Terrorism

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This page is for quotes on the subject of Terrorism.

Quotes[edit]

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
  • Terrorism is tempting with its tremendous possibilities. It offers a mechanical solution, as it were, in hopeless situations. ... the principles of terrorism unavoidably rebound to the fatal injury of liberty and revolution. Absolute power corrupts and defeats its partisans no less than its opponents. A people that knows not liberty becomes accustomed to dictatorship: fighting despotism and counter-revolution, terrorism itself becomes their efficient school. Once on the road of terrorism, the State necessarily becomes estranged from the people.
    • Alexander Berkman, "The Bolshevik Myth", in Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas (Vol. 1), ed. Robert Graham (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2005) p. 312.
  • Terrorism is essentially the rage of the literati in its last stage, at least in the cases of Robespierre, St Just and others.
    • Jacob Burckhardt, Judgements on History and Historians (1929), Section 141. On the Mutual Destruction of the Revolutionary Factions
  • A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
  • What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending there, our war against terror is only beginning... tens of thousands of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever they are. So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk. And America and our allies must not, and will not, allow it....Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld — including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-i-Mohammed — operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities....But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.
  • It is the great challenge of this century and it's this: As young democracies flourish, terrorists try to stop their progress. And it's the great challenge of the United States and others who are blessed with living in free countries. Not only do terrorists try to stop the advance of democracy through killing innocent people within those countries, they also try to shape the will of the western world by killing innocent westerners. They try to spread their jihadist message — a message I call, it's totalitarian in nature — Islamic radicalism, Islamic fascism, they try to spread it as well by taking the attack to those of us who love freedom.
  • The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to — to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.... The — this country is safer than it was prior to 9/11. We've taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously we're still not completely safe, because there are people that still plot and people who want to harm us for what we believe in. It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America.
  • The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty.
  • When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

    By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

  • If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field.
  • Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.
  • Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.
    • William Cohen, U.S. Secretary of Defense, DoD news briefing, April 28, 1997 [2]
    • discussing threats from other countries' scientific projects
  • In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin.
  • Terrorism does not happen in a vacuum. And we would not be subject to and endangered by so-called terrorism within our own countries if we in fact kept our countries as our own heritage, our own value system. The recent terror plot in Britain, for instance was launched mostly, almost entirely by Muslims of non-European descent, who were born in Britain. Born in Britain, because of the immigration policies of our countries.
  • If you want to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization, then you must call Israel a terrorist organization.
    • David Duke on his radio show, 10 August 2006: The Israeli Invasion and Bombing of Lebanon [[4]]
  • There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself.Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.
  • If I truly believed that it was the right thing to do, that it was what sovereign God wanted me to do, and that if I did it I'd be rewarded in heaven with a huge mansion, 80,000 servants, and 72 beautiful, willing virgins all waiting there just for me, I'd crash a plane into a building too.
  • I define a “terrorist” as a non-state actor who attacks civilian targets in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy community... A “state terrorist” is a state doing the same thing.
    • Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA in Incoherent Empire, p 159
  • You know, the media and the politicians would have us believe that there's something inherently immoral about terrorism. That is, they would have us believe that it's not immoral for us to destroy a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan with cruise missiles, but it is immoral for someone like Bin Laden to blow up a government building in Washington with a truck bomb. It's okay for us to take out an air-raid shelter full of women and children in Baghdad with a smart bomb, but it's cowardly and immoral for an Iraqi or Iranian agent to pop a vial of sarin in a New York subway tunnel. Really, what should we expect? They don't have aircraft carriers and cruise missiles and stealth bombers. So should we expect them to just sit there and take their punishment when we wage war on them? I think that it is the most reasonable thing in the world for them to hit back at us in the only way they can. It actually takes more courage to be a terrorist behind enemy lines than it does to push the firing button for a cruise missile a hundred miles away from your target. And yet we certainly will see Bill Clinton and every other Jew-serving politician in our government on television denouncing as a "cowardly act" the first terrorist bomb which goes off in the United States as a result of a war against Iraq. And don't be surprised when the FBI and the CIA announce that they have studied the evidence carefully and have determined that it was Iranian terrorists who built the bomb, so that the Jews will have an excuse for expanding the war to take out Iran as well as Iraq.
  • Islamic terrorists are against us because of what we do, not who we are…if we did not attack them, then their leadership would have trouble persuading their followers that they need to die attacking the American way of life.”
    • Michael Scheuer, ex head of CIA anti-terrorist unit on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) 7.30 report, 23/11/04
  • Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites.
  • We must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
  • In our eyes, individual terror is inadmissible precisely because it belittles the role of the masses in their own consciousness, reconciles them to their own powerlessness, and turns their eyes and hopes toward a great avenger and liberator who someday will come and accomplish his mission.
    • Leon Trotsky: On Terrorism in the Pathfinder Press pamphlet "Marxism and Terrorism"; original in Der Kampf, November 1911, trans. M. Vogt and G. Saunders
  • The building is a symbol. As is the act of destroying it. Alone a symbol is meaningless. But with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
  • It's not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation, and for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law. It would thus be impossible to condemn the first and let the second pass in silence.

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