Is Terrorism A Form Of Bullying?

As I’ve written before, the word “bullying” is broadly applied to many situations where it really isn’t relevant. But perhaps acts of terrorism are situations where it is.

This week in Boston, the issue has special meaning for us. Are terrorists, like bullies, intentionally targeting us for a campaign of cruelty from which we can’t defend ourselves? Theoretically, bullying has three characteristics: it’s intentional, repetitive, and takes advantage of a power imbalance. Like bullies, what terrorists do is certainly intentional – it’s no accident that people died, or were horribly injured, a week ago at the Boston Marathon; that’s undoubtedly exactly what these men intended. And what we’re seeing is also repetitive – terrorism would have much less impact if it was an isolated incident; it’s intended to be a Damacles Sword, hanging over us like a perpetual threat. Just like bullying. Continue reading