Terrorism:All in the Name

Eric at Is That Legal? posed an interesting question this morning: Was the attack on students in the Pit at UNC a terrorist attack?

For those of you that do not know about the event, a student drove through the middle of UNC's campus, where large groups of students congragate and is blocked from automobile traffic. The driver said he was upset with the treatment of Muslims around the world.

The College Republicans protested that this should be considered a terrorist attack. But Eric points out that some at Orange Politcs are calling this a mental illness and avoinding the terrorism label.

My take is that we should call all crimes that are intended to scare others "terrorism". This would include the Oklahoma City bombing, the anthrax letters, hate crimes, and this attack. I am sure this is not what the College Republicans want, but it would be consistent. Also, we would never need to hear that Bush is keeping us safe from terrorist attacks because we just had one.

Comments

The College Republicans

Aren't they the progeny of Ralph Reed and Karl Rove - little rightwing munchkins looking to build careers in sleaze?

A

PS Your definition would categorize 99% of what BushCo does as terrorism. That sounds about right.

I listened to a segment on

I listened to a segment on WUNC's "the State of Things" yesterday, and you've done a better job here than they did of explaining why it matters whether the label "terrorism" is applied or not. I still fall generally into the "who cares?" category. It's a loaded word, so it's not even that surprising or interesting that we're having a hard time deciding when it applies.

One thing: it is true that if this was a terrorist event, it's proof that BushCo isn't keeping us safe from terrorists. I would want to stop far short of saying that the feds should have been listening to this guy's phone calls (or the calls of UNC students/grads like him in some significant way).

Inappropriate behavior

The kid looked deranged to me when he was brought to court. Big smiles as if he was at a kegger. His roomies were all saying what a great guy he is. Maybe he just cracked from all the pressure of his classes and life in the USA as a Muslim. I think he could have caused a lot more damage and personal injury if he had wanted. It seemed to me more of a protest. No one charged Lizzie Grubman with terrorist acts when she ran down all those people in New York. Of course, she never admitted to a terrorist act, as he presumably did. They will probably be rounding all the Muslims up now and putting them in the new camps good old Halliburton is building.

Lance

What have you got against me that when I try to comment, my comments fall into the SPAM category????? Inquiring minds want to know =)

I don't know what's up with that.

Thanks for letting me know. I'm going to muck around in the spam software and see what I can come up with.

Lance

I just posted another on "Blue" for Anglico and it happened again.

It's obvious

even southern BLOGS have long, bad memories about carpetbaggers. Try changing your name to TomBaggins

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

the crime

I imagine if we call it terrorism then Mohammed would be subject to different laws and sentencing, than his current charges of attempted murder.

Good thought, but no.

Prof. Scott Silliman at Duke Law was on the SOT show yesterday saying that that might be true if international law were involved, but domestically there's little or no difference depending on what you call it. Maybe that's not true in every jurisdiction.

Even though he's at Duke, I believe him to be qualified to speak on the issue.

Robert Peterson

I had the same thought myself, but I didn't want to raise it and give voice to that nasty issue. I use that because as a northern liberal, I am probably to the left of most of you guys. Maybe not and I am not impugning anyone for their beliefs or values. I just thought if I said something outrageous to you, you would then understand why. =)
Robert, I apologize for not getting your name right the other day. I was laughing so hard I couldn't read correctly.

Is That Legal?'s Final Take

Professor Muller came out yesterday afternoon agreeing with the "terrorism" label as a random act for the purpose of making a political statement.