Who Is a Terrorist? Lessons from Thailand and the Philippines

Who Is a Terrorist?: Lessons from Thailand and the Philippines – thediplomat.com, January 13, 2015
…The Bangkok protests differ in both scale and objective from many of the genuine terrorist incidents—conducted by groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Pakistan’s TPP—detailed elsewhere in the report. Rather than purging domestic or global society of infidels or modern beliefs, they were manifestations of an (albeit unsavory) strategy aimed at securing domestic political power. A quick reading of Thailand’s modern political history, where cycles of protest and low intensity violence have typically and frequently preceded changes in political power, shows both how normal and effective such strategies are. Indeed, the use of violence, or threats of it, are a common strategy for securing political and economic power in much of the developing world and beyond—at both the national and local levels. Inter-communal riots in India, organized crime in Guatemala, local land conflicts in Indonesia: each involves the use of violence by non-state groups for political-economic purposes. If one is to include such acts in a definition of terrorism, and consistently code them as such, the number of terrorist acts would rise exponentially in most countries…

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