Newspeak - Attack

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Newspeak from the Recent Attacks

I, like many other Americans, have been glued to the TV ever since the second plane smashed into the side of the World Trade Center. I'm sure I am not alone in my desire to see all individuals responsible for this act bombed beyond all recognition. I would go as far to say that it's time for America make a few minor adjustments to the world map -- a map that replaces the names Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran (and Israel for that matter) with a single label that reads "Nuclear Wasteland". That being said, it still pains me to see people misusing the English language to describe these events. It also annoys me when I hear people rabble on without having any idea of exactly what this fight is all about. Here is a short list of some the worst examples.

"All warfare is based on deception." - Art of War, SunTzu, Chapter 1, Paragraph 18.

Cowardly Act - The president called these attacks cowardly. Let's take a quick look at the definition of 'Cowardly'.

cowardly \Cow"ard*ly\, a. 1. Wanting courage; basely or weakly timid or fearful; pusillanimous; spiritless. "The cowardly rascals that ran from the battle." --Shak. 2. Proceeding from fear of danger or other consequences
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

When somebody plants a bomb, then proceeds to put as much distance between himself and that bomb as possible, it is permissible to call that person a 'coward'. (Although the term that I would most likely use is 'smart') However, you cannot - if you wish to use the English language correctly - say the same of a suicide bomber. It takes a lot of balls to do what these guys did. You may call this attack a lot of things, but taking control of an 'enemy' plane and smashing it into a skyscraper -- sacrificing your own life to defend your ideas -- can not under any circumstances be considered 'cowardly'. Fanatical?... yes. Suicidal?... Yes. Horrendous?... yes. Cowardly?... No way. Our enemies may be a lot of things, but cowards they are not.

This phrase is most likely being used by individuals who are recalling the terms used to describe the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. They have somehow gotten the idea that all enemies of the US government are cowardly... something that is obviously not the case. It is important to recognize this fact before we declare war on the entire Middle East. These guys are far more dedicated to their ideals than we are -- and are willing to sacrifice anything in order to further their cause. Anybody that calls a suicide bomber a 'coward' is providing us with a clear example of how it is possible to speak without giving any thought what-so-ever to what you are saying.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." - Art of War, SunTzu, Chapter 3, Paragraph 18.

Attack on Freedom People that use this phrasing are probably simply regurgitating the words used in some of America's previous wars. When Nazi Germany attacked a country, the subjugated people lost many of their freedoms. When the U.S. joined WWII, we did so to prevent the same thing from happening to us. Had the Nazi’s conquered all of Europe, they would have undoubtedly turned their attention towards us, and the freedoms we cherished would have been threatened. So, when you are describing WWII, it is correct to say that we were 'Defending our freedom'. In this war, it is America that is the occupying force. We are the ones with troops stationed oversees, and it is the Muslims which are fighting for their 'freedom' - freedom to practice their religion without interference from the outside world. So if anybody is attacking anybody's 'freedom' it is us. The attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on American Capitalism and Multi-Nationalism. These are the ideas were are defending. We Americans need to understand that and stop pretending to be so god-damned 'holier-than-thou'. "Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards." - Art of War, SunTzu, Chapter 2, Paragraph 16.[6/29/2011 3:36:42 PM]

Newspeak - Attack

America is not under threat of invasion. The Arabs are not trying to conquer our land - they only want to remove our influence from their land. But unfortunately, our way of life - the high standard of living we all enjoy rests entirely on the flow of oil from the Middle East. It is imperative that this oil continues to flow. And to make sure that it does, it is necessary for the U.S. to keep troops stationed in this highly volatile area in order to maintain order... or at least try to maintain order. But of course, our presence in the Middle East upsets some Arabs -- Just as the US was upset when the Soviets wanted to put a few missiles down in Cuba. Just as we would be upset at the Canadians if they allowed Iraq to build a base on North America. The simplest way to put an end to these attacks would be to simply pull our troops out of the Middle East. Israel would fall. Kuwait would fall. War would break out between Iraq and its neighbors -- but we would no longer be part of the fight. These terrorists would no longer have any reason to attack us. End of Story -- Problem solved. Unfortunately, things aren't that easy. Without U.S. troops acting as police, war would undoubtedly break out between Arabs and Israel and between the Arabs themselves. Endless warfare would constrict the flow of oil, and could change the balance of power in the area. If certain nations were permitted to conquer their neighbors somebody like Saddam Hussein could wind up controlling an even larger percentage of the oil fields, which would reek havoc in the oil markets and could end up driving the price of oil through the roof. This is why America must maintain a presence in the Middle East. Although this presence is not without its costs, the alternatives would end up costing more in the long term. It is imperative that America continues to collect oil from their lands, no matter how much they whine about it. And to me, whether the Arabs live on top of that land or not is irrelevant. But unfortunately, genocide is probably not one of the options on the table. In any case, the recent attack - in and of itself - was not an attack on our freedom. We are not under any threat on invasion (unless you consider immigration by Arabs to be the same thing as invasion). The only group that can attack our freedoms is our own government. And you can expect scores of new security regulations to be precipitated by these attacks. Our government wants to do everything it can to 'prevent this from happening again' - which will most likely result in laws that erode our constitution rights. But even so, the attacks themselves were not an attack on 'Freedom'.

"One may KNOW how to conquer without being able to DO it. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient You can call these attacks many things. An attack on human life?... yes. An attack on strength; attacking, a America's way of life?... Yes. An attack on America's symbols (capitalism, Military Strength, superabundance of strength." and a failed attack on our leadership)?... Yes. An attack on Freedom?... Not necessarily. Sure... Art of War, Sun-Tzu, Chapter 4, if we didn't have oil we would loose our ability support the high standard of living we have Paragraphs 4-6. now, but that is not the same as loosing of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Whether or not this attack succeeds in destroying our Freedom is entirely up to us - and our politicians. But our politicians aren't interested in keeping us free, they only want to keep us safe. Watching all our politicians rushing to curtail our civil liberties while hoisting the banner of freedom reminds me of one of the three key philosophies of Ingsoc... Freedom is Slavery

Terrorist Attack As opposed to what other kind of attack? A peaceful, friendly attack? It is safe to say that anybody in the process of being bombed succumbs to a certain degree of terror. I'm sure the Iraqis felt some serious terror when US bombs were falling on them for weeks on end. These recent attacks on the east coast may have killed thousands of people, but American bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of Arabs over the last decades - So what do we call those attacks that have killed at least 10 times as many? Why, we call it 'peacekeeping', of course. This phrasing is a perfect example of the natural tendency to see our side as the 'Good Guys', and the other side as the embodiment of evil. Now, don't get me wrong - I support our side. I just want to make sure everybody else that supports our side understands exactly what are side is. This is not, as president Bush claimed, a battle between 'Good and evil'. This is a battle between Islamic Nationalist on one side, and the Capitalist that want access to the resources of the Islamic nations on the other side. You may call it 'evil' to kill thousands of innocent civilians, but just remember that America killed as more Arabs during Desert storm than 20 World Trade Center attacks combined. And there is no way to claim that every single Arab we buried in the desert was guilty of some crime. America has committed just as many 'evil' acts, if not more, than Usama bin Laden. If we do go to war, it will have nothing to do with 'Freedom and Democracy' -- We will be going to war over Oil -- and America's right to protect that oil by having troops stationed around the world. This is why America has troops in the Middle East. And this is why a lot of Arabs don't like us -- and why they feel they must fight against us.[6/29/2011 3:36:42 PM]

Newspeak - Attack

It is imperative, for the well-being of America, that we protect our interest. I just wish our leaders would have the balls to stand up and tell it like it is instead of lying to the American people. It's no wonder that most Americans have no idea what the word 'Freedom' really means. The only freedom being defended here is the freedom of the American Military to occupy land in 100+ countries. I have a high level of respect for the term 'Freedom', and I hate to see it misused. So don't misunderstand what I am saying. I don't have any problem with America occupying all these nations. I just wish we would admit to what we're doing, and stop acting so damned surprised when the people we are subjugating try to fight back.

"The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources. Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical. No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. "- Art of War, Sun-Tzu, Chapter 12, Paragraphs 16-21.

Update: 2003-12-09 Shock and awe - Inducing "terror" in your enemy... Enemy Combatant - If only Hitler would have called the Jews "Enemy Combatants"...

Iraqi Terrorists All terrorists are generally fighting against some sort of occupation. Irish Terrorists want the U.K. out of Ireland ... Palestinian Terrorists want the Jews out of their land ... and Islamic Terrorists want the US out of the Middle East. Generally, the thing that qualifies these "resistance fighters" for the "terrorist" moniker is that, instead of focusing their "resistance" against government forces, they attack the general population (The people who actually live in the occupied lands, or the citizens of the occupying force's home country). But recently, our government has been using the word "terrorist" to describe those Iraqis who are attacking the American military. Since when are resistance fighters called terrorist? The word Terrorist is often misleading enough, but I'm fairly certain that under no circumstances is it permissible to use it when describing attacks on occupational forces. I suppose the motivation behind this linguistic stretch is to somehow tie Iraq with Al-queda -- the terrorist who were actually responsible for 9-11. The odd thing is that we know that almost all the hijackers on September 11th came from Saudi Arabia. Knowing that it was a bunch of Saudi fundamentalists who attacked the U.S., many sensible people are wondering... Why did we retaliate against Iraq. And perhaps a better question is, why we have remained allies with the country which actually spawned the terrorists ... Saudi Arabia?? All this is even more confusing when you consider the fact that Al-Quada and Saddam are enemies. (Al-Quada wants an Islamic[6/29/2011 3:36:42 PM]

Newspeak - Attack

state, but Saddam is a secular leader) In fact, in 1990 bin Laden offered to use his “army” to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. But now that we have created "terrorists" in Iraq, the connection between 9-11 and Iraq should be very clear...

"Radical Cleric" Muqtada al-Sadr Is "Radical Cleric" his official title? It is amazing how every news story contains the exact same phrase. WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) This is a reference to advanced weapons... biological, chemical and nuclear... Weapons which many nations of the world possess, but which Iraq is not allowed to have. They were allowed to have them back in the 80s (back when we were giving these weapons to them), but after attempting to seize the oil fields of Kuwait, we decided he should no longer have them. It is striking how pervasive this terminology is. I suppose the best reason to call these weapons "WMDs" is because "destruction" is bad. So, although we (and most of our allies) have similar weapons, we don't cause "destruction" (ha!) -- but Saddam does cause destruction (hmmm...), so he had to destroy the weapons we gave him. The whole war is based on two premises- 1. Iraq cannot have these weapons 2. Iraq had these weapons but was hiding them. So even if you accept the first premise... that Iraq was a threat... you then have to accept that he still had these weapons. But as a former weapons inspector put it: According to Ritter, the chemical weapons which Iraq has been known to possess – nerve agents like sarin and tabun – have a shelf life of five years, VX just a bit longer. Saddam's major bio weapons are hardly any better; botulinum toxin is potent for about three years, and liquid anthrax about the same (under the right conditions). And he adds that since all chemical weapons were made in Iraq's only chemical weapons complex – the Muthanna State establishment, which was blown up during the first Gulf War in 1991 – and all biological weapons plants and research papers were clearly destroyed by 1998, any remaining bio/chemical weapons stores are now “harmless, useless goo.” That's why they have resorted to the Newspeak of "WMD"... It helps to keep people from thinking about what they are really talking about.

"There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare ... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns. "- Art of War, Sun-Tzu, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 6 & 19.[6/29/2011 3:36:42 PM]

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