A terrorist and a freedom fighter are two different things. Their missions differ in scope and goals. For example, the former uses violence and fear against civilians; the latter is a person who battles against tyranny. But based on their political partisanship, politicians unfairly label selected terrorist groups as freedom fighters and vice-versa.
Terrorism is international. Infamous terrorist groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko-Haram carry out their violent operations on a global scale. Also, The Taliban, Al-Nusra Front, and al-Shabaab operate in local or regional geographic areas. But big or small, terrorists are terrorists; it makes no difference. Their common objective is to wreak havoc, in that sense the higher the impact of an attack, the better the result.
In the last few decades, terror attacks around the world have been exponentially on the rise. Some of them include September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States by Al-Qaeda that caused nearly 3000 deaths and enormous material losses; the October 29, 2005 Tentena market bombing in Indonesia killed 180 people; on November 13, 2015, a series of terrorist attacks killed 137 people in France. The list goes on and on.
The impact of terror attacks is also economically catastrophic. The two areas most affected are tourism and the economy plus the destruction of lives and properties; market uncertainty and xenophobia.
On the other hand, Freedom Fighters are the good guys. They take up arms to fight against oppressive regimes. Most of the time, their cause is just and they enjoy the support of the population. Historically, some freedom fighters die for the good cause they advocate.
In contrast, those who are successful in their quest for freedom are often awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of those well-known Nobel laureates include Mahatma Gandhi of India, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Dalai Lama of Tibet. Most of them used passive and pacific means in their pursuit of freedom.
Also, some freedom fighters went on to become president or prime minister of their respective country, save Dalai Lama who is living in exile.
Yet it is conflicting when western leaders collude with terrorists as their proxies. For example, in the Syrian war, ISIS and Al-Nusra were under the protective umbrella of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, etc. It was simply an alliance of convenience to reach a political goal. By the way, it's worth noting that Russia is the only country truly fighting terrorists in Syria. .
For instance, Trump administration called Al-Nusra moderate when it is, in fact, a terrorist group hidden under the wings of Al-Qaeda. One can easily understand that a lot is at stake in Syria. America and Al-Nusra have a similar goal and a mutual enemy (Syria).
It's also alleged that ISIS was founded and supported by the United States and others. What a shame! Like most western powers, the goal of ISIS was to topple the government of Bashar Al-Assad or to balkanize Syria altogether. If it was the case, the American gas pipeline would finally reach Europe through Syria or through ISIS Syrian-controlled territory.
In other words, groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis and others are not terrorists; they are freedom fighters who are fighting to free their lands from oppression and brutal occupation. Those guys should be viewed as true freedom fighters who are leading a revolution for the betterment of their people. Their armed revolution is no different from the 1791 Haitian revolution that later proclaimed Haiti independent. Unlike terrorists, the goal of freedom fighters is freedom and justice.
Let's call it as it is: a terrorist is not a freedom fighter; a freedom fighter is not a terrorist. They are very dissimilar. As terrorists destroy and kill, freedom fighters battle tyrants for justice. It's time for biased governments to label terrorists as such and freedom fighters for what they really are, and not for what fits some neoconservatives' political interests.