Friday, January 06, 2006

Terrorists, terrorists, terrorists. In the Middle East, in the entire Muslim world, this word would become a plague, a meaningless punctuation mark in all our lives, a full stop erected to finish all discussion of injustice, constructed as a wall by Russians, Americans, Israelis, British, Pakistanis, Saudis, Turks, to shut us up. Who would ever say a word in favour of terrorists? What cause could justify terror? So our enemies are always "terrorists". In the seventeenth century, governments used "heretic" in much the same way, to end all dialogue, to prescribe obedience. Karmal's [Moscow-backed ruler of Afghanistan during Soviet invasion] policy was simple: you are with us or against us. For decades, I have listened to this dangerous equation, uttered by capitalist and communist, presidents and prime ministers, generals and intelligence officers and, of course, newspaper editors.
Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation

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