One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter

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Paul Ciancia, 23, killed one and injured six others at Los Angeles airport security check on Friday, 1 November 2013. He told police that he did not want to cause any damage, only express disagreement with the government. He left a ‘New World Order' note referring to a conspiracy theory that a group of politicians want to impose totalitarian control over the world.

It reminded me of the movie Shooter (pictured above).The main character kills in retribution, after a corrupt official turns him into a scapegoat to cover up their own premeditated murder. Vengeance is mine, he could say in the end of the movie.

But is it really the end? Will there be no more soldiers dying, no more mass graves, no more pilotless-drones? It is the same reasoning that says one village being wiped out for an oil pipe is worth it for the rest to live better. It means that a human life has no value when making decisions based on the general welfare.

I personally think no one is authorized to attempt to take the life of another person even if it could save a thousand lives in the future. We cannot predict what will happen and it is always better to avoid a loss of blood. Shooters are not just products of a culture where children grow up on violent computer games. That is too simplistic. Some of them take it upon themselves to personally get vengeance and give the authorities a hard time.

The guy at LA airport was right in one way- some of the wars going on in the world are really little games for the powerful. And I am afraid that people feel there is no other way of raising awareness but terrorism. It brings us to a clash of patriotism and humanity. Bradley Manning, charged with the release of secret documents is sitting in the same chair and it may be electric. Some would pillory him for betraying his country, others beautify him for revealing the truth.

One man's terrorist can be another man's freedom fighter, and ultimately none of them are totally in the right.

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who lived in London for much of his graduate life. Read more of his posts here.

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