Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Harwood's ''Eco-terrorism is a misnomer''

Matthew Harwood of The Guardian wrote an opinion piece a few days ago that I felt was long overdue in the mainstream media. After watching the media (most notably, its more conservative elements) jump on the post-9/11 terrorist-labelling fanaticism that seems to be Washington's new at-home raison d'ĂȘtre, I've been hoping for someone to step forward and present a level-headed piece addressing this whole new media obsession with using the term ''eco-terrorist'', specifically with regards to the organization ELF (aka Earth Liberation Front) and the animal rights oriented ALF (aka Animal Liberation Front).

It's illogical enough that these groups whose creed and modus operandi state explicitly that no harm to any form of life should occur during any of their acts and that all precautions should be taken to ensure that none occurs
are being likened to suicide bombers and others who commit acts with the specific intention of taking human life, but what skews things even further is that radical right wing groups -- even ones seeking to harm and / or kill people -- seem to have completely averted being painted with the same brush, either by government or the media these days. As Harwood puts it:

It would be a shame if groups that firebomb property with no one inside get more scrutiny than those inclined to park a truck bomb outside a building teeming with people and then proceed to detonate it.
[...] Destroying innocent life for political purposes is terrorism. Destroying million-dollar properties for whatever reason is felonious vandalism.

Harwood doesn't condone the acts committed by groups like the ELF, but simply makes a strong case against their being called something they're not. And these days, when even a group like Greenpeace starts getting called a terrorist organisation in the blogosphere (gah -- did I just use that word?), I think it's important to start making an important distinction before the slippery slope worsens.

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