Defining the difference

William Bennett on NRO:

I agree with David Gelernter who has written that a terrorist is a tyrant out of power.

That’s an excellent formulation and a cogent dismissal that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The difference between a man who fights in order to be left alone and live in freedom and a man who fights in order to gain ascendancy over others and exert power over their lives is polar.

Terror is a tactic, nothing more. In Iraq, neither the “terrorists” nor the occupation Coalition are freedom fighters, as neither side is attempting to bring freedom to Iraq, just different forms of bondage. One is much more desirable than the other, but the Kurds and Shiites already know that they will not be permitted self-determination, which is why the Shiites are boycotting the elections.

It will be interesting to see if all the triumphal pro-democracy noise disappears after the Iraqi elections, given that some of the favored candidates are already making noises about telling the President to remove US forces from Iraq immediately. Perhaps they’ll say one thing in public and another in private, but from the point of view of those of us outside, it will be very difficult for the US government to simultaneously claim that it is upholding freedom and democracy while rejecting the demands of a quasi-democratically elected government.

UPDATE – yes, make that SUNNIS