Can we lay to rest the “insurgents”?
Hitchens yesterday made a good case in saying that “The Arab Street” is a vanquished cliché. Now it’s time to vanquish another cliché: the “insurgents”.
Look at the headlines:
116 iraqis die in attack by insurgents
Syria said to train Iraqi insurgents in beheading. Man identified as captured Syrian shown on tape aired by Iraq TV.
Insurgents’ bomb kills 115 in Iraq attack
Here is the definition of insurgent
Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.
Here’s the definition of terrorist
adj : characteristic of someone who employs terrorism (especially as a political weapon); “terrorist activity”; “terrorist state” n : a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons
As Roger L. Simon has said, “Insurgents,” in most historical uses, has referred to groups trying to upset an illegitimate or semi-legitimate regime. That is the true purpose of an insurgency. When a people can only resort to change by no other means because a regime allows no other way, an insurgency arises.
A true insurgency, such as the one in the Ukraine, or the emerging one in Lebanon, can be carried out through non-violent means. It can bring forth positive change. It can lead to democratic reform. Terrorism doesn’t bring anything other than destruction. Its aim is to render chaos, to murder, and to permanently disrupt a society. No ideology other than his own is acceptable to a terrorist. Terrorists destroy innocent bystanders, private property such as homes, and public infrastructure that directly benefit the people at large, such as roads, schools, and hospitals. Terrorism aims to destroy democracy. There is no constructive aspect to terrorism, there never can be, while true insurgents can create a new society.
Calling terrorists “insurgents” is absurd. To paraphrase Uriah Kriegel, a relentless string of bloodbaths initiated by foreigners who murder innocent locals should not be described as an “insurgency.” It is terrorism.
Until the media start noticing the real meaning of the word “insurgent”, please, let’s lay the “insurgents” to rest.
(Cross-posted at Riehl World View)