JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 18 ALLEGED MILITANTS KILLED BY AMERICAN MISSILE IN PAKISTAN – GEORGE ORWELL WOULD HAVE OFFERED A BITTER LAUGH   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

I just love that expression “alleged militants.”

Almost certainly, the deaths in fact were 18 civilians guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And even if one or two were suspects of some kind, this kind of extra-judicial murder is absolutely indistinguishable from the death squads in South American countries which periodically made people “disappear.”

It reminds me of each time Israel kills a batch of poor Palestinians: they are invariably called “militants” in the press.

It’s called demonizing your victim. It also clearly is a ghastly use of euphemism for extra-judicial mass-murder.

George Orwell would have loved this terrible and deliberate abuse of language in the interests of power.

He wrote about just such things in his wonderful essay, “Politics and the English Language,” an indictment of power that remains as true as the day it was written.

And our truth-loving press seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to kill “militants” and even “alleged militants.”

In one stroke the press both horribly abuses language and ignores completely its responsibility to inform people.

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