Posts Tagged: fear

Fear has been defeated; there’s no turning back

Eleven days and counting. Hard to believe so much has changed in so sort a time.

In Tahrir Square, the liberated zone, the anti-Mubarak protestors will tell you fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.

When morning comes, you see the makeshift metal barricades, the hand-forged weapons, dug up rocks, bandaged bodies, they are still standing their ground. Fear has been defeated, they’ll tell you. There’s no turning back.

They bought this square with blood, paid for it with pain. Bruised, they’re not broken. Battered, they’ve not bowed. Fear has been defeated, they’ll tell you. There’s no turning back.

Raised to keep silent, not criticize the state, beaten by cops, gassed and abused, turned on, attacked by fire-throwing thugs. They’ve stayed in the square, and today more kept on coming. Peacefully protesting, their lives on the line. Fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.

Some are Islamists, there’s no doubt about that. But this goes beyond one religion or party. That’s not why they’re here. They speak about freedom and fairness and justice. They speak about the things all of us say that we want. You never really heard that in Egypt in the past, at least not openly called for in the streets. Fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.

All the reporters and camera people and producers have been working around the clock, trying to cover these fast-moving events. On the ground, among the anti-Mubarak demonstrators, it’s easy to move around, talk to people. It’s another story in pro-Mubarak crowds. Many of us have been attacked. It happens quickly, spirals out of control. All you can do is stay calm, try to escape. It’s not a coincidence, I plan: it’s a plan, clear as day. The people in power want to control what you see. We try to position ourselves in different spots. We find balconies that give a view of the battle. But if we can see them, they can see us. And sometimes you have to stop, close the curtains, move somewhere else. Fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.

We’ve all heard the roar of the crowd, the cries of the wounded. For me, the most haunting sound echoes in the night. Sticks and stones banging on barricades as these anti-Mubarak demonstrators wait for an attack that inevitably comes. It’s a sound made by warriors all through the ages, a warning to those who have tried to defeat them. We are here, they’re saying. We are strong. We are not giving up. Fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.

Bill Bennett: Whitewashing Terrorism

I just can’t let Bill Bennett’s little gem in this week’s National Review go without a response. It seems that Bill is upset that Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s irrational shooting spree at Fort Hood is not regarded as a terrorist act.

What defines terrorism?

Let’s start with what terrorism is, and what it isn’t, because words still do matter, even in the age of 140-character wisdom.

Terrorism, defined:

  • Princeton University WordNet – (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear) (link)
  • Dictionary.com1the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. 2 the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3 a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
  • United States Law – U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;

There are three different definitions of the term “terrorism. In those three definitions, there are two common threads: politics and the victims.