What is a Terrorist?

What is a terrorist?

Good luck getting some Muslim nations to tell you.

A bunch of them — 57, in fact — mostly foreign ministers and top officials with the organization of the Islamic Conference, refused to define terrorism.

They apparently shot down a plan by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad to classify terrorists as anyone who attacks civilians including Palestinian suicide bombers.

Not surprisingly, Palestinian and other Middle East delegates rejected that one. They say a lot of terrorists are terrorists because their own conditions are terrifying.

So they ended up doing nothing. They wouldn't define, address or even promise to again take up the issue of terrorism.

What's the problem here?

I think the Malaysian prime minister had it right. Attacking civilians is never justified, irrespective of the nobility of the so-called struggle.

Why is it so difficult to understand that?

If you walk into a crowded shopping mall with dynamite strapped to your waist and blow yourself up killing innocent shoppers, you're a terrorist.

If you train guerillas to kill still more civilians, you're a terrorist.

If you fund those guerillas to kill those civilians, you're a terrorist.

And yes, if you ram planes into buildings with the sole intention of killing lots of civilians, you're a terrorist.

What's so difficult here?

When countries have a tough time deciding what is and isn't terrorism, we're in trouble.

When they don't know evil when it smacks them in the face, we're in trouble.

When they refuse to even hint suicide bombers are just a little crazy, we're in trouble.

Sometimes I don't know who's worse: the terrorists who clearly love bloodshed or the countries who clearly refuse to even see them.

The world is a dangerous place, my friends. Not because of what those in power say. But precisely because of what they don't say.

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