The euphemised language of war

Lubin Odana writes of the effect of war on language. We’ve already had the eye-popping stupidity of Freedom Fries, but look out for lots of euphemistical and tactical mangling of the English language during the coming days/months/years (delete as fatalistically applicable).

On BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning, James Naughtie interviewed Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman. He’s supporting Bush in the war, and one of his statements caught my gunk-eyed early-morning attention…

If Saddam has the capacity to launch a terrorist attack against America, one would expect he would do so within the next three or four days.

Look at his choice of words there… TERRORIST attack. I admit to being pretty ignorant in terms of global diplomatic protocol, but I was under the impression that this morning’s attack on Baghdad was an act of war. However, if Iraq fights back (the thing people tend to do when they’re at war) it’s terrorism.

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