Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No More Doublespeak

Jomama links to an interesting article about the doublespeak psychopaths use to legitimize ruling over others: http://djomama.blogspot.com/2006/11/look-at-language-of-psychopath.html.

I learned over the past several days that the federal government characterizes no Americans as “hungry”; rather, they have various degrees of “food insecurity”. The justifications and arguments about the war are even more rife with doublespeak. Bush keeps talking about finishing the “job” and “winning” the war in Iraq before he will consider a “strategic redeployment”. I have yet to learn what the “job” is and how we will know we have finished it. And what constitutes winning, and how will we know that we achieved it.

Frankly, I don’t think the regime had any idea what it was doing when it invaded Iraq and toppled Hussein. Certainly, the military knew it could overwhelm the Iraqi defenses with relative ease and effect regime “change” in short order. Rumsfeld had invested a lot in creating a lighter, more mobile army designed for quick campaigns such as the invasion of Iraq. In the process, he had pretty much taken away any capacity it may have had to occupy that country and maintain order in the face of insurgency and civil war. The army was set up to kill some folks and break their stuff and then go home and train to do it again somewhere else, not to serve as policemen and social workers in a place where the language and culture were an utter bafflement.

Olbermann had one of those retired Colonels-turned-pundits on his program the other day to discuss, among other things, NBC’s decision to use the word “civil war” to describe what is happening in Iraq. Bush prefers “new phase in sectarian violence”, but NBC has decided to call it as it sees it. The Colonel was blunt in his assessment that there is no ambiguity about whether there is a “civil war” in Iraq and what would be required for the US to quell it. Several hundred thousand additional troops would be needed to establish more or less a police state to kill or capture every enemy of the “government” recognized by the US. And this would have to go on for a very long time, perhaps decades. Given that such a “government” would probably have no legitimacy, just about every Iraqi not a collaborator would be an enemy of the government to some degree.

If this is what it would take to “win”, with almost incalculable costs in lives, money, and freedom, then winning may not be a suitable goal. What would there be to show for such an effort at the end of the day? Unless the US is prepared to occupy and govern Iraq forever with an iron fist that will make Iraqis nostalgic for the Baathists, there will inevitably be a day of reckoning for the collaborators (or “duly constituted civil authority”, if you prefer) who had been propped up by the occupation. The state that emerges from a post-occupation Iraq is not going to be a friend to the US. The continued occupation and administration of a police state will win the US enemies everywhere and erode whatever credibility, if any, it still has. The enormous costs will be borne by already overtaxed taxpayers who will receive not one whit of a benefit.

The Colonel’s bluntness was refreshing. It’s time to shout the doublespeakers off the stage. NBC has a long way to go yet to make up for its fawning to the regime, but the use of an accurate term, "civil war", is a start.

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