In a message dated 7/3/98 8:43:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< No problem. :) It's just that you don't yet realize
that the only difference, objectively, is the name,
and who likes them.
I'd say the differences between what and how and why they're fighting are fairly important too.
Freedom fighters, guerillas, survive only with the support of the population in the area that they are fighting. They attack by and large military and not civilian targets. Terrorist groups, which can refer to just about any irregular fighting unit if we're going to be incredibly loose here, often and purposely attack civilian targets, aim to make the population in which they act scared stiff (as opposed to sympathetic to), and must work in opposition to both populace and authorities.
WHAT and WHY:
And even if we're STILL going to stay that there is no difference really between terrorist groups and freedom fighters, I'd say that the differences between the justifications for each group are rather deeply important. There can be terrorist groups struggling to instate a dictator as easily as their can be groups struggling to remove one. And that difference is an objective and important one. This means that it is simply wrong, as Mark did, to simply paint all terrorists with the same rationalistic brush and pretend that to study them in order to destroy some of them is the mark of an oppressor.