Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Poetry Corner

This poem may be illegal under the Glorification of Terrorism bill.

This poem has no possible relevance to anything in last weeks news.

11 comments:

Louise H said...

I've been humming the second one for several days now. Coincidence? Or something more sinister?

culfy said...

I was under the impression that the Easter uprising was one of the events that would be specifically excluded from the Glorification of Terrorism bill.

Dan Hemmens said...

I was under the impression that the Easter uprising was one of the events that would be specifically excluded from the Glorification of Terrorism bill.

This may well be true, but it sort of misses the point.

The point is not that we need to allow for the specific case of the easter uprising, but rather that the easter uprising provides a very clear and concrete example of how one man's terrorism is another man's noble crusade.

SK said...

I'm nto sure why being a talented poet should allow you to get away with glorifying terrorism; if anything it's worse, because a talented poet will be more persuasive.

However, the government's policy on terrorism is hideously two-faced anyway, as even while it claims to be protecting us from terrorists it proposes legislation to give an amnesty to murderers and bends over backwards to get unrepentant terrorists into positions of power.

Mr Blair's only concern is how he looks in the history books: morality, trust, and justice don't even come into it.

Sam Dodsworth said...

Mr Blair's only concern is how he looks in the history books: morality, trust, and justice don't even come into it.

As a devout pedant, I should say that those two statements don't look very compatible to me. Surely Mr Blair's problem is that he lets his desire to be remembered as a champion of justice and morality overrule his (and other people's) common sense?


...even while it claims to be protecting us from terrorists it proposes legislation to give an amnesty to murderers and bends over backwards to get unrepentant terrorists into positions of power.

I'm not sure I've caught your references here. Could you possibly point me to the original "Daily Mail" editorials?

Charles Filson said...

This is why it's not a good idea to start trying to limit speech and ideas.

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Am I the only one who considers the fact that a man can be a freedom fighter AND a terrorist?

I just find it a stupid bit of rhetoric, because for me "terrorist" means "person outside of army who refuses to follow generally accepted rules of combat." I consider George Washington a noble man and a freedom fighter, but that doesn't mean that by the rules of his age he wasn't a terrorist.

All right, I've vented now.

Phil Masters said...

I just find it a stupid bit of rhetoric, because for me "terrorist" means "person outside of army who refuses to follow generally accepted rules of combat."

Umm, that may be how it ends up being used, but I think that there's a need for a term which means something a bit different to "guerilla fighter" or "irregular". Specifically, I think that we probably need a word for someone who sets out to achieve his ends, not just throuhg violence, but specifically by the maximum propagation of fear and terror, and who therefore tends to target non-combatants, not just as a side-effect or even as an occasional ruthless option, but as a primary tactic.

Which is tricky, of course, because any successful soldier tends to put the fear of god into his enemies, including some noncombatants. But still... I can't help thinking that there's a difference between most "freedom fighters" and people who fly hijacked airliners into buildings, enough that different words are indicated.

Associated problems... People who drive truck bombs into military barracks may be ruthless nutters who are trying to spread terror, but they aren't targetting noncombatants. It'll bug the hell out of some people, but it'd probably be better not to call them terrorists. (Though people like that usually seem quite willing to target anyone else who they dislike, so they can soon move into the category.) And regular, uniformed, military forces who deliberately target non-military installations, and murder civilians, to "disrupt enemy morale" are acting as terrorists, whatever their self-image. Though a better term to use there might be "war criminals". just to distinguish them from the non-uniformed types using the same tactics.

Andrew Rilstone said...

"...even while it claims to be protecting us from terrorists it proposes legislation to give an amnesty to murderers and bends over backwards to get unrepentant terrorists into positions of power."

I'm not sure I've caught your references here. Could you possibly point me to the original "Daily Mail" editorials?


I think that m'learned friend may be pointing up a possible inconsistency between issuing amnesties and early release schemes for people in Ireland who have actually committed acts of terrorism; and imprisoning people on the mainland who have only talked about doing so.

Dan Hemmens said...

Andrew Rilstone: I think that m'learned friend may be pointing up a possible inconsistency between issuing amnesties and early release schemes for people in Ireland who have actually committed acts of terrorism; and imprisoning people on the mainland who have only talked about doing so.

As far as I can tell, under Blairite Newspeak the IRA were not actually "terrorists". The modern definition of "terrorism" seems to be neither "illegal military activity outside the regular rules of combat" or "military action targetted at civilians designed to promote fear". The modern definition is "suicide bombings by fanatical muslims."

In the New World Order there was no terrorism before September 11th and we have, of course, always been at war with Eastasia.

Dan Hemmens said...

Am I the only one who considers the fact that a man can be a freedom fighter AND a terrorist?

"Either you accept that your father was I pirate and a good man..."

There are certain labels which are expected to define the whole of somebody's identity: "terrorist", "paedophile", "rapist", "homosexual" - pretty much everybody falls back on one or other of them every now and then.

The idea that you can be a freedom fighter and a terrorist is, in a sense, a contradiction in terms. If you are a terrorist, that is the whole of your identity. Which is why, of course, terrorists don't need silly things like trials. They're terrorists, by definition they're guilty of terrorism, human rights only apply to actual people.