The Death of Language
Euphemism, Dysphemism, Polysemy, Sophistry and Sheer Lies in the Political Rhetoric
September 26, 2002
“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election." Otto von Bismarck
Since language is the most central human attribute, wrongful application of language can profoundly affect negatively on what we think of others and ourselves in the course of human life.
In his essay, “Politics and English Language”, George Orwell said that the recent political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.
As one said that propaganda is to democracy as tyranny is to totalitarianism, It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to tell the truth from lie, when the main stream media, through the massive corporatization, behave as the mouthpieces of the government propaganda just parroting what their master want them to say, such as “war is peace.”
Changing the name of “War Department” in early 20th century to “Department of Defense” in the US Government was one of the linguistic obfuscation that the generals wanted to change their image from the uniformed and licensed killers to the decorated and self-defense patriots.
These obfuscation of language goes beyond a mere word to encompass entire phrases…in the Middle East conflict, where the Israeli Government is a world-class liar, one can count on almost anything what they say as being all false, partly true or false, or true but out of context.
In a world such as the Jewish hypocrisy, where words have lost all meaning, people do not need any dictionary.
For example, when the Jews shoot you, you are, by default, a militant no matter whether you are 6 months old baby, 15 years old kid, or 80 years old grandpa, and when the Palestinian kids throw stones to the Israeli tanks and want to end the Israeli occupation, they are called a bunch of vicious terrorists.
One of the worst semantic games is a popular usage of an euphemistic word, “transfer”, that the Jews often but discreetly used in the past and now openly and publicly dare to use, in place of “ethnic cleansing”, describing the Israeli expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, and the mainstream media willingly accept and parrot it without any compunction. (Contrarily, the West, during the Kosovo War, used the word of “ethnic cleansing” feverishly to dehumanize Slobodan Milosevic.)
The Israeli Broadcasting Authority even has banned its editorial departments from using the term “Settlers, or Settlements” on Radio and TV, and favored the term “neighborhood” in order to depict a “colon”, housing built on land illegally seized by Israel after the 1967 War, as a legitimate suburban region adjacent to the major Jewish residential area.
And the CNN and New York Times sheepishly buckled under the Jewish pressure beginning to refer one of the Jewish Settlements near Jerusalem, Gilo, to Neighborhood…a language of polysemy, a Neighborhood to Jews and a Settlement (colon) to Arabs and media are in favor of the Jews.
Another sophistry and sheer lie in the rhetorical shenanigans are to elevate the State of Israel up to the status of “One and Only” democracy in the Middle East and to call Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as “a man of peace” by George Jr.
The Webster’s New World dictionary defines democracy as, among other things, “the principle of equality of rights, opportunity and treatment, or the practice of this principle”, and none of the words in the description applies to the practices of the Israeli government in toto, and world laughed at George whose words surprised no one, because it is a simpleton’s word only fools swallow it.
During the Gulf War in early 1990s, the Allied Forces have indiscriminately bombed the Iraqi civilian properties and killed thousands of people, one of which air raids killed over 300 men, women, and children who were hiding in a bunker.
When the press corps asked then Joint Chief of Staff and now Secretary of State, Colin Powell about the massacre, the Orwellian General blandly commented it as one of the "Collateral Damage”, an exemplary dysphemism of harsh word “civilian slaughter” and he nonchalantly blurted out; “That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in.”
For him, civilian victims of war are secondary and accompanying damage that is not overtly to be concerned about and brushed aside as enjoyable as a turkey shoot…that is, he wants to provide his audiences with more neutral and amiable feeling about the war.
George Jr. at the first presidential debate opined a brilliant (?) metaphor of a war: “the reason to start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!”… a noble and purified collection of languages by a blowhard who has never risked one’s life at the theater of war, and real wars are not metaphors but horrendous series of mass killing that he obviously predicted later: “there is no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland”, which is absolutely true.
Real wars have a beginning and an end, and even the Cold War has ended…but George Jr. said the war against terrorists has no foreseeable future to end…Americans should be prepared to sacrifice their civil rights for the sake of national security in perpetuity…as Latin maxim suggested that in time of war, the law is silent, “inter arma silent leges.”
After a successful installation of a puppet regime in Afghanistan with an ex-oil salesman who dons a Giorgio Armani mantle, it’s time for another campaign of war, “regime change” in Iraq, another dysphemistic term to describe “overthrow a sovereign government in any means”.
The casus belli is weapons of mass destruction that Iraq allegedly possesses to harm the Americans…it is as flimsy pretext as the North Korea possesses one or two atomic bombs to harm the Americans, surely “a Samson Option” that no North Koreans would remain alive under the massive thermo-nuclear attack by the one and only superman George Jr.
One of our warlord in Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, testified in Congress; “I suggest that any who insist on perfect evidence are back in the 20th Century and still thinking in pre-9/11 terms”…that is, you are as old and useless as last century if you insist to have a reason to go for a war with Iraq, because we are in a perpetual war mode to achieve a goal of the global Pax-Americana dream that the friendly Iraq plays the beachhead to pass through the mirage in the oily desert in the Middle East.
The following is a Shakespearean babble delivered by Rumsfeld, who enjoys ridiculing his audience and playing his word game of disdainful charade, to a crowd of reporters in Brussels in early June, who were asking about the progress of the war on terrorism.
“The message is that there are no “knowns.”
There are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns.
That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns.
There are things we don’t know we don’t know.
So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well, that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns.
And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns…There is another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”
“The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”…it is a masterpiece of sophistry in the word games of Washingtonian rhetoric that Shakespeare would roll over in his grave.
At any rate, how many Americans would have a literary brain to comprehend their Defense Chief’s word games?