Thursday, May 23, 2013
Policy Blowback: A Killing in London
So yesterday I watched with interest the news report that there had been a “terrorist murder” of a person in the British military (or presumed to be in the military by his assailants) in broad day light. What was most interesting that the perpetrators did not attempt to flee the scene. Nor did they commit suicide (by themselves or “by cop”). Furthermore; the individuals sought out publicity and made direct political statements. This was not your average killing. What immediately struck me was that the individual in black was claiming that “this is what our women and children see in our land” with a very thick English accent. I thought to myself: with that kind of accent I would think that “our land” is not exactly literal. I guessed that given his complexion and other facial features that this individual was most likely Nigerian in origin. It appears I was correct. Not to pick on Nigerians, but of all the former colonies Nigeria is the only one with a pretty active Jihad going on. So let's examine why the killing was not an act of terrorism. The Obama administration has made it clear that the US is in a “war” against Al-Qaeda and it's affilitates. The British are allied with the US in this pursuit. These allies have declared that the “battlefield” is anywhere on the planet where "the enemy" resides. The Obama administration claims the right to kill any “enemy combatant” wherever he or she may reside and regardless of US citizenship. Furthermore, the administration claims that any male 16 years and older is “fair game” to be presumed to be an “enemy combatant”. So when a drone is sent over wherever and blows a group of people to bits it's not “terrorism” it's war and the persons are legitimate targets because they belong to or are associated with “The enemy”. Now Who's daft enough to think this doesn't work both ways? If anyone over 16 who is associated with “the enemy” is a legitimate target for killing, then how is it that when some guy in London who apparently has aligned himself with an “armed force”, Al-Qaeda or Boko Haram or whoever, kills a person who is, to him, an “enemy combatant” on the “field of battle”, which has been described as “anywhere on the globe”, it is terrorism? That's a rank double standard if you ask me. If it is terrorism to kill a member of an opposing military force wherever he or she may be found, then it is terrorism regardless of who does said killing. Now had these fellows taken a walk around Woodgreen and started hacking at civilians then we could call that terrorism. However; they targeted a military person. In war, military personnel are fair game. If that is not the case then perhaps the British and the US should reconsider it's rules of engagement. Until such time, this killing in London cannot be classified as terrorism. As a matter of fact it may even not be classifiable as murder either since killing an enemy combatant is not considered murder under the rules of war. Of course none of the media that is reporting on this has actually bothered too examine this from this particular angle. I cannot give serious consideration to a politician who has no qualms with drone striking innocent people because they “might” be terrorists who then turns around and declares the killing of a military person by an “enemy combatant” to be terrorism. This event, by accounts so far known, would be a classic case of blowback.