Dont be shy of the word terrorist, BBC is told

mora

War Hero
#1
But when the IRA bombed army barracks, were they not acts of terrorism? Why should British troops not be counted as victims of terrorism simply because they aren't 'civilians'?

http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=658622006

Wed 3 May 2006
Don't be shy of the word 'terrorist', BBC is told
THE BBC should not shrink from using the word "terrorist" to describe outrages in the Middle East, says a new report.

The advice comes from an independent panel of experts which yesterday cleared the BBC of any deliberate bias in its reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The BBC's own editorial guidelines recommend that journalists should try to avoid the word "terrorist" in coverage, except when it is used by other people being quoted.

The report, commissioned by the BBC's governors, said: "We think they [the BBC] should call terrorist acts 'terrorism' because that term is clear and well understood." It adds: "While those immediately responsible for the actions might be described as terrorists, the BBC is right to avoid so labelling organisations, except in attributed remarks."

The BBC denied it had softened its initial description of "terrorists" for those responsible for carrying out the 7 July bombings in London.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are confident we have the right editorial structures and processes in place to provide high-quality, impartial journalism."
Put it this way: how many people would agee with the slogan "One person's rapist is another person's seducer"?

Terrorism, which involves the deliberate targeting of civilians with a view to killing and maiming them and if possible in large numbers, is a crime against humanity under international law. It is not, consequently, a partisan matter to refer to terrorists as 'terrorists'.

There are, in contrast, distinctions often made that ought not to be. What is or is not "terrorism" does not depend on the badness or goodness of the cause, nor on whether those espousing it have the chance to express their demands democratically.
 
#2
The BBC is stuck between a rock and a hard place over this.

Israel use state sponsored terrorism to enforce their illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and so the Palestinian people are forced to do what countless groups of people have done over the centuries, fight fire with fire in the only way a populous without access to a large military industrial complex (the USA) can, insurgency.

The BBC is trying not to pick sides. If it calls Palestinian suicide bombers terrorists but not Israeli Apache crews who carry out unguided rocket attacks on urban areas then it is quite clearly picking sides.

Of course the BBC could always take the moral high ground and defend a democratic but occupied country (surely the best friend of the US) but if it did it'd face the wrath of a world where any views that are anti-Israeli are seen as anti-Semitic.
 
#3
Mora are you in Mossad? You're posts all seem to be very pro Israeli and more than a little chippy about the use of the word terrorism. It has been discussed hundreds of times before, especially in connection with our friends across the water, that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter ( I know it's a cliche, but it simplifies the argument). The label is very subjective, and, as has been proved in previous threads, always open to an argument, is never fully resolved.
 
#4
speaking from experience of terrorism (a victim) i can see the variation in thought.
The phrase one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist is true but this is very much down to personal experience.

in the aftermath of the London bombings much play and still is made of the victims by the BBC.

but in Belfast we were just left to get on with it and "its not in my back yard"springs to mind in relation to victims.

Every day i see people on the streets who murdered at will and got out early.

when you reach that stage in Britian then you will understand completely.

Any conflict has its parallels the syrians are not willing to return the portion of palestine they occupied and i dont hear any shouting about this.
 
#5
to quote after Dennis Donaldson was murdered he was frequently refered to by BBC NI as a British spy murdered.

The correct term would be man murdered but as usual the PC brigade appears not to have infiltrated this far North just yet.
 
#6
Sorry for the flippancy, Ulsterism. In my cack handed way, I was trying to make a point to mora that his posts are all on a variation of the same theme and that no matter how many times the same question is asked ( terrorism or not), it will never reach universal agreement.
 
#7
hmm what mora is pretty selectinve in his extracts and comments.

The report also saiud that the word terorist should be used to describe sate or non state acts designed to cause terror.

He also missed some of the key findings about lack of balance. The partiular short comings seem to be that the BBC doesn ';t puyt enough effort into reporting the Palestinian view.

a) deficiencies in output: given that the BBC has more news airtime and resources than any
other UK broadcaster and probably more than any other European broadcaster there were
several deficiencies in the broadcast news output. These included an absence of historical
background and deficiencies in the provision of other contexts (such as the role of the wider
Middle East in the conflict), and insufficient analysis and interpretation of some important
events and issues, including shifts in Palestinian society, opinion and politics. There was little
reporting of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians in their daily lives. Equally in the months
preceding the Palestinian elections there was little hard questioning of their leaders. The
broader themes covered in current affairs programmes only partly offset these shortcomings.


b) elusiveness of editorial planning, grip and oversight as evident in imbalances in coverage
(e.g. in the menu of current affairs programmes, on the background of commentators relied on,
spokespeople interviewed or on the implications of the Gaza disengagement for the
Palestinians), insufficient diversity of stories, and of perspectives. This elusiveness is also
manifest in the failure to achieve the ideal of a consistent exposure of both the Israeli and
Palestinian view (the "dual narratives")
the lack of a self conscious address to the
important issue of how stories are framed ("newsframes").

c) imprecision and inconsistency in the use of sensitive language and terminology. Although
this is, rightly, an issue to which the BBC and its senior managers have given much thought,
there is significant scope for improvement, particularly in reporting terrorism. The fact that
these issues are difficult to get right makes it vital that when the BBC does reach a considered
view on terminology, it is consistently followed in practice.

d) reactive journalism, instead of a purposive effort to tell a complicated story in the round and
to remedy the well attested incomprehension of the generality of viewers and listeners
(incomprehension further evidenced in the research commissioned for this Review).e
important feature of this is the failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and
Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other lives under
occupation. Although this asymmetry does not necessarily bear on the relative merits of the
two sides, it is so marked and important that coverage should succeed in this if in nothing else.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4964702.stm

I.e. the BBC has tended to offer, unconsciously too much emphais on the Israeli experience and not enough on the Palestin ian one.
I wonder why somone so informed should only mention the recommendation that the word terrorist is used when the aim appears to be to terrorise?
 
#8
What do you think of Obadiah Shoher's views on the Middle East conflict? One can argue, of course, that Shoher is ultra-right, but his followers are far from being a marginal group. Also, he rejects Jewish moralistic reasoning - that's alone is highly unusual for the Israeli right. And he is very influential here in Israel. So what do you think? uh, here's the site in question: Middle East conflict
 
#9
For too long we have fallen into the trap of copying the Americans in seeing the Isrealis as some kind of special case. The same international law should apply to them as it does to everyone else.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#10
Of course there is another distinction, many of the Iraqi 'insurgents' who are fighting the CF are freedom fighters. Not many I agree, most are criminals, foriegn mercenaries and religious nut jobs. But some, like the Fedayeen are Freedom Fighters.. Or am I hopelessly out of date?
 
#11
Not bad reply speed there Trigger

Only 648 days between posts.

I think Pteranadon has moved on a bit.
 
#12
I'd say the aims are more important than the methods in defining terrorism. If you're bombing the local markets in your efforts to install a secular democracy you're engaged in freedom fighting. If you're fighting like gentlemen in your efforts to install a theocracy you're engaged in terrorism.

Trouble is almost all the unpleasantness going on is always a mixture of the two.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#13
AlexZello said:
What do you think of Obadiah Shoher's views on the Middle East conflict? One can argue, of course, that Shoher is ultra-right, but his followers are far from being a marginal group. Also, he rejects Jewish moralistic reasoning - that's alone is highly unusual for the Israeli right. And he is very influential here in Israel. So what do you think?
Sun got to you?
 
#14
Bert_Preast said:
I'd say the aims are more important than the methods in defining terrorism. If you're bombing the local markets in your efforts to install a secular democracy you're engaged in freedom fighting. If you're fighting like gentlemen in your efforts to install a theocracy you're engaged in terrorism.
I'd have to strongly disagree and say that bombing local markets makes you a class A bastard and a terrorist. It doesn't mater what cause you're fighting for or who you're fighting against, if you go after civillian targets then you're a terrorist.

This is generally why I don't like the Palestinian terrorist groups. You go after army patrols or military bases then fine, they're made up of blokes with machine guns that are expecting it and can fight back. Blowing up scores of teenagers in discos in central Tel Aviv or targeting civillians in general is just barbaric.
 
#15
Seems to me is a question of what is targeted. If you go after soft targets (pubs, populated shopping centres, markets etc.) and give no warning - that is terrorism, no matter your aims.

If you go after hard targets, that is a somewhat shadier area.

As to Israel - this will always be a special case in US - due to 1) the huge and powerful influence of the Zionist (not Jewish) lobby AIPAC, and 2) the backing of Christian fundies.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#16
to me its a combination of aim and methods.

Iraqi's attacking CF in Iraq - freedom fighters like the French Resistance but without the garlic

Anyone else attacking CF in Iraq - religious zealots best wasted

Anyone attacking civilians - murdering scum best wasted
 
#17
Best way I can come up with to differentiate the two is whether you have redress to a free and fair democratic system or not. If you do but know you can't get enough support to get people to do what you want and then turn to violence to force people to, then you're a terrorist. If however you don't have access to one and you represent the majority of the local population and resort to violence then you're a freedom fighter. Seems to work as a general rule of thumb.

The addendum to this of course is the methods you use. It doesn't matter how repressed you are, you go after innocent civilians then you automatically move straight into the absolute bastard/terrorist category.
 
#18
The aim of a terrorist is to terrorise,that's it.

Terrorism: practice of using terror-inspiring methods of governing or,of securing political,or other ends

Once you start going of a tangent from the basic premise,you play into the hands of the very people you are trying to vilify.

Just keep it simple.
 
#19
RoofRat said:
The aim of a terrorist is to terrorise,that's it.

Terrorism: practice of using terror-inspiring methods of governing or,of securing political,or other ends

Once you start going of a tangent from the basic premise,you play into the hands of the very people you are trying to vilify.

Just keep it simple.
Is very subjective though. I think upon this often - what if our nation was occupied by foreigners - would we be wrong to attack them and try to free ourselves?
 
#20
Brick said:
Bert_Preast said:
I'd say the aims are more important than the methods in defining terrorism. If you're bombing the local markets in your efforts to install a secular democracy you're engaged in freedom fighting. If you're fighting like gentlemen in your efforts to install a theocracy you're engaged in terrorism.
I'd have to strongly disagree and say that bombing local markets makes you a class A bastard and a terrorist. It doesn't mater what cause you're fighting for or who you're fighting against, if you go after civillian targets then you're a terrorist.

This is generally why I don't like the Palestinian terrorist groups. You go after army patrols or military bases then fine, they're made up of blokes with machine guns that are expecting it and can fight back. Blowing up scores of teenagers in discos in central Tel Aviv or targeting civillians in general is just barbaric.
I don't like them any more than you do - as they're fighting to install an insane theocracy or corrupt dictatorship the Palestinians are by my definition terrorists. Irrespective of whatever methods they're using. They could form lines, arm themselves with clubs then charge a helicopter gunship and I'd laugh when they got a slapping, which in my eyes would've been richly deserved. I might respect their bravery, but I'd still want them to get fcuked right up.
 

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