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Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Options · View
DamonX
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:02:57 PM

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Quote:
"One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter."


I'm not sure where this quote came from, but I have heard it many times in academic circles. What do you think? Is is simply a matter of what side a person sits on? Or are there other factors at work?

And lets try and steer this away from the Americanocentric view of "terrorism" in relation to Muslim extremists and try and realize that there are many other "terrorists" in the world besides the ones constantly mentioned on FOX news. If you want to mention it, go ahead, but I don't want this to turn into another 9/11 thread.

I have my own views on the subject, but like always, I will wait until others post before giving my 2 cents.

Discuss and enjoy. icon_smile
Rembacher
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:45:13 PM

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I think it is simply a matter of what side you are on, whether we are talking Tamil Tigers, the IRA, the FLQ, or any other organization that fights for an ideal using guerrilla warfare against a much larger opponent. In one sense, I can't even blame them for their tactics. It's war, and you have to use a strategy that gives you a chance of winning. The gap in capabilities between an official government and an idealistic opposition seems to be a lot greater now, and with current military technology you can't just raise up a mass of people to win the fight. They will just get slaughtered. Since they can't fight on even ground technologically, they fight with shadow games, and targeted attacks, trying to strike fear in to a much larger opposition.

For those who do not know, the FLQ, while pretty much defunct now, were a Quebec separatist group here in Canada. In October of 1970 they kidnapped a diplomat and a politician causing Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act, one very short step below installling Martial Law. If you want to read more wikipedia has a decent outline of it here.

AI think that the best example that it is just a matter of perspective is Hollywood. People like Che Guevara and William Wallace are legendary figures, although they were essentially terrorists/freedom fighters. Hollywood even makes the outlaw Jesse James in to a Robin Hood-type freedom fighting folk hero, despite shaky evidence he was anything but a thief. If this type of behaviour was always seen as a negative, Hollywood would never have sold so many movies with these types of characters as the focus of the film.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:52:02 PM

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground_(organization)

Anytime a faction/belief challenges the establishment it is usually deemed terrorism.

Just so no one gets the wrong idea about the weather underground link above, I don't condone killing anyone in order to achieve your goals. I just found the documentary on them interesting and a different angle on the topic introduced by DamonX.

DamonX
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:07:01 PM

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I actually have a very good way of differentiating between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter"

A freedom fighter will direct his/her aggressiveness against occupying military forces. A terrorist will attack non-military, civilian targets.

The Viet Minh were freedom fighters. The Warsaw partisan resisters were freedom fighters. The FLQ bombers were terrorists. The Chechnyans that massacred school children in Beslan were terrorists.

LadyX
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:23:04 PM

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DamonX wrote:
I actually have a very good way of differentiating between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter"

A freedom fighter will direct his/her aggressiveness against occupying military forces. A terrorist will attack non-military, civilian targets.

The Viet Minh were freedom fighters. The Warsaw partisan resisters were freedom fighters. The FLQ bombers were terrorists. The Chechnyans that massacred school children in Beslan were terrorists.



That's pretty smart, I like that definition.
Rembacher
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:29:04 PM

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I agree with Damon to an extent, I just don't limit it to the military, I include all government forces. If you can kidnap the prime minister of Finland, chances are you can at least get some of your demands met if you are fighting for an independant Helsinki. Where I have trouble drawing a line is with a country's economy. Most countries are far more dependant on economic rather than military power now, so if you need to weaken them, that's the way to do it. But that is also where you encounter civilians, so I'm not sure if it is possible to damage an economy without hurting, and possibly killing civilians.
DamonX
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:17:46 AM

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Jebru wrote:
I agree with Damon to an extent, I just don't limit it to the military, I include all government forces. If you can kidnap the prime minister of Finland, chances are you can at least get some of your demands met if you are fighting for an independant Helsinki.Where I have trouble drawing a line is with a country's economy. Most countries are far more dependant on economic rather than military power now, so if you need to weaken them, that's the way to do it. But that is also where you encounter civilians, so I'm not sure if it is possible to damage an economy without hurting, and possibly killing civilians.


So...would you label Timothy McVeigh as as a freedom fighter then? He attacked a government building. Or the FLQ? They kidnapped and murdered politicians.

I think actions like this (as well as the supposed kidnapping of the prime minister of Finland) tend to be detrimental to a cause.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:36:41 AM

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Jebru wrote:
I agree with Damon to an extent, I just don't limit it to the military, I include all government forces. If you can kidnap the prime minister of Finland, chances are you can at least get some of your demands met if you are fighting for an independant Helsinki. Where I have trouble drawing a line is with a country's economy. Most countries are far more dependant on economic rather than military power now, so if you need to weaken them, that's the way to do it. But that is also where you encounter civilians, so I'm not sure if it is possible to damage an economy without hurting, and possibly killing civilians.


So, do you condone 'collateral damage' and/or political assassinations?

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Rembacher
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 11:11:36 AM

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WellMadeMale wrote:
Jebru wrote:
I agree with Damon to an extent, I just don't limit it to the military, I include all government forces. If you can kidnap the prime minister of Finland, chances are you can at least get some of your demands met if you are fighting for an independant Helsinki. Where I have trouble drawing a line is with a country's economy. Most countries are far more dependant on economic rather than military power now, so if you need to weaken them, that's the way to do it. But that is also where you encounter civilians, so I'm not sure if it is possible to damage an economy without hurting, and possibly killing civilians.


So, do you condone 'collateral damage' and/or political assassinations?


Where did I condone any of this behaviour? I don't condone collateral damage from terrorists/freedom fighters any more than I do from a military that drops bombs on houses, or other buildings from airplanes where they have no way of knowing for sure who is in the buildings.

To Damon, I don't know enough about Timothy McVeigh to comment on him, but the FLQ's mission was an independent Quebec, so yes, they were very much freedom fighters. If they had been successful they would be hailed as heroes to the separatist movement in Quebec, much like the leaders of the American revolution are hailed as heroes in the US, while they would have been branded as traitors and executed had they failed. Yes, the tactics were different, but I would imagine that the revolution soldiers captured members of the opposition, and in some cases would have tried and punished them as they saw fit.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 11:33:38 AM

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Jebru wrote:
WellMadeMale wrote:
Jebru wrote:
I agree with Damon to an extent, I just don't limit it to the military, I include all government forces. If you can kidnap the prime minister of Finland, chances are you can at least get some of your demands met if you are fighting for an independant Helsinki. Where I have trouble drawing a line is with a country's economy. Most countries are far more dependant on economic rather than military power now, so if you need to weaken them, that's the way to do it. But that is also where you encounter civilians, so I'm not sure if it is possible to damage an economy without hurting, and possibly killing civilians.


So, do you condone 'collateral damage' and/or political assassinations?


Where did I condone any of this behaviour? I don't condone collateral damage from terrorists/freedom fighters any more than I do from a military that drops bombs on houses, or other buildings from airplanes where they have no way of knowing for sure who is in the buildings.

To Damon, I don't know enough about Timothy McVeigh to comment on him, but the FLQ's mission was an independent Quebec, so yes, they were very much freedom fighters. If they had been successful they would be hailed as heroes to the separatist movement in Quebec, much like the leaders of the American revolution are hailed as heroes in the US, while they would have been branded as traitors and executed had they failed. Yes, the tactics were different, but I would imagine that the revolution soldiers captured members of the opposition, and in some cases would have tried and punished them as they saw fit.


You say that you include all of a governments 'forces'. Perhaps that comment requires clarification from you then. For instance...my father worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for over 30 years. As such he was an instrument of the US Federal Government. And he worked primarily inside of a air traffic control tower.

So, by your unexplained definition above...you wouldn't differentiate a terrorist attack on a 16 story ATC tower and all of its occupants, if that attack/toppling would have the affect of creating havoc on air traffic?

Or, the McVeigh thing where the Alfred P Murrah building housed government agencies - so those people of those agencies were agents of the government that would being attacked, rather than a military base or traditional hard military target.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Rembacher
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 11:42:23 AM

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The original question was whether we agree with the statement that one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I said I agree with that. If they are freedom fighters, then it is a war, and in wars you do go after infrastructure as well as traditional military installations. That's all I was saying, and that's all I will say.
LadyX
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:44:29 PM

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WellMadeMale wrote:
Jebru wrote:
WellMadeMale wrote:

So, do you condone 'collateral damage' and/or political assassinations?


Where did I condone any of this behaviour? I don't condone collateral damage from terrorists/freedom fighters any more than I do from a military that drops bombs on houses, or other buildings from airplanes where they have no way of knowing for sure who is in the buildings.

To Damon, I don't know enough about Timothy McVeigh to comment on him, but the FLQ's mission was an independent Quebec, so yes, they were very much freedom fighters. If they had been successful they would be hailed as heroes to the separatist movement in Quebec, much like the leaders of the American revolution are hailed as heroes in the US, while they would have been branded as traitors and executed had they failed. Yes, the tactics were different, but I would imagine that the revolution soldiers captured members of the opposition, and in some cases would have tried and punished them as they saw fit.


You say that you include all of a governments 'forces'. Perhaps that comment requires clarification from you then. For instance...my father worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for over 30 years. As such he was an instrument of the US Federal Government. And he worked primarily inside of a air traffic control tower.

So, by your unexplained definition above...you wouldn't differentiate a terrorist attack on a 16 story ATC tower and all of its occupants, if that attack/toppling would have the affect of creating havoc on air traffic?

Or, the McVeigh thing where the Alfred P Murrah building housed government agencies - so those people of those agencies were agents of the government that would being attacked, rather than a military base or traditional hard military target.


I don't think there's anything in this discussion that involves what we might condone personally, if anything. The discussion is how we differentiate, if we can at all, between Terrorism and Freedom Fighting.

Using Damon's standard- I don't think I would extend the 'freedom-fighting' category to political figures. I think once you go past armed soldiers, you've crossed an important line. Assassinations, bombings, kidnappings- they all serve to disrupt and create chaos in the most shocking ways possible, not to simply rack up soldier deaths and try to gain power that way.
sprite
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 1:49:04 PM

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Perpsective is so much a part of this... it's easy to support a group if you believe in their casue, even if their tactics are deplorable. The IRA is a good example of this. I know a lot of folk who want Irish independence, and i tend to agree with them. That said, when the targets become civilians, i think you cross the line. I think that Damon has the definitive answer here - a freedom fighter is someone who targets military personal and a terrorist is someone who targets civilians. in my thoughts, it's pretty cut and dried. Of course...

ok, opening up a can of worms here, it being the anniversary of V-J Day, Japan's surrender to the US in 1945. We dropped bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It wasn't collateral damage. They were specifically targeted at Japanese citizens. was that an act of war or a terrorist act?

i DO understand the rational behind it (understand, put perhaps disagree). It was meant to save untold thousands of lives, both of US forces and Japanese civilians, who might have suffered even more heavily if we'd invaded the country. Still... did that act define the USA as terrorists?

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/hardcore/west-coast-games-part-one-the-beach.aspx
MrNudiePants
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 5:52:23 PM

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sprite wrote:

ok, opening up a can of worms here, it being the anniversary of V-J Day, Japan's surrender to the US in 1945. We dropped bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It wasn't collateral damage. They were specifically targeted at Japanese citizens. was that an act of war or a terrorist act?


Hmmmm.... Please allow me to blur the lines even more. In WWII, valid targets of Allied bombings included any factory, petroleum refinery, fuel storage depot, train yard... pretty much any facility that served to advance the Axis war effort. These factories, and rail yards, and ancillary facilities were all staffed by civilians, and in most cases, were located in residential areas. Bombing of these targets meant civilian casualties, no question. Destroying these facilities did indeed serve to negatively affect the German war effort. In light of what we know now, regarding the German treatment of Jews, Gypsies, and others in the death camps... Would it be fair to say that the greater good outweighed the lesser negative? IN acting to end the war, and save countless Jewish lives, were the Allies justified in bringing about the deaths of a few thousand "innocent" civilians?

I say that we were justified, not only in Germany, but also in Japan. Of course, in staying that, I have the benefit of hindsight. Our generals and admirals knew nothing of the death camps when they ordered those attacks. I also have the benefit of coming from one of the countries that was on the winning side of that war. It's been said that history is written by the victors.

I think that the most eloquent justification for becoming a "freedom fighter" was laid down by America's forefathers, in our Declaration of Independence:

Quote:
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.


I believe that if a cause can be judged by those words, then chances are that the cause is just, and so are any of those who fight for it.

Guest
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 7:05:25 PM

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size=9]Well, let me answer with another question:

If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire - just what exactly do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it, do they?
[/size][/img][/img]
LadyX
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 8:08:48 PM

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SexyBexy wrote:
Well, let me answer with another question:

If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire - just what exactly do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it, do they?


LOL never thought about it that way, Becky.

I don't think that would apply to all 'freedom fighter' groups though, do you? I mean, I think the majority of them are to the point of fighting and killing because their freedom is either non-existent or is being taken away. Granted, the other side either sees it differently, or feels justified in suppressing their freedom, and there's nothing 'free' about dying for somebody else's cause, but 'freedom fighters' are fighting for their own freedom, not necessarily against others' freedoms.

Welcome to Think Tank, SexyBexy! hello2
DamonX
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 8:45:45 PM

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Jebru wrote:
The original question was whether we agree with the statement that one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I said I agree with that. If they are freedom fighters, then it is a war, and in wars you do go after infrastructure as well as traditional military installations. That's all I was saying, and that's all I will say.


I get what you are saying Jebru. But I think there is a difference between the actions of nations at war and people who are trying to simply gain publicity for their cause.

I don't think that you can compare the FLQ to the American Revolutionaries or the Viet Minh. The latter two were fighting occupying military powers and were thus...at war. The FLQ was not at war. They were trying to create one. Hmm...that sounds like the making of a new Damonological quote. :)

The minute men killed redcoats. They didn't go to London and blow up post offices or kill school children. If they did that...then I would deem them terrorists.

And we can't compare these types of conflicts to the "Total War" of WW2. Let's take the Japan comments over to the A-bomb thread and keep this one focused on the smaller conflicts.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:49:33 PM

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Was young America guilty of being terroristic towards the Native American Indian population or was it the other way around? Or should we create a separate thread for this, too?

Were the Mujahideen, freedom fighters vs the Soviets...and America's proxy ally via the CIA (in the 1980s) while in the 2000's they are the terrorists and the enemy of freedom everywhere, now?



If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 12:12:42 AM

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I'm sure it really depends which side you ask. Take the French resistance of World War Two couldn't be a better example of freedom fighters they were trying to free their nation and home. I'm sure you ask the Germans they probably viewed them as terrorists. Ya know?


Another good example yeah Damon I know ya gonna hate this but the American Revolution I am damn sure England viewed the Rebels as terrorists not freedom fighters.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:13:21 AM

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DamonX wrote:


The minute men killed redcoats. They didn't go to London and blow up post offices or kill school children. If they did that...then I would deem them terrorists.


Actually, a good part of the revolutionaries' complaints were that the British soldiers were committing similar "terrorist" acts. Redcoats would move into a town, and just order things as they wanted. They would quarter soldiers in peoples houses, "requisition" supplies and food, confiscate arms and ammunition, mostly without recompense. Any citizens that objected were beaten, shot, or hanged as traitors. I'm sure the British governors thought that these things were their right. I'm sure the townspeople felt otherwise. One of my questions would be, "How much has actual history been revised by the victors in any conflict?" I honestly don't think it's possible for there to be any sources of information that are truly incorruptible.

You mentioned the Viet Minh earlier. I was raised up as a child of the sixties and seventies. This meant that to me, the Viet Cong were despicable, traitors to South Viet Nam, and terrorists. In reality, how much do I really know about the conflict, and all the political machinations that made things happen over there during that time? Despite having lived through the period, I doubt I'll ever know much of the truth behind the stories. (And this is partly my own fault, inasmuch as I thoroughly preferred getting high and getting laid to watching wartime news footage on PBS.)

Dancing_Doll
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 11:34:22 AM

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DamonX wrote:
Quote:
"One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter."


I'm not sure where this quote came from, but I have heard it many times in academic circles. What do you think? Is is simply a matter of what side a person sits on? Or are there other factors at work?


In my opinion, I see them as fundamentally different in motive. Freedom fighters are trying to reclaim something that is philosophically idealistic... such as liberation, regaining land, freedom/equality, or some kind of political goal. They have been oppressed and are rising up to take back some kind of 'ideal', however they are defining it. I tend to see it as a rise of the defenders of those ideals, that while having the potential to be destructive towards the opposing or oppressive force, is seen as an uprising for the greater good of the entire oppressed group.

I see terrorists as those whose primary motive is to destroy. Destruction of another groups ideals/motives by using innocent civilians to set the example, in order to bring attention to whatever message they seek to be brought to the forefront. It has nothing to do with regaining something lost, or benefiting the goals of an oppressed group... but merely to inflict psychological damage on the enemy for the sake of instilling fear and enjoying the immediate attention of being a destructive force. No act of terror is going to have any kind of positive effect or gain in whatever their goals are. Usually it has nothing to do with their plight. It's just serving a psychological message.

Both groups will feel justified, of course... they are just carrying out their strategies in fundamentally different ways. I think freedom fighters have a more tangible, concrete goal or purpose, whereas terrorists have more of a psychological goal behind their actions. It seems that these lines can often blur in modern warfare, or at least in a certain faction or percentage of extreme individuals who parade under the banner of "freedom fighter" but then use terrorism on a grass-roots level, such as militia in parts of Africa who routinely use rape, torture and commit human rights abuses to terrorize and degrade another group, under the guise of achieving some kind of political purpose.


Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 12:07:34 PM

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I guess it all depends on who wins the conflict. Keep in mind I'm no historian but when Algeria was fighting for it's independence from France they used terrorist tactics and guerilla warfare. To the French I'm sure they seemed liked terrorists and if Algeria would have lost I'm sure that's how it would of gone down in the history books. Since Algeria won their freedom you can't call them anything but freedom fighters even though they used terrorism. There's a really great movie about it called "The Battle of Algiers" about the war. I recommend it to anyone interested in this topic or just great movies in general.



LadyX
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 5:39:08 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:

You mentioned the Viet Minh earlier. I was raised up as a child of the sixties and seventies. This meant that to me, the Viet Cong were despicable, traitors to South Viet Nam, and terrorists. In reality, how much do I really know about the conflict, and all the political machinations that made things happen over there during that time? Despite having lived through the period, I doubt I'll ever know much of the truth behind the stories. (And this is partly my own fault, inasmuch as I thoroughly preferred getting high and getting laid to watching wartime news footage on PBS.)


Couldn't resist, but I think this is relevant to the subject.

Somebody else mentioned benefit of hindsight in judging war, terrorism, etc. Here's a good case where hindsight means that we know that the reality is much different than most people thought around the time of the Vietnam War. The people in power knew better even then, but they didn't care, because the truth did not serve their interests.

The "good guys" of South Vietnam, that American soldiers were sent to fight for, and with, weren't that good at all. They were corrupt imperialists who propped up a system like so many places, where all the wealth is held by very few, at the expense of everyone else. After being occupied by oppressive forces off and on for hundreds of years, most recently the Japanese who starved millions when they occupied it, the French swooped back in to try to cling to their colony.

Three different communist parties combined had the vast majority of Vietnam's people's support, which is something that the US government knew at the time. The French were wanting to continue exploiting the people and the land for their own benefit, and the people weren't going to take it any more. With help from China and a near-unified North, they fought the French head-on for their own freedom from that old system. The US, both in support of their ally France and out of fear that communism would soon take over the world- or something like that- sent troops into that buzzsaw. All the while, our government and media had the audacity to talk about our forces being 'freedom fighters', there to save the poor Vietnamese people from those evil communists!

Of course they didn't want to be 'saved', unless you mean from the puppet government in South Vietnam. They did everything they could to kill as many French and US soldiers as they could, just like you probably would if an enemy country invaded yours- blowing up towns, raping women, but most importantly: actively trying to keep an oppressive, corrupt government in power at your expense.

I'm not one that thinks there is a clear line between terrorism and freedom fighting. Like most everyone has said, it depends on your perspective, even though sometimes I think it's much more one than the other. Freedom fighters like the Viet Minh and the Viet Cong- and I absolutely take the stand that they were freedom fighters- did terroristic things. They were not perfect, and they were not always saintly in their method. But, they were standing up for freedom that they did not have, that two world powers were actively fighting against. They didn't want to just cause mayhem and scare people, they wanted Western soldiers the hell out of their country. Were there people there that didn't want what the North Vietnamese were selling? Of course, starting with those benefiting from French rule, and others too, I'm sure. But it was a vast minority. Most supported the freedom fighters, and to them, they couldn't be farther from terrorists.







DamonX
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:50:34 PM

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Quote:
Actually, a good part of the revolutionaries' complaints were that the British soldiers were committing similar "terrorist" acts. Redcoats would move into a town, and just order things as they wanted. They would quarter soldiers in peoples houses, "requisition" supplies and food, confiscate arms and ammunition, mostly without recompense. Any citizens that objected were beaten, shot, or hanged as traitors. I'm sure the British governors thought that these things were their right. I'm sure the townspeople felt otherwise. One of my questions would be, "How much has actual history been revised by the victors in any conflict?" I honestly don't think it's possible for there to be any sources of information that are truly incorruptible.


I'm not sure if you are agreeing with me or not on this one. I'll try and give you the benefit of the doubt though. I hope its not another reading error on your part, although I fear it might be just that. I did claim that the american revolutionaries were NOT terrorists.


Quote:
You mentioned the Viet Minh earlier. I was raised up as a child of the sixties and seventies. This meant that to me, the Viet Cong were despicable, traitors to South Viet Nam, and terrorists. In reality, how much do I really know about the conflict, and all the political machinations that made things happen over there during that time? Despite having lived through the period, I doubt I'll ever know much of the truth behind the stories. (And this is partly my own fault, inasmuch as I thoroughly preferred getting high and getting laid to watching wartime news footage on PBS.)


I guess most people don't really know about the Viet Minh, since that was the name given to the Vietnamese freedom fghters that fought for independence against the Japanese and the French before the Americans got involved. And as we all know...unless the USA is involved, that part of history is often deemed inconsequential. That seems to be par for the course though...Unless Oliver Stone makes a movie about it, nobody really gives a fuck.

In my opinion, the Viet Minh were the epitome of the term "freedom fighter." They fought against invaders and imperialistic forces that sought to control their country. I would love to expand on this subject and on the Viet Cong, but it seems like the topic for another thread? Xuani? Want to start that one? I have a few thoughts on the subject that I would love to share. :)
DamonX
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:08:19 AM

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bikebum1975 wrote:
I'm sure it really depends which side you ask. Take the French resistance of World War Two couldn't be a better example of freedom fighters they were trying to free their nation and home. I'm sure you ask the Germans they probably viewed them as terrorists. Ya know?


Another good example yeah Damon I know ya gonna hate this but the American Revolution I am damn sure England viewed the Rebels as terrorists not freedom fighters.


Why would I hate that, Bikebum? I'm sure they may have viewed the rebels as "terrorists," although I don't think that term was used back then. I think they actually referred to them, as you said, rebels. Or in the least, a goup of malcontents that didn't want to pay their taxes....

Has nobody grasped the fact that I have stated the American rebels were not "terrorists?" Not everything I say is anti-american. "Ya know?". icon_smile

Quote:
Where the Mujahideen, freedom fighters vs the Soviets...and America's proxy ally via the CIA (in the 1980s) while in the 2000's they are the terrorists and the enemy of freedom everywhere, now?


Review your history. The "Mujahideen" was the name given to anyone oposing the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. After the soviets were expelled, the remaining "Mujahadeen" groups then engaged in a civil war to gain control over the country. The one that eventually gained control was the Taliban. Many of the other "Mujahideen" formed the Northern Alliance that opposed the Taliban and allied themselves with the Western forces during the UN sanctioned invasion.

Sometimes you need to actually learn the history, and not just watch the latest Tom Hanks movie to know the actual facts. :)

Maybe we should start an Afghanistan thread? And a Native american thread? See? In the hallowed halls of the think tank, the possibilities are endless!
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:17:39 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,774
DamonX wrote:
bikebum1975 wrote:
I'm sure it really depends which side you ask. Take the French resistance of World War Two couldn't be a better example of freedom fighters they were trying to free their nation and home. I'm sure you ask the Germans they probably viewed them as terrorists. Ya know?


Another good example yeah Damon I know ya gonna hate this but the American Revolution I am damn sure England viewed the Rebels as terrorists not freedom fighters.


Why would I hate that, Bikebum? I'm sure they may have viewed the rebels as "terrorists," although I don't think that term was used back then. I think they actually referred to them, as you said, rebels. Or in the least, a goup of malcontents that didn't want to pay their taxes....

Has nobody grasped the fact that I have stated the American rebels were not "terrorists?" Not everything I say is anti-american. "Ya know?". icon_smile



I was joking with that one man.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:09:09 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,774
I'm going to oversimplify here and say, if they're killing innocents does it matter if they can justify their cause? Does it even matter if they're innocents?
If everybody could stop killing each other for a second and take a serious stab at diplomacy the whole ass-hat business of war might be....I'm not going to say non-existent or not necessary because that’s naive and there will always be a militant faction in society...I actually can't think of the appropriate word, it's probably somewhere in the realm of 'not-having-as-many-casulties-or-lasting-so-long-with-professional-soldiers-and-robots'. I'd love to say diplomacy works perfectly, but it doesn't, especially if everybody's not playing off the same cheat sheet

The important thing is not to look at conflict anachronistically, when these things were happening there was a whole other set of circumstances, and societies were conditioned differently in terms of social and political will and expectations.
Look at the younger generation now, a large number are hardly aware of what's happening outside their own country (this is speaking from an Australian perspective) and frankly, don't care about it as long as it doesn't affect them. Society conditioning them to think this way....aside from the concept that they might have all been turned into snotrags from too much youtube porn.
I want to kick myself for saying this, but community values (AHHHH) and social influences mould our attitudes - yes I know I get a captain obvious badge for this - but it's scary to think that over 90000 of these guys just joined the electoral roll and most of them are going to give a swing vote because both of the major party leaders are geeks. It's enough to make you tremble in your baby seal skin boots that the PR guy's are going to have more success than the policy guys this year.

So how does this relate to the actual question? I know it looks like I've gone on a tangent, but I never said my logic wasn't twisted. What this long ramble amounts to is that the question asked is essentially irrelevant, as is the debate about the validity of actions as long as our own perspectives influence us and our judgements. The debate dates from early Herodotus and Thucydides over what history really is and how it should be recorded, for anyone interested Ken Webb does a very good summary, as do Curthroys and Docker who wrote the fascinating book - 'Is history fiction?'.

*Gets off my soapbox* Aaaand I'm done

XX
BB
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:27:04 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
DamonX wrote:

Quote:
Actually, a good part of the revolutionaries' complaints were that the British soldiers were committing similar "terrorist" acts. Redcoats would move into a town, and just order things as they wanted. They would quarter soldiers in peoples houses, "requisition" supplies and food, confiscate arms and ammunition, mostly without recompense. Any citizens that objected were beaten, shot, or hanged as traitors. I'm sure the British governors thought that these things were their right. I'm sure the townspeople felt otherwise. One of my questions would be, "How much has actual history been revised by the victors in any conflict?" I honestly don't think it's possible for there to be any sources of information that are truly incorruptible.


I'm not sure if you are agreeing with me or not on this one. I'll try and give you the benefit of the doubt though. I hope its not another reading error on your part, although I fear it might be just that. I did claim that the american revolutionaries were NOT terrorists.


You must have misread what I posted. Maybe if you read it over again, you'll see that (despite my natural impulse to the contrary) I'm not only agreeing with you, but expanding on your post to include a few items you hadn't mentioned. Christ on a fucking griddle, must you ALWAYS be so contrarian?

savanna
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:50:13 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/10/2010
Posts: 2,337
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel


I'm not sure if you are agreeing with me or not on this one. I'll try and give you the benefit of the doubt though. I hope its not another reading error on your part, although I fear it might be just that. I did claim that the american revolutionaries were NOT terrorists.
[/quote]

You must have misread what I posted. Maybe if you read it over again, you'll see that (despite my natural impulse to the contrary) I'm not only agreeing with you, but expanding on your post to include a few items you hadn't mentioned. Christ on a fucking griddle, must you ALWAYS be so contrarian? [/quote]



Now Now be nice Make Love not war. Oh not to each other please. Now that will break my heart.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:53:25 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
savanna wrote:

Now Now be nice Make Love not war. Oh not to each other please. Now that will break my heart.


Trust me, Sav - you have no need to fear of a broken heart... (LOL)



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