I can call a tail a leg, but that doesn’t make the name fit. – Abraham Lincoln
In the modern world, one word that universally draws looks of scorn and derision is “terrorist.” Terrorism is agreed by the vast majority of people to be disgusting, shameful, and a revolting means to allegedly lofty ends. However, like any label, this particular word can be woefully misapplied, with devastating consequences.
In 1985, high-ranking officials within the Reagan administration launched clandestine negotiations with Iran to supply weapons to Lebanese supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s leader, in exchange for American hostages being held in Iran in direct contravention of standing US policy concerning negotiation with terror regimes. These sales generated millions of dollars, which were then routed, along with guns, to Nicaraguan guerilla fighters.
Although the Contras, as they were called, were universally decried as terrorists, the fact is that the Contrarrevolucionarios were a grass-roots Nicaraguan patriotic movement working to destabilize and overthrow the oppressive Sandinista regime, which had recently risen to power on the ashes of the forty-year Somoza dictatorship. Their bloody struggle was widely documented, and the Contras were labeled guerillas (an accurate term which has acquired unfortunate connotations of late, as guerilla means a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment) and terrorists (a label far better suited to the Iranian regime et al). It would be five years before the Sandinistas were ousted from power in open elections in 1990.
Today, groups and cultures worldwide who are fighting for their lives against oppression are called “terrorists,” whether justly or not. Even America would not be what it is today without “guerilla” and “terrorist” acts against the ruling British.
Before you assign labels, ponder that for a moment.
 Definition from wordnetweb.princeton.edu