Roger L. Simon

No more "insurgents," please

In the wake of the Iraqi election, the use of the term “insurgents” by the mainstream media — a conscious/unconscious attempt to cloak a rag-tag amalgamation of fascists, jihadists and common criminals in the romantic mantle of Pancho Villa — should now be placed in the junk pile. “Insurgents,” in most historical uses, has referred to groups trying to upset an illegitimate or semi-legitimate regime. That is no longer the case, if it ever was. It’s time for the mainstream media to start calling the terrorists by their true names and ideological identities, such as they are. There is no justification any longer for the use of the euphemism “insurgents,” unless you are writing pro-fascist propaganda.

UPDATE: The time has come for the press corps to admit that they have done a terrible job with the whole story. As Christopher Hitchens said this afternoon on the “Friends of Democracy” CSPAN airing: “The majority of the western press placed its bet on the word ‘quagmire’ and have not been able to get off it.” No kidding. Only moments after he spoke, the host interviewed Alissa Rubin, the LA Times chief in Baghdad, and it was like pulling teeth to get her to admit pleasure in the electoral triumph of the Iraqi people. She sounded almost embarrassed. How sad and how pathetic.

The reification continues here.

MORE: Austin Bay – writing back in November – already knew the real name for “insurgents.” He also knows his rock and roll.