In response to the controversial statement of Brian Williams who likened Iranian terrorists who took Americans hostages to the revolutionary Founding Fathers, the Ace of Spades provides the best explanation I have heard of the difference between a terrorist and a guerilla fighter.
The left likes to pretend that terrorists are merely guerilla fighters. As the patriots who liberated this country used guerilla tactics some of the time (to much better effect than conventional tactics, of course), the left loves claiming that the Minutemen and such are no different than Zarqawi’s murderers.
Guerilla fighters violate some of the rules of war — they often do not wear recognizable uniforms, and they often blend into a civilian population after an ambush on an opponent. They strike quick, kill a few soldiers, and attempt to melt away.
Yes, these are violations of the rules of war. But this does not make them terrorists.
Because, unlike actual terrorists, guerilla fighters strike legitimate military targets (enemy soldiers, enemy bases, the enemy’s political control structure which may include political leaders and police, which are quasi-military and thus at the very least semi-legitimate targets).
Terrorists strike illegitimate targets– namely, civilians. And they don’t strike them accidentally, as collateral damage inflicted in striking a legitimate target; their purpose is to slaughter “soft targets” as frequently as possible. That’s their primary goal– not to defeat an enemy’s military, which is the goal of guerillas; but to shock and terrorize a civilian population into acquiescence and appeasement.
Does everyone get that now? Just because the Minutemen hid behind trees and were irregular troops often having no real military insignia (though they did often sport those, actually) doesn’t make them terrorists… so long as they were killing British troops, which, last time I checked, is what they were doing.
Read the whole thing because I couldn’t quote some of the best parts. If you are familiar with Ace, then you already know why.