Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Other Terrorism

Daily Kos published a great piece on anti-abortion extremism and violence, called "The Other Terrorism". While you may be familiar with anti-abortion activities, extremism and violence - whether you've been following the trial of Scott Roeder for the murder of women's health care provider Dr. George Tiller, or have had to push your way through protesters when trying to get birth control at your local clinic, or have even seen anti-abortion displays on your campus - you may not have considered the anti-abortion movement's link to terrorism.

Yes, terrorism. No, not international terrorism, or Islamic terrorism - not the type of terrorism our politicians, news pundits and society just can't talk enough about. I'm talking about domestic terrorism.

To paraphrase, the term "domestic terrorism" encompasses activities that violate U.S. criminal law and intend to coerce or intimidate a population or change policy or law through coercion and intimidation.

The Daily Kos article critically examines the activities associated with the anti-abortion movement: from misinformation, propaganda and scare tactics, to death threats, bombings and murders. It all seems to fit the mold. So why don't we talk about anti-abortion extremism in terms of the terrorist network that it is?

The article reads:

"...the violence is condemned, but always with the qualification that these are 'difficult issues.'

What's so difficult? What makes this kind of terrorism different from the terrorism some think we can't talk about enough? When discussing international terrorism or "Islamic" terrorism, there is no equivocation. There is no acknowledgment of the "difficulty" of the issue. There is no consideration for the different "sides" and "feelings" in this "debate." You want to affect policy by killing and terrorizing people? You're a terrorist.

But if you want to affect abortion policy by killing and terrorizing people? Well, then, the most blatant acts of violence are to be condemned, of course, but always with the caveat that it's complicated."

I highly recommend reading "The Other Terrorism" and giving it some thought. In the days to come, with the trial of Scott Roeder for the murder of Dr. George Tiller underway you can expect to read a lot more on this topic here and at

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