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No. of Recommendations: 38
The phrase "terrorist" used to mean something. Now it's overused and merely means "someone I don't like".

Jack
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On the other hand, I have a beef with media saying "activist" or "militant" when the bad guy in question is really a terrorist.

Wendy
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No. of Recommendations: 1
So I guess the word 'psycho' is obsolete in those instances?

And terrorist didn't necessarily use to mean someone of dark skin, dark hair and eyes. I still remember the days of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Bader-Meinhof group in Germany. Lots of redheads and blondes.
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I remember when the Japanese Red Army shot up Lod Airport in Tel Aviv. They had some sort of mutual agreement with the PLO.

And Carlos the Jackal is Venezuelan.

Nancy
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On the other hand, I have a beef with media saying "activist" or "militant" when the bad guy in question is really a terrorist.,/I>

Anyone in particular? I'm trying to get a read on how you differentiate between "militant" and "terrorist"

LWW
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I don't know I this understanding has been shaped by current culture or if it has dictionary blessing but for me the difference between 'militant' and 'terrorist' is that while both may be engaged in acts of death/destruction the militant directs his actions towards other 'militants' and at least nominally attempts to restrict collateral damage; while for the terrorist the objective IS collateral damage.
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<Anyone in particular? I'm trying to get a read on how you differentiate between "militant" and "terrorist">

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/militant
mil·i·tant
adjective \-t?nt\

: having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something
Full Definition of MILITANT
1
: engaged in warfare or combat : fighting
2
: aggressively active (as in a cause) : combative <militant conservationists> <a militant attitude> [end quote]

The definition of a militant does not include violence against innocent bystanders with the intention of causing terror and coercion, which is the defining characteristic of a terrorist.

A militant might, for example, destroy a laboratory that uses animals for experimentation. But he wouldn't blow up an elementary school to make his point.

Not only are the militant and terrorist different in their actions, the impact of the description is different in the mind of the reader. Terrorists are worse than militants. You of all people know that words matter. Calling a terrorist a "militant" blunts the impact.

Wendy
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Not only are the militant and terrorist different in their actions, the impact of the description is different in the mind of the reader. Terrorists are worse than militants. You of all people know that words matter. Calling a terrorist a "militant" blunts the impact.

I understand the definitions of both words. I was asking if you had a particular person in mind. In other words who was called "militant" that you believe fit the term "terrorist" better?

Words do matter. But it's all in which side you're on as to whether you are a hero or a traitor, whether you are "militant" in your cause, or whether you are viewed as a "terrorist". When Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building, there was an entire daycare full of kids who were killed, but those who supported his cause didn't call him a terrorist. Those who did not support him called him a murderer.

Back when bombing abortion clinics became a fashionable thing for the far right jihadists to engage in, those who believed they were doing the right thing heaped praise on them for stopping the abortion doctors. There was little concern among those "militants" for any collateral damage.

On the other hand, those same people were seen as "home grown terrorists" by those who believed that you don't take murderous action for an ideology.

I think your suggestion that a "militant" would not blow up an elementary school to make a point might be a little idealistic.

LWW
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<I think your suggestion that a "militant" would not blow up an elementary school to make a point might be a little idealistic.>

Blowing up the elementary school and killing children would define him as a terrorist. That was why McVeigh is usually described as a domestic terrorist.

If McVeigh had blown up the Murrah Building when it was empty, he would have been a militant, but the terrorist label would not have fit the way it did when he blew up the nursery school.

I certainly do NOT approve of blowing up abortion clinics, but there is an important difference between blowing up an empty clinic and killing people when the clinic is blown up.

My local newspaper often describes Islamic terrorists (such as members of Hamas and Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department defines as terrorist organizations) as "militants." These terrorists live to kill and should be described as such.

Wendy
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No. of Recommendations: 30
>I certainly do NOT approve of blowing up abortion clinics, but there is an important difference between blowing up an empty clinic and killing people when the clinic is blown up.

Not really. If a woman dies from medical complications because she couldn't receive an abortion because the clinic was damaged, she's just as dead as if she were in the clinic when it was bombed.
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i notice you don't try to define terrorism. just sayin'

Ron
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There has been days my dog could define terrorism.

She would spell it Q A Z U L I G H T. especially after she made a mess on the new wool carpet.

Qazulight
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i notice you don't try to define terrorism. just sayin'

Try searching Google, "define terrorism"

ter·ror·ism
'ter??riz?m/
noun
noun: terrorism

the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

just sayin'
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<i notice you don't try to define terrorism. just sayin'>

I did define terrorism. But if it would make you feel better...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism

ter·ror·ism
noun \'ter-?r-?i-z?m\

: the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal
Full Definition of TERRORISM
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion [end quote]

The difference between a militant and a terrorist is that the militant fights directly while the terrorist uses fear, often by attacking soft targets that can't fight back and that aren't necessarily even associated with his goal.

Wendy
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The difference between a militant and a terrorist is that the militant fights directly while the terrorist uses fear, often by attacking soft targets that can't fight back and that aren't necessarily even associated with his goal.

If you are going to make it that simple, then the people who flew the jets into the twin towers would be defined as militants. You can't get much more direct that actually being a physical presence on the plane that you use as a weapon of mass destruction.

Look, I'm not trying to give you a hard time, and from my perspective, people like McVeigh certainly would qualify as domestic terrorists.

The point I was trying to make was that depending on your perspective, the people we call "terrorists" as seen as militants or even fighting for a higher purpose in their own countries. That's why you can't really fight an ideology. You can take out the individuals as they get caught, but you can't stop them from raising up more in succeeding generations. They are fighting based on a radical fundamentalist view of their religious ideology.

The U.S. makes a big show of religious tolerance and freedom, but the reality is that we are big on the idea of "Christian" religious tolerance and freedom and if you practice something else, then you are a radical and need to "fixed" or have your mind changed.

During the Crusades, the knights who went to the middle east to fight truly believed that they were fighting for a higher power, while the Jews and Muslims who were being slaughtered probably would have identified them as terrorists if we used today's terminology.

LWW
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Why do you hate America?
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The difference between a militant and a terrorist is that the militant fights directly while the terrorist uses fear, often by attacking soft targets that can't fight back and that aren't necessarily even associated with his goal.
_________________________________________________________________________

If you are going to make it that simple, then the people who flew the jets into the twin towers would be defined as militants.


No. The people who flew the jets attacked soft targets that couldn't fight back and were not necessarily even associated with their goals.

Karen
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If you are going to make it that simple, then the people who flew the jets into the twin towers would be defined as militants. You can't get much more direct that actually being a physical presence on the plane that you use as a weapon of mass destruction.


A militant is one who is vigorously active and aggressive, especially in support of a cause.
Synonyms for militant include belligerant, combative and contentious.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/militant?s=t

A terrorist is one who terrorizes or frightens others, especially as a political weapon.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorist?s=t

Terrorists can be described as both terrorists and militants but militants who are not terrorists can not be described as terrorists.

"Terrorist" is a subset of "militant".

Minxie
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Not really. If a woman dies from medical complications because she couldn't receive an abortion because the clinic was damaged, she's just as dead as if she were in the clinic when it was bombed.

It is a sad misogynistic world we live in where it is argued that blowing up a building is just as bad as blowing up a woman, and it gets 27 recs!
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