While listening and reading the news about the battles in Libya, I keep hearing an interesting turn of phrase.
Now the radio program On the Media has already done a piece about how reporters changed the labels of those fighting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from “protesters” to “rebels”. It’s a good piece and worth listening to. How one calls a thing really does determine how one thinks about a thing.
What I have heard lately is the phrase used to describe those fighting against the rebels. That phrase I see and hear over and over again is “pro-Gaddafi” forces (see here and here and here for samples).
Pardon me for splitting hairs but wouldn’t the fighting force battling for a government be called an “army”. Why don’t these stories refer to the forces fighting for the Libyan leader as “the Libyan army”?
It’s almost like refering to the Battle of Antietam as a fight between the Confederate rebels and the pro-Lincoln forces.
Then again, I’m sure there’s a purpose to refering to the Libyan army as “pro-Gaddafi”…I wonder what it is.