If they lack legitimacy, yeah, they are terrorists!

In response to a comment about a post on the common wealth club web site, I wrote:

Jason was defining a soldier not a terrorist. Jason proposes two reasonable qualifications for being a soldier:

a) A member of an Army that was formed by a democratically elected leader

b) A member of an Army that was formed by an internationally recognized leader

Assuming he would define a terrorist as “not a soldier” (Jason don’t let me put words in your mouth), terrorists would be the fighting class of a country that are not members of the official army (i.e. Hamas in Palestine).

Was there a legitimate French Army during Vichy France? If not, can it be said that any fighting force (i.e. the resistance) was illegitimate or terrorists? In other words, given Jason’s definition of a soldier (and his implicit definition of a terrorist), do the freedom fighters of WWII France qualify as terrorists?

NOTE: I’m not a WWII history expert! đŸ™‚

Henri-Philippe Petain was not an elected leader. He was ambassador to Spain before being recalled to France in hopes of increasing morale in the country (HPP was a WWI hero). After Paul Reynaud, the French Prime Minister, resigned, he was appointed to Reynaud’s post and quickly gave himself dictatorial powers. Roosevelt recognized his government for a while during the war, but Churchill was quick to back De Gaulle’s opposition government. I wouldn’t say the Vichy government was internationally recognized.

So neither of the two possible conditions apply to Vichy France and its hard to see why, under Jason’s definition of a soldier, la Resistance freedom fighters would be called terrorists.

Ask the Palestinian’s, who is your leader; I think they’ll answer Arafat. Ask the world, who is the legitimate leader of Palestine and the Palestinian people; it’ll answer Arafat. Ask Arafat if Hamas, or others of their ilk, are his or Palestine’s Army, I think he’ll answer no. Now, why aren’t Hamas/etc terrorists?


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