Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Insurgents are, by definition, those who are rising in revolt against the established authority. "Insurgents" connotes oppression and a governing authority that is unjust. "Insurgents" implies that those who are rebelling are nationals of the country in which they are staging an uprising and thus have a right to stand up for themselves. As we have all seen, "insurgents" has been the most popular term in the media for those who fight against the coalition troops in Iraq or perform terrorist acts there. (See also, "rebels" for the Muslim radicals in Russia.)

Soon the term is going to be applied in the United States. Soon the media will designate terrorist acts simply as Americans acting as insurgents against a government with which they disagree. Homeland Security can hunt down terrorists, but what about insurgents? Surely insurgents have the right to make their beliefs and opinions known. And if we aren't listening, then they'll have to blow something up. This is included in freedom of speech isn't it?

The lines are gray in an unprecedented war against an enemy that doesn't wear a uniform or fight under a national government. The protrayal of those who take lives and those who take hostages and behead them as people who are just trying to throw off an oppressive military labeled "occupiers" instead of "liberators" makes the issue even less defined. The notion that America somehow deserves everything bad that occurs is horribly distorted propaganda from a U.S. media as well as a world that is uncomfortable with one superpower and even further unable to comprehend the altruistic intentions of the U.S. and its allies.

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