Terrorist or freedom fighter?

I have been criticised for linking to Dan’s historical irony. Apparently the post is ‘Anti-American’.

Just to say to begin with, a link to a post on this site doesnt mean I necessarily agree with the post just that I find it interesting. To me the whole point of blogging is to interact with those who hold different views. It is vital that we all understand each other. For me, I am not at all anti-American.

I am intreged though by the distinction between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. I am clear in my own mind that there is no connection between the founding fathers of the US and the modern terrorists say in Iraq.

But what about say Mandella and his ANC? He was called a terrorist in his time. He rejected the non-violence of Ghandi and Luther-King. His reasoning? Sometimes when the oppressor hasnt got a conscience, force can only be met by force.

Clearly few would disagree with the right of a state to use force against a violent enemy. But what about the population? Why do we speak of people as heroes and freedom fighters who during their own time would have been considered violent terrorists?