Is It Terrorism?

Over the past couple of decades the meaning of this word has been horribly mangled, abused, and distorted, to suit the emotional needs or political agenda of the person or organization using it. As a result, most people, and even most dictionaries, are now severely confused about what exactly terrorism even is.

However, the best definition of terrorism is, always has been, and shall remain:

A tactic employed most often by those without the military or political power (typically non-government non-state actors) to achieve their desired aims through conventional use of force or legal politicking, whereby targeted violence is used against random civilians or other non-military non-strategic targets, and/or property (usually public) with a high symbolic, rather than strategic, value; the goal being to instill fear in the general public that they could be next, with the hope that the public will then, out of fear for their own lives or property, exert pressure on their own leaders to change policy or otherwise accede to the demands of the terrorists.

Terrorists will always:
- take credit for their actions and try to maximize media exposure, never attempting to cover up their misdeeds to avoid responsibility. (unless it's already clear who is responsible and they are seeking to avoid prosecution)
- attempt to maximize destruction and carnage, never minimize it.
- prefer soft (civilian, non-military) targets over hardened (secure, police or military) ones.
- have some political goal in mind; otherwise it's just random violence.
- not typically care if "innocents" get hurt - that's kind of the whole point.

They are also usually, but not always, guided by a larger conspiracy or organization, not solo actors with a particular grievance.


For each event, choose "terrorism" if it is terrorism, or the best term to describe it if it is not terrorism.
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: January 10, 2021
First submittedJanuary 10, 2021
Times taken214
Rating4.27
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1. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, who hoped to discourage what he saw as government attacks on individual liberties and particularly 2nd Amendment rights.
Mass Murder
Terrorism
Vandalism
A Hate Crime
This one is a bit squishy, as McVeigh saw all government employees as soldiers and the federal building thus as a legitimate military target. But that's nuts.
2. The September 11th, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon, made in response to perceived US support of Israel, US military presence in Saudi Arabia, and other foreign policy disapproved of by Osama bin Laden.
A Legitimate Declaration of War
Terrorism
Counter-Terrorism
Guerilla Warfare
While the Pentagon could be seen as a valid military target if the goal was to disrupt the command & control apparatus of the USA prior to an invasion, no invasion was forthcoming, and both targets were clearly chosen for their symbolic value.
3. President Donald Trump encouraging an angry mob in Washington DC to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021
Sedition against the United States
Treason
Protected Political Speech
Terrorism
While it is tempting to call this treason, technically treason only happens during war time. Also, it can't be called legitimate protest as the president's claims of fraud are entirely bogus. But it is not terrorism.
4. The storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Terrorism
Legitimate Assembly and Protest as Protected by the 1st Amendment
Attempted Insurrection
Conspiracy to Murder
The mob believed that they were acting to stop a corrupt and fraudulent election outcome. They were, obviously, insane, but that doesn't change their motives. They were not trying to intimidate common civilians; the attack was against those in power.
5. ISIS' beheading of journalist James Foley, and posting a video of it to YouTube, protesting US airstrikes in Syria.
Hate Crime
Tactical Use of Violence
Murder
Terrorism
While the ISIS executioner did threaten violence against Americans generally if they did not change policy, it was not a credible threat and Foley was a journalist not a random civilian. It could technically be counted as a war crime.
6. ISIS' campaign of violence against the Yazidi people - a Christian minority in Iraq and Syria - the goal of which was to kill them all.
Terrorism
Genocide or Ethnic Cleansing
War Crime
Mass Murder
While certainly terrible, this campaign was targeted specifically at one minority population, not against the general public, and thus not effective as terrorism.
7. The 2011 Oslo bombing and mass shooting at a nearby youth camp by Anders Breivik, who claimed to want to save Norway from liberal politicians, multiculturalism, and a "Muslim takeover."
Terrorism
Hate Crime
Political Protest
Mass Murder
A little bit squishy, as the attacks ostensibly targeted members of Sweden's Labour Party, but ultimately the killings were pretty random including many children, and the event as a whole was textbook terrorism.
8. The August, 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which the USA dropped atomic bombs killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in order to force the surrender of Imperial Japan.
War Crime
Terrorism
Tactical Use of Violence
Genocide
An argument could be made that this was a legitimate use of force against urban targets with industrial potential in the context of a Total War. Personally I don't find this argument compelling. It's not terrorism because, among other things, at this point the common civilian in Japan had no say in the emperor's decisions, and the US was not trying to persuade them.
9. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnayev brothers, purportedly in defense of Islam against American wars.
Terrorism
Murder
Protest
Hate Crime
Some would discount this as the brothers were not affiliated with a larger organization, but otherwise it's pretty textbook.
10. Targeted drone strikes against those labeled as terrorists by US predator drones, from 2004 - 2018
Assassination
Terrorism
War Crime
Genocide
Some, like Noam Chomsky, have called this the greatest terrorism campaign in the world; but Chomsky is almost completely delusional.
11. Israeli occupation of the "West Bank," from 1967 through the present, resulting in millions of people receiving different treatment from Israeli citizens despite being under the control of the same government.
Genocide
Illegal Annexation
Terrorism
Potential Human Rights Abuse
The territory has not been technically annexed in whole, and those calling the occupation, problematic as it is, a campaign of terrorism or genocide have no clue what they're talking about.
12. The CIA's assassination of President John F Kennedy.
Terrorism
Politically Motivated Murder
Realpolitik
Debunked Conspiracy Theory
C'mon, really?
13. The 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombing by the Irish Republican Army, resulting in 21 deaths.
Political Protest
Insurgency
Guerilla Warfare
Terrorism
This one is murky, as the IRA did not officially take credit, and there are claims that a delayed warning to the pub may have resulted in unintentional civilian casualties. But given the larger context of "the troubles," very likely terrorism.
14. The 2004 Madrid train bombings, by a group of Islamists and militants with possible ties to Al-Qaeda, that may have resulted in the Socialist party victory in the following election and Spanish withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Terrorism
Mass Killing
Random Violence
Political Protest
Arguably one of the few examples of a successful terrorist attack in history.
15. A heavily armed Michigan militia occupy the state capitol in May, 2020, to express disapproval of the governor's COVID-19 lockdown orders.
Political Protest
Terrorism
White Privilege
Blackmail
Though called domestic terrorists by hysterical liberals, the militia technically did nothing illegal and no violence took place. Intimidating? Yes. Terrorism? No.
16. The June, 1914 public killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalists who wished to achieve independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Righteous Stand Against Tyranny
Terrorism
Assassination
Royal Torso Ventilation
Though the conspirators are often described as terrorists (and occasionally as heroes), the label of assassins is more accurate as the target was Hapsburg royalty.
17. Iraqi insurgents attack and attempt to gain control over a US Marine outpost in Anbar Province.
Tactical Use of Violence
Terrorism
Murder
Guerilla Warfare
A marine outpost in an occupied country is a valid military target for those who oppose the occupation. Not technically guerilla warfare as a marine outpost is a hardened target and the insurgents were seemingly attempting to overtake, not merely harass.
18. A large mob in Charlottesville, there to express disapproval for the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E Lee, march wielding tiki-torches and chanting various racist slogans. Violence with counter-protestors would not break out until the following day. (note: hate speech is not illegal in the US)
Sedition Against the United States
Hate Crime
Terrorism
Peaceful Protest
Being scary doesn't make you a terrorist, and free speech is free speech even if you have something repugnant to say.
19. A large mob, demonstrating their anger over the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd while in police custody, sets fire to downtown Minneapolis.
Hate Crime
Riot
Terrorism
Peaceful Protest
Destroying a police station is not peaceful; but it's also not terrorism. Police are not random civilians.
20. Racist and White Supremacist Dylann Roof attends Bible study at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, where he proceeds to execute the pastor and eight other African Americans in attendance while shouting racial hatred.
Terrorism
Treason
Tactical Use of Violence
Hate Crime
Those targeted by Roof were a specific race of people that he hated and wanted to see dead; he was not attempting to inspire fear in the general public.
21. In 1998 the Clinton administration orders a missile strike against the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, based on bad intelligence that the factory was being used to produce VX nerve gas. In reality the factory was just making medicine. The attack killed one, injured many, and hampered the facility's production of needed pharmaceuticals, affecting many more.
Hate Crime
Terrorism
Western Imperialism
Friendly Fire
Another thing cited by delusional twit Chomsky as terrorism, but clearly this was an unfortunate mistake and not meant to intimidate civilians. The casualties could accurately be called collateral damage, and the attack itself friendly fire as the target was in reality neutral. While these terms will strike some as offensively tepid or misleadingly benign, the understood definitions of the terms are accurate for the situation.
22. From 2000 to 2005, the 2nd Intifada results in near daily attacks against Israeli civilians in the form of suicide bombings, attacks on public spaces, and random killings. Not even including the thousands of Palestinians who died in retaliatory violence by the IDF, or who were executed as "collaborators," over a thousand Israelis were killed, the large majority of whom were civilian non-combatants including large numbers of women and children.
Guerilla Warfare
Hate Crime
Revolution
Terrorism
Though there were peaceful elements to both intifadas especially the first one, the coordinated campaign of violence was definitely terrorism. It can't accurately be called a revolution or a guerilla war as the terrorists involved were not attempting to win a strategic victory; they were deliberately killing random civilians in order to sway public opinion through fear. Textbook terrorism. It could be called a series of hate crimes if the targets were selected more carefully and only Jews were killed, but many of the suicide bombings were random and created indiscriminate carnage.
23. In March, 2001, the Taliban use explosives to destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan - two ancient and gigantic statues that had been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. The Taliban explains their actions by calling the statues idols.
Religious Ignorance and Vandalism
Terrorism
Hate Crime
Protest
While certainly terrible, this was not terrorism. In the Taliban's delusional worldview, they were acting in accordance with their religious principles, not attempting to intimidate anyone or affect policy.
+5
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
Contrary to popular opinion, mainstream media sources have actually, historically, been very good about accurately describing acts of violence as either terrorist or something else, depending on the motive behind the attacks which is always the most important thing. And these descriptions had nothing at all to do with whether or not the perpetrators were "brown," "White," "Black," Muslim, Christian, or anything else. If anything, most media would go out of their way to *avoid* calling terrorist attacks by Muslims terrorism, and rush to apply the label to anything done by "White" non-Muslims, presumably out of a fear of being labeled racist.

Unfortunately, lately, it seems as though those in the media are giving in to public pressure and have started calling everything terrorism if it is something that the people describing the act don't like. If this continues, in time it will render the word meaningless.

+2
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
I should have put on a mass-shooting by a crazy person with no political motive, such as the Sandy Hook or Columbine massacres. These days, mass shootings seem to always be labeled as terrorism, especially if done by a "white" person, but they're usually not. If the shooter is just killing random people because they are angry or depressed or insane, then it's just a mass shooting. If they are targeting specific people that they hate, then it might be a hate crime.
+1
Level 81
Jan 12, 2021
obvious typo in the Anders Breivik explanation: Norway's Labour Party, not Sweden's...
+3
Level 53
Jan 10, 2021
Hate Crime for the 5th one? They killed him intentionally just because he was American. Forgive me if I am wrong.
+7
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
Most of these things could be labeled accurately as more than one thing. For #5, for example, I pointed out in the caveats that this could also be considered a war crime if you consider ISIS and the United States as being at war, but I think hate crime doesn't really apply as, whether or not "Jihadi John" or the Islamic State hate Americans (and in the latter case, they happily welcome American Muslims and converts to the religion), and that's not really clear, I'd say that hatred of Americans pretty certainly was not the primary motivation for Foley's execution.
+1
Level 53
Jan 10, 2021
thanks for the explination.
+2
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
Maybe I should have also included some hate crime against a "white" person, as these do occur, and many people today are confused into thinking that you can only be racist toward those who are not "white," or that racism never affects those who are labeled "white"... but... the quiz was already long enough as is. Better to focus on correcting one misconception at a time.
+1
Level 44
Jan 11, 2021
What would you say about forceful migration of 5 Lakh Hindus and Sikhs in the year 1989 from Kashmir by Kashmiri Muslims, terrorists,Comrades,Local and National Politicians which Include Hindu Leaders as well. It happened just after some days when a central govt was formed that had political backing of so called Hindu Nationalist party BJP. The gov had the first Muslim ever Muslim home minister of India and he was a ethnic kashmiri.After holding the position his daughter got kidnapped and to save her we had to release some terrorists.Its know believed that the kidnapping was staged.

Those people still can't go back to their home. Many of the peoples were killed, rapped and looted.

I don't wanna spread hate I just wanna know your opinion because you don't seem to be politicaly biased.

+1
Level 81
Jan 11, 2021
I'll be honest I don't know anything about that incident. I'd have to read more about it. But it sounds like it was a combination of many different crimes.
+1
Level 51
Jan 10, 2021
Hmmm... just now I got an ad about Antifa being a terorist [sic] organization.
+1
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
seriously? :D I haven't seen ads on this site in a long time. Been a paid member for a while.
+2
Level 81
Jan 10, 2021
and... while I would call some of what AntiFa has engaged in intentionally instigating violence, unhelpful, thuggish, and, ironically, often a bit fascist in character what with their proudly violent opposition to contrary opinions.... I am not aware of anything they've done that could accurately be described as terrorism. I could just be unaware. But from what I've seen they are just the bogeymen and scapegoats in a lot of right-wing fever dreams and a tool in their fear mongering.

Plus, it's a large very loosely organized group so hard to really generalize about all of them. Same goes for Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and the Tea Party. Which is part of why I am not a fan of large, loosely organized groups. They usually end up being at least partially guided by the worst elements within them, even if the original cause or organizing principle was just.

+1
Level 57
Jan 10, 2021
Interesting quiz to say the least. Not much I'll disagree with here. Surprised that you didn't include the 2008 Mumbai Attacks.
+2
Level 81
Jan 11, 2021
There are quite a lot of terrorist attacks (and incidents that have been called terrorism but in fact are not) that I could have put on here but didn't. Unfortunately. :-(
+2
Level 46
Jan 11, 2021
hi kalbahamut im your biggest fan
+2
Level 75
Jan 11, 2021
There are few things more frustrating than when people cling to certain definitions, or rather associations, and can't seem to grasp the idea that the word should be used differently. I once told several people that, contrary to public perception, psychopaths are not typically raging murderers, and recommended the movie Nightcrawler to them as a somewhat more realistic portrayal. Every single one of them told me that at first they weren't convinced but when the guy smashed his window screaming madly they believed me that this guy was indeed a psychopath. Of course it's even worse when public authorities do this with politically charged words. So thanks for making this quiz. I got four answers wrong but those were the squishy ones. 15 surprised me a bit. The individual acts - carrying rifles, attempting to enter a legislative floor, yelling at police officers in close range, and holding signs like 'Tyrants get the rope' - may not technically be illegal, but the whole event...
+1
Level 75
Jan 11, 2021
...looked too threatening to my delicate eyes.
+1
Level 81
Jan 11, 2021
I agree, and personally I think what they did *should* be against the law. But.... it wasn't. And they didn't hurt anybody.
+1
Level 81
Jan 11, 2021
good movie.
+1
Level 90
Jan 11, 2021
"Royal Torso Ventilation" alone gets you a nomination. (so does the quiz, thank you!)
+1
Level 81
Jan 11, 2021
I appreciate it. Though this is one of those quizzes that I authored mostly for my own entertainment and have no hope of it ever getting featured. Even if it gets nominated enough I imagine that QM will decide it is too controversial, too opinion-based, not adequately sourced, or simply that the instructions are too long.
+1
Level 53
Jan 12, 2021
Wow 5 star rating. Looks like this isn't contreversial
+3
Level 73
Jan 14, 2021
Did Donald Trump actually encourage the mobs to storm the capitol? I think he just called for them to deny Biden's win. I could be wrong, I haven't done much research.
+1
Level 54
Jan 14, 2021
I think ur right
+4
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
He did. Though his language, as it always is because this is the way he communicates, was a little open to interpretation, given the larger context of his behavior and message the last several months, and his repeated incitements toward and encouragement of violence, not to mention the multiple credible accounts of his reaction to what happened that day as being almost gleeful, it's impossible to argue credibly that he didn't get exactly what he wanted or that he is not responsible for what happened. I would say that in a court of law he'd stand about a 50/50 chance of being convicted of sedition or inciting a riot, but here we are using common sense and reasonable powers of observation and the burden of proof is not as high.
+1
Level 73
Feb 1, 2021
Okay, fair enough
+2
Level 56
Jan 14, 2021
A very interesting quiz. An active user of this website cannot help but to constantly see Kal's opinions on many quizzes, and this was chock full of them. In my opinion there are several attacks on this list for which distinguishing between terrorism or another ~technically~ correct term has no real meaning, especially to the general public. But to each their own.
+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
To the general public, yes, I'm sure that you are right. But the general public is confused and in my opinion wrong. As they often are.
+1
Level 66
Jan 14, 2021
Interesting quiz. Question about #10 though: can drone strikes count as "war crimes" when they kill civilians? I realize it's not intentional killing, but the US military still willingly puts those lives in danger in order to take out terrorists, which makes them very much responsible for those deaths. Would it maybe be more of a "reckless endangerment" thing? Or can the definition of a "war crime" still count for that? (I know the question itself is asking for when the strikes kill terrorists, I'm just curious about how civilian deaths factor in)
+2
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
It would be a clear cut case of war crimes if the civilian deaths were intentional. If they were an accidental by-product of trying to wipe out legitimate targets, and efforts were made to reduce them when possible, then I think any court or tribunal would instead label them as collateral damage. Of course, that in itself is still awful. And those responsible could still be held accountable. That was part of the point of this quiz, though: just because something is not terrorism doesn't mean that it's not bad. War crimes are horrible. Terrorism is horrible. But they're different things. Genocide is also horrible; I would say it's considerably worse than terrorism. But the word "terrorism" has become so emotionally and politically charged that people act like if you don't call something terrorism it means you are excusing it... which is dumb. Calling someone a murderer and not a terrorist is not an endorsement of murder.
+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
To my mind, the most harmful thing about losing the precise meaning of this word terrorism is that, if it has no meaning, then it is pointless to say that you condemn it. Because what are you condemning exactly? In Saudi Arabia a person can be tried for terrorism for spray painting graffiti, peacefully protesting the government, or for admitting that they are an atheist. *Everyone* should be able to understand immediately that *none* of these things are terrorism. But the definition in common usage is getting so extremely malleable that soon it will be hard to make that argument.

When we get to the point where you can reasonably define anything you want as being terrorism, and there are still extremely harsh laws on the books to punish terrorism (as there should be), then that opens up the doors to horrific abuses of power and judicial overreach.

In addition, in the past governments could universally condemn terrorism, because we all understood what it meant:

+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
non-government actors using violence against innocent civilians to achieve some unpopular political aim. And that's horrible and absolutely should be condemned. And if we keep the definition narrow, and to precisely mean just that and only that, then every government in the world would have no problem condemning it (at least publicly, there will still be a handful of governments that in private sponsor such acts - but again it's very useful and relevant to have a consistent and narrow definition of terrorism in order to be able to identify these state sponsors of terrorism. If we apply the label to any country we don't like it becomes meaningless. See: recent Trump decision on Cuba).

If we start applying the label "terrorism" to things that are not terrorism, like the Black Lives Matter protests/riots, or the march in Charlottesville, or every mass-killing that takes place even by random crazy people or on the field of battle, then universal condemnation is harder to achieve.

+2
Level 66
Jan 14, 2021
Obviously what you said went way beyond the scope of my question, but that explanation makes sense. And I agree that "terrorism" has become a very politically charged word that isn't applied fairly to all situations, and how that probably just exacerbates underlying tensions in society and gets used as an excuse to enact harsh punishments and push political agendas, among other things.

"Terrorism" is far from the only word that's treated like this. It frustrates me a lot how much both the political left and right throw around the word "socialism" these days without truly understanding what it means. It's pretty frustrating how much Trump used "socialism" to attack Biden... and how many voters that probably swayed in November. I like Bernie Sanders and agree with him on many issues, but him calling himself a socialist isn't really helping the Democratic agenda.

+2
Level 66
Jan 14, 2021
I really like how Elizabeth Warren (who would be my personal choice for President if I could choose anyone) was able to distinguish herself as a capitalist who supports a free market (without corporate monopolism) and a social safety net. She's one of very few politicians who knows what she's talking about. Alas, her comments fell on deaf ears.
+3
Level 34
Jan 14, 2021
Ah, good old Western 'friendly fire' and 'potential abuse' and Palestinian terrorism. Refreshing.
+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
These terms all have well-understood definitions and apply regardless of who is doing them. People who are not especially clever often believe otherwise. And look at the world with what seems like blinders riveted to the sides of their heads, so committed are they to ignoring any information that challenges their predetermined and fallacious worldview. How many acts of terrorism are described above that involve no Palestinians, nor even any Muslims or Arabs at all? Quite a few. And if I was making a quiz about friendly fire it's not like that would be limited only to "Westerners." See some examples here. Words have meanings.
+3
Level 52
Jan 14, 2021
I have nothing else to say than thank you for this very interesting quiz. It challenged some of my ideas and made me learn quite a bit. You pointed out in the comments that you fear that the word terrorism will eventually lose its meaning; I would argue that its meaning has already been lost about 5 years ago. If you don't believe me, I think that spending time on Twitter would convince you, especially in these current times.
+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2021
I've never been on Twitter and don't ever plan to be but I think I know what you mean.
+3
Level 53
Jan 15, 2021
This quiz is way too philosophical for JetPunk. It's obviously very biased, but that's not the problem. But ranting about Chomsky, a widely recognized scholar, or liberals misses the mark. This website is devoted to facts. You don't have to agree with Chomsky or even this comment.

It's just a very problematic and controversial quiz.

+1
Level 81
Jan 15, 2021
Where was I ranting? And I know Chomsky is a scholar. I studied his work when I was learning linguistics. That doesn't mean he's not delusional. That much is not an opinion and I could easily prove as much if asked to. It's also not a matter of opinion that it was liberals by and large who overreacted to Michigan, just like it was conservatives by and large who get their panties all twisted over BLM or AntiFa.

Is the quiz too philosophical for JetPunk? why would that even be a thing? There are all sorts of different quizzes on JetPunk. I'm sure most users here can handle a bit of philosophy.

Is it very biased? Maybe a little. Not very. Maybe you're very biased. Have you considered that? Where is the quiz biased? Demonstrate, don't assert.

What mark am I missing? How do you even know what I'm aiming at? If I'm upsetting you by challenging your pre-conceived notions about this word then I'd say I hit the mark square on.

+1
Level 81
Jan 15, 2021
Is the website devoted to facts? I don't know. Ask Dan about that. Is this quiz anti-factual? Absolutely not. It's full of facts. Some opinion, too, but so what.

What's problematic about it? "Problematic" is another overused and misused word in recent years. Most misused by people who get upset when facts or information contradict their emotionally or ideologically-based opinions or worldviews. That doesn't make something problematic generally, maybe just for you..

Controversial? Yes. I hope so! It would have been WAY off the mark if it wasn't controversial. Seems like you finally arrived at what the point was. Controversy isn't a bad thing. Considering how wrong most people are about most things, if something isn't controversial it's probably not worth very much. Especially on a subject such as this.

+3
Level 53
Jan 15, 2021
1) Yes, it´s controversial and biased. But is there a wrong answer in this case? No.

Why should this quiz exist then?

2) You can dislike Chomsky as much as you want but there is no reason for calling him a twit.

+1
Level 81
Jan 16, 2021
So you're upset because you got some answers wrong? If you read the instructions the quiz should be pretty easy.
+3
Level 80
Jan 17, 2021
Interesting. The Michigan incident, although legal protest, strikes most non-Americans as leaning towards the use of terror and intimidation. I choose white privilidge simply because I can't imagine hundreds of African Americans pulling the same stunt.
+1
Level 81
Jan 17, 2021
Just because you can't imagine it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen or that anything different would have happened if it had. The meme that African Americans are somehow more likely to be killed by police, though extremely prevalent and popular, is simply false. If you look at the actual statistics, the opposite is true. White privilege in the United States is a dangerous and damaging myth.

As for being intimidating, I absolutely agree. And like I said above, I feel like what happened there *should* be illegal. But it wasn't. Michigan is an open carry state. It's crazy. But that's the law. And it has absolutely *nothing* to do with what color you are. That is not part of the law.

Finally, if you agree with my definition of terrorism above, and you absolutely should as it's the best definition we have, being scary or intimidating is not enough to qualify something as terrorism. If it were that would be absurd. I would be a terrorist just by virtue of the fact that I'm tall.

+1
Level 81
Jan 17, 2021
... and in fact I've had police and security called on me before because of this. Even had loaded guns pointed at my chest. When I wasn't doing anything. But some people find me scary and intimidating.
+1
Level 81
Jan 17, 2021
If you don't believe me that "black" militias could get away with something similar, here you go: proof

Of course nobody has ever heard of this event happening, because reporting on it wouldn't help shore up the narrative of oppression or privilege that so many are invested in pushing and propagating. So... it's instead kind of a non-event. Just a bunch of heavily armed Americans walking around with their guns on public property. Something which, in many American states, is oddly but inarguably legal.

+2
Level 81
Jan 17, 2021
and finally, even though it's my personal opinion that it ought to be illegal to carry any weapons let alone huge automatic assault rifles into a government building or public space, and even though I disagree strongly with the morons in Michigan who were protesting reasonable efforts by the governor to save lives during a pandemic, I added them to draw some contrast between what happened in Michigan and what happened recently in Washington DC. I see a lot of people on the news lately calling what happened in Michigan "a dry run" for DC and trying to say it was basically the same thing, which is very, very wrong. I also heard a lot of people back when the event first took place calling it an act of domestic terrorism, which is also, very, very wrong. There is a gigantic difference between a group of people peacefully assembling and letting their opinions be heard; and a violent aggressive invasion of the Capitol with the aim of abducting and murdering elected officials.
+2
Level 81
Jan 17, 2021
... just as there is a gigantic difference between the above, and any act of actual terrorism. If we had ended the day of January 6th this year with Pelosi and Pence swinging from a makeshift gallows on the National Mall, that would have been insane and awful. But it wouldn't have been the same thing as what happened on 9/11/2001 in New York City, or Mumbai in 2008, or Paris in 2015...
+1
Level 75
Jan 20, 2021
Other words people are often confused about: socialism, fascism, feminism, democracy, and even war. The word coup was also used so often to describe the Capitol storming, even though there was not even a clear plan to install a new government.
+1
Level 81
Jan 20, 2021
I would say that everything Trump has been doing for about the past 4-5 months has been an attempted coup. He knew he was going to lose and has been attempting to undermine and destroy American democracy the whole time, any way that he possibly could. The mob that he directed to attack the Capitol was part of that. The mob was attempting to stop the counting of electoral ballots with the clear and stated aims of 1. preventing the Congressional procedure that would confirm Biden's win. 2. installing Trump as illegitimate president or perhaps dictator-for-life who knows. 3. murdering assorted members of the legitimate US government including the Vice President and House Speaker. But it was only ever attempted, not successful. Biden is now president. Trump's coup failed.

If it had succeeded... then the installed government would be a 2nd Trump administration, put in after displacing the legitimate administration of President Biden. They weren't ambiguous about this.

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Level 81
Jan 20, 2021
but agree that most people don't seem to have any clue what socialism, fascism, feminism, or democracy mean.

(aside: war? haven't seen any confusion about this before. What do you mean? maybe I'm confused)

Other good words people often don't know the meaning of these days: liberal/liberalism, communism, capitalism, impeachable offense, high crimes and misdemeanors, racism, race, sexism, ethnicity, gaslighting, grift, nation, literally, religious freedom, freedom of speech, progressive, retarded, equality, justice, unity..... and from my mom last night... cuckold... she used this in a sentence and thought that it meant a foolish person.

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Level 81
Jan 21, 2021
and of course "jihad" and "America." Other words that often produce confusion and contentious, willful ignorance.
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Level 51
Jan 25, 2021
Also "banana republic"
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Level 66
Feb 22, 2021
I can't vouch for certain about what camus meant by "war," but it's possible he wasn't talking about literal war but the way it's used in the media. Things like "culture wars," people saying the election would like to a "Second American Civil War," evangelicals alleging a "War on Christianity/Christmas," etc. Basically, anyone talking something relatively minor and blowing it way out of proportion to make it seem like something the fate of humanity depends on. I think it's fair to say that "war" is very much misused in this sense.
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Level 81
Feb 23, 2021
I guess so. Though I think that in those contexts everyone understands that the word is being used metaphorically not literally, even if those who use such metaphors like "the war on Christmas" tend to be pretty hyperbolic. I don't think those who call peaceful protestors domestic terrorists are doing so in a metaphorical sense.
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Level 75
Mar 9, 2021
I had something similar in mind although everyone should understand that JWatson's examples are just metaphors. "War on Terror", on the other hand, is a metaphor that can be taken literally and has in fact involved military action. There is also the concept of "New wars" that today mainly take place in Africa and the Middle East, and where individual battles flame up erratically over the years. That way it is hard to say whether peace is repeatedly interrupted by violence or the ongoing war ebbs away repeatedly. Of course this phenomenon is actually anything but new and many historic wars (like the 30 Years') have only been summarized as one single war in retrospect if I'm not mistaken. / But yeah, I see that this case is a bit different from the others and doesn't cause quite as much confusion and anger.
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Level 66
Feb 22, 2021
I can think of other words too: First Amendment, Second Amendment, developing/developed country, first/second/third world country, gun control, freedom, liberty, states' rights, Nazi, defund (as in "defund the police"), crime/criminal, Middle East, Arab, patriotism... the list goes on and on.
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Level 75
Mar 9, 2021
And since World Leaders is now on the front page, we are reminded that people can be confused about what dictator means, too.
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Level 57
Feb 3, 2021
Yazidi have their own monotheistic religion that is not Christian.
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Level 81
Feb 3, 2021
It seems you're right. I guess ISIL were attempting to wipe out both Yazidi and Christian minorities in their territory at the same time and I got my headlines mixed up.
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Level 64
Feb 7, 2021
17/23 .. I could qualify for the International Court of Justice and do better than them.
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Level 52
Apr 30, 2021
I know it's not terrorism, but the Clinton airstrike angers me more than some of the other terrorist acts
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Level 81
Apr 30, 2021
fair enough. That's part of the point of the quiz: you can be mad about something, it can be horrible, terrible, violent, upsetting... without incorrectly labeling it terrorism. It's not like an act of violence is bad and an act of terrorism is worse... it's not a question of degrees or severity... but some people seem confused into thinking that it is.