Definitions: What Is Terrorism?

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Chávez and Gaddafi urge redefining of ‘terrorism’

By Benedict Mander in Caracas

Published: September 29 2009 21:43 | Last updated: September 29 2009 21:43

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi have joined forces to urge the world to redefine “terrorism”. While emphasising the importance of attacking terrorism “in all its forms, including state terrorism”, the controversial duo called for an international conference to establish a new definition for the concept of terrorism. The two leaders – who have both come under attack from the US and others for allegedly supporting terrorism – also pushed for wholesale reform of the United Nations Security Council, which Mr Gaddafi referred to as the “Terror Council” at the UN General Assembly last week.

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Calling for an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America, Mr Gaddafi and Mr Chávez also proposed the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to rival Nato. They also mooted the creation of a bank spanning the two continents, following the recent inauguration of South America’s Bank of the South with start-up capital of $7bn that is to be increased to $20bn.

Phi Beta Iota: Public intelligence in the public interest demands that the above be considered in light of the facts.  It is a fact that the U.S. has been practicing unilateral militarism, virtual colonialism, and predatory immoral capitalism for the past 100 years or so.  It is a fact that the Cold War was manufacturing, a 50-year wound that enriched the few at the expense of the many, empowered despotic regimes, and allowed the genocide of millions.  Within the U.N. Security Council one finds the top three arms-exporters–the US, the UK, and Russia.  If one contemplates the possibility that imposed  poverty in the context of ample common wealth as a form of terror; if one contemplates the role that US, UK, and other Western nations play in ignoring eight of the ten high-level threats to humanity while obsessing on just two–proliferation and terrorism–as a form of theater, then one can reasonably conclude these two individuals have a point, and the public should be attentive to this point of view.  For what we have spent on the elective war in Iraq we could have brought rudimentary shelter, clean water, and enough to eat to the five billion poor–indeed, we could have given each of them (or just the women) a free cell phone with no usage fee.  The public needs to attend to what is being done in its name and at its expense, and then act accordingly in its relation to its government.

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