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One Terrorist is Not Someone’s Freedom Fighter

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The phrase that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter is wrong. To believe that is to devalue those who seek true liberty. For example, some have compared the Iraqi “insurgents” to our own revolutionary soldiers under George Washington. The America that Washington helped establish became a beacon of freedom. We know what will happen if the Islamic terrorists and former Baathists gain power in Iraq or anywhere else. We have seen it before. We witnessed the oppression of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the horrors of Saddam. So how could a group of men who fought for a freedom that stood the test of time be compared to terrorists who would enslave their own people?

Those who kill the innocent in terrorist activities as part of a deliberate policy are not freedom fighters. Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Dutch artist Theo Van Gogh, told the Dutch court, “I take responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion. I can assure you that one day, should I be set free, I would do the same exactly, the same.” He turned to Van Gogh’s mother and said, “I don’t feel your pain. I have to admit that I don’t have any sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because you’re a non-believer.”

These terrorists are showing no mercy and no quarter. For them, it is a battle to the death and if they gain control, they will not show mercy for those they conquer.

Since our own revolution, not all revolutions have produced more liberties as an end result. Whereas the American Revolution set in motion a country conceived in liberty, the French revolution produced Napoleon. The Russian Revolution unleashed a virus of totalitarianism that killed millions. Can we truly equate those Russian revolutionaries and the modern day Islamic terrorists with those soldiers who survived Valley Forge?

Mohammad Bouyeri made it very clear what is at stake. This is a war against Liberty. To equate these terrorist individuals with those soldiers who stood freezing in 1776 insults those who fought for the expansion of the freedom in the past and are still doing it today.

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About Tom Donelson

  • Freedom fighters kill the people who are oppressing them (or the militaries under them). Terrorists decide they are being oppressed and start killing innocent 3rd parties.

  • And yet, Freedom Fighters are always called terrorists by the oppressors. Irgun was classified as a terrorist organization by the British in the Mandate of Palestine. That’s not the opinion of everyone. So while not all terrorists are anyone’s freedom fighters, not all terrorists aren’t.

  • billy

    you have pointed out the differences between the two but you miss the obvious similarities.

    England was a “foreign invader” trying to “occupy” America and the founding fathers were “guerillas” or “insurgents” in the sense that they were fighting the invader in their own backyard trying to get them to leave and butt out.

    of course our founders werent like terrorists in their motives, but it is real instructive to understand how the rag-tag group of founding fathers defeated england.

    it was in their backyard. they have nowhere else to go, while eventually england went home. that is the only logical conclusion to a guerilla war.

    to ignore that is a disservice to the troops since they are being asked to stay in the terrorists back yard.

  • England was a “foreign invader” trying to “occupy” America and the founding fathers were “guerillas” or “insurgents” in the sense that they were fighting the invader in their own backyard trying to get them to leave and butt out.

    Actually, that’s not right, and deeply misleading as well. The colonists were, if you want to take your construction to its logical end, among the foreign invaders occupying America against a well entrenched native population who were engaged in their own periodic guerilla war of attrition that didn’t peter out until Wounded Knee.

    Seriously dude, did you forget that the English only became “invaders” or “occupiers” after the signing of the Declaration of Independence? The issues that led to war came about initially because the colonists did not feel that their rights as Englishmen were being adequately respected by Parliament. “No Taxation Without Representation!” was not a call for home rule but a call for England to accept a certain amount of input from the Colonies on how their affairs were to be managed so that they could stay happy English subjects. Although certain prominent Founders began referring to themselves as “Americans” quickly, others though of themselves as Englishmen (Franklin, until the mid 1770s) or natives of their colonies and also English subjects until events overcame their loyalty to the crown.

    There was nothing of the “invader” or the “guerilla” about the Revolution until 1770 and the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party, and only then because Paul Revere and Samuel Adams made damn sure the rest of the Colonies read in the papers accounts of events designed to put the English in the worst possible light. Parliament didn’t help matters with their cack-handed managing of taxes, governance, and Army occupation in the years leading up to 1776, but the “occupier/guerilla” dynamic, insofar as it applies at all, only became valid as an ex post description of events.

    Yes, the war become a fight between an occupying force and insurgents, but those words do more to obscure what happened in the late 18th century than they do to illuminate any connections between any situtations then and now. There’s no comparison; 1776 was a different world. Even using modern words like “freedom fighters,” “insurgents” and “terrorists” in the context of the Revolution, weighted down as they are with their own modern meanings, is like trying to talk about the gas pedal on a Conestoga wagon.

  • Governments always call things to their own advantage… doesn’t matter. Reality isn’t government propaganda. You don’t like oppression, fight the oppressors, don’t go blow up some kids on the street.

  • RJ

    Michael Moore and his mindless, hateful ilk can compare Osama’s minions to George Washington all they like. It doesn’t make it true…

  • Anthony G

    Whoever calls Washington and his men insurgents is a mindless maniac that should be put to sleep.

    We went to Iraq not for our benefit, but to the benefit of the Iraqi people. to give them a free society.

    England was here for their own benefit. To get rich off our land. They put heavy taxes on us. Did we ever impose any kind of tax on the Iraqis? Did we do anything to harm them.

    Did George Washington blow up his own people? No, that would be a terrorist thing to do.

    You could actually compare Washinton to Bush. They both started a war for the benefit of the people.

    The insurgents in Iraq are currently blowing up Iraqi women and children. They are the cause for terror in Iraq, not us.

  • Drew Pace

    Clearly, George Washington considered himself a terrorist against the British occupiers. He devised and carried out many terroristic plans, hung loyalists, tortured enemies, and killed women and children to pursue his admirable goals. He warned us in as he departed office after 8 years not to get bogged down in foriegn wars that will bankrupt us and do not concern our vital interests. We need a covert war on terror, get out of Iraq.

  • Bstash

    This is in response to Johno #4… so what i get from your comment is that you’re anti american revolution and anti america since the only reason america supported independence from England is because Sam Adams and Paul Revere made “damn sure the rest of the Colonies read in the papers accounts of events designed to put the English in the worst possible light.” but lets forget about your support of England during the American Revolution what I find most interesting about your comment is you acknowledging that the “guerilla/invader dynamic” was an “ex-post facto description of events” or the evaluation of the situation that occured in 1776. This makes me think of the old poster that said “Everything I need to Know I learned in kindergarten” Only because one of the first things i Learned is that if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. So in this context I must draw light to your contadictary logic of the early history lesson that the “ex post facto” description of events is a less accurate description because it was described after the fact. in fact a person educated in history would regard an “ex-post facto” description as a much more accurate description. i hope that the ” ex post facto” ( by the way is literally translated as after the fact) “description of events” (which by the way is the educated reflection of what has occured and is probably by definition the most accurate ” description of events” is what policy makers base their decisions on because if we do not use the “Ex post facto” than we are ignoring what we have been through and making decisions without any regard to hisrorical significance…but then again what do i know i merely have a Phd in history. i obviously have no regard for punctuation, spelling or grammar so the idiot that thinks he has early American history and politics completely understood must be right just like what Rush Limbaugh, Ralph Nader, Robert Borke, Robert Parenti, Sean Hannity and other left and right wing commentators says are like gospel…god knows that america will believe anything if Hannity says that the sky is neon pink or if Ralph Nader says the sun revolves around the world their followers would believe them. Please stop listening to people who speak over the airwaves to make money and believe what they say, you are smarter than that america you are smarter than the guy giving the skewed history lesson JOhno 4

  • david

    anthony g says:

    “England was here for their own benefit. To get rich off our land.”

    right… “our land” that was *stolen* from the real true native Americans..

    smallpox blanket, anyone?

  • pel

    u right mate

  • truth

    washington was a terrorist according to FBI DEFINATION

  • David Percak

    A more appropriate modern comparison between Washington, Adams, Revere, etc. being freedom fighters are the Palestinians who have no freedom or sovereignty. They live under occupation and dream of the day they can celebrate their 4th of July, their independence day. Israel is a terrorist state and aid from U.S. taxpayers should cease until they become civilized.

  • Counterpoint

    I wonder what the Native Americans thought.

  • odendin

    There are Al Qaeda (who are now our Allies, if you ever believed they were the foe) and then there are the malitias. The malitias are fighting for their freedom from a foreign invader. Al Qaeda, or CIA as we non-delusional people call them, do what they do to keep the bullshit going. Keeping the invasion force and the militia on their toes – shoot or be shot.

    It’s a sad, sick world.

  • True American

    I agree with you 100%, calling Islamic Extremists (those who destroyed the World Trade Towers) Freedom Fighters is not only wrong but treasonous… then the media called defending our country as an illegal war. The Media are traitors.