RANGER AGAINST WAR: Original Terrorism <

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Original Terrorism

Ideology is abstract.
Hardship is lived concretely
--The Americans No One Wants to Talk About,
Michael Gerson

A "war against terrorism" is an impracticable conception

if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism.

--Where There's a Will ...
, John Mortimer

Terrorism, like viruses, is everywhere.
There is a global profusion of terrorism,
which accompanies any system of domination
as though it were its shadow,
ready to activate itself anywhere, like a double agent
--The Spirit of Terrorism, Jean Baudrillard

Sunday homily: Original terrorism.

Ranger has often discussed the fact that terrorism is the symbolic use of violence to affect an audience beyond the immediate target. Plain and simple.

Is being thrown out of the Garden of Eden a form of symbolic violence? What about Abraham's impending sacrifice of son Isaac? How about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? The great flood of Noah? The Crucifixtion of Jesus? The martyrdom of early Christians? The Inquisition or the modern day death penalty? All of these actions suggests an inherent deterrent value along with the more direct punitive one.

How about bombings like those of London, Warsaw, Dresden, Hamburg, Nagasaki and Hiroshima? The bombing of Hanoi? Shock and Awe 2003? Predator missiles?

These examples suggest both religious and governmental groups utilize terror tactics.
When and why is terror sanctioned, and when is it not? When administered by an authorized agency, do such tactics gain validity de facto?

Why are we comfortable with a God or a country employing symbolic violence, while terror groups provoke such an extreme emotional response?

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