Recent events in the US involving some pretty high-profile incidents where individuals have gone on a violent suicidal rampage in protest of oppressive government. One of the incidents involved someone in a shootout at the Pentagon and another famous incident where a person flew their single-engine plane into an IRS building.
Politicians in the US were left scrambling to explain why these situations, which sounded like, smelled like and looked like terrorist acts, were not in fact terrorist acts. They were all pretty difficult to understand and a lot of the things they said Reese Erlich has explained it clearly so that we can all understand.
So he’s cleared it up to explain that right-wing white people don’t commit terrorist acts, only middle-eastern muslims do. Which immediately brought to mind the DC sniper attacks. I remember being really surprised that nobody was using the T-word through the weeks when these guys had people in DC so terrified that they either drove miles and miles out of their way to gas up or they scrambled to the site of a recent shooting to gas up because it would now be crawling with cops. To me, the level of terror within the population seemed to suggest that they were being terrorized, possibly by a terrorist. You see this one was tricky, they were both muslim, but one of them was American and the other Jamaican. Since there was no middle-eastern link, the US media chose to stay away from branding these two terrorists.
So why be so picky about which to call terrorists and which not? Well the word terrorist is meant to help Americans understand who they should be afraid of. Should you be afraid of the white guy next door who hates the government, thinks they’re out to get him and has more guns and ammo in his shed than he could possibly shoot in a lifetime even if he fired non-stop starting today? No, he’s probably fine. Just a colourful character. Should you fear a man thousands of miles away who just had his family killed by an errant US drone attack and is swearing that he wants justice on TV? You betcha! This guy is probably at the airport right now trying to buy a flight to your house where he plans on killing you and everyone you love.
So there you go. That should help you understand why the US government calls some people terrorists and not others. It’s really all in a bid to help you figure out who you should be watching out for. Because if they don’t tell you who you should be afraid of, how else would you know?