IMO both of the young people killed yesterday were victims. Terrorism is the word being jumped to across Canadian synapses today. Defining terrorism though is a slippery business. The same group may be described as 'freedom fighters' by its supporters and considered to be 'terrorists' by its opponents. For instance, ANC leader Nelson Mandela was, at one point, considered a terrorist by the 'civilized' world.
Terror is an emotional state not a political one. The innocent family huddled in wait of the drone's bombs are in terror. Terror is an internal state, once terrorized an individual or group will often react irrationally when another uncontrollable negative situation occurs. Around and around it goes - the molested child becomes the adult molester, the terrorized become the terrorizer. Terror may go into remission, but there is no cure.
Both of these people who died yesterday in Ottawa are victims of 'blowback'. As Glen Greenwald said today, "It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country. Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence."
We need a new word. Tomis Kapitan's well written piece The Reign of ‘Terror’, mentioned by Greenwald, attempts to corral terrorism's definition but it doesn't consider how everyone who actively opposes the Empire's goals is a terrorist now, how in Canada Ottawa's new anti-terrorism strategy lists environmentalists and First Nations as threats.
We need a new word because we are all terrorized. For instance, look at the reaction in Amerika to Ebola recently if you want to see a terrorized population in action. The obvious, irrational, over-reaction illustrates how terror closes eyes, closes them even to the exact actions that could save the terrorized were they able to open their eyes and act decisively.
When negative shit happens a wise person or group doesn't react, they respond. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is/was a murderer. Ottawa's response in the coming days should be to never mention the slippery 'T' word, instead, if i were Emperor, i'd command the use of criminal, the 'C' word. Breaking the circle of fear would be the most appropriate response IMO.