QuestionI watched Paradise Now last night and it left me with this question: Why are suicide bombers villains and homicide bombers heroes?
      – Scarletxstarlet, 2009-10-29 at 23:58:08   (17 comments)

On 2009-10-30 at 02:11:44, DigitalBoss wrote...
Do you mean in real life, or in the show? I thought suicide bombers and homicide bombers were one and the same.
On 2009-10-30 at 03:58:16, BorgClown wrote...
Haven't seen the show, but I suppose homicide bombers get to do it again and again, as opposed to suicide bombers who are willing to die for an ideal. Bombing is the wrong way to express yourself, but suicide bombing carries a strong commitment, and homicidal bombing might be just cowardice.
On 2009-10-30 at 13:26:47, DigitalBoss wrote...
Originally, "homicide bomber" was used by some to push the fact that "suicide bomber" was not describing the situation correctly, that this person not only committed suicide, but killed others too. I thought they were the same.
On 2009-10-30 at 21:05:45, Melchior wrote...
I'm not aware that homicide bombers would be considered heroes.
On 2009-10-31 at 03:00:47, BorgClown wrote...
@DigitalBoss/Melchior: Yeah, those are the same because suicidal bombers like to die with company, but I tried to answer within the context I got from the question. I think that all instances of killing with people unfair advantage are cowardice. But even if they suicide bombed themselves only, they are not heroes, but an heroes: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/an-hero
On 2009-10-31 at 08:11:28, Melchior wrote...
What's the context I missed? I don't get it, seems pretty straightforward.
On 2009-10-31 at 15:23:25, DigitalBoss wrote...
It is the premise of the question that is confusing. At one time, the people who wore or carried bombs into crowds of people and detonated/killed themselves, and many other people, were called suicide bombers. Some started calling them homicide bombers because the "suicide" label infers that only one person was killed. That label inferred by many to mean that the killer was really just a martyr and had some sort of justification for their actions, hence the attempt to change the label. I did not see the show mentioned, but they must be trying to redefine "homicide" bomber to that of a person that murders people with a bomb, but does not kill themselves, and should just be called a bomber, or murderer. That for instance, Eric Rudolph, who set off a bomb in Centennial Olympic Park, here in Atlanta. He did not die, he left a backpack and walked away. He was not called a homicide bomber then, he was just called a bomber, or murderer. "Homicide bomber" to me has always just meant suicide bomber by another name.
On 2009-10-31 at 15:32:40, DigitalBoss wrote...
Let me try and say that a different way. "Homicide bomber" and "suicide bomber" have, up until now, I guess, meant the same thing. Evidently, there are some people, who want to, or have, redefined "homicide bomber" to label a person who sets off a bomb and kills people, but does not die himself. We used to just call these people bombers.
On 2009-10-31 at 23:48:00, BorgClown wrote...
There are four combinations of bombing: Killing or not killing other people (homicidal), and killing themselves or not while doing it (suicidal). The ambiguousness comes from trying to use an adjective for the two conditions, but I reckon it's hard to say "homicidal suicide bomber" instead of suicide bomber. Hell, thinking of how Americans like short words, it's amazing you haven't started calling them "Suicidal Bs" in the news =P
On 2009-11-02 at 11:41:28, Lee J Haywood wrote...
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attack#Usage_of_term We don't use the word homicide at all in the UK, except in rare legal circumstances - it's very American I feel (we usually just say 'murder'). The reality is that we all know that suicide bombers blow themselves up with the express purpose of killing others - it's irrelevant what words are used to describe them when the common meaning is so well defined. If someone goes to a shed and detonates a bomb to commit suicide, with no-one else around, you'd just call them a suicide victim. It'd be an unusual way to kill yourself though, and not very relevant to suicide bombers.
On 2009-11-04 at 04:59:48, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
Oh, by homicide bombers I actually meant the military.
On 2009-11-04 at 05:00:13, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
Although I guess suicide bombers are also homicide bombers, as almost all of you pointed out.
On 2009-11-04 at 07:59:40, BorgClown wrote...
Kamikazes were heroes, at least to the Japanese.
On 2009-11-04 at 10:34:28, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Could you say that the military aren't heroes without sounding unpatriotic? It's true that the military are just as likely to bomb insurgents as they are to try and 'peacefully' arrest them. It's perhaps unsurprising that the Taliban, etc., will resort to suicide bombing when they're under so much pressure from our military. I've never really thought of suicide bombers as being particularly successful though. They may kill a few random people in a marketplace, or even damage a government building, but they simply set back / slow the rate of progress - they don't stop it. On the other hand, the Americans are never going to win the hearts and minds of the Taliban.
On 2009-11-04 at 17:45:24, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: "Could you say that the military aren't heroes without sounding unpatriotic?" No, not really. But I'm very much against nationalism for the sake of nationalism, so I'm comfortable with that. Of course I think it is brave to risk your life for other people, or for a cause, but it can also be stupid. If your cause is false, your sacrifice is wasted. If the people you want to save could have been helped otherwise, then your sacrifice is a tragic non-necessity. And if, as in the case of Operation 'Iraqi Freedom,' the entire thing is bullshit all the way through, you would have to be foolish to volunteer to die. The Fox Network likes to inform its viewers that people such as myself do not appreciate what our soldiers are doing, and that may be true, but if they appreciate it so much, why aren't they showing pictures of the coffins coming home? Why isn't there any footage of the funerals? If you want to honor a fallen soldier's life, you have to acknowledge their death.
On 2009-11-04 at 17:48:38, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: It's unfortunate that so many were already signed-up to the military and had to participate in what they themselves saw as an unnecessary incursion. Nationalism has its place in times of conflict, but so does the need for global unity. For fallen soldiers, you can respect that they risked their lives when requested to do so by their country but not respect their country for risking their lives in the first place.
On 2009-11-04 at 21:35:32, Melchior wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: "Oh, by homicide bombers I actually meant the military." Probably more true now. I'm not sure how true this is, but I remember being told something about WW2 and the RAF. Everyone loved the fighter pilots, but bomber pilots got relatively little respect. I guess being bombed by the Germans made it hard to think favourably about doing the same in reverse.