The “Good Old Days” of Terrorism

It sounds silly, even offensive, doesn’t it. To think that there were “good old days of terrorism” – but bear with me for a second.

In its early days, terrorism somewhat made sense. You could “negotiate” with people who had an ethos, a set of goals which while nebulous and often obtuse, were still goals. Early terrorists were often inspired by socialism, the rhetoric was “liberation theory” and even though most of us knew that these people were nothing more than murderous psychopaths, they at least gave the appearance of being guided by a cause. The saying “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” came from this belief that early terrorists were fighting FOR something rather than just randomly attacking civilians. They made demands that at least somewhat made sense. “Free our imprisoned brothers and sisters” – their insults were always about capitalism and freedom and deep down those things resonate even with people who are averse to terrorism. I mean who doesn’t love freedom and the idea of sharing wealth instead of hoarding it?

Terrorists were seen as the extension of those coffeehouse hippies who ranted about socialism and the evils of capitalism and who just decided to be more proactive in their methods. But, to anyone paying attention, those hipster-looking, beret-wearing Che shirt idiots were not “freedom fighters, but the opposite – they wanted to take away our freedoms; our freedom of movement and our freedom to feel safe. and for most of us who are non-Jews, we didn’t feel like they were targeting US; I mean, sometimes a few would die, but it wasn’t targeted. We were just sometimes collateral damage.

There is a darker side to the nostalgia of the “good old days” as well, and it’s one that most people probably wont admit, let alone acknowledge. Ask yourself who the most targeted victims were of those earliest terrorists, and I think suddenly it becomes rather obvious. You see, their victimology was actually somewhat easier to predict. There was no “great Satan and little Satan” in those days, nor was there a nebulous “war between East and West.” It was between the East and West, but it was Communism and Capitalism, and the terrorists would often claim to be siding with the average working man who also had concerns about Capitalism. Ask yourself now, what did the most common victims of terrorism have in common? I will give you a hint: it rhymes with Jews.

Kōzō Okamoto of the Japanese Red Army

You see, Jews were the targets of the vast majority of international terrorism, to the point where the terrorists would often separate the Jewish passengers from the rest during hijackings. The Lod airport attack was conducted by Japanese terrorists who called themselves “the Japanese Red Army.” What the hell would they have against Israel? They conducted the attack on behalf of the PLO. What do Japanese leftists have in common with the PLO? At the time, the PLO was very secular, and were basically Socialists, while the Japanese Red Army terrorists were militant leftists. Same with Baader-Meinhof, another terrorist group that was also known by another name – “The Red Army Faction.” Sound familiar? That’s because it was a motif. Associating your group with Communism enabled two things: populism among the disaffected and poor, and possibly funding from the Communists, who were in full-on Cold War mode against the West. Despite all this, if you weren’t a Jew or an Israeli, you probably felt like you had little to worry about from these sorts of terrorists, at least until the Lod attack when several Christian pilgrims were also killed. But at the end of the day, these things happened in Europe, and mostly to Jews.

This all changed when Islamic terrorism became the norm. Suddenly, it was all about the “great Satan” and the West. Instead of hijacking planes and demanding concessions, it became car bombings and flying planes into buildings, no negotiation, and more importantly, no clear targets – just anyone who on the terrorists shit list. No negotiation meant no definable goal, and no way to understand what these people want.

So you see, now people are uncertain. They feel like the attacks are random and could happen at any time, and they cannot understand that this is exactly what Israel has been going through for decades, so they “long” for the “good old days” when terrorists had understandable motives and really only targeted Jews.


Ryan Bellerose

A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football, reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.

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