What is terrorism?When “insurgents” kidnap simple working men supporting their families by buidling roads, simply so they can show how powerful they are, that is terrorism.

When a political group trying to destroy a government uses bombs that is aimed to kill innocent civilians and not government targets, that is terrorism, whether the bomb be in Algeria, Morocco, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran or the Philippines.

When gangs murder their enemies so they can gain a limited control of civilians to sell drugs, or be in charge of various criminal activities by intimidating and killing those who get in their way, including innocent bystanders, that is crime, not terrorism. There has been gang violence in Los Angeles, Mexico or Rio.

Claiming that there should be no “war on terror” and treating terror as mere crime ignores the central differences between the two types of gang killings.

Fist of all, gangs don’t want to impose a utopian society on the rest of us, they only want to make money. They get money from kidnapping, murder, and extortion, but are essentially self sufficient.

Often unemployed youth, seeing no job opportunities, see gangs as a logical way to make money and have fun (pushing around people and running around with guns is fun, let’s face it.)

Unless they go too far, locals see them as annoying but “their own” and tend to protect them. Indeed, one of the problems with the Philippine police trying to eradicate the NPA is that after 60 years, they are more like the mafia, seen as a way for poor people to revenge on those who exploit them, and if a few innocents get killed, well that’s the cost of keeping those in charge from going too far.

But the main difference is that terrorist have outside help.

In Iraq, the “insurgents” are helped by the governments of Syria and Iran, while the Saudi government looks the other way when their charities fund mosques that preach Jihad and launder money for Alqaeda. These terrorist groups may get part of their money from murder, extortion kidnapping and drugs, but without the help of rogue governments they would soon fade away because their local “support” is from fear.

Unlike gang violence, which can live nicely with government and locals as long as they don’t go too far, terrorists want to take over a country, and then run the country according to their utopian ideology. the result is more terror, because the extreme views allow murder as a way to an end.

The twentieth century had murderous terrorists take over many countries in the name of many utopian ideas: Fascism, Nazism, and especially communism.

The reason some people call present day terrorism “Islamofascism” is that these groups have more in common with Soviet funded terror groups than with Islam. And, like the communist groups, they work on many levels: not just terrorism of their “enemies”, but thru Saudi funded mosques that preach extremism, and through elites who push their agenda at the level of government.

The dirty little secret is that these groups could not exist without funding, either official or via “charities”, from other governments. Without Soviet backing, the local NPA has degenerated into a Mafia type gang, and these groups also would be more of a murderous gang without the careful guidance and funding of their actions.

So when a car bomb by a group with only a few thousand adherents can make the Democrats decide “the war is lost”, while not even mentioning sadness for the innocent civilians killed trying to shop for food, one wonders where is their priorities. Let the murders win? Are you nuts?

When you say such things, you are essentially telling the worst type of murderers that it is okay to murder in the future to gain power, and telling rogue states that preach murder as a way to extend their utopian ideology that terror works, encouraging them to fund even more terror to extend their aims.

You are so worried about the Kos kids disliking you that you don’t care if your actions give the green light to Indonesian terrorists trained in Afghanistan funded by Saudi charities  who kill innocent Pinoys.

Get real, man.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician who has lived in several countries that had “insurgencies”. At present she lives in the Philippines with her husband, six dogs, three cats, and a large extended family. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. This post was crossposted to Podkayne’s blog.

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