Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Terrorizing Castro 

Luis Posada Carriles is applying for asylum in the United States. Cuba and Venezuela (whose citizenship he holds and where he previously resided) want him extradited for his role in bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, which left 73 people dead (involvement that Posada denies).

Bombing passenger planes is terrorism, whichever way one looks at it. However, in a truly bizarre move, the US immigration judge hearing Posada's case has asked for legal briefs on whether Posada's role in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion (planning but not the fighting) was a terrorist act.

At the time when so many in the media are bending over backwards not to use the "t" word to describe anyone or any action (it's bombings in London, it's insurgents in Iraq, etc.), it is interesting to see a judicial official trying to go to the other extreme. It should be apparent to everyone that landing an armed force on a beach with a view of overthrowing a (totalitarian) government can be called many things - armed insurrection, insurgency, guerrilla warfare - but since it essentially involves armed paramilitary fighting a standing army, one thing it cannot be called is terrorism, unless one subscribes to the school of though that anything that the United States does internationally is an act of terrorism.


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