A Description of Actually Existing Terrorism from 1989

Lynn is a terrorist. The terrorist, like Lynn, is a person who sees himself as powerless to redress his grievances through legitimate means. He resorts to violence in order, he hopes, to achieve a political end that he cannot achieve through the political process. He attacks civilians because he cannot get at the real enemy, and because he holds civilians accountable as accessories to his oppression. He feels that his actions, no matter how violent, no matter who his victims, are justified by the pain he has unjustly suffered. “Clearys” attacks the terrorist’s rationale. Willis makes the point–one I’d call “liberal democratic” but that a revolutionary might call “conservative”–that such action holds people accountable for situations over which they have little if any control, that the terrorist assumes an absolute moral authority that nobody possesses, and that even when successful in its immediate goal terrorism can lead to evil far beyond its intention.

John Kessel
“A Letter from the Cleary’s” and the Science Fiction Audience
(from Short Form, vol. 2, issue 1, June 1989)

Quotation du jour, 5 May 2013

Numbers are of no relevance . . . because absurd media pundits are not swayed by facts. In the United States, there have been nearly 900,000 gun fatalities in the last 30 years or so (1980 to present) compared to around 3,400 terrorism-related fatalities in the last 40 years or so (1970 to present). These figures include victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

— Ramzy Baroud, Dissident Voice

A Criminal Class

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