When a person commits an act today that relies on force or violence, without being condoned by a government or established rule, it is commonly call a "terrorist act," committed by "terrorists" or "militants." When a person commits a forceful or violent act, though, under the rule and order of a government or established rule, condoned by the leaders of that government, it is called a "militaristic act." Prior to the election of the National Socialist Party in pre-Nazi Germany, the few secluded violent acts committed by anti-Semites were considered vulgar acts of injustice, committed by political and religious militants, or "terrorists." Once the National Socialist Party occupied the majority positions in the legislature and executive branches of German government, violence committed against the Jews was no longer considered a "terrorist act," -- in fact, it was considered a "militaristic act," accepted, supported, even funded and led by the government. Once the Nazi Party was in power, all acts that supported the liberation and welfare of the persecuted Jews was considered an act of terrorism; such people who do this being called "terrorists," "vandals," and even "traitors." Harriet Tubman was also considered a terrorist, whose acts of force were directed towards liberating the enslaved black race. The government would change. Individuals now whose actions are towards murdering or harming blacks are considered "terrorists." To call Osama Bin Laden a terrorist is equally justified as calling Harriet Tubman a terrorist, as much as it may displease people and their cultural prejudice, since the government and media has done all that it can to convince us that terrorism opposes liberty, when one of the greatest terrorists was also one of the greatest liberators. Perhaps the best example to illustrate the point I am making is to describe Adolf Hitler in this way: "A terrorist, until he became accepted -- then just a ruler of a nation."
Understand here, that I am making no pardoning plea for Adolf Hitler and his ways. This is not a pardoning plea for Nazis; it is an indictment of government.
The initial response of anyone to this string of facts is that the term "leader" versus "terrorist" is neither positive nor negative, but completely neutral. The only thing these terms can indicate is that an individual does not use passive acts of resistance to accomplish the change they desire in society. The government's claims that Osama Bin Laden is a "terrorist" and not a "leader" is not different from Stalinís regime calling the freedom fighters "terrorists" and not "leaders." Similarly, the governments' claims that George Bush is a "nation leader" and not a "terrorist" are no different thank the claims that Mussolini is "just a military leader" and not a terrorist. The only different between the terms is that one is popularly accepted while the other is not.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that governments have committed just as horrible acts against the innocent and peaceful as terrorists have, and even worse, the reverse is true. Terrorists have liberated, freed millions, doing all in their power to break the chains of bondage to everyone in any unjust slavery -- as some government's have. It quite simply is a meaningless term.
All of this being understood, we must consider modern acts of "terrorism." While any act committed by the popular group, using force, is known as a military act, any act committed by an unpopular, underground group, through force is known as a terrorist act (the underground French army that revolted against German Nazis, for example). So, by what method is one group effectively established? The methods by which a government is chosen have varied through the ages and diversified through the regions. There is the typical method of a leader gaining his support through military power, as a king, monarch, despot, or dictator. The other method of establishing power is through election, where the people choose their king, only he is called a president, chancellor, or prime minister. In some cases, these systems are combined, or diversified, or both. A house of representatives or two, may have two ways of being elected (such as the U.S. has a Congress and House of Representatives), but the central executive power may be a king.
In our civilization, I find it unfortunate that so much trust and loyalty would be placed with government. The reason why people do so is because their media is draped in the cloak of government influence. The reason why anyone doubts the government is also obvious, because some intelligent works slipped through the barriers to willing and open-minded individuals. I can, in fact, throw out a great deal of hypothetical situations, but before I do, one must understand that I am not stretching the rules of reality or social organization. Harriet Tubman is a terrorist as much as Adolf Hitler was only a military ruler, the first equaled to Osama Bin Laden and the second equaled to George Bush, as far as the their titles go.
Consider the imprisonment of people never given the right to a fair hearing or to council, in the United States. This is currently the situation as it is to detained prisoners in Cuba by the U.S. government. An attempt to liberate those prisoners, by tearing down the walls of the prison, would be considered a terrorist act. In fact, I imagine it may be called treasonous, so that the government can prosecute with the possibility of the death penalty. But, in fact, it is undeniable that these "terrorists" are simply and actually fulfilling the ideas of the U.S. Constitution -- ideas which have been willingly betrayed by the U.S. government. What would the result of the capture of these "terrorists" be? Certainly, imprisonment, possibly death. But, if the courts uphold the rights of these detainees, what is the result? Will American politicians be indicted? Certainly not. It was fit to indict and charge the Nazi party members after World War II, the Nuremberg Trials, but that is irrelevant: they were charged by another government, but the U.S. government is just as guilty as crimes against humanity -- but, to the great regret of all good, decent people, the U.S. government is not crumbling. Even worse, the U.S. government structure does not allow a system of checks or balances against elected officials, except against each other. The public is left at the mercy of rapists and murderers.
While some Anarchists view all states as equal in their injustice, I feel a bit more open-minded. Certainly, the elected governments of Europe were more just than the Nazi state of Europe, and certainly the state of Czarist Russia and the U.S.S.R. were with less equality and peace than many elected, and even unelected, governments. While a king's injustice to rule over a people is wrong, just like an elected president's injustice to rule over a people is wrong, the later is somewhat more susceptible to desirable results for the people. A government that allows itself to be checked by the public will remove corruption and injustice with a greater efficiency. Unfortunately, the United States government, as well as other Western World Republics, does not allow this at all. While our government does allow a system of checking, it solely exists between elected government officials.
If government officials violate the law or Constitution through their power, they are exempt from prison. Only for the ruling class (or the Capitalist class) is this exemption present. But when private citizens commit acts which upheld or defend the law, or the Constitution, or highest law (the will of the people), they are prosecuted, jailed, and killed. No torture mechanism has been withheld. Individuals who oppose the cruelty and inhumanity of government officials are given no justice within the system. Yet once government oppresses the freedom of the poor, or the minorities they are exempt from, any sort of imprisonment or punishment. National Militarism and Domestic Terrorism are different only by which is approved by an established power. The greatest reform government could accomplish would be its absolution, but that day may be far ahead of us. Until that day, I believe that government officials must take legal responsibility for all their acts, and that those who uphold justice by breaking the law must be allowed to defend themselves. People who have attended protests are beaten, raped, pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, and murdered. The cops who oppress freedom of speech may be upholding the law of tyrants, but they are doing everything they can to depress the spirit of people to live freely. While protestors sit in jail cells for years for expressing their opinion, labeled as "terrorists," cops continue their onslaught on people and are called, "the law." The system is inherently unjust and the good people will do all we can to fight it.
That one day, we may be free.