I’m taking this post to link the new blog of my old friend delobius. We met back in the day at the UofMN, where we slacked off together in my first (and only) C programming course.
This morning I wrote this huge response to his post asking about whether lies are black and white or shades of grey, and debated posting my response here instead of in his comments. So now that I’ve written another huge response to his latest post on political discourse, I decided to post it here instead. Anyway, he’s a great guy, political disagreements aside.
I agreed with almost everything in the post initially. Name calling in politics is pretty much pointless, and about as likely to convince someone of your point as it is to enrage them beyond the point of rational discussion… But I do NOT agree with the premise that Bush is obviously not a terrorist.
Dictionary.com defines terrorism as:
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Bush is clearly using force and violence to coerce foreign governments for ideological or political reasons. (Does destroying them completely count?) He’s changed his tune a couple of times about why we invaded Iraq, but whether it’s ideological or political, I think we’ve got it covered there. (Of course, giving him complete credit for these actions is probably unwise, but lets take that in stride for the sake of this argument.) That leaves only one question…
Did he break any laws to do it?
If he hasn’t broken any laws… he’s not a terrorist by dictionary definition, he’s just an asshole with too much power.
I’m not up on my global treaty knowledge. (But a quick google search reveals at least one page on laws that were perhaps broken by invading Afghanistan.) As far as I know our “war on Iraq” has circumnavigated (if not overtly broken) international peace treaties and/or accords. If these treaties can be considered “law” then we’ve got ourselves terrorist actions performed by our government…
If not, well, we’ve still got the term “asshole” to fall back on.