September 1, 2004

NOT ALL TERRORISM IS CREATED EQUAL:

U.S. noncommittal as Panama pardons convicted Cuban exiles (GEORGE GEDDA, September 1, 2004, AP)

Police say the four Cuban exiles had lethal intent when they were arrested, allegedly with explosives in their possession. They were suspected of plotting to assassinate a head of state, Fidel Castro, but convicted only of a lesser charge of endangering public safety.

To some, it looked like a clear case of international terrorism. To others, the four were freedom fighters trying to liberate their homeland. [...]

Debate over the case has resurfaced with the decision of Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso last week to pardon the four.

Among some Cuban-Americans in Miami there was jubilation. The Cuban government was furious. The State Department declined to criticize Moscoso's action.

"This was a decision made by the government of Panama," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. "We never lobbied the Panamanian government to pardon anyone involved in this case, and I'd leave it to the government of Panama to discuss the action."

Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., said he was stunned to learn of the pardon, adding that the State Department loses credibility in refusing to voice outrage over the release of people he says are "assassins, ... terrorists."


This is why it's silly to talk of defeating terrorism--there's nothing wrong with a terrorist action aimed at such an evil regime, though it would be preferable for us to just remove Castro for them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 1, 2004 6:47 PM
Comments

Orrin,

It's not terrorism to try to attack a military officer or head of state. It's deliberately targeting innocent civilians that makes it terrorism.

Posted by: Steve at September 1, 2004 7:22 PM

Orrin,

It's not terrorism to try to attack a military officer or head of state. It's deliberately targeting innocent civilians that makes it terrorism.

Posted by: Steve at September 1, 2004 7:22 PM

Steve:

Yes, Hiroshima was terrorism by that sensible standard. We don't oppose terrorism., do we?

Posted by: oj at September 1, 2004 7:37 PM

"War On Terror" and "War On Terrorism" always were nonsensical labels. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Posted by: creeper at September 1, 2004 9:22 PM

"Yes, Hiroshima was terrorism by that sensible standard. We don't oppose terrorism, do we?"

Clever mixing of tense, OJ. We didn't oppose that kind of terrorism then, I suspect the answer would be different now.

Of course, should the Islamists accomplish some massively lethal outrage, our opposition would vanish in an instant.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 1, 2004 9:33 PM

Hiroshima was an important military target, headquarters of the Second Army and principal supply port for the Japanese army in China.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 1, 2004 10:09 PM

OJ apparently thinks the wrong side won WWII.

Anything that people choose to do to throw out El Tirano is fine with me. One of the saddest days in my life was seeing that genetic accident, that alcoholic, Marxist, lesbian gargoyle, we had for an attorney general, Janet Reno, order her jack-booted thugs to return little Elian to that prison camp known as Cuba.

Let's make this simple. The tyrant Castro doesn't respect the basic human rights of his citizens and as such anything needed to bounce him from power is more than justified. He didn't win an election. He shot his way into power.

Posted by: Bart at September 1, 2004 10:19 PM

Bart:

They did, the Soviets.

Posted by: oj at September 1, 2004 11:33 PM

Harry:

Sure, the war hung in the balance.

Posted by: oj at September 1, 2004 11:47 PM

Only a career congresscritter from MA would be stunned to learn about this. Most of Latin America really doesn't like Castro (now), although it is probably a surprise to JFKerry, too.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 1, 2004 11:51 PM

OJ,

Hitler lost WWII which is why I am here to write to you today. Because Tojo lost, there are free nations all across the Pacific Rim, and Japan itself has a functioning constitutional monarchy.

None of the states of Eastern Europe that were taken over by the Soviets with the exception of Czechoslovakia had democratic governments prior to WWII. Antonescu and Horthy were fascist military dictators, and similar governments were in power in Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria. The Polish government passed a version of the Nuremburg laws in 1939.

Jim,

I would have agreed with you a decade ago. However, in the last several years, Latin electorates are choosing statist crypto-Marxist demagogues once again. Kirchner, Lula da Silva, Chavez, and Gutierrez are all in power. In Bolivia, a leftist insurrection forced the neo-liberal President from power. In Peru, the leading candidate for President is a former President, Alan Garcia, who was a complete failure. He was a Socialist, who brought economic collapse, staggering levels of corruption and was totally incapable of fighting the Sendero or the Tupac Amaru.

This is a real problem which needs to be addressed.

Posted by: Bart at September 2, 2004 7:26 AM

OJ,

It's also not terrorism if civilians are targeted by a nation's armed forces during a declared state of war.

Posted by: Steve at September 2, 2004 10:53 AM

Steve:

Why? If you target civilians in order to terrorize them into not supporting the war you're using terror as a tactic, no?

Posted by: oj at September 2, 2004 11:05 AM

Bart:

Understood, although I think Lula has governed quite differently than people expected (when I was in Brazil in 2002, they thought he would win and were nervous - now they seem pleasantly surprised).

The US is always 10 years behind in watching and understanding Latin America.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 2, 2004 11:55 AM

Lula has been constrained by the IMF, in essence, he has been mugged by reality. One can however easily envision a series of events where Lula is ousted by his own party, they default on the loans and all the Socialist idiots in Latin America follow suit, like Kirchner, Chavez and Gutierrez. If Garcia wins in Peru, this eventuality becomes more likely.

Posted by: Bart at September 2, 2004 12:34 PM

" If you target civilians in order to terrorize them into not supporting the war you're using terror as a tactic, no?"

Uhh, no.

If civilians are part of the means of production supporting the enemy war effort, then they are a legitimate target.

Presuming nothing else better, like, say, PGMs, is available.

One of the principles of war is economy of force. In WWII, we didn't have the means to apply force anywhere like as economically as now.

Your conflating two wildly different military eras is misleading you.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 2, 2004 9:14 PM

Jeff:

When we intentionally kill civilians it's good. When they do it's bad.

Posted by: oj at September 2, 2004 9:43 PM

Up until 1939, it was against international law to kill civilians, period. So much for international law.

In August 1945, millions of lives hung in the balance, including mine, though I hadn't been born yet.

It's racist of you to prefer Japanese lives over Chinese.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 3, 2004 7:26 PM

The Japanese were whipped. Eastern Europe hung in the balance.

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 7:44 PM

They were whipped, but they hadn't decided to stop killing.

Eastern Europe was finished in 1944, if not 1938. Move along, folks, notthing to see here.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 4, 2004 3:33 PM

They were confined to their islands. Who were they going to kill?

Eastern Europe was finished because your guys gave it to Stalin.

Posted by: oj at September 4, 2004 5:46 PM

Revolutionary times

Believe, my foreign brothers, we are living revolutionary times in South America. Hugo Chaves and Luis Inácio Lula da Silva are big fans of Fidel Castro. They say they are doing "social justice", but they are only using the poor persons to reach the Power. They still believe in the lies writed by Marx, Lenin, Mao, Guevara and other sociopaths. They are strangling the private initiative, increasing taxes and trying to control the press and cultural production. The brazilian people, for example, think that communism is past stuff, but they don't realize that North-Corea, Cuba and China are still communists. The brazilian intellectuals just use socialist concepts to analyze our politic reality and this concepts had been so spread out that the people doens't perceive its true nature. We are so dived in terrestrial atmosphere that we can't see the air. The communist jargon and ideas act in the same way. The brasilian people is blind. We are Walking on the edge of the Abyss...

My blog talks about...

Posted by: P. Rocha at October 15, 2004 7:51 PM

Revolutionary times

Believe, my foreign brothers, we are living revolutionary times in South America. Hugo Chaves and Luis Inácio Lula da Silva are big fans of Fidel Castro. They say they are doing "social justice", but they are only using the poor persons to reach the Power. They still believe in the lies writed by Marx, Lenin, Mao, Guevara and other sociopaths. They are strangling the private initiative, increasing taxes and trying to control the press and cultural production. The brazilian people, for example, think that communism is past stuff, but they don't realize that North-Corea, Cuba and China are still communists. The brazilian intellectuals just use socialist concepts to analyze our politic reality and this concepts had been so spread out that the people doens't perceive its true nature. We are so dived in terrestrial atmosphere that we can't see the air. The communist jargon and ideas act in the same way. The brasilian people is blind. We are Walking on the edge of the Abyss...

My blog talks about...

Posted by: P. Rocha at October 15, 2004 7:54 PM
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