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mister krabs
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Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
Suicide bombings, repugnant as they are, are going to bring appeasement and an independent state.

And the basis for this opinion is what? What other countries were built upon the blood of terrorist attacks?
 
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Rufus, Israel could expel all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and immediately bring peace to the region. However, it's far from a reasonable solution.
Honestly, suicide bombings have not helped the solution at all. If the Palestinian leadership and people would realize that compromise is a necessary part of negotiation, then we will have peace.
-Stu
 
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Is not Bush talking independent state? Has US been lobbying for this since 1947?
The world's changed significantly since the
Ottoman Empire surrendered to the British. What did the rights of conquered people used to be?
It's a God forsaken desert, they have little material wealth, and little intellectual capital what's going to get them to turn the corner?
 
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Give Peace a Chance
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
Is not Bush talking independent state? Has US been lobbying for this since 1947?

A Palistinian state has been US policy for about 30 years. By the way, between 1947 and 1967 the west bank was part of Jordan. If a Palestinian state had been Arab policy then there would be a Palestinian state today.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I am curious how you define terrorism.


I would stick to Oxford dictionary definition:


terrorism = the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act.


or to
Houghton Mifflin Dictionary


terrorism = the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.


A govenment can be a terrorist organisation according to these definitions (and also according to Mr. Bush jr. ref. Axis of Evil speech).
So if a goverment:
a) Uses or menaces the use of force unlawfully (say in violation of UN resolution)
b)Uses it for obtaining certain political results (say for intimidating, keeping in poverty or even expelling a people)
I guess it can be defined a terrorist organisation.
Furthermore if that govenment has as a leader a person suspected to be a war criminal and had as former leaders persons that where put in prison for being affiliated to or for committing terrorist act, well...
... frankly speaking I think that most people would label that state as terrorist and belonging to the "Axis of Evil".
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
So if a goverment:
a) Uses or menaces the use of force unlawfully (say in violation of UN resolution).

UN Resolutions are not the law. I am sure virtually every country on the planet has violated one or more UN resolutions. As to the purpose of Israeli activity, defending one's country from constant illegal attacks from foreign nations was accidentally left off your list.
 
Sheriff
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Omar,
While you might choose to apply the definitions from the Oxford or Houghton Mifflin dictionaries (possibly because they fit a bias?), neither of those dictionaries are texts on international law, nor are they definitive textx on terrorism. More importantly though, as I have pointed out, the definitions I offered are the commonly accepted ones by people who need to worry about such things, not the ones in the dictionary.
So let me ask you these questions if I may:
What if any problem is there with the common use definitions for terrorism that I offered in a previous post?
What is the motivation for everybody suddenly wanting to apply the term terrorist where it clearly does not apply, according to common usage? Is it simply a PR ploy? Is it one group trying to justify their own actions?
Now if the UN were to seek my vast expertise on the subject ( <- that's sarcasm btw) and asked me to come up with something slightly resembling a definition of terrorism, it might be something like the following:


Violent action, carried out by unlawful combatants, in violation of international customs and laws of war, directed against unlawful targets or undertaken where no state of hostilities exist, in order to make a political statement or otherwise further some political objective. A non-exhaustive list of unlawful targets, as defined by the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), includes civilians and centers of civilian population, chaplains, medical personnel and facilities, hospital and safety zones, and POW camps.
One key point is that these acts are carried out by unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are explicitly bound by international customs and laws of war and there are pre-existing mechanisms in place to deal with any crimes which may be committed by such a force.
The other key point is the targets for terrorist actions. It is terrorism when unlawful combatants directly and purposefully take action against unlawful targets. It is also terrorism when unlawful combatants take hostile action against targets of legitimate military value when no state of hostilities exist.
It is not terrorism when in the course of lawful combatants carrying out legitimate combat operations, unlawful targets are collaterally damaged because of their proximity to legitimate targets. If lawful combatants directly and purposefully take hostile action against unlawful targets, this is a war crime, however it is not terrorism.

 
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{
One key point is that these acts are carried out by unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are explicitly bound by international customs and laws of war and there are pre-existing mechanisms in place to deal with any crimes which may be committed by such a force.
}
What about the secret agencies of various countries.Since they cannot be identified by their clothes/markers and are not bound by international customs and laws, are they lawful combatants?Many of them have carried out/supported assasinations.
Before somebody accuses me of propoganda, let me say it could be any state secret service - KGB of Russia, RAW of India, ISI of Pakistan, Mossad of Israel etc.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by <slacker>:
What about the secret agencies of various countries.Since they cannot be identified by their clothes/markers and are not bound by international customs and laws, are they lawful combatants?Many of them have carried out/supported assasinations.


Well, technically they are bound by international customs and laws (well the states they represent are so they are by extension), however they are unlawful combatants, primarily because they do not wear uniforms or display weapons openly (at least that's my interpretation). This definition allows for the possibility of terrorism being carried out by clandestine state actors.
[ August 05, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Anonymous
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{
It is also terrorism when unlawful combatants take hostile action against targets of legitimate military value when no state of hostilities exist.
}
Since secret service agents are unlawful combatants, does this apply to them?
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by <slacker>:
{
It is also terrorism when unlawful combatants take hostile action against targets of legitimate military value when no state of hostilities exist.
}
Since secret service agents are unlawful combatants, does this apply to them?


Are you asking whether or not it would be perceived as terrorism? Yes, I think so.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by <slacker>:
Before somebody accuses me of propoganda, let me say it could be any state secret service - KGB of Russia, RAW of India, ISI of Pakistan, Mossad of Israel etc.

You left out the CIA.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by <slacker>:
Since secret service agents are unlawful combatants, does this apply to them?


I'm not sure if this would be terrorism... it would probably depend on the target. Take for example the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro by the CIA. I would think that this would be criminal activity... a violation of Cuban, US, and international law. I don't think this would qualify as terrorism because of the choice of target. If some secret government organization decided to blow up a school and blame it on some third party in order to stir up rebellion, that would be terrorism.
 
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I'm not sure if this would be terrorism... it would probably depend on the target. Take for example the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro by the CIA. I would think that this would be criminal activity... a violation of Cuban, US, and international law. I don't think this would qualify as terrorism because of the choice of target. If some secret government organization decided to blow up a school and blame it on some third party in order to stir up rebellion, that would be terrorism.


Thomas,
What if there was a coupe in a country; we will call Country X. This coupe disposed the king of the country who was very important ally to Country A. This king was unelected of course, and therefore undemocratic. The new leader, who organized the coupe, wanted to bring democracy to Country X, and had some Socialist views. Such a change is not beneficial to Country A, eventhough it could bring democracy to the people of Country X.
Would you say (with this information that I have provided) it is "criminal" (against international law) for Country A's secret service to bring the king of Country X back, put him back in power, train his secret service in an effort to keep the king in power, and dispose of the leader of the coupe?
 
Anonymous
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{
Take for example the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro by the CIA. I would think that this would be criminal activity... a violation of Cuban, US, and international law.
}
But this fits the definition of terrorism, as provided in this thread.From what I know Cuba was not at war with the US.Also this act was attempted by unlawful combatants against a legal combatant.And there was definitely some political motivation for it.
{
I don't think this would qualify as terrorism because of the choice of target.
}
I didnt understand about the choice of target. Is it because it has already been decided that Castro is evil? Or is it because Castro follows a political system which is not approved by the US.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:
What if there was a coupe in a country; we will call Country X. etc...

As, for example, Iran? Or El Salvador where a democratically elected government was overthrown because they were a threat to an American corporation? Yes, they would both be excellent examples of illegal, criminal behavior by a secret government organization.
 
Thomas Paul
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But this fits the definition of terrorism, as provided in this thread.From what I know Cuba was not at war with the US.Also this act was attempted by unlawful combatants against a legal combatant.And there was definitely some political motivation for it.
We are debating about the exact definition of "terrorism". I disagree with parts of Jason's last attempt.
I didnt understand about the choice of target. Is it because it has already been decided that Castro is evil? Or is it because Castro follows a political system which is not approved by the US.
Castro is evil. It wouldn't be terrorism because the target was not an innocent civilian. Castro was executing his opponents for no reason other than that they disagreed with him. He was also spreading violence to other countries. That is why targeting him would be criminal but not terrorism. Remember, the purpose of terrorism is to spread terror.
[ August 05, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
As, for example, Iran? Or El Salvador where a democratically elected government was overthrown because they were a threat to an American corporation? Yes, they would both be excellent examples of illegal, criminal behavior by a secret government organization.


Country X = Iran. Very nicely done.
Ok, so you agree that these actions where illegal and criminal behavior by the CIA.
Now to your knowledge, do you know if those "criminals" that were responsible for such actions were ever brought to justice (either in the case in Iran or El Salvador)? And I am asking this purely because I do not think that these criminals were ever brought to justice, and if I am mistaken, please let me know because it would really make my day if I were to learn that they were.
But to my knowledge, these criminals were never brought to justice. The reason for that is because they belonged to a very powerful country, the most powerful in the world.
Do you agree that it is extremely unfortunate that the most powerful countries in the world do not have to answer to international laws?
 
Anonymous
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:shakes head:
Power to you if you are not spending too much of work hours replying to these posts
Power to you if you can sleep well at night and not let these posts disturb you.
Power to you if these threads let you sleep well tonight.
Power to you if you think your opinions matter.
Power to you if you believe in what you think.
Power to you if you think you are right.
Power to you if you think the other person is right.
Power to you if you think the other person is wrong.
Power to you if you think this is MD forum.
Power to you if you think world is a great place to live.
Power to you if you dont login to Javaranch only to see what the other person has to say to you.
More power to you if you think your opinions change the world.
More power to you to keep an meaningful discussion going ...
Peace !
 
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:strums guitar:
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be...
 
High Plains Drifter
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YKW: Do you agree that it is extremely unfortunate that the most powerful countries in the world do not have to answer to international laws?
I didn't think Iraq was all that powerful.
 
Jason Menard
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Do you agree that it is extremely unfortunate that the most powerful countries in the world do not have to answer to international laws?


I don't know if I'd refer to Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea as the most powerful countries in the world.
 
Jason Menard
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For one thing, remember this is a working definition I came up with, not one that the UN is likely to be applying any time soon. :roll: I could certainly take criticism on that definition to make it more consise, but if you are trying to argue whether or not certain actions are or aren't terrorism, you would be better suited using the two "official" definitions I offered earlier.
I do admit there are some holes in my definition, however I should point out that assassination is not terrorism. There are also such activities as sabotage, which is its own category and is also not terrorism.

It is also terrorism when unlawful combatants take hostile action against targets of legitimate military value when no state of hostilities exist.


My thought with this bit, which is the part that some seem to be jumping on, is to try to cover events such as the Cole bombing, or the bombing of Khobar Towers. There are really no other terms to apply other than terrorism to these situations, but if anyone else can come up with a way to articulate this, it couldn't hurt. I don't know, maybe the caveat is that when the unlawful combatants are state actors and action is taken against a target of legitimate military vale when no state of hostilities exist, it is not terrorism. hmm....
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I don't know if I'd refer to Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea as the most powerful countries in the world.


Are you being serious, Jason? I can't tell if you were joking. If you weren't joking, allow me to clarify. I think Thomas agreed with me that the actions of the CIA in the 1950's against Mossadeq in Iran was illegal and criminal. My question was why none of those criminals were ever brought to justice.
By the most powerful countries in the world, I was more specifically talking about the United States of America and Britian. More specifically the United States of America since the UK actually apologized for those actions. Of course an apology does right the crime, but at least it is something.
 
Jason Menard
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I must be missing what relevance this has to terrorism.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Anthony Goshaunee:
But to my knowledge, these criminals were never brought to justice. The reason for that is because they belonged to a very powerful country, the most powerful in the world.

They were in fact rewarded for successfully carrying out the orders of their country. It would have been perverse to arrest them when they had the approval of the president.
Those, of course, were different (and in many ways) simpler times. The cold war was running strong and everything was thought of in terms of the USSR. In the long run it worked out very poorly for the US because it has hurt our relations with Iran. But it was 50 years ago so maybe it's time to get over it.
 
omar khan
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
They were in fact rewarded for successfully carrying out the orders of their country.


And this is fair enough.
What I do not understand is the need for a country (not only US but anyone) to fight "moral battles" if you get what I mean.
Coutries accuse others of violating international laws and then they do exactly the same.
Sad isn't it?
 
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The other point is that even if what happened then in Iran could be considered terrorism now, it wasn't then. Just because someone once did something that was wrong and got a way with it does not make it in any way right or OK for someone to do the same thing now.

Like Thomas said 'get over it'. It happened, maybe it shouldn't have, maybe it was wrong, but none of that changes the fact that what is being done by the terrorists today is still wrong.
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
But it was 50 years ago so maybe it's time to get over it.


Please do not say that, Thomas. It is very unfair to simply say, "get over it".
So if someone commits a crime 50 years ago they should not be held responsible? If so, then exactly how many years does it take for the criminals to simply be able to say, "Get over it, it was a long time ago"? Is the amount of time the same for every country? It is absolutely ridiculous to just say that it was a long time ago so everyone should get over it.
 
omar khan
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Originally posted by Dave Vick:
The other point is that even if what happened then in Iran could be considered terrorism now, it wasn't then.


So maybe in some part of the world something is happening that in 40 years will be considered terrorism, but it is not considered terrorism now.
Is that so?
Say like Middle East?
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Dave Vick:
The other point is that even if what happened then in Iran could be considered terrorism now, it wasn't then. Just because someone once did something that was wrong and got a way with it does not make it in any way right or OK for someone to do the same thing now.

Like Thomas said 'get over it'. It happened, maybe it shouldn't have, maybe it was wrong, but none of that changes the fact that what is being done by the terrorists today is still wrong.



Overthrowing a democratic government of a country by another country and imposing a dictator was wrong then and is wrong now.
Of course it does not justify terrorism, but we are no longer talking about terrorism. At least me and Thomas weren't in our last couple posts. The discussion has changed into something completely different.
50 years is not that long ago. Just because 50 years has passed, it does not mean that everyone should just get over it. The least the United States of America could do is apologize.
Anyway, I know the US won't apologize and those criminals will never face justice, but it is something that needs to be noted so that such a crime doesn't happen again, and when justice is not served, and no one even accepts responsibility for the crime, I find it very hard to believe that if the US is faced with a similar
situation that it will not act in the same criminal manner.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:

So maybe in some part of the world something is happening that in 40 years will be considered terrorism, but it is not considered terrorism now.
Is that so?
Say like Middle East?


That is exactly the problem. People are playing with the definition of terrorism in order to fit their own agenda. The UN can't even come up with an acceptable definition because of the many countries who want to justify terrorism and call it something else, or label something that isn't terrorism as terrorism.
This is why it is prudent to rely on common usage definitions such as those I have mentioned (not my own personal one btw) and keep emotion and political agenda out of the language. These definitions were come up with some time ago outside of the current atmosphere regarding the war on terrorism and the conflict in the Middle East, and therefore they are fairly neutral.
These other acts being talked about, such as assassination and destablizing governments are in no way terrorism.
So to answer your question Omar, people can consider whatever they want as terrorism, but merely applying that label doesn't make it so. If the definition somehow changes in the next 40 years to encompass such acts, then I guess the answer would be yes. However that would merely be because of politicizing the definition of terrorism. Politics should be left out of the language like that IMHO.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Dave Vick:
Like Thomas said 'get over it'. It happened, maybe it shouldn't have, maybe it was wrong, but none of that changes the fact that what is being done by the terrorists today is still wrong.


I think you touched on something. The tactic often chosen by the terrorists and those who would support or justify their actions in the world is to try to provide justification for their crimes through some convuluted relation to an action taken by another country in the past, or to simply try to shift the focus on past wrongs done by others, whether it was they who were wronged or not.
 
Anonymous
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{
Like Thomas said 'get over it'. It happened, maybe it shouldn't have, maybe it was wrong, but none of that changes the fact that what is being done by the terrorists today is still wrong.
}
Nobody is claiming what the terrorists did is right.
The problem here is when certain countries claim moral superiority over the other and then wage wars. It has nothing to do with Saddam or Castro being evil. If that was the case, US would not have supported Saddam in his war against Iraq.
 
Anonymous
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{
If that was the case, US would not have supported Saddam in his war against Iraq.
}
Make that Iran in my last statement
 
Dave Vick
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...those criminals will never face justice, but it is something that needs to be noted so that such a crime doesn't happen again,...


Actually, most of those 'criminals' are proably dead by now.
My whole point was that you brought up the point that the US may have done something criminal in the past (to be honest I don't know enough about what you're refering to to discuss that issue - do you have any links?) but my question is - to what end did you bring it up?
You can't use past criminal actions to justify current ones. Or were you just mentioning it as a side note to some other arguement? The final line is that if something is criminal then it is criminal, if something happened in the past and people were not punished for it - so what?! It doesn't make current things any less criminal or mitigate them in any way. It doesn't give any current perpetrators the right not to be punished.
You asked the question of Thomas if it would be considered criminal, he said yes, most of us said yes (given your scenario)... now what? If the question has been raised and agreed to does that mean we're done with this thread? Cool, 'cause the word association thread is getting hot right now
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Dave Vick:

You asked the question of Thomas if it would be considered criminal, he said yes, most of us said yes (given your scenario)... now what? If the question has been raised and agreed to does that mean we're done with this thread? Cool, 'cause the word association thread is getting hot right now


Well Dave, it is like slacker said. One point is that the US tries to claim moral superiority over some countries, when it has no right to.
Furthermore, as has been seen by many threads, especially on MD, topics change. No one was justifying terrorism. The discussion went from terrorism, to the definition of terrorism, to what is and what is not terrorism, to what is and what is not against international law, to when those laws were not broken, and now here we are. It didn't go from terrorism, to, "But, wait, the US did something wrong." I think if you look at the posts and see the flow of the discussion this is obvious.
And Thomas and I were referring to the overthrow of Mossadeq in Iran in 1953. Here is a good link:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html
Here is the intro to the CIA document:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/iran-cia-intro.pdf
And Thomas, I remember you saying that if one party planted a bomb that killed people of another party, and tried to make it look like it was done by a third party, that this would not only be criminal but also terrorism. From the article shown above (the first one), I found this paragraph;
"Iranians working for the C.I.A. and posing as Communists harassed religious leaders and staged the bombing of one cleric's home in a campaign to turn the country's Islamic religious community against Mossadegh's government."
I think that sounds a lot like the hypothetical situation that you agreed was terrorism, no?
That would mean that the C.I.A. is responsible for terrorism.
 
Jason Menard
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Anthony,
Just out of curiousity... since the people responsible for helping to overthrow a government are being referred to as criminals "according to international law", which international laws are they guilty of violating? Laws of armed conflict, for example, aren't applicable in such circumstances.
 
Anthony Goshaunee
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Anthony,
Just out of curiousity... since the people responsible for helping to overthrow a government are being referred to as criminals "according to international law", which international laws are they guilty of violating? Laws of armed conflict, for example, aren't applicable in such circumstances.


Well Jason, Thomas had agreed with me that it was criminal and illegal and we were discussing from there. Jason, it seems that you are under the impression that you know exactly what is and what is not illegal, terrorism and everything else. So, here is a quote from yourself:
"Originally posted by <slacker>:
What about the secret agencies of various countries.Since they cannot be identified by their clothes/markers and are not bound by international customs and laws, are they lawful combatants?Many of them have carried out/supported assasinations.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, technically they are bound by international customs and laws (well the states they represent are so they are by extension), however they are unlawful combatants, primarily because they do not wear uniforms or display weapons openly (at least that's my interpretation). This definition allows for the possibility of terrorism being carried out by clandestine state actors."
and here is another one from yourself:
"Originally posted by <slacker>:
{
It is also terrorism when unlawful combatants take hostile action against targets of legitimate military value when no state of hostilities exist.
}
Since secret service agents are unlawful combatants, does this apply to them?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Are you asking whether or not it would be perceived as terrorism? Yes, I think so."

Jason, are you saying that it is not terrorism if the C.I.A. orders the home of a religious leader to be blown up, and then try to blame it on another group in an effort to cause a conflict between two powerful groups, because it does not agree with the one that is in power, despite the fact that it has the people of that country's support?
 
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