the Cassell Encyclopaedia Dictionary, terrorism is defined as "organized
violence and intimidation, usually for political ends." The Pocket
Oxford Dictionary says it is "systematic intimidation as a method
of governing or securing political or other ends."
The attacks on New York's Twin Towers and on the Pentagon in Virginia were,
without doubt, examples of calculated political terrorism -- not the only
terrorism that goes on in this world. What made it different is that it
was so bold, so brutal, so vicious, so in-your-face-tragic. It was also,
for the first time, taking innocent lives on U.S. soil.
In its October 10 issue, the Morning Herald in Sydney, Australia, points
out the duality of the U.S. government. It reported the words of White
House spokesman Ari Fleischer as saying, "If Osama bin Laden was gone
tomorrow, that war would continue beyond tomorrow. And so that one person
really is not what this is about."
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was reported to be in agreement, having
said the war would last for "a period of years, not weeks or months," and
that the goal was "not one individual, it is not one group."
On the one hand, the U.S. Administration wants bin Laden "dead or
alive''; on the other, it says that this is not about one man. On one hand,
U.S. forces are dropping bombs; on the other, they're dropping peanut butter
and jam for the starving Afghans.
On the one hand, the U.S. has no interest in who runs Afghanistan; on the
other, it is doing all it can to topple the Taliban regime. On the one
hand, it wants nothing to do with "nation building"; on the other,
it promises it won't cut and run as it did after the war between the Soviet
Union and U.S.-backed rebels in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
"It suited the United States to put a face on
terror, but now the bombs are falling, its message is changing."