The fact that these autocratic leaders are now vilifying each other with the same language does not bode well for their future. Their strategy of employing the cult-like, reverential fetish surrounding the word terrorism to end dissent is backfiring badly.
They ought to take note of what happened to Yanukoyvch when he tried to label an uprising against himself as “terrorists,” “Nazis,” “extremists,” etc.
Applying the word terrorist to democratic dissidents no longer automatically convinces most people that such the person to whom the label is being applied is a subhuman entity.
The Middle Eastern versions of McCarthyism are destined to end up discarded and discredited.
Furthermore, these self-righteous dictatorships ignore their own role in creating violent insurgencies like ABM or al-Qaeda. Their gulags and extensive use of torture certainly helped give impetus to the momentum gained by these movements. The frequent wars they wage, sponsor, and foster also strongly fuel these organizations.
In a sense, the governments do not want their bogeymen to disappear and would privately mourn their passing. But now that popular protest and other strategies are increasingly replacing warfare as a means of political change, they are being forced to react in ways that are not working well.
It is also obvious that torture is terrorism and those who practice it are terrorists.
Not only the hypocrisy but also the rhetorical plagiarism ought to embarrass these elites. Especially as in the past they often denounced certain of the originators of the phrases they now employ.
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