Sunday, October 08, 2006

Who's a terrorist?

Especially in my Intro to Comparative Politics class, we spend some time trying to figure out what “terrorist” means. The NYT has a good profile of Luis Posada Carriles, who is implicated in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban plane, in addition to a wide variety of other violent activities. Is bombing an airliner terrorist? Most people would probably agree that it is, yet the U.S. government (not only the Bush administration, but previous governments as well) does not want to call Posada a terrorist, because he was attacking a country we had labeled an enemy.

The sister of one of the victims sums it up:

“It feels like a double standard,” Ms. Nenninger, who was born in Guyana but has since become an American citizen, said in a telephone interview from New York. “He should be treated like bin Laden. If this were a plane full of Americans, it would have been a different story.”

Also, the National Security Archive has some declassified documents about the case. It's very sordid.


Anonymous,  1:53 PM  

You may find this tid bit about a Venezuelan law interesting:

To be honest this is just a political move to rally against the US, Venezuela has no interest in Carriles. For example look at the foreign minister Maduro who was subject to searching in NYC a few weeks ago. While unfortunate and wrong Maduro was asking for trouble. The Chavez govt. really wants to pick a fight with the US and they out of their way to try to do it. Of course the response from the Bush administration just makes things worse.

Greg Weeks 2:40 PM  

In this case, I am actually uninterested in what Venezuela is doing. I am interested in the fact that the U.S. hired a thug who carried out terrible crimes, yet may soon release him.

If Chávez is taking advantage of this situation, it is only because the U.S. government supported a terrorist in the first place.

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