Year of the Insurgents

The year 2004 was defined by rebellion all around

One word brought together the disparate events of 2004: insurgency. It's a strange term--but we've got quite used to it. Think of it as not quite a revolution but more than mere discontent. The dictionary describes it as "a condition of revolt against a recognized government that does not reach the proportions of an organized revolutionary government." Yep, a war that is not a real war, a halfway, inconclusive revolt without end, a battle of attrition that polarizes as it goes essentially nowhere.

In Iraq it had a literal meaning. Each month the number of attacks on coalition troops went up,...

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