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How did an insurgent become a rebel?
The key to ensuring your war remains a popular one has all to do with the language you use.
As well as the killings and violence the six month civil war in Libya has had another one important factor.
Who was once described as an ‘insurgent’ has almost overnight become a ‘rebel’. An insurgent is someone we associate with killing our brave troops. An insurgent is someone who is associated too much with those unpopular wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The very word insurgent makes us think about suicide bombs and ‘Al-Qaeda’.
A rebel meanwhile through popular culture has remained someone we can back. The use of the word rebel by the mainstream media and the government has made this war far more legitimate to sell.
Regardless, of how and what we associate wars with, would the bombing of Libya have been easier if we had from the beginning backed an insurgency? To win any war of ratings you must first decide on the terminology to use.
What has also seemed to be missing from this clever use of language is the number of actual air strikes by NATA against the Libyan government or should we say regime. Well, according to one source 17,329 NATO Sorties and 6,542 Strike Missions have taken place.
And the civilian cost of the airstrikes also seems to be reported rarely. Are we aware that on May 13, eleven religious Imams were killed and 50 people injured when an airstrike struck a group praying for peace in the region?
The essential feature here is that we back the rebels and bomb the insurgents. Or to put it simply rebels are the ones we arm and the insurgents are those people who aim to harm the rebels we have put in charge.