17 August 2007
I note that The Times does not use the words ‘terrorists’, or ‘terrorism’ in its coverage of the slaughter of up to 500 Yazidi civilians in Northern Iraq. Instead, your report (August 16, 2007, Al-Qaeda bombing kills and maims 600) refers to ‘suicide truck bombers’ and ‘bombings.’. It seems that the media, sadly including your newspaper, is reluctant call a spade a spade. This is disrespectful to the victims, gives subtle cover to the terrorists and is an inaccurate use of language. The people who carried out this atrocity were clearly ‘using violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims’. This quotation is the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of a terrorist. Therefore, it would be correct to refer to the attacks as acts terrorism, and those who carried them out as terrorists, rather than the anodyne definition you choose.