Friday, January 19, 2007

UK Government Discovers The Obvious

In Iraq, printouts from Google Earth were found not only detailing British military bases, but also pinpointing exact locations of tents and parked Land Rovers.

I can understand this is an upsetting thing, but honestly, anybody who hasn't seen it coming for years is a fucking monkey. What could be more obvious?

Also, sorry, I'm a bit grumpy at the moment, this article also sets off a pet peeve:

"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks," said an intelligence officer with the Royal Green Jackets battle group. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?"

Technically these are not terrorist attacks; these are guerilla warfare attacks. Terrorism is just guerilla warfare turned against civillians. If you're in the military, and you're attacked, that's not terrorism. That's guerilla warfare. The whole idea of terrorism is the surprise attack, and if you're in the military occupying a foreign country, attack can't really be such a big surprise. You might not know when it's going to happen, but if it surprises you completely, you haven't been paying attention.

The real problem with the overuse of the word "terrorism" is that the minute the distinction between terrorism and guerilla warfare disappears, the word "terrorism" comes to mean simply any attack from somebody not in uniform. Guerilla warfare is a completely different thing. Guerilla warfare means Iraqis shooting back at the people who invaded them. Terrorism means innocent civillians dying violently without any warning. That's a very, very important difference.

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