Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Homicide bomber" vs. "Suicide Bomber": What's the Difference?

MSOC, yesterday entered a musing on her blog (My Left Wing) and on theBook, concerning the nature of the rhetorical claims--differences and distinctions--made by identifying someone as a "suicide" bomber, v. a "homicide" bomber.

One difference, imhe--is "moral."

Remember that, inside the structure of military rhetoric, a 'suicide mission' occupies a place of honor: to sacrifice one's life for the cause is regarded as noble, by the partisans of 'war.' Think of the Alamo, or the 300...

A suicide bomber partakes in some of the "Lost Cause" nobility.

Whereas a "homicide" bomber may (must?) be regarded merely as a murderous psychopath. There is no chance that the act could be thought "noble." A "homicide" bomber cannot be a martyr...

Calling them 'homicide bombers' is a conscious effort to defuse the heroic, sacrificial aspect of such attacks.

Remember the crap Bill Maher caught for his remark that flying a jet plane into a sky-scraper, whatever else you want to call it, is not an act of an individual 'coward.'

It is precisely that 'secret' admiration that the appellation "homicide" bomber is designed to dispel...

1 comment:

P M Prescott said...

What about remote control bombers? The only degree difference between some looney setting a time bomb and our predator drones is the level of technology.

How about another curmudgeons meeting on the 16th 3pm at Spins?