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mattsmith48
August 4th, 2017, 10:17 AM
For a few year I've been calling the war on terror and Obama's bombing in the Middle East terrorism and in the Impeach Trump thread, someone told me I need to figure out the difference between war and terrorism.

So tell me, what is the difference?

Please no Islamophobic Bullshit here. Thank You!

azurzg
August 4th, 2017, 10:42 AM
War is an armed conflict between two or more groups of people (such as countries).

Terrorism is violence and intimidation, mostly on non-military targets, in the pursuit of political aims.

So, the Hundred Years' War between the House of Plantagenet (England) and the House of Valois (France) was in fact "a war" (some historians would say three wars); though during the long course of this war, both houses committed acts that could be defined as "terrorism".

Flapjack
August 4th, 2017, 10:54 AM
War is a state of armed conflict between countries or groups

Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

I don't like the definition of terrorism though because I am prettyyy sure every side will claim the other side is acting unlawful so I personally define terrorism as the targeting of civilians for political aims.

PlasmaHam
August 4th, 2017, 11:38 AM
Terrorism is the intentional use of deadly force against innocent civilians, typical used to push political/religious agendas via intimidation.

War is the state of sustained armed conflict between two or more groups.

I don't like the definition of terrorism though because I am pretty sure every side will claim the other side is acting unlawful so I personally define terrorism as the targeting of civilians for political aims.
Yea, I was about to say that there are always individuals claiming that other side (or even their own) are breaking the Rules of War. So saying that terrorism is simply war without rules is a very broad statement. Technically, that would fall under the definition of total war. Total war, in case you don't know, is referring to a war in which little care is taken to prevent civilian deaths. I think that is MattSmith's biggest issue here. He is confusing total war (war without much care for civilians) for terrorism (violence intentionally targeting civilians.)

mattsmith48
August 4th, 2017, 12:03 PM
Yea, I was about to say that there are always individuals claiming that other side (or even their own) are breaking the Rules of War. So saying that terrorism is simply war without rules is a very broad statement. Technically, that would fall under the definition of total war. Total war, in case you don't know, is referring to a war in which little care is taken to prevent civilian deaths. I think that is MattSmith's biggest issue here. He is confusing total war (war without much care for civilians) for terrorism (violence intentionally targeting civilians.)

That total war thing, that sounds both like war crime and terrorism.

ShineintheDark
August 4th, 2017, 12:28 PM
Terrorism is the intentional use of deadly force against innocent civilians, typical used to push political/religious agendas via intimidation.



Under that explanation, wouldn't the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings be terrorism? Or any other attacks on cities carried out through warfare? This is the kind of stuff that leads to people realising that the line between warfare and terrorism is more blurred than we let on. This is especially true in the modern day. Let's take drone strikes for an example. It's foolish to think that those who send out the drones don't realise the civilian populations of the target areas, they simply weigh whether the civilian toll is worth it compared to their desired goal. You can argue whether that's morally right or not, either way it IS intentionally attacking civilians to achieve a political goal and therefore why you will always have people telling you that a war/act of war is terrorism.

PlasmaHam
August 4th, 2017, 01:03 PM
Under that explanation, wouldn't the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings be terrorism? Or any other attacks on cities carried out through warfare? This is the kind of stuff that leads to people realising that the line between warfare and terrorism is more blurred than we let on. This is especially true in the modern day. Let's take drone strikes for an example. It's foolish to think that those who send out the drones don't realise the civilian populations of the target areas, they simply weigh whether the civilian toll is worth it compared to their desired goal. You can argue whether that's morally right or not, either way it IS intentionally attacking civilians to achieve a political goal and therefore why you will always have people telling you that a war/act of war is terrorism.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an act of total war, not terrorism. It was part of a larger conflict of sustained war between the Americans and Japanese, and it was decided by some high-ups that the bombings would result in a much decreased loss of life than a full-on invasion would have caused. And just letting Japan be without surrender was not an option.

Anyhow, this goes to further my point which I made when I first mentioned this. If Muslim terrorism is directly caused by American attacks like that of Desert Storm, then why didn't we see Japanese terrorists after Nagasaki?

The US drone strikes do not intentionally strike civilians. However, due the guirella nature of the conflict in the Middle East, civilian casualties will happen. If we completely stopped drone strikes because there was a risk of accidentally killing a civilian, we would completely lose the war in less than a year. Wars are never won without innocents dying, that is the unfortunate truth.

Porpoise101
August 4th, 2017, 01:35 PM
Yes, the atom bomb dropping was an act of terror. Even if nuclear weapons weren't deemed illegal (how could they be?), they still attacked civilian populations expressely in Nagasaki. For Hiroshima you can make the excuse that there were military positions in the city, but Nagasaki was defenseless. Same with Dresden in Germany.

We in the West tend to be more willing to accept this for three reasons though, and not many of them are convincing to me personally:
Saving more Allied lives
B-b-but the Nazis/Japanese were bad
It was a war between state actors


The third point is interesting because these sorts of war crimes and attacks we are seeing today are between states and groups. Not states and states. There is a different dynamic today during the so-called 'War on Terror' than in the Second World War.

mattsmith48
August 4th, 2017, 02:18 PM
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an act of total war, not terrorism. It was part of a larger conflict of sustained war between the Americans and Japanese, and it was decided by some high-ups that the bombings would result in a much decreased loss of life than a full-on invasion would have caused. And just letting Japan be without surrender was not an option.

What are you talking about of course it was a terrorist attack.

Terrorism is the intentional use of deadly force against innocent civilians, typical used to push political/religious agendas via intimidation.

This is your definition of terrorism, so according to you yes it was terrorist attacks.

Anyhow, this goes to further my point which I made when I first mentioned this. If Muslim terrorism is directly caused by American attacks like that of Desert Storm, then why didn't we see Japanese terrorists after Nagasaki?

Actually it would be the opposite the Japanese started the whole thing by bombing Pearl Harbour and the two nuclear attack would be considered the terrorist attacks caused by Japan's attack.

Stronk Serb
August 4th, 2017, 06:45 PM
What are you talking about of course it was a terrorist attack.



This is your definition of terrorism, so according to you yes it was terrorist attacks.



Actually it would be the opposite the Japanese started the whole thing by bombing Pearl Harbour and the two nuclear attack would be considered the terrorist attacks caused by Japan's attack.

Pearl Harbor was a military strike against US naval installations. Of the few thousand dead, only a few dozen were civilians, mostly killed by unexploded AA shells falling on populated areas. The main objective of the attack was to cripple the naval presence in the Pacific which was partially completed. The carriers which were primary targets were out on excersises.

Now the definition between total war and terrorism is blurred, but to sum it up:
-Total war means completing strategic and military objectives without regard to collateral damage, ie the German and Allied air raids. They aimed to cripple the military industries, air forces and ground troops, which they did, but a lot more civilians died.
-Terrorism is the purposeful targeting of civilians without achieving any military or strategic objective, but fullfiling a political agenda. For example 9/11 did not give Al-Qaeda a military or strategic advantage and by those criteria can be viewed as a waste of time, funds and personnel, but from a political perspective they sent a message, "We can target you in your own backyard and you were powerless to stop it".

Dalcourt
August 4th, 2017, 11:36 PM
Anyhow, this goes to further my point which I made when I first mentioned this. If Muslim terrorism is directly caused by American attacks like that of Desert Storm, then why didn't we see Japanese terrorists after Nagasaki?

.

The reasons for there not being any terrorists after WWII lies for once in the mentality of the people and second in the way those people saw the war and it's outcome.

Japanese society is strongly based on honor and loyalty to their Emperor.
They lost the war, were defeated and if that happens it would be more natural to kill yourself than your opponent from a Japanese point of view. Honor would forbit coward acts that would kill civilians like terrorism would do. They started a war by the attack on Pearl Harbour lost it end of story.
They would have possibly done Kamikaze acts if ordered by their Emperor but nothing against innocents just military then I'd say.

And Germany...the people were sick and tired of the war and fighting and of course of Hitler and his people. They were glad the whole nightmare was over and they could go on with their normal life. And like the Japanese they started it and lost and they knew, so why hurt innocents? Doesn't really make sense here.

And now the Middle East. They felt unfairly treated by the West from the start. They had fights with each other and saw no need why the US would have to interfere since they were not threatened in any way like they might have been through Pearl Harbour attacks.

So they just hated the US for meddling with stuff that was none of their business.
They felt it was arrogant and obnoxious how the West led by the US tried to tell them what to do and how to live.
So it was easy for extremists to create hate among Middle Easter people, to tell them the West is to blame for their problems and thereforever retaliate by hurting them trough terrorism since they knew they would not succeed in a war.

Japanese knew it was their starting a war responsible for their situation and Germans knew it as Hitler so no terrorism from them either.

It's a bit off topic but maybe helps to answer your question.

....

According to the definition of war thing I also have a question.
First Iraq war was Iraq attacking another country and USA tried helping this country...the justification for the second was more tricky...so should this be seen as a real war? And Afghanistan? Destroying a country just because they denied giving them Bin Laden does this fall among the definition of war?

Snowfox
August 4th, 2017, 11:43 PM
Stronk Serb More like that they are capable to stop it happening but are deeply unwilling to do so.
USA and west does have means to stop terrorist attacks but there is price tag in this and it seems to be that leaders are unwilling to pay for it.

ShineintheDark
August 5th, 2017, 08:45 AM
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an act of total war, not terrorism. It was part of a larger conflict of sustained war between the Americans and Japanese, and it was decided by some high-ups that the bombings would result in a much decreased loss of life than a full-on invasion would have caused. And just letting Japan be without surrender was not an option.

That is actually incorrect. The US were already firebombing and destroying countless Japanese cities before they attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, firebombs did more damage to Japanese cities than nukes ever did. The nukes were dropped as a deliberate message to Japan and the world around it that the US was prepared to enter a new, more dangerous level of warfare. Why bomb Hiroshima? Why bomb Nagasaki? Neither were of any huge significance other than a couple military installations, which was futile anyways as the Imperial Army was already on its knees thanks to the Red Army. The cities were insignificant - the bombs were. It's a lie that the nukes were a necessary part of the conflict, it was a show of the military power of the US and that's why it was technically terrorism.

Anyhow, this goes to further my point which I made when I first mentioned this. If Muslim terrorism is directly caused by American attacks like that of Desert Storm, then why didn't we see Japanese terrorists after Nagasaki?

This has already been replied to. The Japanese KNEW they were at fault for the war, they had no illusions about it. They feared for the safety of their Emperor if they prolonged the conflict and so the Japanese actually had a meeting in the morning of the Nagasaki attack (before they even knew about the bombing) about unconditional surrender in exchange for sparing their Emperor and way of life. If they carried out a revenge attack for the nukes, they'd only put themselves in danger of having their demands rejected.

Porpoise101
August 5th, 2017, 03:32 PM
According to the definition of war thing I also have a question.
First Iraq war was Iraq attacking another country and USA tried helping this country...the justification for the second was more tricky...so should this be seen as a real war? And Afghanistan? Destroying a country just because they denied giving them Bin Laden does this fall among the definition of war?Well all three of these examples are conflicts between states. So I would call it a war. As for the legitimacy/legality of these wars, let's go through the motions.

First Iraq War (Second Gulf War): US assembled international coalition and got support from all superpowers. Defensive warfare.
Second Iraq War: Preventative warfare against regional adversary
Afghanistan: War against nation for abetting in an attack on the US. Defensive warfare.

The only one that is illegal right off the bat is the Second Iraq War. Preventative warfare is banned under international law, but due to US domination of international institutions it was not/is not held accountable.

ShineintheDark
August 6th, 2017, 09:47 AM
The only one that is illegal right off the bat is the Second Iraq War. Preventative warfare is banned under international law, but due to US domination of international institutions it was not/is not held accountable.

I'd actually say that may soon change. As you may know, the Chillcot Report was released last year in the UK where the government had been spending 6 or so years looking into the Iraq War and our own government's involvements and basically confirmed that the intelligence was flawed and Tony Blair made the wrong decision in taking us to war against the advise and command of the UN and every other international institution. In fact, the only thing that's protecting him from a potential trial on war crimes is his diplomatic immunity. The point of all this is that the UK is looking into making consequences for our invovement in the Iraq War and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the US does the same in a few years' time, especially since condemnation of the Iraq War is very much a bi-partisan issue now.

NewLeafsFan
August 6th, 2017, 11:33 PM
I don't recommend using google for this as the definitions I found were too similar.

Here is a list. Maybe it will help.

Terrorism Examples:

Boston Marathon Bombing
Attacks on Paris last year
Bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building

War:

World War I and II
Civil War
Korean War
Vietnam War
War of 1812

I don't see a political activist talking about impeaching a controversial president falling into either category. That sounds like a normal debate to me.

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 11:37 AM
Now the definition between total war and terrorism is blurred, but to sum it up:
-Total war means completing strategic and military objectives without regard to collateral damage, ie the German and Allied air raids. They aimed to cripple the military industries, air forces and ground troops, which they did, but a lot more civilians died.
-Terrorism is the purposeful targeting of civilians without achieving any military or strategic objective, but fullfiling a political agenda. For example 9/11 did not give Al-Qaeda a military or strategic advantage and by those criteria can be viewed as a waste of time, funds and personnel, but from a political perspective they sent a message, "We can target you in your own backyard and you were powerless to stop it".

So the only difference is one is done by a terrorist group and the other done by a millitary.

Well all three of these examples are conflicts between states. So I would call it a war. As for the legitimacy/legality of these wars, let's go through the motions.

First Iraq War (Second Gulf War): US assembled international coalition and got support from all superpowers. Defensive warfare.
Second Iraq War: Preventative warfare against regional adversary
Afghanistan: War against nation for abetting in an attack on the US. Defensive warfare.

The only one that is illegal right off the bat is the Second Iraq War. Preventative warfare is banned under international law, but due to US domination of international institutions it was not/is not held accountable.

Wasn't the second Iraq war about oil?

Babs
August 7th, 2017, 01:53 PM
What are you talking about of course it was a terrorist attack.

a war crime maybe, but not a terrorist attack, that's a hamhanded use of the term. we were at war with japan, the bombs were dropped by our military. a lot of civilians died but that's the ugly reality of war. i don't know if the bombings of nagasaki and hiroshima were right, but you can't really say japan had clean hands during that war either, in fact that we're actin nuts. i don't like to victimize japan in the context of wwii because they tried on the Big Boy Imperialist undies and it didn't fit their scrawny asses, so they lost.

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 02:31 PM
a war crime maybe, but not a terrorist attack, that's a hamhanded use of the term. we were at war with japan, the bombs were dropped by our military. a lot of civilians died but that's the ugly reality of war. i don't know if the bombings of nagasaki and hiroshima were right, but you can't really say japan had clean hands during that war either, in fact that we're actin nuts. i don't like to victimize japan in the context of wwii because they tried on the Big Boy Imperialist undies and it didn't fit their scrawny asses, so they lost.

It was both a war crime and a terrorist attack, the fact the two countries were at war is irrelevant.

PlasmaHam
August 7th, 2017, 02:41 PM
It was both a war crime and a terrorist attack, the fact the two countries were at war is irrelevant.
Why?

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 02:44 PM
Why?

Why is it both a war crime and terrorist attack or why is it irrelevant the two countries were at war?

Porpoise101
August 7th, 2017, 02:47 PM
Wasn't the second Iraq war about oil?Leftists like to say this a lot, but if you look at the facts it was a geopolitical struggle at its heart. The US already had access to Iraqi oil if necessary because the US made an oil-for-food program after imposing sanctions on Iraq (the pretext for these sanctions was Saddam's chemical weapon attacks on Shi'a and Kurdish Iraqis). So the US already had access to Iraqi oil, which debunks the "oil=invasion" hypothesis.

Iraq was building up a massive military at the time which posed a security concern for US allies in the region like Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Iraq also lost its major supporter, the USSR, a while back so there was no real opposition to the US (other than domestic voices). The US used this opportunity to knock down a nation and "solve" the issue of Saddam in the Middle East, a man who did not wish to cooperate with US interests in any capacity. Iraq also lies next to the US' major rival in the region: Iran. If the US could set up a sympathetic regime in Iraq, it would have more leverage against Iran. These political motives were far more influential than any material concern.

PlasmaHam
August 7th, 2017, 02:48 PM
Why is it both a war crime and terrorist attack or why is it irrelevant the two countries were at war?

Both.

If you want to debate here, you need to back-up your points, instead of just saying random statements and expecting people to suddenly understand your logic.

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 03:08 PM
Both.

If you want to debate here, you need to back-up your points, instead of just saying random statements and expecting people to suddenly understand your logic.

-War Crime: Killing civilians is considered a war crime.

-Terrorism: You said it was total war, which by the definition you gave us qualify as a war crime and sounds a lot like terrorism.

-Being at war is irrelevant: Everyone who posted their definition of terrorism never mention an exception when the two countries or parties are at war. They only say non-military target and the two bombings were mainly on non-military target.

Babs
August 7th, 2017, 03:09 PM
It was both a war crime and a terrorist attack, the fact the two countries were at war is irrelevant.

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/man-laptop-showing-thumbs-up-20672933.jpg

great, now back up your statement

edit: in light if your more recent post, i'd argue that context is a more defining factor than results.

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 03:39 PM
edit: in light if your more recent post, i'd argue that context is a more defining factor than results.

How?

Babs
August 7th, 2017, 07:19 PM
How?

both end up with dead civilians but war and terrorism are defined - if you're going by the definitions in this thread - by who did it and why. hiroshima and nagasaki happened because the two states involved were in a state of armed conflict. anyone can be a terrorist but war involves an organized military and is a two-way street.

the question itself is a pointless one, the only reason i posted in the first place is because it's stupid to call hiroshima and nagasaki terrorism. if you look at the nature between events such as wwii compared to events such as 9/11 or the boston marathon, they are just different in nature.

mattsmith48
August 7th, 2017, 08:37 PM
both end up with dead civilians but war and terrorism are defined - if you're going by the definitions in this thread - by who did it and why. hiroshima and nagasaki happened because the two states involved were in a state of armed conflict. anyone can be a terrorist but war involves an organized military and is a two-way street.

the question itself is a pointless one, the only reason i posted in the first place is because it's stupid to call hiroshima and nagasaki terrorism. if you look at the nature between events such as wwii compared to events such as 9/11 or the boston marathon, they are just different in nature.

The two bombings happen because Japan didn't want to surrender after WWII and invading Japan would have been to costly both in money and human lives. Plus the US wanting to show the rest of the world their new toys and what it was capable of. That sounds a lot like killing civilians for a political reason which is what most people define terrorist attack as.

The only difference between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 9/11 and the Boston marathon is who did it, one was done by a country's military, the second one was done by hijackers sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the third one was done by two crazy brothers.

Drewboyy
August 7th, 2017, 09:39 PM
Plus the US wanting to show the rest of the world their new toys and what it was capable of. That sounds a lot like killing civilians for a political reason which is what most people define terrorist attack as.

The only difference between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 9/11 and the Boston marathon is who did it, one was done by a country's military, the second one was done by hijackers sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the third one was done by two crazy brothers.

The us mainly wanted to show the soviet union what it was capable of with nuclear weapons so they wouldn't try to invade anything, saving even more lives. The pissing contest hadn't really started yet.
So saying the death of hundreds of thousands of people was purely political is not correct.

9/11, however, was to flaunt the 'western pigs' and to generally stir terror and death in America.

Babs
August 7th, 2017, 11:25 PM
The two bombings happen because Japan didn't want to surrender after WWII and invading Japan would have been to costly both in money and human lives. Plus the US wanting to show the rest of the world their new toys and what it was capable of. That sounds a lot like killing civilians for a political reason which is what most people define terrorist attack as.

The only difference between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 9/11 and the Boston marathon is who did it, one was done by a country's military, the second one was done by hijackers sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the third one was done by two crazy brothers.


it's fundamentally flawed to imply that murder and politics have nothing to do with war. it's not like fencing. actually, if you boiled down war to the core all you'd have left is murder and politics.

if you can't see the difference between two countries engaging in military conflict, and an ordinary pair of brothers from a country we are not formally at war with and planting a bomb "because islam" then it's really not worth discussing further. don't be obtuse.

rioo
August 14th, 2017, 08:26 PM
War always declared using media press before the attack. And terorism will never declared before the attack.

lliam
August 14th, 2017, 09:05 PM
In the end, both means in general suffering and death. Therefore, I don't differentiate between this two terms. But politicians and academics may do it.

mattsmith48
August 15th, 2017, 10:26 AM
In the end, both means in general suffering and death. Therefore, I don't differentiate between this two terms. But politicians and academics may do it.

I would add pointless suffering and death.

Snowfox
August 16th, 2017, 02:38 PM
War always declared using media press before the attack. And terorism will never declared before the attack.

That is not true.
ETA has many timers gave bomb threat before attack. ISIS has many time declared publicly that they are going to attack they just dont tell exactly where.

rioo
August 18th, 2017, 12:08 PM
That is not true.
ETA has many timers gave bomb threat before attack. ISIS has many time declared publicly that they are going to attack they just dont tell exactly where.

I think ISIS declare it as a War.