There is no consensus on the meaning of the term, “terrorist.” For those attacked the word is expanded and misused in conjunction with such as “war” to justify actions not that far removed from those of the “terrorists”, i.e. killing innocent people.

Rather we should be reducing the actions of “terrorists” to what they legally really are — murderers, crazies, depressives (when they commit suicide) and ignorantly naive. The rule of law is where we should be and not violating it with the excuse that we are at ‘war’ — the Cheney cop out.

Calling people “terrorists” may indicate that they are enemies of us, of other religious and ethnic groups, etc. But it casts them in the light of being heroes from their own perspective to be rewarded either monetarily or by an insane perversion of their religion or sense of justice against their enemies.

It is long gone time that we ended our “wars on terrorists” and got down to the business of peace-making with those similarly afflicted by them.

What could be crazier than a 23-year-old trying to blow up a plane with some 278 passengers mainly from his own native country, many of whom were presumably planning to celebrate a joyful religious holiday with family (one of my college roommates was a Nigerian who has had a brilliant medical career both in Nigeria and now in the U.S., so this guy really gets to me).

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Terror Attempt Seen as Man Tries to Ignite Device on Jet
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR and ERIC SCHMITT
A Nigerian man tried to ignite an explosive device as a jet
landed in Detroit on Friday in what is believed to be “an attempted act of terrorism,” according to a White House
official.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/26/us/26plane.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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