It is not surprising that our leaders are getting confused if even the NYT/IHT cannot discern friend from foe. The perils of postmodern democracy are unpredictable indeed. The use of the word “rebels” by the NYT in various articles is indicative.

To be sure, the Libyan opposition has invariably been referred to as “rebels”. That appears to be correct, for it now becomes clear that they are rag-tag organized like rebels, fight rather undisciplined like rebels and, apart from a few faces, have leaders and commanders that are largely unknown (explaining, it is rumoured, why the CIA and MI6 are “on the ground”). Moreover they represent an armed opposition to an elected (albeit tyrannical) government: regular rebels, no doubt, irrespective of their good (who knows?) intentions.

With the killings in Ivory Coast all of a sudden (?) challenging the numbers of the predicted onslaught in Libya, the NYT/IHT now consistently describes the forces of the President-Elect Ouattara as “rebels”. However, they are the forces supporting the democratically elected president, recognized by most as legitimate. Moreover, they are not protected by a no-fly zone, nor has President Sarkozy stated that the local French garrison will assist them to remove Gbagbo, the usurper (presumably commanding “the army”), from power. Being legitimate and unsupported by the Western Triumvirate, they do not fit the Libyan definition of “rebel”. Why then does the NYT/IHT semantically pretend, or insist, that they do?

Simplistic language suffocates advanced civilisation.

Grimburger, 2nd of April 2011