::terrorism, my ass

26 02 2005

Careful, folks.We need to take some caution in what we define as terrorism, and in whom we brand a terrorist.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about terrorism in Sacramento. More so than usual. Seems some dastardly fiends have been committing terrible acts of terrorism in the area, and have left a small town not far from here just gripped in the clutches of fear. It seems that starting back in December, some militant jihadists started planting firebombs lighting fires in office buildings and luxury homes under constructions. The fires didn’t stay lit, and the bombs didn’t go off, but you can bet that God-fearing Americans throughout Northern California were looking over their shoulders for head scarves and grenades.

The FBI got involved quickly, as I’m sure you can imagine, and soon they got their man. They didn’t have to look in the caves of Tora Bora, Bora Bora, or even Tora! Tora! Tora!. No spider holes to dig through here. All they had to do was go to coffee and look for an angst-filled white kid with too much money and displaced anger.

Except instead for finding an Osama clone, they found some stupid kid with a little too much free time on his hands.
Not exactly a face to inspire fear. Unless maybe it's two AM and you're in a prom dress trying to fend off some clumsy petting.Nope, what we have here is some stupid kid trying to find sprawl the old-fashioned way.

The media and law enforcement have made him out to be a true urban terrorist, though, trying to show a connection between him and those murderous fiends at the Earth Liberation Front. That's Elf for short. Did I say murderous? I meant vandalous.

This kid is not a terrorist, folks, and we should be careful not to brand him as such. He is very likely an arsonist, and might be fairly dangerous if he ever learned how to light a fuse. Thank god for child-proof lighters and J. Edgar Hoover.

Terrorists seek to inspire fear by attacking people and places where they are at their most vulnerable. They do not light fires in unoccupied buildings in the middle of the night. They drive cars filled with explosives into buildings, they crash hijack planes and kill thousands of people at once.

Calling this kid a terrorist, and crimes like arson and vandalism terrorism, is like crying wolf. These are somewhat pointless acts of civil disobedience. Free of the media frothing at the mouth to crucify this kid and show us all how dangerous our neighbors are, this kid only would have inspired fear in a few insurance adjusters.

We are heading down a dangerous path in our war on terrorism and our struggle to show what side we are on. Political protest is not terrorism when it does not actively seek to kill or injure civilians. Political protest is the stuff that revolutions are made of, Not that the mighty elfs will inspire a revolution. Like protest, some protesters are more effective than others. It might help your cause if you also brew good beer.





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