. What I am saying is that the word terrorist gets thrown around quite a bit with little regard to what it actually means.

Merriam-Webster defines the word terrorist as someone who engages in the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Getting back to the post, my point is that I don't think that the people doing the shooting in Iraq right now are necessarily terrorists. They are shooting at the troops from long distances and from behind trees. They are waging the best war that they know how to. Is it right? No. It is war? Yes.

Additionally, I am not touching on the things that are going on in Palistine or Isreal in this post, which falls more along the lines of what you are saying. That is a different story.

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