Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A "War" Of Words

I think I'm beginning to understand how the spin meisters' minds work. This headline for a story by Robin Wright of the Washington Post screamed at me in this morning's Spokesman Review - "U.S. Envoy in Baghdad says Iraq violence is not civil war".

He is absolutely correct. There is nothing "civil" about violence or for that matter war. There is nothing "civil" about the scores of Iraqi citizens that are slain on a daily basis. There is nothing "civil" about our young men raping women and killing their families to cover it up. There is nothing "civil" about our soldiers being captured, tortured and brutally murdered. There is nothing "civil" about civilians being made to beg for their lives on camera before being beheaded.There is certainly nothing "civil" about the results of land mines, car bombs and suicide bombers.

And you know what? There is nothing "civil" about a bunch of politicians tweaking words to suit their purposes. Civil War-n : a war between factions in the same country. The Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds, all within Iraqi borders, hate one another and fight one another. That isn't "civil" either. We have our own war going on within the confines of Washington D.C.; a war of words among political partisans. I suppose because the only thing exploding is rhetoric it could be considered "civil". Am I catching on here?

We're very quick to attach the label of "war". The War on Terror, The War on Drugs. Maybe the most frightening is the political "war" chest.

Nothing "civil" about any of them.


saz said...

you are so right.

Kell said...

Yeah! Great post. You're absolutely right and said it beautifully.

And that is the cutest dog!

Kathleen said...

Yes, good post. Almost five years ago, I was part of a public forum held on the Eastern Oregon U. campus about various aspects of September 11. My presentation was about labeling that event as an act of "war" and fighting a "war on terror" and how that could shape our thinking in ways we may not intend. For one thing, a "war" is something you try to win--when will the "war on terror" be won? Are "terrorists" a finite group of people who can be exterminated once and for all? "Terrorist" is itself a problematic word--do those U.S. soldiers who are committing atrocities against civilians count as "terrorists"?

One thing that people did not foresee five years ago is the Bush administration's profligate use of the "we're at war" excuse to justify almost everything--a war that has no definitive end.

Anonymous said...

Congress should NEVER give up its right to declare war to the president

Anonymous said...

well said
from another dog walker

Anonymous said...

As Edwin Starr said "War, what is it good for. Absolutely nothing"!