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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Winston Smith, call your office:
insurgent (noun)
1. rebel: somebody who rebels against authority or leadership, especially somebody belonging to a group involved in an uprising against the government or ruler of a country.
-- Encarta

Resistance (noun)
Secret nationalist force fighting occupation: an illegal secret organization that fights for national freedom against an occupying power, especially one that fought in France, the Netherlands, Denmark, or Italy during World War II.
also Encarta

Obviously, both types of groups are active in Iraq. The insurgents are clearly the American-led "coalition": I mean what is regime change if it isn't an uprising against the government or ruler of a country? The Iraqis attacking US soldiers are clearly a "resistance," since they are fighting an occupying power.

The CIA and AP still have the terminology right, at least as far as the resistance goes; but NBC and CNN have followed the lead of the LA Times and started calling the resistance "insurgents" or "militants," in addition to the all-purpose "terrorists." Tom Brokaw must have said "insurgents" ten times tonight. The term grants illegitimate authority to the invaders.