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Terrorism Is a Tactic

If the deprivation of rights is indeed the root cause of terrorism, why did all these people pursue their cause without resorting to terror? Put simply, because they were democrats, not terrorists. They believed in the sanctity of each human life, were committed to the ideals of liberty, and championed the values of democracy.

But those who practice terrorism do not believe in these things. In fact, they believe in the very opposite. For them, the cause they espouse is so all-encompassing, so total, that it justifies anything. It allows them to break any law, discard any moral code and trample all human rights in the dust. In their eyes, it permits them to indiscriminately murder and maim innocent men and women, and lets them blow up a bus full of children. - Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel is, after all, locked in a conflict with an Iranian regime that has made no bones about its intentions. Just last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated the standard Iranian line about Israel being a â??cancerous tumorâ? that must be eradicated. Coming from a man who leads a regime based on religious fanaticism and which is dedicating massive amounts of the countryâ??s resources towards achieving its nuclear ambitions, this is no idle threat. Under these circumstances, Israel is entirely justified in using whatever means it has to prevent Khameiniâ??s government from achieving its genocidal ends. The MEK may be an unattractive ally, but with its Iranian members and infrastructure of support inside the country, it is an ideal weapon to use against the ayatollahs. - Jonathan Tobin

Several people have jumped on Tobin for saying this, but I think he's actually making a point that many critics of neoconservatism (particularly post 9/11 neoconservatism) have been saying since the "war on terror" began: terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology. Tobin approves of terrorism when it's being used by Israel against Iran and disapproves of it when it's used by Palestinians against Israel. But Tobin is acknowledging that - contrary to Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence - terrorism itself is not an outgrowth of a "totalitarian" mindset but a tactical weapon to use against an adversary when other tools are unavailable or too risky.