Search This Blog

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dirty weasel euphemisms on the old art of War

A) Definition of euphemism

"A euphemism is a substitution of a delicate or inoffensive term or phrase for one that has coarse, sordid, or otherwise unpleasant associations"
"Language exists to express and communicate,but perpetrators reluctant to face up to their guilt often find ways to use language to conceal, confuse, and mislead."  Roy F. Baumeister in EvilInside Human Violence and Cruelty

B) Waging a war of euphemisms

from "collateral damage" to 'cold war' (1)

 a history of weasel words.

  • 1. "friendly fire,"     which means       .............
  • "search-and-destroy missions,"    ...........
  • "collateral damage,"                        ............
  • 4. "neutralising" enemy combatants, ......... 
  •  'Ministry of Defence'                   ........
  • "Special rendition"                       .......... 
  • "Refined interrogation techniques"  ....... 
the unpleasant nature of their work implies that
War comes associated to euphemistic ends.

New expressions:
defense construction // providing active defense // conterforce weapons //a preemptive attack // proactive Cyber Defense

KEY_B__ Different name, same operation:

  1.  "friendly fire," .... "blowing away someone who is on your own side" 
  2. "search-and-destroy missions," ..... "search-and-clear." 
  3.  "collateral damage," ............ "unintended killing of innocent bystanders"
  4.  "neutralising" enemy combatants, which means to kill them
  5.  Ministry of 'Defence' instead of 'War'.
  6. "Special rendition" can be used to refer to kidnapping 
  7. "Refined interrogation techniques" to mean torture

  • BOMBING FOR PEACE, may mean .........
  • BOMBING SAVES LIVES!! .........
                                   the triumph of doublespeak (Orwell)

(1)  The "cold war" expression was actually coined in the 14th century, when Prince Juan Manuel, the regent of Castile and Leon, applied it to the struggle between the Spanish Christians and the Arab Moors. The prince meant that, unlike "hot," or formally declared, wars, the "cold war" began without a declaration of war and ended without a peace treaty.(1) 

 It is a process that begins with the words themselves. But then perpetrators play endless games with words to try and present the shocking and horrific as mundane and ordinary, and to confuse the public while hiding their crimes and sickening intentions so as to alleviate their guilt.

C)  the The Odyssey Dawn in Lybia.
 Odyssey means "an extended adventurous voyage or trip."
 Odyssey Dawn which has been touted as protection of the Libyan people.
A Name By Any Other Rows....led to  the successful and hasty culmination of the Administration's heretofore non-plan of a non-attack in a non-war.  
In other words: "Super-Caliph-Fatalistic-Exit-Strategosis" 

D) JSOC, the acronym

Scahill widens the focus to portray an out-of-control US military, operating through a shadowy organisation called the Joint Special Operations Command, stalking an ever increasing number of targets in an apparently endless war. 
It is a compelling picture that tries to make sense of the spiralling number of drone strikes and targeted assassinations; tries, too, to prise a reaction from viewers who have been desensitised by a decade of such killings.

Scahill began work on the film in early 2010, 
 Scahill wanted to examine President Obama's hawkish foreign policy. 
"We started to investigate a series of night raids [by US forces],and discovered that the people doing the raids were members of this elite secret unit. When we realised where else in the world they were operating, we realised we had a film."

The extent of the US military's covert operations and the amount of "collateral damage" are shocking; the film shows that even US citizens have been the victims of non-judicial executions; 
and the argument that the war on terror is ultimately unwinnable because indiscriminate killings radicalise whole populations is persuasive. 
"Somehow, in front of our eyes, undeclared wars have been launched in countries across the globe; foreigners and citizens alike assassinated by presidential decree;
 the war on terror transformed into a self-fulfilling prophecy," 
Scahill laments at the end of the film. 
"How does a war like this ever end, and what happens to us when we realise what was hidden in plain sight?"

No comments: