If I’m not scared, is it still Terrorism?
Given that Janet Napolitano wants to rebrand terrorism as man-caused disasters (which is a fairly clunkity-clunkity hyphenated neologism) what other better and more specific Names might we ascribe to this particular presentation of assymetric warfare? Terrorism seems particularly imprecise, given that it invokes a certain fear-based emotional response in some abstract sense of a victim, instead of describing what it is.
Suicide bombing is better. Mass Homicides or Civilian Targeting might be better. Attacks on Vulnerable Civilian Populations. Attempting to hold populations hostage. Attacks on Civilian Targets.
Disaster is almost certainly wrong — like terrorism, too results oriented; it neglects that which is essential about terrorism and how to stop it, which is the Act and the Intention. (Actus Reus and Mens Rea). The result is relevant, but disaster has a connotation of amorphous guilt — when terrorism is very much about specific guilt. Terrorism assumes too much — assumes that the goals of the act are terror — when they may not be the goals, but only the response the victim feels.
Nuance? Or precision? By Naming correctly, do we get closer to the truth? I think so.