Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is a Terrorist?

There has been a lot of talk about terrorists and torture again lately. So what exactly is a terrorist? If someone is on your side he's a freedom fighter, a member of the resistance. If he's not on your side he's a terrorist.
Members of all the resistance groups during World War II were, from our point of view, freedom fighters. The French and Russian underground members, like their counterparts in other occupied countries, were freedom fighters. That was our opinion. The Nazis called them terrorists.
A terrorist is someone without an air force on his side. He has no tanks or massed battalions of artillery. He doesn't have a navy. The French underground, the one Americans are most familiar with, had none of those things so they blew up bridges, trains and other targets. They ambushed German vehicles and men. They engaged in spying and relayed information to the Allies. To the Nazis they were terrorists. We welcomed their support so we thought of them as freedom fighters.
During that war, four counties engaged in terror bombing of cities and civilians: Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Was it wrong? Of course. Those who engaged in it thought it would make their enemies lose the will to fight. It didn't. It made them fight all the harder.
Most, but not all, of those we call terrorists today come from Muslim countries. One of the reasons they don't like us is we always oppose them and support Israel no matter what the circumstances may be.
So who is right and who is wrong? Everybody is wrong. Killing people you disagree with is always wrong. It's a sign that somewhere along the way you have failed. To compensate for that failure you kill and get killed. You become self-righteous and call your enemy names. Like 6-year-olds in a playground brawl. Nothing is ever solved. Your enemy today becomes your friend tomorrow.
During the past century, countless millions have died in wars. Many were civilians. The First World War of 1914-1918 was called the War To End All Wars. Wasn't that a hoot?


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