Nations that are engaged in the oppression of peoples (including their own) are being enabled by many others. The early settlers to America discovered a people of willing assistance and peaceful existence, but this did not last very long as the immigration into this continent soon became a flood. In typical fashion, conflicts soon arose.
The early settlers to America engaged in an ‘on again, off again’ warfare against the indigenous population, until a sufficiently sized region was carved out with the blood of the conquered to accommodate the incoming agriculturists. This process repeated itself almost indefinitely, as more immigrants demanding more land invaded the country.
Eventually, after the formation of the colonial government, the concept (in this country at least, it had been widely practiced before) of State sponsored warfare was ruthlessly embarked upon, killing million of Native Americans and ultimately driving the remaining impoverished survivors into desolate regions deemed unsuitable for the conquering white man.
The New American people for the most part, were in full support of these actions, having desired the land with its abundant resources that was once occupied by the Natives. Their complicity to this genocide and direct participation in these actions is well documented in the annals of history and has been repeated many, many times before and since.
The few voices in resistance never gained much ground and ultimately, failed to stop the genocide.
It should be recognized that this has been an oft-repeated process of conquest and domination, practiced throughout all of history by every nation of the world and continues herewith to this day.
Enabling this has been governments and civilians and military force, all actively engaged, directly and indirectly in these actions. The rivers of blood that have resulted have not quenched the thirst for conquest, land and resources in the least. The modern world has perfected the ‘art of killing’ to a very highly advanced degree, even engaging the majority of the global population (with great success) to go along with it.
Yet the question of who are the real terrorist in the world today still remains. War is not at all exempt from the charge of terrorism. State-sponsored acts of war are often very guilty of terrorist acts.
We must first attempt to define what the charge of terrorism really is before we can identify who the real terrorists really are. We must also define the evidence of a terrorist group (signs).
First, a few of the signposts from the Secure Community Network:
2) Elicitation (gain information)
3) Test of Security
4) Acquiring Supplies
5) Suspicious People Who Don’t Belong
6) Dry Runs
7) Deploying Assets/Getting Into Position
Unfortunately, this is a rather vague and meaningless definition and could describe any business activity in the world (legitimate and non-legitimate).
Frankly, I do not find this list the least bit helpful, but shared it with you because some groups obviously do. Every single point of this list can be easily be applied to the U.S. Government itself or any business engaged in development or growth or efforts at expansion.
Let us examine more signposts. According to the U.S. Government’s Department of State own website, a terrorist ‘safe haven’ is defined as:
Terrorist safe havens are defined in this report as ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed areas of a country and non-physical areas where terrorists that constitute a threat to U.S. national security interests are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.
Clearly, being “ungoverned” is considered a bad thing, as is under-governed or “ill-governed”, which we can understand to mean not being beneficial somehow to the United States Government. It is no longer odd that the U.S. Government assumes upon itself the position of arbitrator and judge on what is under-governed, ill-governed or ungoverned, or that it defines these conditions in an undesirable way. Early America was discovered to be in exactly these conditions and was quickly assimilated and overrun as a result.
This definition also describes most homes, private residences and businesses. In other words, this too is a rather weak definition.
More from the Department of State:
Physical safe havens provide security for terrorist leaders, allowing them to plan acts of terrorism around the world. Global communications and financial systems, especially those created by electronic infrastructure such as the internet, global media, and unregulated economic activity, further allow terrorists to carry out activities, particularly the dissemination of propaganda and misinformation, without the need for a physical safe haven. These “virtual” havens are highly mobile, difficult to track, and difficult to control, and are not based in any particular state. This part of the report, however, will not address virtual safe havens, focusing instead on physical safe havens.
Unfortunately, even this definition is far too vague and meaningless to be useful, but you should start to begin to suspect that there is very probably reason such misleading ‘definitions’ are being used. Vague definitions are malleable and can be easily transformed whenever necessary to ‘prove’ whatever those in charge want.
It should be noted that this definition as defined by the U.S. Government could also be applied to the U.S. Government or any government and of course, nearly any business entity in the world today.
Such ‘safe havens’ abound and are in widespread practice everywhere. The ‘planned acts of terrorism’ with global communications and financial systems and dissemination of propaganda and misinformation can be found within every board room in America and throughout the world.
Clearly, these signposts then are truly meaningless for our purposes, because they utterly fail to identify terrorism and terrorist activity (perhaps on purpose). Therefore, let us examine the heart of the matter in more detail to understand these questions.
Let’s us first examine the definition of terrorism, using the Department of Defense’s own words:
The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms defines terrorism as –
The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
According to this definition, State-sanctioned violence is okay (lawful violence), but non-State sanctioned violence or threats is not okay.
I find this definition of terrorism to be highly biased and misleading, in fact, it is really an outright lie because this is exactly what governments and military forces actually do.
We can learn a bit more here:
There is no official definition of terrorism agreed on throughout the world, and definitions tend to rely heavily on who is doing the defining and for what purpose. Some definitions focus on terrorist tactics to define the term, while others focus on the actor. Yet others look at the context and ask if it is military or not.
We will probably never arrive at a perfect definition to which we can all agree, although it does have characteristics to which we all point, like violence or its threat. Indeed, the only defining quality of terrorism may be the fact that it invites argument, since the label “terrorism” or “terrorist” arises when there is disagreement over whether an act of violence is justified (and those who justify it label themselves “revolutionaries” or “freedom fighters,” etc.).
So, in one sense, it may be fair to say that terrorism is exactly violence (or the threat of violence) in context where there will be disagreement over the use of that violence.
This is one of the most accurate statement regarding the definition of terrorism that I have yet seen. It leaves off the difficult parts of “legitimate” and “State-sponsored” acts of war or terrorism, but unfortunately this too fails to define terrorism as anything more then “violence or threat of violence and disagreement of the use of that violence”.
If we do not rightly understand what terrorism means, or what or who a terrorist is, then we are apt to be highly misled when we are being told about terrorist actions and / or terrorist. This is a form of brainwashing; a deliberately deceptive practice of mind-control and mass public acceptance to accept any definition that we are being told.
Under these guidelines of highly misleading and vague definitions, anybody could be a terrorist – or not, depending on who’s trying to convince who. The practice of seeking justification for acts of violence is very common.
The danger hear should be obvious, because we are all silently being asked to be complicit with acts of terrorism. Now pay attention here, because this ties in later on. Complicity only requires our silence — not our agreement (or even our involvement).
We are told to accept the actions, but question (or challenge) nothing. The implications are certainly there — do not challenge the status-quo. We are in charge, shut up and just go along with it.
Questioning whether an act of terrorism is even real is considered bad form; denouncing an act of “terrorism” as not terrorism is considered unpatriotic; demanding a proper definition of terrorism to denounce the liars and propaganda machines is considered heretical.
One of the reasons that the definition of terrorism is somewhat vague is that is because it suits the purposes of the actors involved in real terrorism. Both the accuser and the accused can lob these terms back and forth to suit their own political, ideological or religious goals.
It is however, not as complex as this (or need not be) and understanding this with some clarity is going to prove to be critically important.
Read this carefully, bold emphasis is mine, and [bracketed comments] are mine:
The Rational Radical – Definition of “Terrorist”: Let’s Have Some Clarity
“Terrorist” is a word used so often and so loosely that it has lost a clear meaning.
This is a proposal to lend some clarity to the definition, and thus hopefully to the use, of the word “terrorist.”
Currently, the term “terrorist” is applied to the use of force most often on the basis of whether the speaker agrees with the goal of the violence. Hence the expression “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
Alternatively, or sometimes even in conjunction with the foregoing, some people condemn any violence by a non-governmental entity — whatever the target — as terrorism, and approvingly label any action by a sovereign country’s military forces — again, whatever the target — as “military strikes” or the like.
In determining whether an act is “terrorist” or not, it would be more useful to eliminate subjective evaluations of the goals of the violence, and instead, utilize two other factors — the expected result of the violence, and the nature of the actor — to then distinguish among four different types of acts involving the application of force:
Expected result of the violence: Let’s define a “terrorist” action as the use of violence where one would reasonably expect harm to innocent civilians. This is to be distinguished from a “military” action, where the use of violence is not reasonably expected to harm innocent civilians.
Nature of the actor: A “state” action would be one conducted by a sovereign government. A “guerrilla” action will be one conducted by a non-governmental entity.
Four different types of violent acts: Hence, we can have both state military actions and state terrorist actions. Likewise, there can be both guerrilla military actions and guerrilla terrorist actions.
Under these definition guidelines, if a country sends its bombers to destroy the water system or other civilian infrastructure of another nation, this would be a state act of terrorism, because harm to civilians would reasonably be expected to result. On the other hand, if a country sends its bombers to attack military airfields of its enemy, that would be a state military action.
Similarly: if a group fighting to overthrow a government or end an occupation by a foreign power sends a suicide bomber to blow up a civilian pizzeria, this would be a guerrilla act of terrorism. In contrast, if such a group sends a small boat filled with explosives to blow up a military vessel, that would be a guerrilla military action.
While these defined results may stick in the craw of some, the value is that the killing of innocents will be condemned equally no matter who does it, and for however allegedly wonderful the ends sought.
Some may correctly point out that even striking a military airfield may kill some civilians who happen to be on the base, and that is true. But similarly, a guerrilla group blowing up a military vessel may also kill some civilians who happen to be on board. As with all definitions, a bit of common sense has to be applied. [Civilians on or near military targets (of any kind) automatically inherit any associated risk]
And again, since no subjective evaluations of the validity of often complex sociopolitical goals are involved in applying these definitions, the level at which likely or actual harm to civilians would trigger the “terrorist” label can be applied evenly to both governmental and non-governmental actors. [As we have seen, these sociopolitical goals are always the true reason behind these labels]
Moreover, by not allowing the use of the term “terrorist” to be used as an “argument-closed” condemnation of guerrilla military actions, those discussing the situation will be forced to debate the merits or not of the goals of the guerrillas, not hide behind an inappropriate labeling of the guerrilla’s tactics. [The inverse is just as true, by liberally applying the word terrorist against military targets, the merits and the goals of the fighters is not addressed or recognized]
At the same time, guerrilla forces committing atrocities against civilians will be appropriately labeled “terrorists” and would not be able to deny being terrorists because of the alleged validity of their goals.
All in all, then, these suggested definitions would tend to force the parties involved to focus on avoiding harm to civilians, and to deal with the real issues at stake in their disputes — two results I hope most people would welcome.
While much of the above is accurate, this definition is still quite wrong. Let me explain why.
Partisans engaged in resistance of the military occupying forces of their country (this has happened all over the world, so I will not identify country as it is not necessary) have also engaged in the targeting (harassment) and elimination (killing) of collaborators (civilians) who were assisting the enemy occupying force.
According to the definition above, this action by non-military civilians against non-military civilians would be an act of terrorism and should be condemned (admittedly the term “innocents” was undefined). I disagree.
Targeting civilian cooperation with military actions is not terrorism. They are neither innocent or uninvolved. This is why Iraqi ‘insurgents’ (which includes civilian and non-civilians) fighting against the U.S. occupation are not terrorists or insurgents at all, they are morally and rightfully engaged in suppression the military actions against their country by an invader, including those of collaborators.
Therefore, a better (but perhaps not complete) definition of terrorism would simply be the targeting of civilians that are in non-cooperation with military actions.
Military targets are not the only targets in a conflict and no war is fought over only military targets (human, assets and infrastructure) despite the alleged claims to the contrary. Yet actions (historical and present) do not necessarily define words. Therefore, a further definition and understanding of terrorism is required.
State-sponsored acts of war cannot be used as a guideline either, because this too is a subjective evaluation. A rogue government for example, using a State-sponsored act of war or invasion or internal genocide is without a doubt, engaged in terrorist activity. Harm to civilians is obviously going to happen.
However, even non-rogue State-sponsored acts of war or invasion are not free from harming civilians. Our own government as example invaded and attacked Iraq, with a civilian death toll now over 1 million dead.
The simple truth is military actions of the State are not free of terrorism. The only State actions that are free of terrorism are those actions involving sanctioned military actions against military.
Military entities are designed and employed for the use of force and violence. They also expect violence and are trained in violence. In addition to this, their alleged “real purpose” is to defend and protect civilian populations against aggressive forces of all kinds. They are in fact, engaged and employed in the business of war.
Therefore State-sponsored actions by government (even a lawfully elected government) is unsuitable for defining terrorism or even non-terrorism unless it remains strictly limited to sanctioned military actions against other military forces. The difference here is one group is employed in the business of war, the other is not.
When a military power is used to oppress civilians, this is when it becomes an act of terrorism.
Clearly, this definition would mean that much of the military action in the world today is actually acts of terrorism, irregardless of its alleged “sanctions” by any governing body.
Terrorism then is defined as:
a) State actions against non-military civilians or civilian infrastructure;
b) Guerrilla actions against innocent civilians who are non-cooperating with military elements;
Terrorism then becomes any acts of terror, threats or violence against civilians not in cooperation with military elements.
Just as importantly what is not terrorism:
a) Guerrilla (civilian) actions against military targets;
b) Guerrilla actions against cooperating civilians with military or government elements;
Non-terrorism then means that any acts of threats or violence against the military or cooperating civilians with the military is not really a terrorist act — it is actually an act of war.
The issue of lawfulness or sanction by government or any other entity is irrelevant because any individual can declare an act of war (understand that individuals are actually sovereigns in their own natural right and are not subject to State-sanctioned “approvals” for any acts which they choose to engage in).
Notably absent still is the State sponsored acts of war (sanctioned or not). These acts are not free of the charge of terrorism because these acts of war are almost always very guilty of attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Also note that any individual can engage in an act of war. This is not limited to the State (or an element of the State), because the State itself is really nothing more then a collection of individuals who have delegated their inherent authority to the State. The President can “declare war” or engage in warfare (and act of war) but his right to do so (as an individual) would be his even without the power of the State backing him up. An important concept to remember is there is no such thing as “supernumerary powers”. Whatever power the State has, so does the individual (all powers flow from individuals). We have the same power the State does, in theory.
Acts of war have always been within the purview of the individual. Precipitating any act of war, it is always caused by an some individual engaged in violence or threats of violence against one or more people (sanctioned by the State or not, against military targets or not).
If an individual engages in an act of war, he / she automatically loses their ‘innocent’ civilian status. They are no longer innocent civilians, but combatants (as opposed to ‘enemy combatants’, this is yet another term that is erroneously and liberally applied today) of the same category as professionally employed military combatants (this is what standing armies really are).
This is one reason why Israel’s actions against Gaza is an act of terrorism because of the deliberate and direct targeting of the civilian population. But so is Hamas’ indiscriminate acts against the Israeli civilian population. However, targeting Israeli soldiers is not an act of terrorism, but launching rockets upon a civilian population is.
Going further: any action targeting military elements (including military collaborators and supporters) is not an act of terrorism but an act of war.
Undoubtedly, this will surprise and upset most people. Over 40% of the U.S. population is actively engaged in the collaboration and support of the U.S. military (and other military elements) around the world. Our entire economy is based upon the so-called defense industry. These people are actually combatants, engaged in the act and art of war if even at a detached distance although, almost all of them do not seem to actually know this.
Let’s just call the ‘defense industry’ rightly for what it actually is. There is little “defensive” about the defense industry. Many of these military developments are being used for offensive purposes all over the world, whether actively deployed (used) or simply threatened to be used, the end-result is the same, deploy offensive force with overwhelming superiority. The proper terminology here would be called this the Offensive Industry in most activities.
The military establishment, and all of its agents, entities and elements (including the employed or conscripted civilian population involved) is actively engaged in the business of war. This is the real objective and the real goal: the killing of people and the destruction, occupation and conquest of targets, which include both military and civilian.
We can call it “defensive” as much as we like, but the reality of how the world uses most of its military power is quite the opposite. Active military operations where both civilians and combatants are being killed isn’t “defensive”, it’s offensive. Most of this happens in foreign lands.
Truly defensive military powers are increasingly rare these days. But they are not unheard of, they do and have existed. Yet even these rare elements are employed in the business of killing people (should it be necessary). If they are attacked, they will kill if they can their attackers.
Any “defense” by the military (anywhere in the world) is really a misnomer, because it really taken to mean that “we’re going to fight back”. Military forces are in fact, not designed to be ‘defensive’ at all, they are all highly capable of offensive powers, especially to civilians who lack everything that the military has (protection, training, support, military grade weapons, funding and so on). They are trained in the art of warfare, as opposed to civilians who are not. This is the only area where “defensive” actually applies to the military – where it is used to protect their civilian populations. But claiming that the military is defending their country by fighting on foreign soil is not “defense”, these are offensive actions and directly harm civilians in foreign countries.
True defensive power is the ability to withstand force and not fight back. An oak tree weathering a violent storm is defensive, taking nothing or demanding anything from the wind. A military power repelling an invasion or an attacker is not defensive if it fights back. The oak tree takes no violent action in response, a military power usually does.
This definitions mean that several things:
Military powers are not really defensive; they are actually offensive forces and oftentimes they are used in this capacity. Civilians are very often become their unwilling victims. These actions then make these powers military terrorists. Military forces then, when deployed against civilians are actually engaged in terrorist activities. The training of “urban warfare” in America, Iraq and Israel (and most modern countries of the world) is actually “pre-positioning” assets (point 7 above) and are acts of terrorism by these respective military powers.
This also means that most governments are actually terrorist organizations themselves, because they both design and employ military force, and are actively engaged in both defining and creating “enemies” in which to use their military powers. These enemies are broadly defined as other governments, military powers of other countries and the citizens of other countries (including their own). Of course this is absurd, but this is also reality. The onslaught of legislation passed against the American citizens in the last eight years for examples has demonstrated that citizens are no longer civilians, but are actually now being considered enemy combatants.
Governments also very often act in very oppressive ways to their own citizens (issue fiat money, pass restrictive laws, enforce victimless crime punishment, practice elitism and favoritism, destroy the environment, the list of highly oppressive acts is nearly endless), all of which by definition are acts of terrorism.
Most governments of the world today fulfill this requirement, including our own. Notably, they also all fulfill all of the “signpost” covered above.
The “State-sanctioned” misnomer is actually meaningless for any action the oppresses the civilian population of any country. This is nothing more the a smoke-screen of lies to hide the true terror of what is going on. Any government that is not involved in actually protecting citizens (any citizen, this does not have to be one of their own) versus attacking them (overtly or especially, covertly) is actually engaged in terrorist activity.
Within the United States, there are a many branches of the U.S. Government that are actively engaged in oppressing, attacking and even kidnapping and killing the citizens of other countries (including our own). All of the entities are actually terrorist organizations in their own right and by definition, and have the full support (sanction) of the U.S. Government officers and agents and most of the U.S. population.
Many of these individuals in the employ of these entities are actually civilians. But because they are actively engaged in the oppressive and destructive practices against other civilians, they are actually no longer innocent civilians, but have become combatants because of the participation and support. Depending on your personal political views, they are either enemy combatants or not, but combatants nonetheless.
Anyone engaged in policy, practice, enforcement or support of oppressing civilians (anywhere in the world, domestically or foreign) is actually a combatant and no longer just a innocent civilian. They may be civilian combatants, or military combatants, but they are no longer exempt from how combatants are treated or protected.
They do enjoy preferential treatment in their host countries (status, employment, benefits, privilege and special protection) which is a sure sign of where the government priorities really are, but to the citizens or the military or even the government agents of other countries, they are no longer just citizens. They become potential targets. This is why the targeting of “enemy soldiers” is acceptable (whether in a declared war or not, with or without State sanction) including civilian contractors. These individuals no longer represent just themselves, they actually represent the governments they support.
And this is also why the targeting of other governments and government entities, agents and individuals is considered acceptable in most parts of the world. They have lost status as a simple “citizen” and have become combatants by virtue of their involvement.
All government employees engaged in the business of warfare are in fact, combatants. So are all the private contractors and “civilians” in their employ. They are all engaged in the business and practice of war and oftentimes in the oppression of both military and civilian populations. It makes no difference at all whether they are “our” employees or citizens, their status remains the same.
That governments and their entities and agents are also engaged in “civilian purposes” of a benign and beneficial nature is actually irrelevant because it does not change the fact that the other purposes being employed are not beneficial or benign, but are in fact highly destructive and ultimately deadly to civilians and therefore, are actually acts of terrorism. In other words, these organizations and their agents still remain terrorist organizations by definition and by practice.
This is exactly why Hamas is declared a terrorist organization, despite it’s lawful status and as an elected government. The beneficial and civilian purposes it engages in (food distribution, police services) are ignored. The United States is also engaged in beneficial civilian purposes, but it is also directly engaged in civilian oppression throughout the entire world. Both organizations then are terrorist organizations.
There are few, if any government organizations in the world today that are not terrorist organizations. Prior to the formation of modern ideologies and political “masters”, tribal governments were common and many of these organizations were actively engaged in forms of citizen oppression, but not all of them. A few indigenous populations even today are not engaged in oppressive acts against their own citizens (or others), despite being the ongoing victims of genocide.
History has shown that the larger the organization becomes, the more oppressive (and inept) is the inevitable result. Not all large organizations however are terrorist organizations by no means, some are actively engaged in just the opposite type of activity, such as providing humanitarian relief to victims of terrorist attacks (State-sponsored or otherwise) or preserving lands for example.
So the real terrorist of today is not only the “cave-dwelling” evil mythical masterminds we have been told to believe in, but the governments of the world today and their armies; anyone who is engaged in oppressing civilians anywhere in the world. This definition of terrorist however, is not limited to just governments and their entities, but to any group, anywhere in the world today that creates fear, harrassment or harm against civilians.
Therefore, corporations that are destroying the habitats of native peoples and their way of life are terrorist organizations themselves, engaged in the destruction (for profit) of essential private property or even just the control of property if it results in harm to the civilians.
This is also true of individuals, even private individuals (citizens) of the world that are engaged in these activities. Loggers cutting down rainforests and destroying Native Indian habitat are engaged in terrorist activities. It is irrelevant that they are “employed” to do so, monetary compensation or profits are meaningless here.
Anyone engaged in the oppressive practice of fear, harm or destruction of property (including public or private property) is actually engage in terrorist activity, and therefore, a terrorist. Those that enable such actions are also engaged in terrorist activity through their support. The problem here is how far do you take this concept? I do not know.
I can eat an popsicle, and throw away the stick and be “guilty” of destroying a forest. Does that make me a terrorist? No, it does not. I am not deliberately engaged in destroying the forest, although I am helping to enable this practice.
I cannot chart the limits to the connections that some are going to require, at least not yet. But I definitely admit that there has to be some limit (or I simply could not live with myself).
For examples, citizens are responsible for the actions of their governments. They are the enablers of their governments, although this is coming to mean less and less in these days of rigged (s)Election votes, disenfranchised voters, and a near-total disrespect of the will of the people. How many citizens then are engaged in terrorist activity?
Quite a few. In the United States, 40% of the country is involved in the “defense” industry in some capacity or another. Another few million are directly employed by the Federal government. And millions more involved as contractors and suppliers. All of these people are directly or indirectly engaged in assisting the many terrorist activities of their own government.
This is not unique to the United States. Most countries of the world employ a significant portion of their citizens in their defense industries. However, the United States and Israel in particular are the worst offenders of this practice by far. The U.S. alone spends 46% of the entire worlds ‘defense’ spending budget for example. Not all defense spending can be earmarked as being linked to terrorist activity, but quite of bit actually can, since the ‘defensive’ nature of the U.S. military and the majority of it’s activities is really offensive in practice. Such sums of money (trillions) in this country alone could solve all of our internal problems, including the energy and environmental issues.
The bottom line is actually this: the true terrorist enablers are actually many of us. We are either directly or indirectly supporting various forms of terrorist activity through our employment, contributions or taxations to terrorist organizations which are euphemistically supported by the State. There are very few civilians that are not involved in this activity. It is WE who are the enablers and the destroyers of lives, lands, nations, resources and species, because we are its supporters.
In my last post, Gaza Voices, American Silence, I made the following statement:
I’ve brought up the point before that we are complicit to murder. There are millions of other people in the world that know this fact through and through. How is it that we can be so utterly blind and callous to not understand what it is we do?
A reader (non-registered) called me on this point and wrote to me privately. He said:
My comment is directed at your use of the word “we” above. I reject it outright. I have never been a we nor am I now. I have murdered no one. I have little concern for grief committed in foreign lands when real grief is right outside my door.
You know what I’m talking about. The culprit that is complicit in the grief all over the world, the US politicians.
I do not choose people to rule over me and I do not voluntarily pay extortion money to live where I was born. I mind my own business, run my own life and would expect others to do likewise.
My response to him follows:
The only people who are not complicit in the actions of their government are those who are not supporting their government.
Therefore, the “we” used in the statement you quoted remains correct. “We” do not seem to understand our complicity. It appears nobody does, thus the use of the word “we” and the “blindness” I used.
Only those individuals and entities actively engaged in stopping the harmful actions of their governments can be considered exempt from this complicity. Silence or “disgruntled” acceptance is not a qualification for non-complicity.
In other words, although you may be being “forced” (extortion) at the point of a gun to support what you do not agree with, the choice remains yours to either go along with it (still) or refuse. But it is ONLY by your refusal (the starting point for all resistance) that you can have ANY resistance at all.
No resistance is still complicity. No resistance does not excuse us in any capacity at all.
Ethical and moral behavior requires us to resist. If not, then “anything goes” (and often does). It is not moral to not resist what is evil or wrong, just the opposite is in fact true. Unless there is resistance then we indeed are complicit.
Complicity only requires our silence — not our agreement.
This ties in with this blog article, because at issue here is who is engaging in terrorist activity, and who is actually helping and enabling these terrorist, and who really is not. Unspoken and unwritten yet is whether or not we have any obligation to stop this terrorist activity.
There are ample signs all over the world from citizens who are begging Americans to stop the terrorist activities of our government. These foreigners do seem to understand something that we somehow don’t — that it is our responsibility to put a stop to the State-sponsored terrorism of our own government.
The differing perspectives internally and externally on this issue is quite remarkable. Both groups have elected governments, allegedly ‘representative’ of the will of the people. And both groups widely recognize that the will of the people is not being met. However, what is now clear is that this is not entirely true.
The will of many of the people in America is clearly being met. The 40%+ of our population engaged in ‘defense’ activities are gainfully employed in the oppression of other nations (including this one I should add) by choice. These individuals have all chosen to be in this industry to my knowledge, nobody is being “forced” to build bombs or sew uniforms against their will.
But this does not account for the other 60% or so that are not employed in these activities. However, the vast majority of these citizens are not doing anything at all to stop the terrorism either. They remain complicit with either their silence or their disgruntled acceptance (if even that).
This is a “refusal of resistance” and “complicity by silence” is both immoral and unethical and thereby continues to enable these activities of terror. Even worse, the continued support of these activities by providing needed services, supplies, employment and dollars are all enabling factors making this all possible.
Only those actively engaged in the various forms of resistance to tyranny and terrorism can claim any excuse (which is exactly what most of us seem to try to do, excuse ourselves from any responsibility, culpability and accountability to resist).
Fortunately, my reader wrote me back (thank you). My initial comments are prefaced by “>“, with his response following and my final commentary “my response”:
>The only people who are not complicit in the actions of their government are those who are not supporting their government.
>Therefore, the “we” used in the statement you quoted remains correct. “We” do not seem to understand our complicity. It appears nobody does, thus the use of the word “we” and the “blindness” I used.
I understand it implicitly, and I do not support any act of aggression, force, or government and I am not a *we*.
>Only those individuals and entities actively engaged in stopping the harmful actions of their governments can be considered exempt from this complicity.
Full system halt. I am not responsible for the actions of others nor am I responsible for changing those actions. I am only responsible for my own actions. I only wish to run my own life and care not how others choose to live theirs.
My response: If you are not responsible, then nobody is. If nobody is responsible, then there was never any authority. Nor any accountability. Nor any delegation of power.
>Silence or “disgruntled” acceptance is not a qualification for non-complicity.
YOU don’t get to make that rule.
My response: It is not a rule. It is a fact, whether you like it or not. Complicity requires two things: agreement or silence.
>In other words, although you may be being “forced” (extortion) at the point of a gun to support what you do not agree with, the choice remains yours to either go along with it (still) or refuse. But it is ONLY by your refusal (the starting point for all resistance) that you can have ANY resistance at all.
I give the US gov’t none of my effort of toil. I pay the merchant the price he asks, it is of no concern to me how he spends his money (sales tax).
My response: It should be of great concern, because it is this power that you have granted that gives it several things: legitimacy, authority, and ability.
>No resistance is still complicity. No resistance does not excuse us in any capacity at all.
I stay out of the way of Leviathan.
My response: Sure, as you should. But staying out of the way does not change the facts.
>Ethical and moral behavior requires us to resist.
Indeed. Anything less would be complicit.
>If not, then “anything goes” (and often does).
>It is not moral to not resist what is evil or wrong, just the opposite is in fact true.
>Unless there is resistance then we indeed are complicit.
I am not.
My response: Indeed to put a fine point on it — you are. You already agreed this is immoral to not resist evil. Complicity only requires your silence, not your agreement.
I have taken the liberty because of the timing to go ahead and post this commentary without names because this exchange was very worthwhile and not something I often get to do. I will now return to my final points.
It must be recognized that citizens of each country, are ultimately responsible for the actions and activities of their respective governments. If not them, then who?
We cannot say that nobody is responsible, for such claims do not bear examination. If nobody is responsible, then there is no accountability (to anyone) and no representation (also to anyone). Governments such as this are entities unto themselves and quite self-serving.
However, democratic countries are governed in a very different fashion. They are both responsible to their citizens and accountable to them. When any breach of trust and authority is brought before the citizenry, it is the citizens themselves that remain responsible. It does not just “go away”, nor can it, since all power actually flows from the people to their governments.
This is also not just an American concept by the way, but true of all governments the world over. Government may not necessarily recognize this fact, but it remains true nonetheless.
Responsibility then for government malfeasance and terrorism then becomes the problem of the citizens (and always was). This is why citizens of other countries revolt, rebel and riot. Their outcry over American apathy over the actions of their government is justifiable.
There is also the issue of morality and ethics. It is neither moral nor ethical to allow terrorist activity to continue. This is akin to acceptance. It is complicity by refusing to resist. Resistance is both a natural and moral right. Ethical behavior teaches us that you do not tolerate thieves, liars, rapists or murderers — you stop them.
We have institutions designed to stop them, but they do not always work. We have now entered into a chapter in American history and circumstance where these institutions not only do not work, they are utterly ineffectual and have themselves become complicit to the terrorism of government.
The situation in America today, and the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a prime example, as is the attack upon Gaza or Lebanon by Israel. Both actions are terrorist actions and should be vehemently opposed by moral and ethical civilians (worldwide). Living under a complicit governments to these terrorist activities does not excuse their civilian populations from their own forms of resistance as this would be unethical and immoral behavior.
It has been said that you have a right to resist (it’s even in the Bill of Rights for those of you that do not know). You also have a moral and ethical obligation to resist. Terrorism in all of its forms, whether State-sponsored or practiced by citizens demands this of us as simply being human beings. Nobody on this entire planet should have to endure terrorism. Our duty is to stop it.
Finally, by doing so, you will become a terrorist yourself, but not by its proper definition. The State is very quick to label resistors to its occupation and activities as “terrorist” (to wit, “protesters” to the Iraq invasion are terrorists), but this is simply not true. You become a combatant by resisting, but realize that this is your only choice. And not by “choice” anyway, we all want to be free and simply live our lives in peace. But we are not being allowed to do so by the real terrorists among us.
Anyone who resists has actually been forced into this position of making a moral and ethical choice. It should not have been necessary had our governments themselves acted morally or responsibly, but it in fact is. In other words, you do not have any choice except to act unless you choose to continue in apathy and indifference (immorality and unethical irresponsible behavior).
Most will refuse to act, believing that they are guiltless, which is not even remotely true. We all share the burden of guilt of our nations crimes in varying degrees, because we are enabling these acts to take place, if only by our refusal to stop them. Complicity only requires your silence, not your agreement.
Others will refuse to act out of cowardice, even if they do recognize their own guilt. And many, many more will choose the path of denial, the self-righteous cloak of irresponsibility and cowardice.
This (was supposed to be) my final essay on this site, because ignorance and denial is the preferred path of least resistance from my fellow countrymen. What they fail to recognize is this is actually the path of self-destruction and global enslavement.
I will not be a part of this.
(Due to the length of this post I have not discussed why we are complicit in detail, or even why governments and terrorist organizations do what they do. There are many other posts on this site that cover these related issues. – Admin)