Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Calling a killer a killer

Today, as on so many days in the past, the murderers of the Iraqi people set about to blow a bunch of them to bits, and have succeeded. Sixty is today's number. The killers must be so very proud.

And here is the AP headline on the story. It begins with the word Insurgents.

The definition of the word "insurgents" is as follows: People who are fighting against the government in their own country. So, how is it that the media persists in calling them this? This is not merely a matter of nitpicky semantics, either; words have power and meaning, and the use of this one lends worldwide legitimacy to people who should have absolutely none. There is a perfectly good alternative available, too--"terrorists"--and the consistent refusal to use it is deplorable.

Yes, many of these attacks target police. But many of them target ordinary citizens. There is no question that these killers, whom I refuse to call "insurgents" because it is an insult to language and thought (and true insurgents, wherever they might be), are cold-blooded murderers. There is also very little question that many of them are not in their own country; many are foreigners.

My question is this: has there ever, in modern history (or even in ancient history), been an "insurgency" bent on indiscriminately murdering its own people in droves? I cannot think of one.

The closest historical precedent I can think of (and it is far from a perfect one) is Hitler's plan to take revenge on the German people as a whole after he knew the war was lost. If he and his Reich were to be destroyed, all Germans should go down with the ship, too. His motive seemed to be an indiscriminate and murderous nihilistic rage at the thwarting of his own desire for power over the people. That seems to be the motive here, too.

If the killers in Iraq had only targeted policemen, it would be bad enough, but at least it would be a strategic move, although a reprehensible one--a move against people who at least work for the government (or are planning to). But a marketplace, as in one of today's bombings? Or people walking on a street, or going to mosques, as has occurred in past bombings?

Was Timothy McVeigh ever called an "insurgent?" After all, he targeted government workers, didn't he? How come I don't recall the AP ever referring to him as such? And he actually fits the bill better than the Iraqi killers do--at least he was not a foreigner. He was targetting government workers in his own country--that is, innocent people who happened to work for the government.

The mass murderers of the Iraqi people (that's what I choose to call them) seem to be operating out of a desire to kill; a blood-lust, as it were. If the police station isn't available, a market will do just as well. Their target is only tangentially the government of Iraq; their true target is the people of Iraq, whom they cannot control. And, since Iraq is now a democracy, that makes sense, I guess--the government is the people of Iraq.

After each of these attacks, I feel a white-hot rage. If I--ordinarily a mild-mannered American woman, not knowing any of the victims personally--can feel this way, I can only imagine what the true victims, the Iraqi people, must feel.

One thing I keep hoping they feel, though, is courage. So far they have; and for this, they are the true heroes.

17 Comments:

At 12:41 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

The term 'nihilists' would be entirely condign. Or if the Islamicsts' avowed faith needs to be taken into account, then 'real world nihilists' could be invoked. Perhaps a more incisively apt descriptor exists, I know of none better.

 
At 1:25 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Well said, Neo. Using that word, insurgent, lends a slight degree of legitmacy to the murder of civilians, Muslim men killing Muslim children and other non combatants near schools and hospitals and market places. One would expect our media to at least call them terrorists, if not vicious, blood thirsty animals. I am hearing no real condemnation of this, and that is just about as sick and sad as the actual murder itself.

 
At 3:17 PM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In previous generations the media would simply called these scum 'the enemy'. My inference from their failure to do so it that they consider these terrorists to be only George Bush's enemy, not theirs.

 
At 3:28 PM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

This inappropriate use of the word "insurgents" has angered me from the time I first noticed it's use instead of the accurate words "killers", "murderers" or "terrorists". God forbid the MSM use a word that has a definite negatively judgemental connotation....oops, I'm wrong...they have no problem using the disparaging word "lied" when it comes to Bush.

 
At 7:15 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Brian H said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:16 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Brian H said...

I like the phrase "anti-liberationists". A bit awkward, but it has the virtue of being equally applicable to the fellow-travellers in the MSM, amongst others. We pro-liberationists know who they are.

 
At 10:16 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger jj mollo said...

In my analogy, I would call them Klansmen.

 
At 11:56 PM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous 11BRAVO said...

I like murderers, but savage, uncivilised brutal killers will also work..

 
At 1:35 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not random murder, they did not miss a checkpoint and pick a market instead. The violence is the means to an end and it has been for twenty years. The people who plan the mission decided to detonate someone in a crowd as a show of strength. I recomend Sun Tzu "Art of War".

-Mike who thinks his last post is dramatic and enjoyed the time he spent with dionyusus (sp<-:)

 
At 3:49 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Steel Turman said...

I like to call 'em DEAD.

 
At 5:06 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous robert aldridge said...

Sadly, NNC, terrorism has always targeted civilians. During the Vietnam war (and I was anti-war,ie anti US involvement) I distinctly recall the Viet Cong throwing grenades into market places. Shamefully, I remember ducking the issues, not confronting them, because it would have weakened a polarised opinion; "Yes, it's terrible, BUT..."; The idea of terrorism is to destabilise the government and rob it of credibility by showing they cannot protect their own people - the FIRST duty of any government. Russian terrorists did it in Czarist days, the IRA did it, ETA do it. It is only in relatively recent years that I realise there is NO excuse for such atrocities. Political terrorism is the ideal cover for thugs, murderers, psychopaths. I once believed the "cover", but realised belatedly that if you excuse ten innocent deaths, why not twenty? thirty? three thousand? the argument is always the same "these people are desperate!" I agree with Michael B. These guys are nihilists.

 
At 5:42 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

Call them what they are- MURDERERS!

 
At 6:43 AM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I think terrorists are more like rapists, their actions are mostly for the sake of control and to have feelings of power in their lives. In my opinion, power is an addiction every bit as intense and destructive as that of drugs, gambling, sex, eating, work, alcohol. I think it is the most destructive of the addictions.

 
At 7:56 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Randall said...

If the MSM is so concerned with accurately describing those whom it calls "insurgents," I would like to suggest:

Anti-Democracy Militants

Accurate, descriptive, and precisely how the terrorists describe themselves.

 
At 1:20 PM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

To answer the question, yes.

The Algeriann indepedence movement is said to have killed twenty Algerians for every Frenchman it killed.

If the population can be intimidated by terror, the other side is going to have a very hard time.

Imposing the terror on the civilian population is known by liberals as grassroots support for the forces of revolution.

 
At 1:46 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Anon, 2:35,

Not at all dramatic, simply descriptive. Your implied definition of the term is valid. However, my own use is valid as well, with a focus on the personal and psychological/moral rather than political/strategic, a focus that does not deny the essentially strategic intent of these jihadists.

An undramatic quibble at best though.

 
At 8:28 PM, May 15, 2005, Blogger PatCA said...

I agree that it's the press vs. the government, but I would call it a renewal of a war that began during the Civil War, when newspapers first mastered the technology of production and distribution to accomplish their owners' political aims. I'm reading about the Copperheads now, and it's quite telling: an exact duplicate of the vitriolic campaign against Bush and the US today.

I hope the common sense of Americans previals--and look forward to the day when we dedicate another Memorial in DC. If the current prez succeeds in Iraq, I'll be there. :)

 

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