Terrorists and Freedom fighter are undividable
Many people including political analyzers and political leaders believe that “Terrorists” and “Terrorism” are wrong. At the same time, they believe that terrorists and freedom fighters are different people. In this paper, I argue that terrorists and freedom fighters do not have any differences between each other. Whether a group is a freedom fighter or a terrorist depends on the perspective of the individuals. To support my arguments, I refer to the article “Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong” written by Lionel K McPherson and “Terrorism as an Instrument of Armed Struggle and Diplomacy: The Changing Face of the PLO” written by Bansidhar Pradhan because both of the article touch the concepts of terrorism and freedom fighters and it has some contrast ideas in the contacts.
To define terrorism as stated by McPherson is “the deliberate use of force against ordinary noncombatants, which can be expected to cause wider fear among them, for political ends” (Mcpherson, 525). The statement above clearly shows that forces against ordinary people for political reasons are called terrorism. The people who use that kind of violence are framed as terrorists. Adding to that, “Terrorism is difficult to define for yet another reason; its character keeps changing from time to time” (Pradhan, 384). This illustrates, no one is able to define terrorism and terrorists because the definition of terrorism and terrorist keeps changing in the day to day world. Additionally, I define freedom fighters as people who fight for their nation either to overcome from the oppression or to gain their rights. Those people are considered as freedom fighters even if they attack ordinary people in order to achieve their goal. From this point of view, how can we separate terrorist and freedom fighters? Both of them use same weapons and tactics such as attacking noncombatants in order to get freedom. Hence, I argue that there are no difference between freedom fighters and terrorists.
Though freedom fighters and terrorists are inseparable, from the perspective of individuals both are different people. To elaborate, McPherson said, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” (McPherson, 526). For example, Palestine was oppressed by the Israel. To overcome the oppression Palestine formed a rebellion group known as Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This PLO was considered as freedom fighters by the Palestine people. However, PLO was recognized as a terrorist group by the Israel and the USA. The main reason to form the PLO is that, “the diasporic Palestinians could not organize an independent national movement of their identity and genuine nationalist feelings among them” (Pradhan, 398). Palestine people needed independence in their own state, but when they asked for the freedom, it was not given to them in a legal way. Then, as Freire said, “freedom is acquired by concept, not by gift” (Freire,47), the PLO became freedom fighters in order to be recognized as a separate nation. Therefore, for the Palestine people it is correct to portray PLO as freedom fighters. At the same time, for the countries such as US and Israel, PLO is a terrorists group because it fights against them. Now, it is clear that terrorist and freedom fighters are same, but the perspective people towards them are wrong and different.
Moreover, as I have observed from the past histories, the groups of people who fought for their rights or freedom and succeed in their goals by killing non combatants were considered as freedom fighters. Nevertheless, the groups who fought for the same rights and freedom in the same way, but failed to achieve their goals were recognized as terrorists. For example, Bangladesh in 1971 fought against Pakistan military in order to become a separated independent nation. During that time, Bangladesh civilians were identified as freedom fighters throughout the world. Nonetheless, though PLO fights against US and Israel for the same reason as Bangladesh rebellion, PLO is labeled as terrorist group by the internationals. Keeping this case in mind, what are differences between PLO and Bangladesh rebellions? Both of them fought for same goals, but Bangladesh got freedom and those people who fought were considered as freedom fighters. The PLO did not achieve its goals yet. As a result, they still have the label of terrorists. In the future, if PLO achieves its demand for Palestine, the label as terrorist may turn into freedom fighters.
In conclusion, I would like to say that freedom fighters and terrorist are same and they do not have any difference between them. The meaning of freedom fighters and terrorist define as two difference concepts because of the individuals’ perspectives. The PLO and Bangladesh rebellions are a perfect example to say that terrorists and freedom fighter are not differences, but the whole world define them in a different way due to their own ideas. To sum up this paper, I will leave with a question that who has the authority to define a group as a terrorists and freedom fighters?
Paulo Freire. “Pedagogy of the Oppresses.” New York: Continum, 2000 (1970). Chapter 1.
Loinel K. McPherson. “Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?” Ethics. 117 (April 2007): 524-546
Bansidhar Pradhan. “Terrorism as an Instrument of Armed Struggle and Diplomacy” International Studies. 38 (4), 2001.