Friday, December 24, 2010

Bombs in Rome: Another Flavor of Terrorist

I'm no huge fan of meddlesome government officials. Particularly where personal freedoms are concerned. (See "FCC, the Internet, Regulations, Freedom of Speech, and a Ranting Lemming," Apathetic Lemming of the North (December 23, 2010))

And just now, as lawsuits seem to be sorting out what some judges think America's election results should have been - I'm not exactly on an emotional high, over this country's "constitution-based federal republic" with its "strong democratic tradition." ("United States," World Factbook, CIA (last updated December 9, 2010))

That said, I don't think anarchism is a particularly good idea. It seems to me that there's a reason why people, most of us anyway, have been tinkering with various forms of government for the last several thousand years - and not chucking the idea of having an organization with the authority to enforce rules. (see Princeton's WordNet: Government)

My opinion is that anarchy, like so many other notions, looks good on paper. In practice? I've suspected that Lord of the Flies is something of a best-case scenario. As I wrote in another blog:
"Funny, how when people are freed from the shackles of society - one of their top priorities is generally to find the shackles and get them in working order again."
("Haiti: Looting, Lawlessness, and People being Human"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 16, 2010))
Here's what got me started on opining this evening:
"Anarchists say they bombed Swiss, Chilean embassies"
USA Today (December 23, 2010)

"An Italian anarchist group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the BBC reports.

"A note written on behalf of the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) was found on the clothing of a Chilean embassy worker. It read: 'We have decided to make our voice heard with words and with facts, we will destroy the system of dominance, long live the FAI, long-live Anarchy.'..."
Like I said, it looks good on paper, and makes good slogans: like 'down with dominance.'

Applied in the real world, well: I've opined on that already.

What's This Got to Do With the War on Terror?

Offhand, I'd say that hurting folks by sending bombs through the mail isn't very nice. In terms of practical effects, it looks a whole lot like what many folks might call "terrorism."

Those parcel bombs certainly won't help steady the nerves of folks working in the mail rooms of Rome.

Are these anarchists Muslims? It doesn't seem all that likely: and their note seems to indicate that they're mostly interested in anarchy, not Islam.

So, about the recent bombings in Rome? Do I think:
  • It's reasonable to call the perpetrators terrorists?
    • Yes
      • Although I might be able to come up with a nit-picking counterargument
  • That sending bombs around in parcels and hurting people is nice?
    • No
      • Not at all
  • Do I think such activity should be discouraged?
    • Yes
If that makes me a tool of the oppressors, or blind to the (potential) evils of having rules and the ability to enforce them: well, that comes with the territory.

Finally, I'm glad to read that nobody got killed in those attacks.

Somewhat-related posts:
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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.