Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Thu, 10 Jan 2002 16:14:26 -0400

> As I said before, terrorism only makes sense
> against democracies.

And I have to question what exactly is a "democracy." 
In looking at a chronology of the IRA (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ira/etc/cron.html) 
it seems to me that the Provisional IRA was a response to the lack of democracy for Catholics in Northern 

And I suppose apartheid-era South Africa could be called a democracy (if you weren't black).

So the ANC were terrorists (although not anymore). Its interesting to note here that their influence on 
the South African "democracy" was almost non-existent, it was their influence on other countries that
led to sanctions against the SA government.

And now I understand that the contra-rebels in Nicaragua were clearly freedom-fighters. And the cocaine
that the CIA helped them sell in the US was just the price you have to pay to support "freedom."

I think that the only real definition of "terrorist" vs. "freedom fighters" you can come up with is
 completely and utterly subjective..

Freedom fighters have the specific goal of freeing their "people" from an oppressive government or governments.
In general the violence is only one weapon (along with non-violent protest, propaganda, winning hearts and minds). 

Terrorists are those who don't meet the test of "oppressive government" or don't have the freedom of their
"people" as a specific goal or that are completely fixated upon violence as the only useful weapon.