Ter·ror·ism (Noun): When OTHER People Do What We Do

George Washington's picture

The United States is arguably the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, although we call it “self defense” and fighting “humanitarian” wars.

But when other people – especially brown-skinned people who wear funny clothes – do the same things that we do, we label it as terrorism.

Mark Selden - Bartle Professor of History and Sociology at Binghamton University – explains:

American politicians and most social scientists definitionally exclude actions and policies of the United States and its allies” as terrorism.

For example, the American military  indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see this),  calling it “carefully targeted strikes”.  When others do it, we rightfully label it terrorism.

When Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target  people attending funerals of those killed – or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured by –   previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism.  But the U.S. government does exactly the same thing, without any criticism by government apologists.

Torture is a recognized form of terrorism.  The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this).

But the government and its lackeys tried to say that American waterboarding in the “war on terror” was not torture.   When asked during his 2008 presidential bid whether waterboarding was torture, Rudy Giuliani answered:

It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.

Indeed, we have a long history of using bombs and violence as a way to scare the civilian populations into seeing things our way.

But that is never labeled terrorism by the U.S.  Instead, anyone who simply disagrees with U.S. policy (including those with the nerve to criticize the wars on brown-skinned people throughout North Africa and the Middle East planned 20 years ago) may be targeted with the  terrorist  label.

Why Are the American People So Easily Fooled?

As the Atlantic points out:

Since 9/11, many Americans have conflated terrorism with Muslims; and having done so, they’ve tolerated or supported counterterrorism policies safe in the presumption that people unlike them would bear their brunt. (If Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD sent officers beyond the boundaries of New York City to secretly spy on evangelical Christian students or Israeli students or students who own handguns the national backlash would be swift, brutal, and decisive. The revelation of secret spying on Muslim American students was mostly defended or ignored.)


In the name of counterterrorism, many Americans have given their assent to indefinite detention, the criminalization of gifts to certain charities, the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens, and a sprawling, opaque homeland security bureaucracy; many have also advocated policies like torture or racial profiling that are not presently part of official anti-terror policy.




It ought to be self-evident that non-Muslims perpetrate terrorist attacks, and that a vanishingly small percentage of Muslims are terrorists, but those two truths aren’t widely appreciated in America. That doesn’t mean they won’t reassert themselves, for terrorist attacks have always been with us; the tactic has never been exclusive to a single ideology for very long; and the power the state marshals against one sort of terrorist is sure to be first to hand when another sort strikes.




Having flattened so many laws (and a good many innocents) in pursuit of the terrorist, the American majority is naturally loath to focus its attention on a terrorist who looks, talks, and dresses as they do. It is particularly uncomfortable for those in the country who feel most reflexively safe when “an American” is beside them on a plane, instead of a bearded man with a turban. Watching [the Sikh temple massacre], that subset of Americans was put in a position to realize that a day prior they’d have identified with the terrorist more than his victims.


And so they quickly looked away.

History shows that when people try to ignore terrorism done to others – pretending that it doesn’t effect them – they end up vulnerable, alone and exposed.

And letting our fear of terror get out of hand makes people stupid.

And it should be clear that the failure to really investigate 9/11 (and the government’s bumbling incompetence or worse) has led to the spread of terrorism.  Specifically, there was state support for 9/11 from at least one government … and yet we haven’t changed our foreign policy based upon that fact.  And if people knew that 9/11 was preventable,  they would demand real national security, instead of the ruthless global war and shameless fear-mongering which has been the government’s response to those attacks.

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i-dog's picture


"Fulford always smelled a bit off though"

Fulford always smelled very off, to me ... which is why I got such a surprise to see him tearing into the Jesuits and linking them and the Vatican in with the 'TPTB-approved Usual Suspects', the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. I must read it again, and dig into some of his other recent stuff, to see if he's wandered off the reservation, or whether it's just a new angle to his KKK False Hope Narrative.

BTW, I'm not accusing Reggie...yet. It was just an observation. GW, on the other hand, is dun'n'dusted. The only way George could begin to redeem himself is to dissociate from AJ and let it all hang out on 9-11.

AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

Dont forget they were able to spend trillions and trillions on TSA and airport security. To make us all safer. Safety is the last thing on my mind at an airport. No one is going to be dumb enough to try and sneak explosives thru airport securtiy. No one did before 9/11, and what... 1 person after? the so called underwearbomber or whatever fake BS they want everyone to swallow. tens of trillions spent, and we fuckin got the guy! Now lets move to the highways since turrists arn't coming in to airports anymore. what a fucking joke.


got to take a private flight last week for business. small airfield, small jet. not one goddamned camera or security guard. There was a security building on the runway yes, but no one came to work that day i guess? The plane could have been full of whatever the fuck we wanted to put on it...100 handguns to mexico that you can charge 1500$ a piece for (they are illegal there)? drugs to anywhere? explosives to fly into some building? where was all the security? Oh, at the public airport harassing people- making sure no domestic terrorists stuck some weed in their shampoo bottle. What a fucking joke.  Money well spent i guess. All in the name of job creation right?

Colonial Intent's picture

Its all bullshit, the terrorist attacks are local wannabe idiot's using home grown materials, usually they had a handler who turns out to be working for an alphabet agency, or a paid informant, buncha false flag BS to keep the sheeple begging govt to protect them.

Over here the guy who handled the 7/7 guys was an MI5 informant and under house arrest for two years before he gave those four boys backpacks, our security forces got played by a gifted amateur and lost badly.

If we cant stop over 100 tons of heroin, coke and crack getting into the UK each year, how the hell can we expect to catch 1 person with a russki 203mm tacnuke shell or a ton of C4.

Never mind that a worker in the NHS couldnt think of a better attack plan than buying some propane containers and setting them on fire with petrol....and that his two accomplice's had rode the short bus until their 18th birthday.

Rant over!

LetThemEatRand's picture

Different set of rules for the wealthy.  

Divine Wind's picture



You bet.

It has always been this way.

The world and life are not fair.

What is the lesson here?

Bust your ass and become wealthy.

Then there is more to share with those who can't afford to fly either way.



outofhere's picture

Great points FUPAcabra.  My brother flies private charters everyday and security is non-existant.  Granted, a King Air is no 737 but it sure can carry a hell of a payload!

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Terrorism is very different than US imperialism.

No value judgements, but words matter.

Terrorism is specifically a force multiplying tactic which is used in conjunction with violence. The primary goals of the tactic is abstract fear which causes the enemy to respond irrationally. Ironically, this is wholly humanistic in its nature. It's as unpredictable and chaotic as humans themselves.

That's very different than the U.S. tactics of imperialism. The goals of the U.S. corptocracy is simply to exploit productive activities and raw resources of it's targets for it's own growth and health. This framework predominantly subordinates the human. It's basically a machine feeding itself. It's exceedingly predictable.

DaveyJones's picture

terrorism is an inseperable tool of imperialism - So inseperable that it remains part of its definition.

hannah's picture

funny how corporations killing people is not terrorism but muslims seeking power is...? WTF. you are the poster child of stupid. you are what this article is about. we kill and are not terrorist. imperialism is terrorism when you are on the recieving end you stupid fuck.

imperialism is just a power grab.

religion is just a power grab.

terrorism is just a power grab.

sambro's picture

Religion is not a single entity and it doesn't have to be a power grub. Talking abut religion is like talking about politics or government. There can't be sensible life without any of them. However they can get corrupted and that is the crux of the problem - how to stop and prevent coruption.

Divine Wind's picture



Effing BRAVO!

A clear headed thinker!

Red Heeler's picture

"You just can't kill for Jesus." - James Taylor

Colonial Intent's picture

Luke 19:27

And jesus said "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Chump's picture

I think you're having a reading comprehension error.

Luke 19:11-27:


The Parable of the Ten Minas

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’

26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”


Colonial Intent's picture

I must have.

My bad, i got it wrong, guess i'll have to stick with quoting jesus's approval of slavery at dinner parties.

Cheers Chunk


Colonial Intent's picture

Dont suppose you would accept the apophryca as the word of god too, I could probably find one in there.....

Chump's picture

I don't have much interest in whatever your goals are.  If you had so badly misquoted another historical reference I would've corrected you as well.  Don't take it personally, just read next time.

Dodgy Geezer's picture

Almost everything in politics can be explained as the result of people trying to protect their jobs.


During the period 1945 to 1990 a huge industry grew up supporting the Cold War. America maintained a huge arms industry, and the NSA and CIA maintained strong budgets, as did the equivalent services in the UK - GCHQ, SIS (MI6) and SS(MI5).

At a stroke the justification for their existence was removed when the Berlin Wall came down and Russia stopped being a 'Threat'. They frantically neded another threat - otherwise they were out of a job.

 When 9/11 happened it could have been treated as a monstrous crime. The perpetrators could have been found and brought to justice by normal police activity. All the world was willing to help with this. Instead, the US elected to treat it as an act of war, and destablised the Middle East with invasions. This pretty much guaranteed that 'terrorism' would continue, as large numbers of innocent civilians were killed as collateral damage, and the survivors were likely to dedicate their lives to revenge.

I don't think that the western security services planned 9/11. But I'm pretty sure that they recommended and supported the over-the-top reaction which the US undertook, in the full knowledge that this would ensure the continuation and expansion of their jobs.

They had stared redundancy in the face once - they were not gong to do so again...



Rick64's picture

  The war against communism in which the propaganda ministry (MSM) played their part in relaying false info and scare tactics as well as the exaggerated figures of the arms race where Russia was winning. Now we are doing business with China where the big threat of communism is all of a sudden non existent. Not to mention the human rights violations that were so important? Who benefitted ? The same ones that are benefitting from the war on terror.

 Putin must of thought he hit the jackpot when the U.S. declared war on terrorism. Time to label anyone that doesn't agree with your policies as a terrorist and then destroy them. Putin is not the only one using this tactic. An unwinnable war is an everlasting reason to do what you want with public support. The MSM will play along.

Bugsquasher's picture

I don't think the response to 9/11 was "over the top" at all. I think it was half-assed. Instead of launching a full scale invasion Bush should have sent in spotter teams to locate the al Quida training camps and Taliban strong points and then called in the nuclear armed cruise missles to turn them in glass covered parking lots.  Coupled with this, as the detonations began cables should have been sent to all capitals and heads of state announcing what was being done and that were done playing by the terrorist's rules and that if there were any further attacks, once the sources were traced they would be delt with similarly and without notice. Over the arc of the ensuing 11 years the casualties and costs would have far lower and a whole series of Islamic tin pot dictators would have had serious second thoughts about sponsoring any further attacks.

illyia's picture

Well... that just would have defeated the whole purpose then, now wouldn't it have...

Urban Roman's picture


I don't think that the western security services planned 9/11. But I'm pretty sure that they recommended and supported the over-the-top reaction which the US undertook, in the full knowledge that this would ensure the continuation and expansion of their jobs.

It doesn't matter.

  1. 9/11 was planned --> perpetrators need to be prosecuted and incarcerated.
  2. 9/11 not planned --> the security services are blitheringly incompetent and useless, and need to be shut down for that.

In either case, the response was wrong and unjustified by the event.

illyia's picture

Anyone ever read "Report from Iron Mountain"? Search for it on Start Page (no tracking). That along with Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket" pretty much sums up the whole nine-eleven event for me. Both texts have, of course, been marginalized. "Rpt from IM" was destroyed as an existing doc (as far as anyone knows). Only the statements regarding what it was remain.

Also "Operation Able Danger" (the real-time tracking of the "hijackers" in advance of nine-eleven by CIA) was well researched and the info may still be available in many web arenas, although I have not looked recently...

ThisIsBob's picture

We have met the terrorists and they are us.

I am on to you's picture

Yes, George W,with the memery of the gunship,and Abu Grahbi,over there in Irak ,gunning civilians into pieces,and saying selfdefence,one almost have to cry.

Ill say,Usa is lucky to have persons like yourself,which i hope,in the end will open everybodys eyes to what is going on.

I will not blame only USA,cause the allied,from Europe,has as big a guilt,they went along on this bloodrush!


I am on to you's picture

Eu lamento muito,memory.det må du meget undskylde,i dont doubt you wife is a nice person,so is mine!

I give a + for the reminder!

diogeneslaertius's picture

yes 9/11 is the Origin Myth of everything from the evisceration of civil liberties to the "weve always been at war with eastasia" memeplex


its one giant #NWO shitburger and were all being forced to take a bite


hey, they dont engineer economic crises for nothing people, the dogs of war must be fed after all


i, for one, am sick of being the #NWO's resource pitbull, i mean wtf were like SCV's doing a zerg rush for the council of 300 people

disabledvet's picture

9/11 was an act of terror done to the AMERICAN PEOPLE. These actions against the American people have only EXPANDED. The fact that people who purport to lead us are the one's leading the charge should come as no surprise. Now Senator Kerry said back when he he spoke out against such things "no one wants to be the last one to die for a mistake." (Vietnam.) this time it's "no one wants to die just for speaking out." we've fought this war to end up in debt slavery? GIVE ME A PHUCKING BREAK SENATOR KERRY.

diogeneslaertius's picture

this George Washington kid is all right in my book :)

philipat's picture

Self-righteousness and hypocrsy are typical characteristics of failing fascist States.

Michael's picture

Terrorism is a tactic. It's impossible to win a war against a tactic.

Troy Ounce's picture


You cannot win a war against a tactic

Right you are. The tactic is that "the terrorist" decides on the place, time and weapon.

CompassionateFascist's picture

@Michael: you quoted someone w/o attribution:

                                                                                             "Terrorism is a tactic. You cannot win a war against a tactic"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Brzezinski

batterycharged's picture

Terrorism is indeed a tactic. This author is severely confused.

He's confusing bullying and terrorism.

The US will never be accused of terrorism, because we'll never do it. Terrorism is for the underdog, not those in power.

The goal of terrorism is to leverage fear against a superior power to achieve success. The US would never have to resort to such tactics. We just take what we want.

engineertheeconomy's picture

Seek professional help... soon...

BigDuke6's picture

'Terrorism is for the underdog, not those in power.'

You know nothing

Yes_Questions's picture
What, you did not get the memo?
ZackAttack's picture

Winning the ostensible war was never the point. The point was funneling lots of money to defense contractors in the course of the effort.

War on Poverty, War on Drugs, War on Terror... the beneficiary isn't the public.

spanish inquisition's picture

The main point is keeping enemies and friends destabilized. Without it, peace may break out. With peace, countries may want to develope their own infrastructure and resources without central bank finance and associated corporate "help".