Stevo Pendarovski – photo by BalkanInsight
Stevo Pendarovski – Assistant Professor of International Security, Foreign Policy and Globalization at University American College Skopje
The view is actually coming from the Balkans, due to my belief that the peninsula is more than the geographic part of the continent. Why is necessary to define the spot before entering the debate about the shooting in Tucson?
Because there are certain similarities: it is peculiar, but true, that in the entire Balkan region terrorists have always had different ethnic backgrounds from the people who have defined their acts. Political propaganda has routinely reinvigorated stereotypes that members of our nation are “not capable” of executing acts of terrorism.
The most visible local examples: post 9/11 period was especially charged with accusations in the Serbian media promoting terrorists among ethnic Albanians on a daily basis, while the latter mechanically blamed the entire Serbian nation for the persistent state-sponsored “politics of terror”.
Or example No.2: Macedonians have blamed Albanians for terrorist rebellion in their country in the same time when Albanians blamed Macedonians for the “state terror” which allegedly provoked their armed resistance etc. Some pseudo experts had even publicly sworn that terrorism icon Bin Laden, have been quite frequent visitor to the region.
Pending globally acceptable definition on terrorism, it is safe to say that Tucson shooting was an act of terror, almost by default: first, a political target, second, an indiscriminate killing of civilians.
While waiting for the whole picture to emerge from the ongoing investigation, some clues about the political motives of the detained person did exist. Within this context I saw almost no values in the comments about the confused mind or lack of sound political concept on the part of the assumed killer.
I doubt that Timothy McVeigh in 1995 and later has neatly ordered political thoughts or was capable arguing about the weak spots of post-modern American society.Additionally, neither have we needed structured political organization behind the perpetrator.
There is an interesting recent example from Netherlands: Mohammed Bouyeri who had murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh in 2004 has alleged terrorist ties with the so-called Hofstad Network, but, had not received an order by this organization to kill.
The qualification for his act as terrorism persisted even when three years ago a Dutch court was unable to confirm that such an organizations did exist at all.
In Europe extremism and violence had never been a crime by itself, but, had denoted either a style in politics or a core feature of specific crimes. I would argue that terrorism is constituted of violence and is extreme by its nature, but is not synonymous with these two terms.