Terrorists, freedom fighters or double-standards?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Matt Black, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've hinted at this question once or twice, but think in my great and modest wisdom that it deserves a thread all of its own.

    I think most if not all of us agree that Hamas, the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade and associated suicide bombers are terrorists; in addition that Yasser Arafat's PLO Fatah faction were terrorists, at least until the Oslo Accords in 1993. But can we also agree the following:-

    1. That Avvraham Stern's LEHI gang which murdered the British minister to Egypt in November 1944 were terrorists?

    2. That Menachem Begin's Irgun Zwai Leumi who blew up the King David Hotel in 1946 were terrorists?

    3. That Ariel Sharon's actions in knowingly permitting and facilitating the massacres at the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982 (as an Israeli government enquiry found) were terrorist acts or war crimes?

    If we cannot agree on this, we have to ask ourselves why we cannot. Is it because we apply double standards (a Jewish terrorist is really a freedom fighter whereas an Arab terrorist is always a terrorist)? If, on the other hand we are saying that all of the above were terrorists, does this then mean that we are happy for former terrorists do go on to possess positions of power (viz Begin, Sharon, Arafat etc)and should our governments talk to them (eg UK gvt talking to Gerry Adams)?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Violence begets violence, regardless of the source. It is always wrong, in my opinion.

    You may bloody my nose, but the action will not resolve the issue, just shelve it for another day.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. stubbornkelly

    stubbornkelly
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,472
    Likes Received:
    0
    Friend speaks my mind, Jim.

    We call people "freedom fighters" when it's a cause we believe to be good, and "terrorists" when it's a cause we believe to be bad. It's also interesting to me how so few people understand that those we call terrorists believe themselves to be freedom fighters, and those we call freedom fighters are believed by others to be terrorists.
     
  4. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the difference lies in the targeting and targeting philosophy. For instance, if the targeting and intent is eject or disrupt an invading force or sabotage an enemy occupational target, I would believe that to be "not in the category" of terrorism.

    If however the target is chosen to inflict the most human/natural resource damage possible for the effect of scaring people and governments into submission, that is terrorism.

    You can readily tell the difference. There was no military or strategic advantages to hijaking the Achille Lauro. There was however a huge strategic advantage in the disruption of Nazi supply lines by the resistance during WWII.

    Terrorism is defined in the following way:

    So by this definition, the folks shooting at our forces in Iraq are not considered terrorists.
     
  5. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    USN2pulpit, I'd be interested in your source for the definition of terrorist.

    Taking your definition, let's look at some examples:-

    1. The two Stern-LEHI guys who murdered/ assassinated the British minister in 1944 were, from their POV targetting a political figure who was a member of the government of the country which they perceived to be occupying their homeland. On this basis, and certainly from their perspective, they were freedom fighters. OTOH their target was civilian not military and was outside the territory so occupied, also the said territory was mandated not occupied from a legal POV (although that's a bit of semantics); on this basis it was a terrorist act.

    2. The King David. Within occupied territory (as perceived by IZL but not international law) - freedom fighters. Civilian target with no discernible military or political significance - terrorist. On balance, terrorist, IMO

    3. Sabrah and Chatila refugee camps 1982 - largely civilian targets (although almost certainly containing PLO units), large number of civilian casualties, outside territory of Israel. More of a war crime than terrorist act, certainly not freedom fighters and arguably not a military action - that seems to have been the conclusion of the Israeli enquiry.

    4. Palestinian suicide bombing - outside occupied territories by and large (as pretty much defined by international law, although such extremist groups as Hamas will no doubt - wrongly -say that the state of Israel is included in 'occupied Palestine'), civilian targets, large civilian casualties, no disernible military or (positive) political effect - definitely terrorist. (Different perhaps if say they were targetting military units inside the Occupied Territories.)

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     

Share This Page

Loading...