What is Terrorism?
An edited version of this was printed in the Leicester Mercury, April 21 2004

The caption to the picture accompanying your account of George Bush and Tony Blair's meeting about Iraq (April 17) reads "Tony Blair and George Bush in Washington for talks on the war on terror". The war in Iraq and the “war on terror” are two different things, and to conflate the two in this way is to endorse Bush and Blair's contention that all their Iraqi opponents are terrorists.

“Terror” is an abstraction, and as such can’t be defeated. “War on terror” is a figure of speech belonging to propaganda rather than reasoned analysis. Saddam, although a vicious tyrant, had no proven links with al-Qaida. More Iraqis have died in the past year than would have been at risk from him. Many of the hundreds killed or hideously injured in Falluja were women, children and elderly men.

Someone who deliberately targets civilians deserves to be called a terrorist. So does someone who applies the words "Shock and Awe" to a mass bombing campaign. But someone who picks up a rifle to defend his household against occupying troops is not necessarily a terrorist, however regrettable the resulting escalation of violence may be.

Brian Fewster
Green Party European Election Candidate for the East Midlands

Return to Euro 2004 intro
Return to home page

Published and promoted by and on behalf of Brian Fewster at 89a Winchester Avenue, Leicester LE3 1AY.