Tre Arrow is Not a Terrorist

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, Tre Arrow is a spoiled little brat who was always more interested in his own fame than in the movement he claimed to represent. This is a guy who used a pickup borrowed from the mother of one of his accomplices to torch some log trucks up at Eagle Creek. Plus, he just got caught in Canada trying to shoplift bolt cutters. These are not the actions of a rational decision maker.

Tre is a vandal, and he’s also an arsonist. But he’s not a terrorist. Terrorists kill people indiscriminately. Tre just burned up some equipment. Stupid? Yeah. Immature? You bet. Give the logging industry ammunition to attack environmentalists with? You better believe it. But that’s not terrorism.

Terrorism involves the indiscriminant destruction of human life. It’s about making people afraid to go about their lives because they fear for their safety. Does anyone honestly think that a bunch of big, strong, country loggers would be afraid of a skinny little hippy like Tre? Forget about it. But if you check the USA PATRIOT act for the definition of terrorism it says anyone who tries to force the government to change its policies is a terrorist. It makes no distinction between violent and non-violent force. So, according to the letter of the law, civil disobedience can be defined as terrorist activity.

So Tre gets labeled an eco-terrorist. Removing violent action from the definition of terrorism makes the concept slippery and hard to pin down. This cheapens the meaning of the term, and could turn into a situation where the war against terrorism becomes the war against anyone the government can get away with calling a terrorist.