Terrorism is only effective at terrorizing us when we know who did it and why they committed an act of terror in the first place. Furthermore, “terrorism” is a political act with a clear objective. The act itself is supposed to send a message. It creates a threat demanding specific action.

Take, for example, the M62 coach bombing in northern England on February 4, 1974. The IRA placed a bomb on a coach carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel and their families. The explosion killed 15 people and injured 50. The BBC described this incident as “one of the IRA’s worst mainland terror attacks.” IRA Army Council member Dáithí Ó Conaill stated that the coach was bombed specifically because it was thought to be carrying only military personnel.

In this instance, the IRA claimed responsibility for the bombing. They explained why they targeted that particular coach. The message they sent was that no British Armed Forces will be safe as long as England continues its armed occupation of Northern Ireland. The IRA threatened further attacks unless a specific outcome is realized: a unified Ireland independent of British rule.

If we are to believe the corporate media reporting on the Paris attacks, these were perpetrated as “payback” for France’s meddling in Syria and the region. So isn’t it more accurate to describe this event as revenge?

I do not think random acts of indiscriminate violence and murder count as “terrorism.” The dictionary defines terrorism as “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.”

One would think the reaction of a government would be to protect its citizens when they are attacked by terrorists. Yet in the U.S. after 9/11, and now in France after the Friday the 13th attacks, the government is moving quickly to eradicate the privacy and freedoms citizens have enjoyed up to now.

It is interesting to note that the terrorists, who we are told are Muslim radicals, never seem to attack Israel, the enemy in their own backyard. After all, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Muslims as “dangerous animals” who “need to be defeated.” Apparently, ISIS felt soccer fans and concert-goers in Paris were a more appropriate target.

Nor do terrorists seem to target any government, corporate or banking officials—those who wield the true power to wage political, conventional and financial war on them. If one is to believe the buffoon George W. Bush, citizens are targeted because “they hate us for our freedoms.”

Apparently, governments think they can win the global war on terror by taking away our freedom, thus ridding the terrorists of their motivation. In so doing, aren’t governments bringing about the very outcome from which they claim to be protecting us?