Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Q: Guerrilla War or Terrorism?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
YusakuJon3 View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 223
  Quote YusakuJon3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Q: Guerrilla War or Terrorism?
    Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 08:54
     This pertains to today's ongoing conflict in Iraq and other flashpoints throughout the world in recent decades.   Normally, then I think of a difference between a terrorist and a guerrilla, I think in terms of their choice of targets.  But sometimes, it seems like the two get mixed together to some extent, either by where they strike or how they behave in action.

   When I think of a guerrilla, I go back to what the term means ("small war").  This was the case dating back to ancient times, when small bands of fighters would raid against larger armies occupying their territory.  More recently, these have been exemplified by armed resistance groups or revolutionary movements in small countries with unpopular governments and, as a more recent example, the movement of Al-Sadr in Iraq.

   With terrorists, the targets aren't so much military or administrative as civil and economic.  The most notorious example of it would be Al Qaeda's spectacular September 11th attack on the United States that sparked the current war in the Middle East.  In terror attacks, the civilian population almost always bears the brunt.

   However, the line between guerrilla activity and terrorism seems to be blurred in most cases.  You could have a groupl like the one in Columbia that bombs courthouses and takes hostages or Al-Sadr's people who are said to have attacked a civilian convoy near Fallujiah last year, with the attendant mutilation and display of the killed that made such a spectacle.  Or you could have a group like the Irish Republican Army which specifically targets government buildings, but also seems embroiled in a bloody contest against an opposition party with similar methods of operation.

   Where would some of you draw the line between a guerrilla (small-scale) war and terrorism?   What exceptions to either rule would you make?
"There you go again!"

-- President Ronald W. Reagan (directed towards reporters at a White House press conference, mid-1980s)
Back to Top
demon View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Brazil
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1185
  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 10:23

Here is my point of view:

Guerilla- target of important figues, army, systems only

Terrorism- innocent involved.

Osama bin laden- terrorist(he didn't have to kill those innocent blacks in Africa)

Iraqi insurgent-

                 Those who cut heads- Terrorists and Cowards.  Allah is very displeased with their cowardice

                 Those who fight american soldiers- I would have to say guerillas because their cause is not bad

 

Grrr..
Back to Top
fastspawn View Drop Down
Earl
Earl
Avatar

Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Location: Singapore
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 269
  Quote fastspawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 13:18
i would have to disagree with you demon on your definations.

In WWII, strategic bombings almost always occured in cities, and not in Army bases or military targets.

So if a guerilla was to target a factory to set back the enemies war effort, is he a terrorist? There is a grey area that cannot be resolved, by simply saying that in guerilla warfare innocents are not targeted, because everyone in war nowadays is a target.
Back to Top
Kalevipoeg View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 06-Aug-2004
Location: Estonia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1458
  Quote Kalevipoeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2004 at 14:48

I say, guerilla warfare is a bunch of men/women with guns who try to oppose the party in power or then against an invading force. They are more organized in their plans and have some sort of a military strategy. And whatever lentgh a guerilla war chooses, it always gets somewhere in its ideals and ends with change in government parties or the remaining of the former one.  

Terrorism is not planned and hits targets which the leader of a certain group chooses not for any permanent effect but as a shock attack. Terrorist attacks don't have any large economical or political effects on the victim country and has little political value and serves no larger goals than fear. Therefore countries never subdue to any terrorist demands when they include change in political power. Terrorism is a much more extreme form of resistance if you can call it like that.

That is how i see it in the moment.

There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge...
Back to Top
Genghis View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2656
  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2004 at 01:50

I would say that terrorism is the attacking of targets for solely psychological impact, and not military impact.

Guerrilla warfare is the attacking of targets by small units for primarily military effect but not solely military impact.

Terrorism is also usually urban in setting and guerrilla warfare is usually in the countryside.

Member of IAEA
Back to Top
demon View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Brazil
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1185
  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2004 at 07:45

So if a guerilla was to target a factory to set back the enemies war effort, is he a terrorist

All I remember is that French resistance cut railway lines, and polish people constantly wrecking halaucaust structure.  I don't think anyone innocent really got injured.....

Wait, here's a better way to say this:

Guerilla:  Doesn't damage innocents.  If they do, it was pure accident.

Terrorists: Damage innocents deliberately.  No accident, but planned.

I like this definition.

Grrr..
Back to Top
Tobodai View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Antarctica
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4310
  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2004 at 08:41
but war in general does damage civilian populations, and many guerrilla movements have.  I think the difference as strategic, as Genghis said.
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
Back to Top
Genghis View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2656
  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2004 at 14:56
Yeah, what if a state bombs a civilian city like the air forces of World War II did?  Does that make them terrorists?
Member of IAEA
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 00:39

Guerillas are an unconventional force that uses hit and run tactics against a conventional force.

Terrorists are a force that attacks civilian targets to cause fear in the civilian population.

But a guerilla can be a terrorist and a terrorist can be a guerilla depending on the circumstances since a guerilla can cause fear in the civilian population and a terrorist can attack conventional forces with hit and run tactics.

Back to Top
Hyarmendacil View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 17-Aug-2004
Location: Indonesia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 114
  Quote Hyarmendacil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 06:12
Well, I'm more inclined to agree with fastspawn in that there's a big grey area standing between the two extremes of idealistic guerrilla warfare and plain sick terrorist warfare. In fact, most of the spectrum of low-intensity military action (or, in U.S. military parlance, MOOTW (Military Operations Other Than War)) falls within this grey area. Say, we take an example of a Palestinian suicide bomber. If he directs his attack specifically at an Israeli military installation or the notorious boundary wall then his action is a legitimate military action and he can be called a guerrilla. If he directs his attack at the Israeli civilian population, though, his act would be termed terrorism because it causes largely unnecessary damage that is unlikely to spark the effect it is meant to create, not to mention that it violates every principle of Islam and any other religion. However, we must ask ourselves whether the definition would be legitimate or not if, say, the guerrilla attack caused a number of collateral civilian casualties or the terrorist attack was planned to be a military attack but the bomber got distracted along the way (much to the chagrin of his superiors!) and chose in desperation to attack a civilian taget. That kind of thing happens more often than most people think.
Back to Top
hugoestr View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar

Suspended

Joined: 13-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3987
  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 15:12
I wish to bring other factors for the definition of guerrilla and terrorism.

It seems that guerrillas have a geographical component to them. They "control" a certain region.

Guerrillas also seem to try to stay together as a unit for the length of the conflict. This includes trying to keep the number of deaths and causalties to the minimum.

And guerrillas engage in military combat, although they tend to choose those where they have some type of advantage.

Terrorist organizations seem to be able to attack anywhere they please; they are not restricted to a specific zone.

Terrorist do not stay together as a unit; they tend to have loose organizations.

And terrorists avoid military combat. They tend to strike at one target, and the terrorist either flees or dies.
Back to Top
ArmenianSurvival View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 11-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1460
  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 15:41

A majority of these posts make great sense. So would you call America's attack on Japan in WWII a terrorist attack or military action? They solely targeted civilians, just as terrorists...and they did it because they were under attack from that country, just as the terrorists are under attack from America. The difference is, terrorists dont kill 50,000 civilians at a time like America did, their attacks are more frequent and much smaller in scale. So what differentiates the two? I would like to hear your thoughts.

And a lot of Iraqi civilians have died in this war, more than most people think, whether unintentionally or deliberately....they wont show it on CNN. Watch Al-Jazeera, i see it on at my grandmas house sometimes, and it gives you a completely different side of the war.

Mass Murderers Agree: Gun Control Works!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Resistance

Քիչ ենք բայց Հայ ենք։
Back to Top
Abyssmal Fiend View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 18-Aug-2004
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 233
  Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 15:58

Originally posted by Genghis

Yeah, what if a state bombs a civilian city like the air forces of World War II did?  Does that make them terrorists?

Bah. It all got started by some rogue Luftwaffe pilots who missed their target, and the British got pissed off. Of course, what they don't tell you is that the later, a Luftwaffe pilot flew right over a Hospital, knowing exactly what it was by the long red towels marking a cross on the ground next to it.

Back to Top
demon View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Brazil
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1185
  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 16:52

A majority of these posts make great sense. So would you call America's attack on Japan in WWII a terrorist attack or military action? They solely targeted civilians, just as terrorists...and they did it because they were under attack from that country, just as the terrorists are under attack from America. The difference is, terrorists dont kill 50,000 civilians at a time like America did, their attacks are more frequent and much smaller in scale. So what differentiates the two? I would like to hear your thoughts.

Hmmm.  The Japanese snipers used to target medics during WWII.  Would that be terrorism?

Grrr..
Back to Top
ArmenianSurvival View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 11-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1460
  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 17:35
Not saying that the Japanese were right or wrong. Im talking about America. Japanese civilians didnt target medics. And medics are part of the army...but anyway, back to the question of America bombing Japan.
Mass Murderers Agree: Gun Control Works!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Resistance

Քիչ ենք բայց Հայ ենք։
Back to Top
TMPikachu View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian
Avatar

Joined: 14-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote TMPikachu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 19:36
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival

A majority of these posts make great sense. So would you call America's attack on Japan in WWII a terrorist attack or military action? They solely targeted civilians, just as terrorists...and they did it because they were under attack from that country, just as the terrorists are under attack from America. The difference is, terrorists dont kill 50,000 civilians at a time like America did, their attacks are more frequent and much smaller in scale. So what differentiates the two? I would like to hear your thoughts.

And a lot of Iraqi civilians have died in this war, more than most people think, whether unintentionally or deliberately....they wont show it on CNN. Watch Al-Jazeera, i see it on at my grandmas house sometimes, and it gives you a completely different side of the war.

hmmm, but in the case of Japan/USA, the war had already officially began.

funny you mention CNN. Some people call it the Communist News Network for being 'too liberal'

People that watch Fox, mostly.

 



Edited by TMPikachu
Back to Top
Abyssmal Fiend View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 18-Aug-2004
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 233
  Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 19:36
No no no. There was a German Sniper who wound up killing some 40 or so Russian Commanders, over 100 snipers (Some sources say 500, but Russia didn't employ many more than 5,000, counting 2,000 women, did they?), and a "group of armed citizens". Meh.
Back to Top
ArmenianSurvival View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 11-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1460
  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2004 at 20:07
Originally posted by TMPikachu

Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival

A majority of these posts make great sense. So would you call America's attack on Japan in WWII a terrorist attack or military action? They solely targeted civilians, just as terrorists...and they did it because they were under attack from that country, just as the terrorists are under attack from America. The difference is, terrorists dont kill 50,000 civilians at a time like America did, their attacks are more frequent and much smaller in scale. So what differentiates the two? I would like to hear your thoughts.

And a lot of Iraqi civilians have died in this war, more than most people think, whether unintentionally or deliberately....they wont show it on CNN. Watch Al-Jazeera, i see it on at my grandmas house sometimes, and it gives you a completely different side of the war.

hmmm, but in the case of Japan/USA, the war had already officially began.

funny you mention CNN. Some people call it the Communist News Network for being 'too liberal'

People that watch Fox, mostly.

 

Youre right, the Japan/USA situation was a war, but nontheless, those bombs were meant to hit civilians and cripple their society more than anything. At least Japan bombed a military harbor. Maybe thats why people dont strike at U.S. military bases anymore, the U.S. will just nuke their civilians .

And btw, the U.S. waged war on Iraq, and many of these people see it as a war on Islam. Rightfully so, let the U.S. help the Iraqi people help themselves, dont get militarily involved. How would you feel if the U.S. or any other country occupied your homeland just to "help out your people"? I know id be pretty ticked off.

Most people dont understand that a lot of those people that wanted Saddam out, would rather ally with him just to drive the U.S. and coalition forces out of their country. Thats why theres still fighting going on...most of the militants fighting belong to the sect of Islam that Saddam was NOT part of, and they make up the vast majority of the population in Iraq. But, they are fighting against U.S. forces because they would rather fix their own problem rather than be embarassed and exploited while the rest of the world watches.

Mass Murderers Agree: Gun Control Works!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Resistance

Քիչ ենք բայց Հայ ենք։
Back to Top
Abyssmal Fiend View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 18-Aug-2004
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 233
  Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2004 at 10:33
Lol, why does that seem so true? I'm positive the only reason Bush himself didn't nuke Saddam would be because the UN would have a fielday with that, and he'd be out of Britian for an ally.
Back to Top
Genghis View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2656
  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2004 at 20:04

Can we please not make this a thread about Bush.  This is one of the few places I come when I want to talk history and not politics.

As for attacking civilians, I don't think it's wrong, just usually ineffective.

Member of IAEA
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.