Thursday, April 03, 2003

I've noticed that the English language is starting to take a pounding in the massacre of the Iraqi people. The suicide attackers are being described as 'terrorists'. The British had soldiers captured in Basra and said that they had been 'kidnapped'. In a sense, while both of these uses mangle the language, they also betray an admission of the truth. In a real war, attackers against soldiers aren't terrorists. That kind of attack is just another technique of battle. Terrorists are those who attack civilians to obtain political goals. Similarly, in a war when soldiers are captured, they don't become kidnap victims, but rather prisoners of war. In both these cases, the misuse of words demonstrates that the main abuse of language is to call this attack a 'war'. It is not a war - it is an unprovoked and illegal attack on a country to steal its resources. I note that we're starting to see the propaganda ploy of using the term 'militia loyal to Saddam' in place of the more obvious term, 'civilians'. What is happening is that the 'coalition' (another lying term) is attacking towns and cities containing civilians, some of whom are arming themselves with what rifles they have and attempting to defend themselves. The reason they aren't wearing uniforms isn't some dastardly trick by Saddam - the reason they don't have uniforms is that they are not in the army. The Americans have taken the necesssary result of their immoral and illegal acts, the fact that local people will try to defend their lives against unprovoked attacks, and are using it as part of the propaganda battle. They will also use it as justification for when they murder civilians, and as justification for not treating these people according to the Geneva Convention on the ironic basis that they do not deserve the protections provided to soldiers.