Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Let's call them "terrorist attacks"

...and the perpetrators "terrorists," or "indiscriminate mass murderers."

I don't want to get too hung up on labels, but some scrutiny is justified. Clear labels help us think and communicate most clearly.

Maybe you're sick of the flap over the BBC's editing out the word "terrorist" from their international coverage, or calling the attackers "misguided criminals".

But what about calling them London "bombers" or "suicide bombers"? Suicide was a peripheral part of it. Indiscriminate mass murder was what it really was about.

When I think of bombings, I think of the heinous attacks on abortion clinics here in the U.S.: 41 bombings, one resulting murder since 1993. Contrast that with the London attacks: 4 bombings, 52 dead, in a single day.

To the BBC's credit, they're calling them "attacks." They are.

(Note that there were eight abortion-clinic-related murders, but only one from bombings.)

See also the murder of Iraqi children.


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