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Terrorist or freedom fighter which is it?

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posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 06:15 AM
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What defines a terroist? Intresting question dont you think, all to many times i have heard that the muslim community is to blame for such things which is total nonsence.

We know that many who were described as terrorists in the past are now respectable people, even leaders of independent countries. The leaders of the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvai Leumi of Israel, Jomo Kenyata and Robert Mugabe of Africa and others were described as terrorists before, but now sit and dine with kings and presidents. The Irish Republican Army is regarded by the British as a terrorist organization, but many Americans think of them as freedom fighters worthy of financial support. While most terrorists are people with no legitimate standing, some are actually government officers and employees tasked with acts of terror.

Osama bin Laden was supported by the United States before, not then regarded as a terrorist. But he is so regarded now. I need not mention the many Latin American leaders who carried out a reign of terror in their countries, installed and supported by foreign governments.

We have a need therefore to distinguish between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. Otherwise we will deprive people wishing to free themselves from foreign occupation or terrorist governments of their rights to fight for their own salvation.

The best way to identify terrorists is through the enormity of the acts they perpetrate. Where people have a right to change governments through legitimate means, for example, by winning majority support in a democracy, acts of violence and the use of force are not justified. Acts that put fear in the hearts of ordinary people must be regarded as terror and the people concerned must be regarded as terrorists.

But when there are no means of redress, violence may be used to fight oppressive regimes or foreign governments. Even then there must be a limit to the violence used. Certain acts must be considered as acts of terror and the perpetrators considered as terrorists who should be outlawed and hunted down.

War is about killing people, yet killing by the use of poison gas is proscribed by international law. If in war certain acts are illegal, then in the fight for freedom or against injustice, acts that terrorize innocent people must be illegal also. Thus hijacking aircrafts, exploding bombs in public places, the use of chemical and biological weapons, deliberate genocide, the use of gas and other lethal substances must be classified as terroristic and their users must be classified as terrorists.

Once we have defined terrorism and determined who is a terrorist and who is not, then the whole world can participate seriously and wholeheartedly in a hunt for terrorists, no matter who they are, where they are and what particular acts of terror they are involved in. Countries that are the targets of terror should have the right to take legal action against terrorists no matter where they are apprehended. There should perhaps be an agreed code on the punishment of terrorists.

Once we have agreed on these important issues and the operation mounted is against all terrorists, including governments that commit acts of terror, the Muslim world should have no hesitation about joining the coalition and going all out to track the terrorists and to act against them. This is not to say that none in the Muslim world is participating in the hunt for terrorists now. But its participation would be more relevant, because Muslims are the most frequent victims of and have suffered the most from acts of terrorism.


some good points made at the following site

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. diplomats have revised their blueprint for reforming the world body to include a definition of terrorism, indicating nations are moving toward consensus on a contentious global issue.

World leaders are to consider the plan at their summit in September and, if approved, the definition could break the impasse over a comprehensive treaty against terrorism.

This treaty has been stalled for approximately five years as nations have wrangled over the definition of a terrorist. Some countries have drawn up specific characteristics of terrorism, while other's simply label them as "insurgents" or freedom fighters. Although the United Nations is not known best for defining criminal international problems, (i.e. genocide) it seems that they have boiled down the terminology that determines who is a terrorist and who is not (at least on an international scale).
hiddennook.blogspot.com...

An example of the confusion between terroist and freedom fighter

Since the split, a separatist force has emerged in Kashmir, a force India labels as terrorists, and one Pakistan calls freedom fighters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the terrorist? Kashmiris who have suffered 75,000 deaths at the hand of the Indian security forces, or the Indian security forces that have engaged in terrorism against the people of the state of Kashmir?

QURAISHI (on camera): The Pakistani government says that it does not support any movement that targets civilians. They repeatedly condemn the attack on India's Parliament, saying that that is terrorism.

Still, President Pervez Musharraf may be facing quite a dilemma. Public support for what many Pakistanis call the freedom struggle in Kashmir is still very high.
transcripts.cnn.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> transcripts.cnn.com...

A link for the u.s department of state

Foreign Terrorist Organizations are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.

Identification

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the State Department (S/CT) continually monitors the activities of terrorist groups active around the world to identify potential targets for designation. When reviewing potential targets, S/CT looks not only at the actual terrorist attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.


Continued below

[edit on 063131p://16076 by ronishia]




posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 06:16 AM
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Continued from above

And more

Legal Criteria for Designation
(Reflecting Amendments to Section 219 of the INA in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001)

It must be a foreign organization.
The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)),* or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)),** or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.
Legal Ramifications of Designation

It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated FTO. (The term "material support or resources" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b) as "currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.)
Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
www.state.gov...
Intresting isnt it

As stated before the pople that some of us call a terrorist others may call freedom fighters etc. Take george bush, tony blair hey why not throw in all the worlds leader, in some peoples eyes these people can be defined as terrorists while others define them as freedom fighters etc which is it?

So back to my original query what in YOUR eyes would define a terrorist?



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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In my opinion, a terrorist is someone who uses terror as a weapon against innocent people. Someone who, instead of fighting against an enemy for what they think is right, uses innocent people in acts that create terror and a feeling of power and fear in order to gain control and compliance.

If an army invades a country and the country's people (and their allies) fight back, fight against the invaders to gain their country back, those people are fighting for their country. They're fighting for something that's theirs. They are not terrorists.

If an army invades a country and the country's people purposefully take the lives of innocent people to threaten and manipulate the invaders, they're terrorists.

If a person intimidates and tortures people to get information, they're a terrorist. If a group kills a bunch of innocent people to make a point, they're terrorists.

In my opinion, unless you're straightforward fighting for your freedom or what's rightfully yours and you're killing innocent people (innocent until proven guilty) then you're a terrorist.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 09:56 AM
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posted by Benevolent Heretic

In my opinion, a terrorist is someone who uses terror as a weapon against innocent people.
[Edited by Don W}



“ . . Innocent people . .” Either there are no innocent people today, or the United States is a big or the biggest terrorist of the 20th century. You know the drill, Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima. Operation Rolling Thunder. Hands off Uganda. Rwanda. Zimbabwe. Darfur. Coming late to Kosovo. Etc.

Why do we act so concerned - sanctimonious - when killing people to make what might be called an artificial distinction as if the “guilty” people needed to die? As if it is our mission? Like Manifest Destiny of the 19th century. Or equal to the war to make the world safe for democracy in 1917-18?




If an army invades a country and the country's people (and their allies) fight back against the invaders . . They are not terrorists.



Why do we call The Moros on Mindanao terrorists? The US invaded the Philippines around 1899 - unsolicited - and stayed until 1914, when we “declared” victory - a wise move but false - and we left the place. The US has Special Forces there today - 2006 - in the same effort, to subdue the Moros.

I hate to get into religion - not really - but this is a religious war. The Philippines are an energetically Catholic country. By "energetic" I mean they truck no difference of belief. The Moros OTOH, are Muslims. Since around the 10th century. The Filipino version of democracy is that everyone in the islands will be of one faith and that faith is the Catholic faith. Say hello Ireland, hello Lebanon. Hello Cyprus. Hello Sri Lanka. Over zealous religion can kill you! OTOH, I have never heard of a scientist killing a non-conformer? OK, enough said on that topic.




If an army invades a country [as in the US in Iraq?] and the country's people purposefully take the lives of innocent people to threaten and manipulate the invaders [as in the insurgents?] , they are terrorists. [brackets are my own words]



See above my quibble over “innocent.”




If a person intimidates and tortures people to get information, they're a terrorist [as at Abu Ghraib?]. If a group kills a bunch of innocent people to make a point, they're terrorists. In my opinion, unless you are straightforward fighting for your freedom or what's rightfully yours and you're killing innocent people (innocent until proven guilty) then you're a terrorist.



Is the operative word “straightforward?” Sounds good but overlooks some of reality. Israel has the best equipped army in the Middle East, second only to the US in Iraq. Israel has a small area to defend. You know the rule of thumb, it takes 3 attackers to each defender. Israelis are the best motivated people in the whole world. It could be the US has a KH12 parked over the area with a direct link to Tel Aviv. And, there is no mention of the number of USVs buzzing over Gaza or the south of Lebanon. Victory may not always be possible, but every Israeli realizes defeat is never an option.

Arab Palestinians OTOH, have only weapons they can carry. Or a few homemade rockets or some bought on the weapons black market. So what weapons do you have at your command? Unfortunately, people. People is the only weapon remaining. So how do you motivate people to agree to die?

To create the atmosphere in which young people are willing to commit suicide for the benefit of their people, you have to constantly reinforce the devil image of your enemy. I do not believe there is much too difficult to understand about that. Remove the conditions, and you end the violent rhetoric. Huh?

End the War? Look at this idea. The 1967 war provides the best starting point. The Palestinians get all of the West Bank - Galilee and Samaria - and part of East Jerusalem. Throw in Gaza and an unrestricted road to the West Bank. Remove al the illegal settlers from the occupied territories. ASAP. Ban all weapons from this new state. Other than police type. Rationalize the border. The US provides - or pays others to provide - 15,000 soldiers to patrol the border for as long as it takes for each side to feel comfortable with the other side.

The US gives - in real money - not the vouchers for weapons we call foreign aid - each side about $5 billion a year for 20 years. Subject to our audit and in accord with a plan to utilize th e money for infrastructure and so on. But this is too easy. And too cheap.


[edit on 7/19/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:34 AM
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Well, donwhite, do you have an answer to the original question? Because I'd like to hear your definition of terrorist, too.


Tearing my definition apart is one thing, and you have some good points. And that's ok - I'm not married to my definition, I was just throwing my thoughts out there for discussion. But I'd like to hear yours, too.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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some good and well raised points that have been made so far. What i have noticed is that defining a terrorist is not easy and nor it should be either. whats one mans terrorist is anothers freedom fighter.

I found another site wich i feel deserves some conisderation on this site it contains 2 videos Islam Remembers September 11 (Flash movie) and Arab-American Responses (streamed video). Now from what i gather this deals initially with sept 11 but please take the time to read it.

Many people have said that the world changed on September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly it did for many people and in many ways. Since then, the US and its Coalition of the willing have entered into a War on Terror. Deciding the merits of this war or those who struck the US on 9/11 is a larger topic than this WebQuest can tackle. However, we can increase our understanding by looking more closely at what we think about terrorism. To start with, we can view two videos that capture two sides of the Arab view:

Link to article and for videos

more from the site

These powerful videos capture the feelings of many Muslims around the world.

Okay, so what's the point here? In an atmosphere where almost any group can be called a terrorist, it's important to move beyond sound bites and look more closely at real examples of what are considered Terrorist acts. Why should you bother? Without a doubt you will be paying for the current War on Terror and you may even be called upon to fight in it. So let's get clearer on what we're talking about...



The main question you will be asked to find an answer for is:

Question: What is terrorism? Is there such a thing as a 'just cause?'

Task: As a team you will survey a collection of definitions, then apply what you have learned to individual examples (or Cases) of terrorism. Finally, through a group process, you will evaluate this range of real life cases to decide what terrorism is exactly and if it is ever justified and if so, under what conditions. At the end of the activity, you may be asked to explain your own personal understanding through an Insight Reflector on the topic. Don't forget to review the Evaluation Rubric for this WebQuest.


Now again please read whole article it raises some great points and tries to find some answers.
link again


Another intresting link and i do tend to agree with alot of the points that are raised here

It is hard, we are then told, to know exactly where the line exists between terrorists and the brave would-be liberators of oppressed people–freedom fighters. Besides, many nations in the world have come into existence after lengthy struggles for liberation. Many pundits assert that the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is purely a matter of perception. When our guy kills in battle, he’s a freedom fighter; when our enemy does, he is a terrorist. Similar acts get different labels depending on who is doing the labeling.

In making a judgment on freedom fighters versus terrorists, there is more at work than a "perception." I am convinced that there is a metaphysical difference, not just a perceptual one, between these two descriptors. It is helpful to get at the difference with an analogy, a consideration of the important difference between two of the seven deadly sins: greed and envy.

Though often lumped together and seen simply as the desire of one person or group to possess what another owns, greed and envy are not identical. Greed has to do with acquisition–we desperately want what another has. Theft is the culminating sinful act of greed. Envy, on the other hand, is not directed at some item we want that belongs to another, but at that other person or group. Its aim is destroying the happiness of others. Envy seeks not to acquire but to destroy, rejoicing in the misfortune of others. Vandalism and arson are two of the best examples of acts that have their roots in envy. While greed can be assuaged, envy can not. It is never satisfied until its object is destroyed.


www.acton.org...



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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posted by Benevolent Heretic

Well, donwhite, do you have an answer to the original question? Because I'd like to hear your definition of terrorist, too. [Edited by Don W]



Definition? Impossible. "Terrorism" is perspective. It’s the old winners get to write the history thing. It is the caption of my earlier post, 1 man’s . . etc.

See post following.


[edit on 7/19/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 11:25 AM
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posted by ronishia

“ . . some good points have been made so far. What I have noticed is that defining a terrorist is not easy and nor it should be either. what’s one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter . . “ [Edited by Don W]



I have been urging that since the Nine Eleven Event which was co-opted by the Bush43 administration for electoral purposes. Successfully, I hate to admit. War trumps economy (2002) and war trumps reason (2004). It’s being re-run today for 2006.



Okay, so what's the point here? In an atmosphere where almost any group can be called a terrorist, it's important to move beyond sound bites and look more closely at real examples of what are considered Terrorist acts. Why should you bother? Without a doubt you will be paying for the current War on Terror and you may even be called upon to fight in it. So let's get clearer on what we're talking about.. Question: What is terrorism? Is there such a thing as a 'just cause?'


In making a judgment on freedom fighters versus terrorists, there is more at work than a "perception." I am convinced that there is a metaphysical difference, not just a perceptual one . .




“It is all vanity . . “ ”Terrorism” is a psy-ops word. And in the psy-ops war, you are either a believer or you are a doubter. Put me in the doubter class, thank you. Skeptical, not cynical.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 11:38 AM
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Just to clarify a couple of my points...

Innocent people get killed in war. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm saying terrorists target innocent people to create the emotion of terror in other people, thus "using terror as a weapon". In the 'official story' of 9/11, the 19 people who drove the planes into buildings were terrorists because they purposefully targeted and killed innocent people who were in no way involved in the conflict. And the terrorists purpose was to incite TERROR, make a political statement, and gain control and manipulate.

Innocent people = civilians who aren't participating in the conflict OR captives who haven't done what they're accused of.

FWIW, I do think the US is one of the biggest terrorist states today. But probably not for the reasons you cited.

And I wouldn't necessarily call the 'insurgents' terrorists, because they aren't all targeting innocent people. Many are targeting the soldiers and the Iraqis who they determine are a threat to their country (the police force, etc). I don't think they're terrorists.

And yes, straightforward is a key word. If you're fighting against the invading Army (and kill innocent people as a result), you're not a terrorist. If you're capturing women and children and torturing, hurting, using or killing them to sway the invading Army, then you're a terrorist.

For my own purposes, I don't have a problem defining the word. I don't know about the Moros on Mindanao so I can't speak to that.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 12:16 PM
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Personally, I do not think the taking of innocent lives is a sufficient criteria to define a terrorist. However, if attacks are primarily intended to take innocent lives, then those attacks are terroristic. Let me postulate two or three different situations as examples of what I'm trying to say. If a group's intention is to deprive enemy forces of the use of transportation & communications (including logistical support) and they target a bridge, tunnel, rail terminal, etc. wherin many civilians get killed during the attack, then I don't think that constitutes terrorism. If a group targets a military convoy, or a political convoy and in the process of the attack many civilians get killed, then I don't think that terrorism either. In other words, if their is a logical military purpose to the attack, or a clear political gain to it, then I don't think the attack would necessarily be a terrorist attack. Suppose someone had planted bombs under a parade route to be used by Hitler and when the were detonated hundreds of civilians got killed. The taking out of Hitler would have had a significant impact on the 3rd Reich and I think such an attack would have been permissible and should not be considered a terrorist attack.

Clearly though the attacks solely, or even primarily on civilians, whose intent is to instill fear in the general population, are terrorist attacks.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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Astronomer and I seem to have similar definitions. It's not whether innocent people get killed or not, it's the intent and the target that make the difference.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 02:45 PM
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Further to my last.....

Some weapons by their very nature are weapons of terror--nuclear weapons jump immediately to mind. Nuclear weapons clearly instill terror in a civilian populace, but the people who use them may not necessarily be terrorists. Again, it depends on the intent of their use. Viral & bacterialogical weapons as well as gas, nerve agents, etc. have been placed in the same category--they are primarily weapons of terror. Weapons in the last group however have been, by international agreement banned as terror weapons, not so much because they instill terror as because they are indiscriminate--they kill innocents right along with the guilty. If the effects of such weapons could be confined to a particular (and relatively small) locale then they would be permissible under some circumstances.

As you can readily see, it is all back to the "intent" thing again. Intent is a notoriously difficult thing to discern, therefore terrorist acts are difficult to define (except in hindsight).



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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All war, regardless of the cause is an act of terror and on a fundamental level immoral and by necessity evil. Dresden, Nagasaki and Heiroshima immediately come to mind....all atrocities that killed thousands in a short period of time, the vast majority of the dead, civilians, and it was done by the "good" guys. The excuses given or the reasons why are meaningless to the dead, the maimed, the homeless and traumatized... terrorism. What other word do you call it, besides the bald faced truth that is...acts of evil.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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Mind you I understand fully that there are times we must fight...but don't prettify it with words like honor or patriotism or justice...its nasty, its ugly and its evil. That is what makes Iraq so bad in my mind...It is a war of choice that we did not have to fight and it was sold with a false bill of goods. I will grant Bush Afghanistan though I still think it would have been better and more effective if the pea brain had just shut up, canned the wanted dead or alive bullhooey and quietly informed the Taliban that you either help us or you get out of the way, then silently sent in the special ops.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 03:49 PM
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posted by grover

I understand fully there are times we must fight . . but don't *prettify* it with words like honor or patriotism or justice...its ugly . . That is what makes Iraq so bad in my mind . . It is a war of choice we did not have to fight and it was sold with a false bill of goods . . the Taliban . . you either help us or you get out of the way, then silently sent in the special ops. [Edited by Don W]



[*prettify* a new word for me. I’ve never used it.]

My guys look like terrorists to the other side, but they look like freedom fighters to me. Same same on other side’s guys to me and etc.

You're right Grover, by elevating some killing, we incur an obligation to describe other killing, and then issues like home front morale, war enthusiasm and other factors weigh in.

Truth is the first casually of war!

Hmm?
Did I say that? No, but it is still true.

[edit on 7/19/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 04:54 PM
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There has been some good discushen hear on a topic that can be dificult to describe on international terms. The only problem that I have is trying to bring freedom fighter into the discushen. I find more offen then not when some one uses the term freedom fighter it winds up being a false statment. I would not call some one a freedom fighter untill I understoon what that person and the groop he represents wants and is calling freedom.

That being said any of these totaltarian groops and states that support fighters and terrorists and then turn around to call them freedom fighters, well that is just an oxymoron.

edit for typo

[edit on 19-7-2006 by RedGolem]



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by RedGolem
The only problem that I have is trying to bring freedom fighter into the discushen.


Here's an example of what I think a 'freedom fighter' is.

If someone invaded the USA (my country) and took the leader (Bush), there would be a lot of people who would take up arms against the invaders. I don't care who the invaders are or why they felt they needed to do this, but they have just threatened my freedom as I know it. Regardless of their intention, people would be against this sort of action. That's not supposed to be how things are done here.

Whether they wanted to take over this country to 'save it' from Bush or to take control of it for their own gain, many civilian people would fight against them. Fighting for ownership of their country and their freedom. Hence the name "freedom fighter". Now, if some people came from Mexico to help in the fight to gain back our country, they would also be freedom fighters, because they would be fighting for my freedom.

A freedom fighter is one who fights for his or anothers' rightful freedom.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


A freedom fighter is one who fights for his or anothers' rightful freedom.


Heretic,
I reall do like what you said, but the problem is when some one fights for there countries leaders, freedom has offen not been part of the agenda. Some one who fights for a Gov who will allow few or no freedoms of its people, is not a freedom fighter. The same would be for a Gov who does not allow its women to go to school or any other of a hundred things or so.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 06:29 PM
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The way I see that is that they're fighting for the freedom to choose their government whether or not that government believes in personal freedoms that we have in the US.

If Iraqis (for example) wanted Saddam as their leader, then they should have the freedom to choose that.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
The way I see that is that they're fighting for the freedom to choose their government whether or not that government believes in personal freedoms that we have in the US.

If Iraqis (for example) wanted Saddam as their leader, then they should have the freedom to choose that.



Benevolent,
Yes they do have the right to make that choice, but what my hole point has been, then dont call them freedom fighters.





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