A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 19, 2011
“Terrorism is the poor man’s war” ("War is the rich man’s terrorism")

The actor/writer Peter Ustinov (1921-2004) wrote in 2003, “Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” The term “terrorism is the poor man’s war” has been cited. in various forms, since at leat 1971, 1981, 1986 and 1996. After the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the terrorism was explained (falsely) by some news reports because of the alleged poverty of the attackers.

The reverse phrase, “war is the rich man’s terrorism,” has been cited in print since at least 2003, but might predate Ustinov’s writing.


Wikiquote: Peter Ustinov
Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE (16 April 1921 – 18 March 2004), born Peter Alexander von Ustinov, was an Academy Award-winning English-German actor, writer, dramatist and raconteur.
(...)
Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
. Achtung! Vorurteile (2003); original German: “Der Terrorismus, der im furchtbaren 11. September kulminierte, ist ein Krieg der Armen gegen die Reichen. Der Krieg ist ein Terrorismus der Reichen gegen die Armen.” typically cited in short: “Terrorismus ist der Krieg der Armen und der Krieg ist der Terrorismus der Reichen.”

Google Books
Assassination & Terrorism
Bu David C. Rapoport
Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
1971
Pg. 57:
The terrorist fights a “poor man’s war”.

Google Books
The Anti-Zionist Complex
By Jacques Givet
Englewood, NJ: SBS Pub.
1981
Pg. 84:
It is sometimes said that terrorism is the poor man’s, the underdog’s, way of waging war.

Google News Archive
20 April 1986, Palm Beach (FL) Post, pg. A17, col. 1:
Terrorists Forcing U.S. To Fight
Unconventional War, Experts Say

By Charles J. Hanley
The Associated Press
(...)
In the nuclear age, terrorism is the poor man’s weapon. He doesn’t need billion-dollar budgets to attack a superpower.

Google Books
U.S. National Security Policy and Strategy:
Documents and policy proposals

Edited by Robert A. Vitas and John Allen Williams
New York, NY: Greenwood Press
1996
Pg. 25:
Terrorists, and often their sympathizers invoke the banal phrase that “terrorism is the poor man’s war.”

Google News Archive
25 July 1996, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, “A poor man’s warfare,” Jeffrey Hart column, pg. A10, col. 1:
Terrorism is a poor man’s form of warfare, but warfare nevertheless.

Google Books
Arab and Israeli Terrorism:
The causes and effects of political violence, 1936 - 1993

By Kameel B. Nasr
Jefferson, NC:  McFarland
1997
Pg. 191:
Terrorism is a poor man’s war.

AnandTech Forums
Siddhartha
04-19-2003, 03:32 AM
Why do so many Muslims turn to terrorism to get their issues heard?
I read somewhere that “terrorism” is the poor man’s warfare.

Google Groups: soc.culture.french
Newsgroups: soc.culture.iranian, soc.culture.usa, soc.culture.french
From: “Big Ben”
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 09:55:28 +0000 (UTC)
Local: Thurs, Oct 30 2003 4:55 am
Subject: Re: Ramadhan is Here

ooops!  I meant to type terrorism is poor man’s war and war is RICH man’s terrorism!!

Yahoo! Answers
5 years ago
Mimi Di
Have you heard the quote “ Terrorism is the war of the poor, while war is the terrorism of the rich.”?
This was said by P. Ustinov.

Pakistan Defence
Cheetah786
06-04-2009 10:35 AM
THE TAMIL TIGERS’ LAST BATTLE
(...)
As the old saying goes, `war is the rich man’s terrorism; terrorism is the poor man’s war.’

Dan Carlin
Nergol
Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:26 pm
(...)
Someone said that “Terrorism is the poor man’s war, and war is the rich man’s terrorism”.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, July 19, 2011 • Permalink