ter·ror·ist (ter'er-ist) n.
1. One who engages in acts or an act
2. One who leads an armed group that kills civilians as a means of
political intimidation -- unless he terrorizes Haitians while on
the CIA-payroll, as did 1990s death squad leader Emmanuel Constant, in
which case the U.S. refuses to extradite him to Haiti, even after
Sept. 11, 2001.
3. One who targets civilian airliners and ships -- unless he
blows up a Cuban civilian airliner, killing 73 people, and fires at a
Polish freighter, like Orlando Bosch, in which case he is coddled and
paroled by the Bush Justice Department in 1990, and his extradition is
4. One who leads a group that engages in kidnapping and murder --
unless the victims are Hondurans attacked by CIA-backed death squad
Battalion 316, in which case Battalion architect Gustavo Alvarez
becomes a Pentagon consultant, while the then-ambassador to Honduras
who downplayed the terror, John Negroponte, is appointed U.S.
ambassador to the United Nations days after Sept. 11.
5. One who uses rape and murder for political purposes -- unless
the victims are four U.S. church women sexually assaulted and killed
in 1980 by members of El Salvador’s U.S.-backed military, in which
case excuses and distortions pour forth from then-U.N. Ambassador
Jeane Kirkpatrick (“these nuns were not just nuns; they were also
political activists”) and Secretary of State Al Haig (the nuns “may
have tried to run a roadblock”).
6. One who designates civilians as “soft targets” to be attacked in
the cause of political transformation -- unless the targets are
Nicaraguans killed by Contra guerrillas armed and directed by the U.S
who, according to Human Rights Watch, “systematically engage in
violent abuses…so prevalent that these may be said to be their
principal means of waging war.”
7. One who facilitates a massacre of civilians -- unless the
victims are 900 Palestinians shot and hacked to death in the Sabra and
Shatila camps by Lebanese Christian militia as Israeli soldiers stood
guard, in which case Israel’s then-Defense Minster (now Prime
Minister) Ariel Sharon remains a U.S. “War on Terrorism” ally after
being censured as indirectly responsible for the massacre by an
Israeli commission of inquiry.
Published on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 by CommonDreams.org
Dreams - News & Views for the Progressive Community
Jeff Cohen is a media critic and author.
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