This Isn’t Terrorism

Reports today about the AFP arresting 4 men in Melbourne who were allegedly planning to attack a military base in Victoria is being called "terrorism" by the Prime Minister and the mainstream media. For example, News.com.au claims the attack, if it had gone ahead, would have been "the worst terror attack on Australian soil".  However, if they were attacking a military target, does that qualify as terrorism? Wikipedia states that there isn’t an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, but I normally associate it with attacks on civilian targets outside of wartime. A small group of Somali and Lebanese labourers and taxi drivers attacking a military base doesn’t sound like the definition of terrorism to me. It sounds more like the definition of "stupid".

(UPDATE: in discussion with @napper, I said I think an attack by citizens of a country on its own army and inside the country’s own borders is more accurately defined as “revolution” or “insurrection”.)

So – why is it being referred to as terrorism by the Govt and the media? Are we back to the days where The Great Corporation feels the need to frighten the masses? What should we be watching out for? Is there a new law coming soon that will disappear more of our civil rights? Will Rudd use this to help push through his Internet censorship?

UPDATE: I also meant to add – as Terry did in the comments – that I hope the AFP have actually done their job this time, unlike in the Haneef debacle.

4 thoughts on “This Isn’t Terrorism

  1. An attack on a military base would more than likely be defined in a court as an act of war, not terrorism, either way, I agree this is stupid. The media and government should say ‘4 stupid people thought they could do something stupid and get away with it’.

  2. I imagine the authorities call it terrorism so they can act under the anti terrorism laws. And since there is no consensus on what is deemed terrorism then they are wrong I suppose.

    Terrorism or not, if these morons were planning an attack on an Australian base here in our country then they deserve to be punished severly in my view. I just hope it is not another Haneef stuff up.

  3. i noticed one of the television news outlets this morning also trotted out the old “…has all the hallmarks of al-qaeda…” line too. fools.

    al-qaeda – newspeak for “the ‘others’, over there, somewhere else”

  4. “An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby – in contrast to assassination – the direct targets of violence are not the main targets.”

    Hooray for the UN.

    The reason for describing criminal acts as terrorism is to inspire anxiety. This is employed for political reasons by state actors with the (semi-) clandestine involvement of media groups. The main target of this anxiety is the voting public, not the people planning the criminal activity – who are merely the direct targets of the description as terrorists. Hmmm, I seem to be turning a perfectly respectable definition to my own ends here.

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