Mark Murphy | September 18, 2016 11:04 AM ET
Why Can't They Just Call NYC Attack Terrorism?
What happened in New York City, St. Cloud, Minn., and Seaside Park, NJ., on Saturday is terrorism. It doesn’t matter how it originated or who takes “responsibility,” whether it’s “homegrown” or based on some type of “inspiration” from the Internet. The acts themselves were all terrorism.
That’s why I’m perplexed this morning as I continue to look for a statement from New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio. He described the situation as “intentional” and the device as a “bomb,” yet we have yet to hear it described as terrorism.
A report by Geraldo Rivera mentioned the fact that it occurred away from more “political” targets, like the United Nations, but at least he stated that it was a terrorist act on a “soft target.” He was one of the few to clearly state this by early Sunday morning. This was made even clearer when a second device was found just four blocks away a few hours after the initial blast on 23rd street.
Call It Like It Is: Terrorism
According to American Heritage, the word can be described as: “The use of violence or the threat of violence, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political goals.” In expanding the definition, they state that terrorist actors “typically stage unexpected attacks on civilian targets, including embassies and
airliners, with the aim of sowing fear and confusion.”
Terrorism doesn’t need to maim or kill to accomplish its objective, which at its heart is designed to strike fear into the general population. By raising that fear, the terrorists have succeeded in their main objective. In addition, terrorists seek to damage the intended target economically, and have been very successful in this regard all over the world where they have struck. The 9/11 attacks caused more than $40 billion in insurance losses alone, which was just the tip of the iceberg. The overall impact of the cost has been estimated at north of $3.3 trillion, according to Time Magazine.
My heart and prayers go out to the people who were affected yesterday as they struggle with these vile acts of cowardice. They deserve to have our elected officials be honest and transparent with them, and not political, when it comes to our safety and well-being. Indeed, that’s the key role of government in our country, although one might be hard pressed to see that these days as the media, and our politicians, prefer to focus on other things that aren't quite as relevant.
We will eventually get the true facts, but I have no doubt that they will be nuanced in a way that only the most diligent of readers, and viewers, will be able to sort out. The mass media has seen a fall in trust to the lowest point in history, as it seems they tend to put ideology ahead of facts. Those rooting on the left will try to downplay these attacks as well as the overall impact of what’s taking place around the world. Those reporters on the right will do the opposite. It is a sad state of affairs when you can’t simply get the story, without the spin, but that’s the world we live in today.
It is times like these that shake our foundations, but also make our core even stronger when we come together. I have no doubt that the travel industry, in particular, will rally as it has always done to support those who have been impacted and to make sure we keep moving forward.
Update 11:00am: Governor Andrew Cuomo has come out and called the incident terrorism, but no connections to “international terrorism” at this point.
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