Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Terrorist" means whatever they say it means

In labeling a branch of the Iranian military as a "specially designated global terrorist organization," the Bush administration seems to have decided to stretch the word "terrorist" to the point of meaninglessness. George Orwell said in the 1940s:
The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."
Surely the same could be said for the word "terrorism" today. In this instance it seems to signal those that do not-nice things in other countries. If the Revolutionary Guard gets this definition, then surely it applies to the CIA, Mossad and host of other government and military agencies. Why not stop there, see if you can incorporate the words "terrorist" and "terrorism" into your day-to-day vocabulary. Here are some examples:
  • That idiot on his cellphone cut me off! What a terrorist!
  • Someone's dog shat on my lawn, this is an act of terrorism!
  • Out of pineapple yogurt? This grocery store is a terrorist cell!
  • Those guys down the street are playing loud music outdoors again, it's an act of terrorism!
So you see, the possibilities are endless! I'll leave with this, a video for the song Gift Shop, it has the line "and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it" which seems to capture the amazing vagueness of the word terrorism and the way that vagueness makes for perfect scapegoats and bogeymen every time.

Labels: , , ,