Monday, January 22, 2007

Reuters is once again referring to Al Qaeda's cockroaches in Baghdad as "Rebels." 

Like they're led by Luke Skywalker or something.

(Image from STFU)

Apparently, they're rebelling against whatever we've got.
Jason -

First, heartfelt and everlasting thanks for your service to our country.

Second, thanks for linking to your work posted at PressThink. Your writing was very clear, concise and logical, unlike the opposing side. I never quite understood what they were trying to say.

That being said, I have to question why Reuters shouldn't call the Iraqi insurgents rebels. After all, aren't they rebelling against the existing central government? Help me out here and explain where I'm going wrong in my thinking.

That's a hilarious image. Thanks!
Why shouldn't we call them "rebels?" Because it cedes to them an important rhetorical victory. It romanticizes their cause by putting them in the same linguistic category as Robert E. Lee, Luke Skywalker, George Washington, and James Dean.

Teenagers rebel. But none of the above rebelled against the very bedrocks of humanism and liberalism. Rather, they rebelled in order to uphold them. (You can quibble with Lee, of course, and James Dean is in another category - but he serves more than the others to demonstrate the innocuous nature of the term.

Further, it's not like Al Qaeda is a well-meaning but misguided agent of Iraqi nationalism. They are not resisting Maliki and the United States in order to further the cause of economic and social justice. They don't even pretend to make that old-guard revolutionary argument.

They are agents of death and destruction. They are murderous beasts. There is no redeeming quality to them, other than the notion that they are human and were created in God's image like the rest of us (until they crapped all over God by expressing such vile hatred towards their fellow man).

To grant them the descriptor 'rebel' is not even descriptive. Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer weren't "rebels" either - and no sane editor would describe them as such - yet a single car bomb routinely causes more death, mayhem, suffering, disfiguration, and loss than both these beasts put together.

Anyone who uses the term "rebel" to refer to Al Qaeda has no respect for the victims, the language, or for the freedoms the rest of us cherish.
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