Sarah Palin Doesn't Mind Some Types of Terrorism

Some things make me throw up in my mouth a little:


Q: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist, under this definition, governor?
PALIN: (Sigh). There’s no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that uh, it would be unacceptable. I don’t know if you’re going to use the word terrorist there.

I grow weary of these debates about what constitutes terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic used by disempowered people to try to change the political decisions of empowered people. The vast majority of the time, terrorism doesn't work. Sometimes, it does. On the whole, terrorism, as a tactic, is both ineffective and immoral...if not always without some understandable rationale. Usually, there is some underlying grievance that fuels an act of terrorism. In Northern Ireland, it was the treatment of Catholics. In Spain, it was the desire for Basque autonomy. In Israel, it is the occupation of Arab lands (including, for some, the very existence of Israel on formerly Egyptian or Jordanian or Syrian land). [Ed. note: this was sloppy. To keep the timeline right, I should have said Ottoman land] Terrorism has not led to tangible gains for Palestinians or the Basque people, but it can be argued that it won the IRA concessions out of the United Kingdom and that it drove France out of Algeria. Regardless of effectiveness, any terrorism that kills innocent victims is morally repugnant. That remains true even when the terrorism is in response to morally repugnant behavior. What has proven more effective and more morally correct, is the kind of resistance shown by Gandhi, King Jr., and Mandela.
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