There’s a long-winded and passionate debate over the terms “suicide bomber” and “homicide bomber” in yesterday’s post on the subject. Go check it out if you dare.
I’m going to post a recent comment that I made here on the main page. It’s my site, and I can do things like that.
Yes, the X Bombers kill others so they commit homicide. They kill themselves in the process so they also commit suicide. We all get this.
I think we can agree that “homicide/suicide bomber” is not a good term. And if it was used, there’d then be endless debate about whether they are “homicide/suicide bombers” or “suicide/homicide bombers”.
(I prefer the term “murderous fucking bastard fuckers”, but I don’t think the BBC will go for that and it doesn’t even begin to express the suicide/homicide dichotomy that is the modern terrorist. But I digress.)
Yes, some in some circles the “suicide bomber” is glorified, even outside the world of the jihadist. And language is important and can be a weapon, as I point out often in my criticism of Legacy Media. So I don’t utterly reject the “homicide bomber” terminology.
To be honest, the biggest problem I think I have is that if you give the self-destructive terrorist bomber the title of “homicide bomber”, what do you call the terrorist who doesn’t self-destruct?
A couple of nuts park their truckload of fertilizer bomb outside of a federal building but leave before it blows. They aren’t “suicide bombers”, of course. And they kill people, so they might be “homicide bombers”. But they shouldn’t be classed with the self-destructive sort of terrorist, should they? The suicide aspect, or lack of it, is a major line of differentiation.
(I’d like to point out that my “murderous fucking bastard fucker” tag fits both scenarios very well, BTW…)
If bombers who commit suicide while carrying out their mission are “homicide bombers”, what does that make bombers who do not commit suicide? If a jihadist throws a grenade or plants a roadside bomb, is he a “homicide bomber”?
As we’ve stated, language is important. But using the “homicide bomber” tag leaves a lot more room for moral equivalency games where F-16 pilots and Marine artillerymen can be equated with Islamofascists and Timothy McVeigh. That’s a language scenario that we don’t want to wade into.
Right-thinking (‘right’ as opposed to ‘wrong’, not ‘Left’) people generally don’t suicide attack the enemy. You could make an argument for Japanese kamikazes in WW2 and some “suicide missions” of critical importance where the troops know they’ll never get out alive, but normal people, no matter how loyal to their cause, don’t see self-destruction as a way to win. And they never suicide attack civilians no matter the cause.
The suicide/homicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel (and other locales as we see) not only think its a way to win, they *embrace* the suicide aspect of what they’re doing.
So while I agree that “suicide bomber” has been elevated to a title of respect in many circles, “homicide bomber” doesn’t really combat that fact and could leave open an even bigger hole for our enemies to exploit.
And yes, if someone started equating Islamofascist suicide/homicide bombers with F-16 pilots, we’d rightfully ignore them as idiots. So why don’t we ignore those that admire “suicide bombers” as idiots?
For more on the importance of language, see the first half of the second part of my review of Steven Vincent’s IN THE RED ZONE.