It's not the bullet with my name on it that worries me. It's the one that says "To whom it may concern."
Anonymous Belfast resident
Terorism, by definition, is coersion (sp?), usually at the threat of or during the commision of a violent act, to promote some idyillc (usually political) cause. In the past, such acts had some "rules", such as the perpertrator usually had a name attached, for which the committing party were only too happy to give. What makes this episode so sickeningly different is that no one has anted up to staging this little foray. Which leaves America in the unenviable position of searching for or even creating an ememy to respond to, rather than retaliating to a claimant.
Where you draw the line between terrorism and freedom of expression, as you put it, is whether both parties are involved in adiscussion or action, and respect each other's views.
These people didn't knock on the White House door and say listen George, at 9:00 am tomorrow morning I'm going to throw a couple of jumbo jets at some of your culture's most treasured icons. Any problems with that?
That didn't happen, there was no input, no response, no consultation...not even a warning. No this was not even terrorism, for terrorists associate themselves with a cause, and broadcast it during the commitment of their acts as part of their demands.
What we have in this case is barbaristic cowardice, in possibly the cruelest form humanity has yet seen. And it is done so with purpose, I think...with the purpose of counting on America's abundant pride and reactionary outrage to stage a war against assumed parties, while the real purportrators may sit back and watch, possibly laughing all the way to the bank. America's real trouble right now is just how do you fight this sickness?
Terry Waite, the British cleric who spent a number of years in captivity in Lebanon, once stated that "The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practise it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies."
The problem for America is, how long can it afford to wait, how many more hits can it take, while waiting for those consumed with hatred to consume themselves?