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tv   Cross Talk  RT  April 24, 2013 7:29am-8:00am EDT

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you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture. choose your language. make it with zero in a financial plan today still some of us. choose the the concerns you are going to choose the opinions that invigorated your mind. choose the stories get
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into the life choose be access to your office. to. do so. hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle terrorism a word we hear all of the time but what do we mean when we use it is terrorism a specific form of criminality practiced under certain circumstances focused on a specific group of people when we consider weapons is there much that separates handmade bombs and high tech drones ultimately it would appear the only difference between justice and terrorism is whose side you're on.
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to crosstalk terrorism i'm joined by my guest in washington william blum he is an author of books on u.s. foreign policy and an internet news later called anti empire report we also have max abrams he is a terrorist expert and a fellow johns hopkins university and finally we crossed for him eunice he is a clinical associate professor at the university of maryland and founder of american dot com all right john cross talk rose in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want for what is let's go to you first why is boston called terrorism but aurora sandy hook tucson and columbine not. that's a great question peter and let me start by saying that as a member of the a muslim community muslims who believe in the messiah mizzle are members we were the first muslim american organization to make it very clear that there is no concept of holy war in islam that there is no such thing as jihad against the
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infidel where you take a sword and try to convert the word now why is that important because the word islamic terrorism to me is an oxymoron i'm coming to exactly what you're asking me but the point is these differences will already exist there always will exist in the muslim community in america today in fact is asking the same very question that why are some things labeled terrorism worse is another which is not but more importantly the discussion that is going on in the dinner tables on the dinner tables these days among muslim families is that why is it that always a non muslim when somebody goes to sandy hold that they're all of this insane but when a muslim commits an act of terrorism that they're always perfectly fine psychologically lax what do you think about the label terrorism go ahead ken i happen to share yeah i mean i can't i completely disagree the definition of terrorism that we adhere to
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certainly in north america is three forward first it should involve a non-state actor that is an individual or a group secondly the targeting the violence should be directed against civilians some kind of a civilian target and third third should be some kind of a political aim and if so that last point that last part of the definition which separates the boston attack from the other ones which you just mentioned the other ones which you mentioned didn't have any kind of a political motive and so by definition we do not. regard them as terrorism whereas in the boston case the brother who lived says that the motive was indeed political it was religious it was islam now i'm not saying anything do we really know do we really know that
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a fact do we really know that we destroy we really know that it was political we really know that to you we trust that's what the perpetrators themselves say ok one is dead and one can't talk william jump in. yes i would assume a divorce political the older brother who who's who's dead he's made statements make it very clear that he has a great beef with american foreign policy as one example so i knew right away it was political and that's what it is. it can be called terrorism for him to head once again and that is why that is why peter i keep repeating this it's very important that we don't look at millions of americans who are muslim in america as suspects and that is why it's very important i agree with macin in principle. community hasn't come out it's been known that very clearly on muslims
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william go ahead go ahead. william go ahead jump in no no i agree but that is the spirit that's where this is going to need to that's where it's going now not in a million muslims in america ok maxine stress nonstate actors why why is that so important to you. well just because i'm speaking from from north america and so for us when we talk about terrorism that's what we're typically talking about i understand that that's not the case for example if you go to the middle east and say you're you want to research terrorism they may well think that you're talking about government attacks against civilians academics though tend to separate. we use a different definition when non-state actors attack civilians versus when stayed out later very you think it's very. very it isn't it it's very convenient well it's
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certainly it's certainly convenient for our research because when it's convenient for a guy who intersection it's convenient for utilizing like units can feel convenient for governments for him what do you think about that exactly and i think if you look around you can find over one hundred different definitions of the word terrorism and there is a reason why we can never agree on any one definition peter the reason is that it's a derogatory term it's a horrible label that nobody wants to accept so therefore it's very common to find a war of each side as labeling the other as a terrorist but here is a solution i think instead of getting boxed into that term as a member of the muslim community once again i would like to go to the deeper principle which is the principle of center of human life and that is where our faith teaches us and as the muslim youth leader that's what i've taught all the youths in america that i've interacted with that islam our faith teaches us that
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whosoever took one life it's as if he took the life of all mankind and whosoever gave one life to someone it's as if they give life to mankind so i think the principle that we can agree with is the sanctity of human life what do you think is in that truth will listen to. this if we have a good term to come to that you know it can i can i just interrupt go ahead max jump in no i what i would. i just want to i just want to add one thing when i say that terrorism by most accounts in north america focuses on non-state actors that doesn't mean that when states use violence against civilians it's somehow ok the thing is that we have a very rich vocabulary we can use many different words terrorism is not the only negative word to apply to actors in the international system so i i don't want to give. you know i don't want to in any way exonerate seeds from attacking civilians
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indeed when states attack civilians they tend to kill many many more of them than when non-state actors do but that's terrorism isn't it max it depends i suppose on which country you're in william. we use a much more restrictive definition god willing i think the definition to definition you gave before is for terrorism i think is quite suitable there has to be a political motive involved and usually there is where that where the state actually where the government. would individuals there was nobody in the case of boston i think it was political and so we can call it terrorism when the us uses a drone to kill people in pakistan or afghanistan the motive is political
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so that's terrorism could be called terrorism for him jump in yeah i know i'm not here jump in unless you want a very important visit this is a very important point peter because if you just listen to tom brokaw last week on meet the press he made the exact same point the amount of resentment these drone attacks are creating there causing there was this young pakistani man who stepped up to tom and he said that i love america but if you horan one here on the head of my sister that i will fight you forever i think that's the important piece that we have to understand here in america that by killing these civilians now we very conveniently sometimes called collateral damage we are creating a whole generation of terrorists if that's the term people like to use max go ahead . can i can i be really i strongly disagree that the drone campaign is terrorism not only is it a state actor as opposed to a non-state actor but the intended target is not civilian the intended target is
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you know is militants and so you're right mistakes are sometimes made civilians are killed that is a private matter and terrible but that's not that's not by design that's accidental and so that makes it very different than i or as i know which is the intentional wrong marketing of civilians william go ahead you know no it's right listen that that's probably that's propaganda if you go if you send out a drone on monday to kill somebody and it kills a bunch of people who are not your target and you say i get you and you and you apologize and on tuesday you send out a drone again and again and kills a bunch of civilians and you apologize on the wednesday the same thing happens at what point do you lose the right to use that excuse you cannot use that excuse for ever and ever if you keep killing innocent civilians you must you must face the
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jury at some time for him. and peter peter once again here is a prediction i think we're never going to agree on a definition of the word terrorism i sort of agree with mack on this point i was not calling drone attacks terrorism i'm not equating the two but i think once again let's think of it from the lens of faith let me think of it from the lens of my faith of the muslim community we believe that it's the principle of absolute justice that the world is craving for today those principles we can agree on so when innocent lives are lost anywhere around the world whether that's israel palestine iraq iran pakistan or afghanistan we need to stand up and say this was unfair this was unjust and i think when we say that that's a healing message that's what's going to bring people together the word terrorism is a divisive message and i think it will continue to divide us and again my prediction is we will never agree on a definition all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to
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a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on terrorism state start. with you. we are facing a lot of problems you know. because no one thought to drink no good school. mates. for. the local what's national five days in a while in the local needs you might want to community l.n.g.
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most will be used. down for a match up artist i was fired i must fight. i'll fight. fight right.
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international airport in the very heart of moscow.
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welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing charism. ok william and i go back to you before the break you want to jump in go right ahead yes what are your guests keeps mentioning his religion i don't think one has to be religious to have to hold a sanctity for life and i don't i resent what he implies they're only a religious person maybe only a muslim can have such a high regard for the sanctity of life i wish he would stop saying that for him would you want to reply to that sure william again i think i respect whatever belief you have please don't be offended that's not my intent i want to make sure that that's what my belief is that's that's what drives me in life i'm not a politician what drives me in life are those core principles and let's call them secular principles that's not even call them religious principles but my idea is
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not to claim superiority here my idea is really to come across with a healing principle i think you would agree with that let's agree with sanctity of life forget about religion i agree with you that let's not give it give the color of religion ok max obama said any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it's an act of care. when you think about that. this is this is what the president said yes that's right you know obama yes that's a quote i don't think that i don't think that he was talking about by states i think that he was talking about i didn't ask you know what do you think of the statement i'm just asking you what you think of the statement that's all you know sure so the fact i think what he was thinking is that because it wasn't just one bomb but it was more ball that showed at that early point that it was intentional and that it was directed against civilians and thus it was terror i think it was just one example that i would like to know of not only.
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on which side by which william jump in yes at the u.s. use of multiple against multiple civilian targets we have a thousand and one examples of that you can't find any definition of terrorism which would exclude american foreign policy it's full of terrorism and has been for decades and decades. ok maxy wouldn't you want to reply that i mean i don't want to be too repetitive but i mean what the expert just said before me that you can find no definitions of terrorism which would exclude u.s. foreign policy is absurd indeed the conventional explanation in north america what it might do you could say knowing something i was a terrorism affected all the whole world right but words have different meanings in different regions in north america terrorism denotes non-state actors that's not
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true of other regions in the world ok william. i live in north america and i don't ax clued state actors i think the definition which was mentioned earlier which is the same one used by the un and the f.b.i. and the cia is the is the use of violence or the threat of violence against civilians for a political purpose that's a very good definition and it implies a part of the world to a state actor as to a an individual and certainly includes almost all of us foreign policy for him your thoughts. peter i'm going to try and you know i think it's about time i disappoint william one more time because the reason i have to bring religion back into the picture is because five six seven million american muslims they're all being looked upon as suspects you know you have to walk into my shoes to understand why that discussion is relevant to us because all of
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a sudden when the bombing happened in boston i was seeing patients in the hospital that day and all of a sudden i knew all my god please don't make him a muslim you know we're trying to raise our found need to use it why does it have to do with american citizens and this is very difficult this is very difficult i understand you're saying what you're saying is totally your current system is dragged into a conversation of terrorism because somehow the implication is that that religion is is fueling that and once again you will look at the media start reading the newspapers from today on and for the next month they're going to try to find all those links and all those out of context of horses from got on so therefore i think it is important that we need to make sure our country in the world should know where we stand on these issues in william do you want to jump in here to actually go in for a second i want to risk ok matt i want to likely respond to that go ahead i think. i absolutely sympathize with the muslim expert who just spoke and i think that he's
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absolutely right that right now the muslim community in the united states is under the lens they were before but particularly so in light of the bombings and the fact that the presumed perpetrators are muslim. and what i would what i want to stress from here more generally is that terrorism is politically counter productive and so when when people use terrorism to advance their given political cause it frequently backfires based i mean details are still sketchy about what's going on with with the boston bombing but my understanding at least based on what the perpetrators. seem to have said is that it was done in the name of at least their interpretation of islam but in reality terrorism is detrimental to islam and indeed it's detrimental to the causes professed by any terrorist perpetrators wm you want
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to apply that i wish i wish we could all stick to the subject the whether the fact that this is. a very hard time for muslims in america is totally irrelevant that is not the if you were discussing and whether it's terrorism in question is successful or not or counterproductive is not the issue at all again we're talking about terrorism per se and it's what it how it's defined and what or how we can judge us foreign policy and other actors i wish i think gas would stick to that subject i'm not concerned on this program with where the muslims feelings are hurt that is not the issue and the question of whether these acts counterproductive were productive is also not relevant to their to a discussion ok for him i think it's very interesting is that in america a lot of people look at muslim muslims and islam is so alien and it's the where we
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get terrorism but the fact of the matter is most people they don't die of terrorism in the world today are muslim. well that's exactly true there are more muslims dying at the hands of these terrorists than non muslims and i think i fully agree with matt that it's counterproductive it is counterproductive to the core message of the faith it is counterproductive it's kind of that it was for american foreign policy as well riis. no question about that i think exactly because by what peter king look at that what peter king is now this has already started he's come out day one and he's saying we need more surveillance of these young muslim men how much more surveillance do you need you know and do you understand the amount of resentment and the amount of conflicted identity and crisis of their minds of these muslim youth are going through that what we're trying to do is trying to help them forge a strong muslim and an american identity we are trying to make sure that the
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american muslim youth believe that there should be no conflict between their pledge of allegiance to their faith and their pledge of allegiance to the flag of united states of america that it is a daunting task and when people and particularly strong politicians visible people in the media when they come out and make these derogatory statements as if everybody now has to stand in for the act of these two people i think they have no idea the amount of alienation that's creating and how counterproductive that is right here in america when you think about that max i i i absolutely agree it's really a shame that people struggle so much to differentiate between muslims and i think that terrorists like the ones who have bombed boston do a great disservice to the vast majority of muslims and i think that we need people like the one say you're having on this program to do a better job of educating the american public and beyond wm you think this will
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change american foreign policy go ahead i'm afraid and that is the basic problem the basic problem the basic problem is american foreign policy we create. as he american terrorists every day of the week and as long as we can we can recreate them we're going to we're going to have to suffer the way we do we we must stop invading and bombing and overthrowing governments and torturing people and stopped eating and him american terrorists i say antiemetic terrorist because we can prevent the creation of all terrorists but we can at least stop those who are motivated by anti american feelings against us foreign policy that is the main task at hand for american citizens max just to reply that i really don't think that there are going to be any fundamental changes in u.s. foreign policy should it change should it change no
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no i don't believe that it that it should change i mean the obama administration when you add it on secretary kerry and secretary hagel these are people who are very reluctant to deploy u.s. forces abroad i don't think that they're going to start any more conflicts or increase me in power i do think that the drone campaign will continue however william you look go ahead go ahead you're speaking of a man you're speaking of a man who has waged war against seven nations and you say he's reluctant to use all forces abroad what world are you living in max we'll give you the last word go ahead. well sure i'm making a comparative statement in comparison to his predecessor he's relatively gun shy except when it comes to the drone campaign really well you go ahead and go ahead i bet you can do that is that is that the best you can do max i think those are the
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facts all right gentlemen we have run out of time fascinating discussion many thanks today my guests in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember cross top. the things you. will do the future makes computers these days so super is the memory for that russian research is have got a few ideas that could make cognitive computing a reality what about the process or check out a radical new architecture that promises unparalleled power design for the stars is
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