Terrorism

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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. ~ George W. Bush

Terrorism is an act designed to terrorize. In its most common usage, it usually refers to a violent act committed by private individuals against civilian targets in order to influence or bring about a certain outcome, usually political in nature.

B[edit]

  • They say they believe in freedom and share our values. They say a few bad apples shouldn’t bring down judgment on their entire kind. Don’t be fooled. Though they walk among us with impunity, they are, in the words of Henry Farrell, a political scientist at George Washington University, “a group that is notoriously associated with terrorist violence and fundamentalist political beliefs.”
    They are engineers.
    Farrell, of course, was kidding. He posted that comment on a blog shortly after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (confessed Al Qaeda operative and engineering student) tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit last winter. But the satire was rooted in a statistical fact: in the ranks of captured and confessed terrorists, engineers and engineering students are significantly overrepresented. Maybe that’s a numerological accident. The sociologist Diego Gambetta and the political scientist Steffen Hertog don’t think so.
  • When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations... Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.
  • While our nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard. At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.
  • Maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.
  • 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.

C[edit]

  • No-one becomes a terrorist from a standing start. It starts with a process of radicalisation. When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.
  • We should together challenge the ludicrous conspiracy theories of the extremists. The world is not conspiring against Islam; the security services aren’t behind terrorist attacks; our new Prevent duty for schools is not about criminalising or spying on Muslim children. This is paranoia in the extreme.
  • We need our internet companies to go further in helping us identify potential terrorists online. Many of their commercial models are built around monitoring platforms for personal data, packaging it up and selling it on to third parties. And when it comes to doing what’s right for their business, they are happy to engineer technologies to track our likes and dislikes. But when it comes to doing what’s right in the fight against terrorism, we too often hear that it’s all too difficult.
  • We’ve got to show that if you say “yes I condemn terror – but the Kuffar are inferior”, or “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter” – then you too are part of the problem. Unwittingly or not, and in a lot of cases it’s not unwittingly, you are providing succour to those who want to commit, or get others to commit to, violence.
  • One has to ask whether there was transparency in the invasion of Iraq. The world knows President Bush lied openly about Iraq having chemical weapons, They keep on bombing cities, killing children, they have become a terrorist state.
  • 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.
  • Fifteen years ago, there was this country called the Soviet Union that had over 10,000 nuclear warheads pointed at us... they're not there anymore. That's a good thing. And when people talk about how the world is more dangerous now than it was because we had these terrorists running around, my reply is, you know, a terrorist is like a buzzing mosquito. About 15 years ago, there was a great, big vampire bat; that's several orders of magnitude different from a mosquito. So the world is much safer — a lot safer than it was. It's not perfectly safe, but it's a heck of a lot safer than it was.
  • Ending your own life is not something the average person does. Everybody's assuming these are Islamic terrorists. Well, if so they've defiled their own religion. Islam does not permit suicide. It says you go to hell if you do something like this... We saw people in Northern Ireland, Catholics acting like savages and Protestants acting like savages... We have people who call themselves Muslims acting like savages. It's not because of their religion, it's because they're fools.
  • 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.

D[edit]

E[edit]

  • Terror consists mostly of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves.

F[edit]

  • Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person.

G[edit]

  • 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.

H[edit]

  • [R]efusing to accept a life of submission, the suicide bomber turns life itself into a horrible weapon.
  • What do groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and even Hamas, want? They want to impose their religious views on the rest of humanity. They want to stifle every freedom that decent and educated and secular people care about. This is not a trivial difference. And yet, judging from the level of condemnation that Israel now receives, you would think the difference ran the other way. This kind of confusion puts us all in danger. This is the great story of our time. For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don't want to live peacefully in a secular pluralistic world because they are desperate to get to paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel; it's just that some of us haven't realized it yet.
  • Usually, terrorists film their attacks for future information operations and social media use. They may have had terrorist videographers in specific locations for that purpose.

J[edit]

  • Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

K[edit]

L[edit]

  • The difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is a matter of perspective: it all depends on the observer and the verdict of history.
    • Pentti Linkola, Can Life Prevail?: A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis. page 160
  • I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others; that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail. In the days that follow, look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see... They come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don't want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.

M[edit]

  • 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.
  • What people often forget, of course, is that Magneto (unlike the lovely Sir Ian McKellen, is a mad old terrorist twat. No matter how he justifies his stupid, brutal behaviour, or how anyone else tries to justify it, in the end he's just an old bastard with daft, old ideas based on violence and coercion. I really wanted to make that clear.
  • No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.
    • Edward R. Murrow, broadcaster, CBS television broadcast “See It Now” (7 March 1954)

N[edit]

  • The root cause of terrorism lies not in grievances but in a disposition toward unbridled violence. This can be traced to a world view which asserts that certain ideological and religious goals justify, indeed demand, the shedding of all moral inhibitions.”
    • Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli ambassador and current Israeli prime minister.
    • As quoted in —Terrorism—How the West Can Win. Awakeǃ magazine, 1/8 - 1987.

O[edit]

  • The terrorists have won... What was their goal 15 long, sad years ago? To strip from the world's greatest power, their traditions of growing tolerance. To hamstring the international interests of a country that barely stuck to the international double-white line of the moral road, but came closer than any other. To take our energies from trying... to help the world move forward, and instead make us direct those energies inward, at one another, within our own borders.

P[edit]

  • 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.
Every morning I wake up with the news of bloodshed.
I feel my body, desperate to know whether I’m still alive.
-Suman Pokhrel
  • Every morning
    I wake up with the news
    of bloodshed.
    I feel my body,
    desperate to know whether
    I’m still alive.

R[edit]

  • Terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can, and America is standing in their way. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will punish — we will punish their allies, like Iran — and we will stand with our allies, like Israel.

S[edit]

  • 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 November 2004).
  • Governments are terrorists, but they hide their actions behind the label of nationalism and patriotism: war becomes defense; theft becomes 'taxation'; slavery becomes 'conscription'; terrorism becomes 'defense.' Few people question the violations; rather, if they do protest, it is because the government is oppressing the 'wrong' group of people, and not because they regard coercion itself as wrong.
    • L.K. Samuels, Facets of Liberty: A Libertarian Primer, edited L.K. Samuels, Freeland Press (2009), chapter 17: “Who’s Afraid of No Government” pp. 139-140.

T[edit]

  • The terrorist kills because he cannot compete with his adversaries. Instead of responding to Salman Rushdie’s ill-structured and unreadable novel with a novel that is well-plotted and properly written, the terrorist calls for his murder. The terrorist cannot challenge Theo van Gogh’s controversial documentary with a better one and thus decides to stab him to death. The history of contemporary Islamist terrorism is full of instances of cold-blooded murder ordered by those who could not compete in literary, political, social or even theological fields against those better than them. With the advent of globalization, Islamist terrorism is now able to strike beyond the frontiers of the Muslim world. But the same lazy mentality is at work. The terrorist knows that he is incapable of building an alternative civilization capable of competing with the one he despises. So he tries to destroy what becomes the cause of his humiliation.
    • Amir Taheri, "Terrorism Cannot Win: This is Why", Elaph.com, (January 16, 2014).
  • 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.

U[edit]

  • Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
    • Peter Ustinov, Achtung! Vorurteile (2003)
    • Original German: "Der Terrorismus, der im furchtbaren 11. September kulminierte, ist ein Krieg der Armen gegen die Reichen. Der Krieg ist ein Terrorismus der Reichen gegen die Armen." typically cited in short: "Terrorismus ist der Krieg der Armen und der Krieg ist der Terrorismus der Reichen."

W[edit]

  • We must answer hatred and violence from terrorists with exclusion and intolerance and show who's the boss.
    • Geert Wilders, NRC Handelsblad (22 July 2005), as quoted in Tradition and Future of Islamic Education (2009), by Wilna A.J. Meijer, p. 24

Y[edit]

  • We must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time. […] I believe putting resources into improving the lives of poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns.

Z[edit]

  • The next time you hear of a terror attack, no matter where it is, no matter what the circumstances, you will likely think to yourself, 'It's Muslims again.' And you will probably be right.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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Quotes about terrorism