.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Emet m'Tsiyon

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Are Ukrainian Officials & Bashar Assad Allowed to Call Enemies "Terrorists" but the Western Press Won't Use the Word?

Forty years ago in the 1970s, the Irish Republican Army Provisional faction was performing acts of terrorism and sometimes mass murder in Northern Ireland. And the BBC called them "terrorists." In the same years, the Fatah --meaning conquest of a city in Arabic-- was acting as a mass murderous terrorist group. Neither Fatah nor its partners in mass murder terrorism against Israelis and Jews, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,  the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine plus half a dozen smaller murder factions, was called "terrorist" by the BBC. Who can reckon why this discrepancy? Why were IRA Provos called "terrorists" but not Fatah or the PFLP or the PDFLP?

Maybe the BBC thought that British blood was redder than Jewish-Israeli blood. I can only speculate.

In recent years it is not only the BBC that refuses to call terrorists what they are. Now it is a well-established widespread practice in Western press and media outlets that terrorists are called "militants." In earlier years, a militant was a guy who came out to walk the picket line during a strike, a guy who came to the picket line every day, even in bad weather when most people would be more comfortable at home. A militant for a revolutionary faction was somebody who would pick up a thousand leaflets printed by his faction and stand on a street corner all day giving them out. But nobody in those far off days  would call somebody who planted a bomb in a school playground a "militant."

But the word "terrorist" is still  used these days. Bashar Assad called his domestic enemies "terrorists" in 2011 even before allies and cothinkers of al-Qa`ida had joined the struggle against Assad, or what is now a struggle  to determine the future of Syria.
When Assad started calling the rebels against him "terrorists" before it was  true, back in 2011, he was wrong. But he knew very well what and who were terrorists. He himself and his father before him had funded and trained Arab terrorists attacking Israel. The Assad regime in Syria had funded and trained several of the smaller PLO factions since the 1960s, and Hamas & Hizbullah, since the 1980s. After the  US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Assad regime armed and trained terrorists who operated in Iraq against the foreign occupation troops, including Americans of course. These Syrian-trained terrorists especially took to using bombs to slaughter the Shiite population in Iraq. Surely the Assad regime knew that these were terrorists. By the way, today Assad is allied with Shiites warriors against Sunni Muslim rebels against him.

Now we know that Assad's regime is greatly aided by the Russian government. The Russian govt also supports rebels and insurgents in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. These rebels and insurgents who favor Russian rule over their home areas in Eastern Ukraine, in the Don Basin, and so on, are rough and abusive and often thuggish. But they are hardly terrorists in the sense of Hamas or Hizbullah or al-Qa`ida. Yet officials of the Ukrainian government, Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko and so on, call these rebels/insurgents "terrorists." This is one of the things that keeps the new Ukrainian govt from having any credibility,

Now the new Ukrainian govt is supported by Western powers including the EU & USA. So Russia's ally in Syria, Assad, called his opponents "terrorists"  even when the rebels fighting him were not terrorists.
Today, Ukrainian officials supported by the EU & USA call the rebels that Russia supports "terrorists" when they are not.

Meanwhile, Western news outlets like BBC, France24, the New York Times and so many others, call the real terrorists mere "militants."

Hence the word terrorist has become an ill-treated orphan. Can't somebody sort out the meanings and  usages of the words "terrorist" & "militant"? Where is Orwell when we need him?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,