August 23

August 23 - August 23, 2007 August 28, 2007 COMM 390 Topic...

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August 23, 2007 August 28, 2007 COMM 390 Topic 1: Defining Terrorism Obscenity standard = “I know it when I see it” doesn’t work Why? We on face disagree; people from different social, political, etc. backgrounds will mostly likely agree when simply looking at a case THEN terrorism simply becomes “violence you don’t like;” the problem is that everyone labels violence differently, and terrorism becomes them merely a “slur” (without useful meaning) The result is moral relativism a position saying “we all have our own perspectives and who am I to judge” (a position that is unacceptable) **“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” (will be on the first exam; a saying that become popular after the attacks on 9/11); completely true statement, but is it helpful? It is often the case that freedom fighters are called “terrorists” by dictators (but that doesn’t always make it true) Without a definition, there is no solid ground There’s no consensus on exactly what the definition of terrorism is: Prior Obfuscation: People have been trying to make it more difficult to define terrorism A definition was intentionally blocked at the international level for years o Justification: “It shouldn’t count as terrorism if the action is just” The terrorists themselves obfuscate (not always true) o Example of Bin Laden who accepted the term of being a terrorist o They like to use terms that portray themselves of legitimate armies, soldiers, warfare, etc. The media makes it worse o American journalists try hard to not use the word terrorism is the media; they use euphemisms such as rebels, militants, etc. No consensus of the US Federal Government
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August 23 - August 23, 2007 August 28, 2007 COMM 390 Topic...

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