What is the difference between an "Insurgent" and a "Rebel"?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by EmptyForceOfChi, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    What is the difference between an "Insurgent" and a "Rebel"

    Peace.
     
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  3. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    None, as they will soon both be dead.
     
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  5. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    I don't understand, words will die? is this a reply to the OP or something else?.
     
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  7. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, they and their words.

    (The meanings can be found in a dictionary.)
     
  8. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    Who is "they" (Insurgents and Rebels?), and what words are "Theirs" Are you saying an insurgent is a Rebel? and a Rebel is an Insurgent?.
     
  9. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    See dictionary.
     
  10. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    For what?
     
  11. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    The OP Question remains un-answered.

    Peace.
     
  12. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    Insurgent(noun): A rebel or revolutionary.

    Rebel(noun): A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler.

    Not much of a difference in book meaning. In application though, the media refers to insurgents as Middle-Eastern terrorists.

    Hope that answers your question.
     
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    An insurgent usually means someone who lives in the country that they are fighting for while a rebel could be a mercenary from anywhere brought in to help the insurgents .
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I would have thought the main difference is that insurgencies are always aggressive, whereas rebellions can be peaceful.

    So in this regard: while all insurgents are rebels, not all rebels are insurgents.
    For example, Ghandi was a rebel, but he was not an insurgent.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That's the distinction that Wikipedia makes, although I don't find it in the dictionaries: an insurgent is an armed rebel.
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Really? It's the way I've always understood the terms (Wiki or not)... fairly interchangeable on the most part. I guess it's 'cos I can't recall ever hearing of a peaceful insurgency.

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  17. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    That is also my opinion. (A rebellious child is not an insurgent.)
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Indeed. "Rebel" can be applied to a teenager who doesn't come home on time, a music composer who likes chromatic scales and polyrhythmic structure, or a member of the office staff who wears business-casual clothes on Tuesday.

    An "insurgent" is a much more serious problem to a whole lot more people. He is attempting to overthrow a government, or at the very least its control over a local area. This generally involves violence, although these days it might be done with some sophisticated computer hacking.
     
  19. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    In a nation allied with the USA, someone fighting the government there is an insurgent. In a nation not allied with the USA, someone fighting the government there is a rebel or freedom fighter.:bugeye:
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I don't find that to be true. The newspapers I read refer to armed rebels who are actively trying to overthrow the government of any country--friend or foe--as insurgents. Although I'll grant you they are not consistent. I think it varies from one writer to the next. Sometimes they refer to them as rebels, again with no regard to our relationship to the government they're trying to overthrow.
     
  21. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    the word insurgent has been used when someone is fighting the US compared to rebel when they are fighting either a nation the US doesnt care about (like congonese rebels) or when they are surported by the US (Libya)
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Perhaps in your newspapers. I have not found that usage at all consistent in ours. As I said, I'm not sure many people know the difference. They just think "insurgent" is a fancy word for "rebel."
     
  23. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps you don't watch national news shows.
     

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