Democrats & Liberals Archives

Murderous Extremists

On 9/11 we were attacked by a small outfit called al Qaeda that utilized suicide bombers to murder 3,000 people in the New York World Trade Center and in the Washington Pentagon. Ever since, we - all of us, including me - have been spouting the terms “al Qaeda” and “suicide bombers” ever chance we get. We are making a big mistake by doing this.

With constant repetition, we have aided the small al Qaeda operation to gather more and more recruits among Muslim youths all over the world. The youth hear al Qaeda referred to so often they think it is more powerful than it truly is. When Americans complain about the problems they have with al Qaeda it makes impoverished Muslims feel pride that Muslims are poking their fingers in the eyes of the lone superpower. Many join al Qaeda. Al Qaeda grows.

We have seen this happen in Iraq. A small unknown group of militants comes to Iraq and starts its bloody attacks against civilians. It changes its name to al Qaeda in Iraq and suddenly its importance grows. We in the U.S. keep talking about al Qaeda in Iraq, thus helping it recruit more extremists in order to do its dirty work.

In the vast majority of situations, there is no reason to use the term "al Qaeda." We can use the term "extremists" instead. But these are not ordinary extremists. They are so extreme, they kill innocent people merely to make a political point. So we use the term "suicide bombers."

"Suicide bombers" is also an expression that aids the violent extremists at our expense. Though against the Koran, committing suicide is being used to goad youths into joining the jihadist gangs. For the worthy action of killing nonbelievers youths are promised a bevy of women in the next world. How could they compare their miserable current lives to that?

There's no reason to use "bombers" either. This merely applies to the technique they use.

They should be called "MURDEROUS EXTREMISTS." They are not ordinary "extremists." Neither are they "militant," "rebel," "Islamic," or "Arab" extremists. The first two are too weak and the last 2 unreasonably tar law-abiding Muslims and Arabs.

We don't care that these hoodlums commit suicide. We are deeply concerned that they murder innocent people. They are the worst of all extremists. From now on, I and I hope you, will call them

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 5, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #231916

Paul, good points I never gave any thought. You are spot on. I would say that I was a bit arrogant in my support of the terminology we should remove because I liked how it would support my views on the War on Terror, being a big supporter of the war that I am.

Surely a change in name calling here would help our country. Specifically, I think of the book “America Alone” where I first learned that the birth rate in Muslim nations was above 6.0, effectively the highest in the world. The Economist Magazine predicats that this will continue through 2050.

To your point, this means that a good message can manupulate and motivate an audience that is religious, believes in Islam, and is low on the economic ladder.

While it hurt more than I would like to admit, thank you for making me think on this one. I was ready to dismiss on the title.

Posted by: Honest at September 5, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #231919

Some how I think the US invasion of a soverign Arab state in the holy land, arguably to secure oil, has more to do with increasing recruitment than uttering a couple of phrases.

Posted by: BillS at September 5, 2007 11:40 PM
Comment #231923

Paul, since these impovershed Muslim “youths” are being recruited directly by Al-Qaida or similar groups and are fairly unlikely to be reading American newspapers and watching American television (if they even speak English), it’s highly irrelevant what we decide to call them. That’s an incredibly tiny if not totally non-existent factor in their recruitment.

Most of these “youths” who ship out to be “murderous extremists” are never heard or seen from in their hometowns again. That’s got to be another factor in making the decision to go down the black hole and join up with the terrorists. Of course, if we pull out of Iraq and stop killing these folks by the thousands, that will be a wonderful boon to recruitment—I can see it now. Join up with the glorious jihadists who drove the United States from Iraq!

Posted by: Liam at September 5, 2007 11:52 PM
Comment #231927

Paul, with all due respect I don’t think it’s necessary to belabor the obvious. Nobody thinks the suicide bombers needed prozac.

People know what we’re referring to when we use these terms. Rather than concern ourselves with the words that address them, like many on the Right do, let’s concern ourselves with the policies and the measures that will frustrate the goals of these extremists. Let the terrorists think what they want; It’s interfering with their efforts that’s going to bring the worst psychological blows to these people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 1:07 AM
Comment #231931

Liam: When we eventually pull out of Iraq, the jihadists will be two steps ahead of us.

After our invasion, when it became obvious that we did not have enough troops to guard the border and police the country, the jihadists poured into Iraq. They were hellbent on getting the Iraqi people to rise up and wage holy war against America. Some Sunni bathists helped them attack Americans but the Iraqi People as a nation refused to rise up against us.

The jihadists began blowing up Shia religious shrines and Sunni marketplaces in an attempt to arouse anger and sentiment against us. It was rediculous because the Iraqi’s had many reasons already to be angry with us. Things like no electricity, no water, sewage in the streets, no police protection against murderers, rapists and looters.

I think the problem that the jihadists had was that the Iraqis are secular by nature and just not all that interested in Holy War. The jihadists did strike a cord with the Iraqis though, they ignited the civil war that our troops have been caught in the middle of. Many of the Iraqis now know that the outsiders have killed many of the Iraqi people and they will deal with them.

In my opinion, the very best thing we could do for the Iraqis is to announce that we are going to start withdrawing our troops begining next March or April and continuing in incriments over the following year. This does not mean that we can’t halt the withdraw or send some troops back in if necessary. But it does send a powerful signal to the Iraqi people and their government that they have to confront the problems that they have with each other and that only they can solve.

Posted by: jlw at September 6, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #231932

This is important. In Britain they have gone so far as to OUTLAW calling the Iraq excursion a war, because they believe that word helps the terrorists. Seriously. And they should know given their history with the IRA.

Posted by: Max at September 6, 2007 1:26 AM
Comment #231943
They should be called “MURDEROUS EXTREMISTS.”

What else would you call a military whose country had them invade a sovereign country that had no capability of attacking the invading country???

Posted by: Rachel at September 6, 2007 8:03 AM
Comment #231944


Your argument carries some merit. I just heard on NPR that the three suspects arrested in Germany were all German citizens and that two of the three are Muslim converts. I believe this raises some serious questions. I know this is just a small number of converts but it makes one wonder if this might be indicative of a larger number and are they converting out of hatred of democracy. Before hearing this I would not have associated Muslim converts of a democratic society as likely to be extremist. Words do have a lot of say in shaping what views any person may take towards a particular matter. I would have to believe that fanatics especially would be more susceptible to motivation by the use of certain phrases or words. The republicans have been effectively using this method of political motivation to shape voters thoughts and beliefs for years.

Posted by: RickIL at September 6, 2007 8:24 AM
Comment #231968

Excellent post Paul. I’ve often wondered why the Bush administration felt the need to call a relatively small number of terrorist thugs a global insurgency and then declare war on them, as if they had some kind of legitimacy. Politics, perhaps?

Posted by: American Pundit at September 6, 2007 1:31 PM
Comment #231976

“They should be called “MURDEROUS EXTREMISTS.” They are not ordinary “extremists.” Neither are they “militant,” “rebel,” “Islamic,” or “Arab” extremists. The first two are too weak and the last 2 unreasonably tar law-abiding Muslims and Arabs.”


What sort of politically correct TRIPE is THIS???

They are what they are. Islamic Terrorists!

Please name some terrorist incidents that WEREN’T carried out by Islamic Terrorists.

Let’s see…

Munich. Islamic Terrorists.

Attacks on Greek and Italian airports. Islamic Terrorists.

Lockerbie. Islamic Terrorists.

Achille Lauro. Islamic Terrorists.

Numerous (too numerous to remember) plane hijackings. Islamic Terrorists.

Beruit Marine barracks? Islamic Terrorists.

Khobar Towers? Islamic Terrorists.

USS Cole. Islamic Terrorists.

U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Islamic Terrorists.

Trade Centers 1. Islamic Terrorists.

LaBelle discotheque in West Berlin. Islamic Terrorists.

In fact…I can only remember 2 attacks in recent history that WEREN’T committed by Islamic Terrorists. The Olympic bomb in Atlanta and the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Unless you want to count the Janet Reno terrorist attacks in Waco and Ruby Ridge and the terrorist kidnapping of a helpless child in Miami.

So if everyone here wants to dedicate themselves slavishly to political correctness, please, by all means, refer to them as “murderous extremeists”.

If you want to tell the truth, then they are Islamic Terrorists…period.

Posted by: Jim T at September 6, 2007 2:03 PM
Comment #231988

Jim T

The point is that Islamic terrorists from a fanatical point of view is probably more alluring to a potential recruit than murderous extremists. One might not think twice about joining an organization whose extremist motivations can be justified and glorified by mere association with a religious culture. On the other hand the term “murderous extremists” is much more harsh and specific making it less attractive to prospective recruits. Labeling plays a very important role in society. It generally determines in what context an individual or group will be viewed. The labels may not be correct but if they are continually pushed down our throats they eventually tend to stick. Pauls post is not about being politically correct. It is about taking measures to dissuade growth within a very dangerous organization.

Posted by: RickIL at September 6, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #232002

The “murderous extremists” we are battling are Islamic terrorists.
Worrying about what to label them is about as dumb as not pulling the trigger when you have one of them in your sights.

Posted by: kctim at September 6, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #232004


Well, if the stated goal is to make joining terrorist groups less attractive…

Why not call them “Murderous Unclean Pork-Eaters”?

And since the “tolerant” religion of Islam calls for the death of gays, why not “Murderous Homosexuals”?

No practicioner of Islam in their right mind would join either of those groups…but, then again, they don’t describe the terrorists either.

Posted by: Jim T at September 6, 2007 4:20 PM
Comment #232006


Nut cases hate for a myriad of reasons, but the least likely is democracy. They hate the bombing, support of insurgencies and general chaos we have inflicted upon the Middle East over the last 80 years.

A nut case doesn’t need a real cause, just a personality disorder. I was watching MSNBC going over some Charles Manson rants. He rants about whatever is topical and uses it to manipulate idiots and morons.

Sometimes it IS hard to tell the nut cases from meglomaniacal politicians and national figures. Sometimes there is no difference.

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 6, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #232012

Jim and kctim, I think the point is that these terrorists are criminals plain and simple. To call them jihadists and declare war on them just gives them a legitimacy these common murderers do not deserve.

To quote President Clinton immediately after the Oklahoma City bombing, when no one knew whether Islamic terrorists were responsible or not,

“This is not a question of anybody’s country of origin. This is not a question of anybody’s religion. This was murder. This was evil. This was wrong. Human beings everywhere, all over the world, will condemn this out of their own religious convictions.”

As I mentioned regarding David Huntwork’s article in the red column, it’s absolutely amazing that President Bush is losing the moral high ground to a bunch of murderers — guys who have killed more Muslims in cold blood than anybody else on the face of the Earth.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 6, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #232017

Jim and kctim

Paul has a valid point. You can call them anything you want. I am sure he was using the term “murderous extremists” as an example only. Please insert your own label as you see fit. But I ask you if labeling these groups in a less attractive manner would result in lowered recruitment levels would it not be worth the trouble?

Posted by: RickIL at September 6, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #232021


I will not argue with you as to why the extremists hate us. I think it is all to obvious that our very presence in the region is motivation enough. That and as you say 80 years of history. I don’t know that we can accurately refer to all as nut cases. Many have very deep ingrained convictions. These convictions are generally the result of teaching and the various interpretations of those teachings. It is the intent of the radical groups of Islam to manipulate those interpretations to serve their immediate needs. And right now it seems that those immediate needs are to destroy all things associated with democracy and capitalism. They obviously see us as a threat to their ways much the same as we view their culture of extremism. I seriously doubt that all these extremist groups can ever be completely eradicated. However we should be putting a lot of effort into discouraging their growth. To date they are small in numbers. I fear that our continued presence in their region will only serve to encourage rapid growth of the radical groups.

Posted by: RickIL at September 6, 2007 5:47 PM
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