The IRA didn't just hit military targets, they hit civilian ones. Bombing civilian targets on purpose IS terrorism.
You ignore history if you don't think they committed some terrorist acts or if you assume they didn't kill non Irish Catholic civilians.
That's my point, you're just coming at it from a different angle.
Bombing civilian targets in order to cause fear is terrorism. But the same man who blew the knee caps off a drug dealer one month may fire an RPG into an RUC patrol car the next month.
The RUC patrolman who shoots an IRA member planting a bomb near his police station is in the same faction as the Para who guns down protestors on a bloody Sunday.
Neither man is a "terrorist" even though in one case the man utilized terrorism to instill fear in his enemies and the other is in the same faction as one who guns down unarmed protesters.
Terrorist is a BS term.
Nothing ever justifies attacks on non-military targets. Nothing.
I would include Hiroshima and Nagasaki in this (and most of WWII).
You attack the military, not the people. This includes police forces. Police forces are public servants, not the tip of a federal warhammer. The policeman who shoots a man about to explode a bomb, even at a precinct or military base is a hero and a servant of the public good.
You forget that there are many people in the police hq's and military bases who are civilians, they are non-combatants. They are not responsible for the actions of, nor are they equal with combatants.
Vamrat, you are not too far away from Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida, because your attempts to rationalize terrorism is the exact kind of rhetoric and rationalization they used to justify the 9/11 attacks.
There is a big difference between guerrilla warfare and terrorism, as you admit. However you are not drawing the line correctly here. Ignoring the violations of human rights and Geneva Conventions, out in the battlefield, the VC and the VPA engaged the United States in guerrilla warfare. This would exclude their burning of villages and attacks on civilians.
If you watch videos from Iraq and especially Afghanistan, you will also see guerrilla warfare. Hit and run attacks, ambushes & traps, surprise attacks by smaller forces.
Guerrilla warfare is far different from terrorism.
Another good example are the Serbians. There were some Serbians who were guilty of genocide and terrorism during the conflict over Kosovo. They were NOT justified in the actions that they took. If it remained a military conflict between military forces, then the UN may not of stepped in, who knows. Sure, the Muslims did the exact same to the Serbs, but a similar action by one never justifies "an eye for an eye" response from the other. Now we have to deal with Kosovo as a separate entity, and the fact that so many Muslims are afraid of and hate Jesus Christ because of what some idiots did in his supposed name. The missionary work of the Orthodox Church was made harder because of the hatred and violence. Violence against civilians is not permissible and anyone involved with it needs to be prosecuted.
Changes in strategies are a Pandora's Box than cannot be closed once opened. War in no longer between generals and armies. From the US Civil War on, and arguably earlier, wars have not been fought between armies but between economies and entire states. As I have tried saying, even actions against military forces are not what decides the matter, it is the wearing down of the country through these military actions that decides the war. Germany lost WWI because their economy couldn't keep up. The South lost the Civil War because no matter how many victories they won, the North would throw out a new army as well as attacking on other fronts. In WWII Germany and Japan lost because they could not replace losses like the US and the Soviet Union could. The nuclear bombs dropped on Japan showed to the Japanese that we could destroy their infrastructure, one plane and one bomb at a time.
Wars will always be won by the side which fights as efficiently as necessary to have a greater return for their efforts than their opponents will. I am not saying this is right or wrong, I am saying this is true. I can back up this statement with numerous examples from history. You show me one instance in the entirety of human history where a nation purposefully made themselves weaker than their opponent and won.
Guerrilla warfare and terrorism are both different tactics that may be employed at times by the same participant. I have already said this. You say attacks on civilians are never permissible. I ask you, permissible by whom? You cannot say what is permitted and what is not without having the strength to back up this direction. The winner decides what was permissible and what wasn't. This is why American incineration of thousands of Japanese civilians was a permissible act of war and Japanese slaughtering of civilians with sword and bayonet wasn't. They lost.
Remember, only losers commit acts of terrorism. The winners were freedom fighters all along.
Maybe you've heard of human rights and the Geneva Conventions? Yeah, that determines what is and isn't permissible.
There are rules of engagement and rules for warfare. You cannot use WMDs, this includes biological attacks. You cannot strike civilians or civilian targets.
WWII was a disaster and a tragedy, and in fact, WWII (and WWI) was the primary reason that the Geneva Conventions were expanded. In WWII they struck civilian targets with carpet bombing and all other sorts of tactics.
We have the ability to try a lot of these terrorists with human rights violations and in international court, and they would be found guilty.
Terrorism is not a valid tactic for a military to use. If a military uses it, its perpetrators risk being arrested and tried for their crimes. Look at Serbia as a prime example. They were stupid and in fact, evil for doing what they did. Had they stuck to the rules of warfare and the Geneva Conventions, I seriously doubt the UN and NATO would have stepped in like they did.
Look at Syria, the government has no justification for striking civilian targets. Even if they win the war, Bashar Al Assad and the military leaders of that country will not be able to leave the nation because they will be arrested and tried for the violation of human rights and international law. The rebels who also have violated these rights should also be tried.
Going back to Serbia, Kosovo may belong in Serbia; but nothing justifies the actions many Serbians took to achieve that goal.
Also, vamrat, you need to learn a little bit about Christian just war theory and some of the writings of St. Augustine and other Saints. A Christian can be a soldier, and the killing of enemy soldiers on the battlefield is not equated with cold-blooded murder. However, Christians are not justified or excused for killing innocent human beings, that IS cold-blooded murder.
Military leaders who encourage genocide and who encourage attacks on civilians deserve to be tried in court and punished for what they did, because it is a crime. The Serbian leaders who led the crimes against the Muslim people deserved what they got. However, at the same time, the Muslim groups who did the same thing on the other side also deserve to be punished.
It doesn't matter how justified you think you are, you are never justified. Especially not as an Orthodox Christian.