Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Diction is everything...just ask Rummy-D
The way you speak, the specific words you chose to convey a message can say as much about who you are and what you are trying to do as the actual message. To wit: The Global War on Terror, first introduced after 9-11(The phrase, not the actual..uhm...war, which is now firmly lodges in the American Lexicon which means so many things to so many people) is now not really in high favourability by our government. You see when you use certain Fnords or words that are so laden with meaning that they jump right at the reader, those readers will have certain associations with those words that may or may not be intended. War makes many people (at least Americans) envisage missiles striking buildings with pinpoint accuracy (thanks to all that lovely Government sponsored Desert Storm footage) and vague platoon movements through empty streets, laying down suppression fire and generally being badass. For those who have military training or have family in the armed forces, the images are much different, and probably edged with pride and terror. We won't even get into how different the word WAR becomes when you're from the Ukraine, or the Congo, or even Iraq or Palestine.
Anyway, when people get the idea, as the gov't wished, that we are at WAR, they begin to wonder 'When will this war be over? Who are our allies and our enemies? How will we know we've won? What do we achieve with victory?' The problem with a War on Terror is that Terror cannot be an enemy any more than Love, or Hate or Friendship can be an enemy. It's an abstract concept, really a reaction to certain events. It makes even LESS sense than the War on Drugs, which has been fought so ineptly and corrupted so thoroughly that you could replace War with Inroads and ON with For and not be too far off the mark.
The administration has decided that it doesn't like to silly questions from the public whom it is serving like 'Are we winning the war?' or 'When will the war be over' or 'When the War is over, will we get our freedoms back?' and have now changed diction.
THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR has now been changed to THE GLOBAL STRUGGLE AGAINST VIOLENT EXTREMISTS
GWOT = GSAVE
A war has a definite beginning and end, implies common sacrifices for common goals and has a specific enemy that must be defeated before victory can be achieved. A struggle is ever lasting and a violent extremist could be anything from a hate-filled Jihadist with a bomb to a couple of angry teens protesting water too polluted to drink in Mexico. Not only does the new jargon try to let the Govt off the hook, it gives legs to the Orwellian Ideal of Perpetual war, which means that your rights and freedoms are actually privileges the Gov't can revoke any time it feels the need.
This is the Power of Words, The Power of Language. Right now it's being used against the citizens of this country in a type of psychological warfare, like extreme propaganda.
Behold and tremble...