Tag Archives: newspeak

Words Really Do Make A Difference

What a difference the choice of wording makes!

On September 14, at Ground Zero, President George W. Bush declared:

“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Simple words from the heart and soul of a man who was tireless in his fight against terrorism. These words struck a chord so deep within me and inspired me so much that this quote is now framed and hanging on the wall in my home office.

While I did not agree with everything that President Bush did in office it was not hard to see that he was committed to take whatever action necessary to make sure the perpetrators of the most heinous act of terror on American soil were punished. In the midst of the most horrific terror and most overwhelming sorrow our nation has ever faced in modern history, I saw resolve in our nation’s leader.

It is most unfortunate that the same cannot be said for the current administration.

Words are no longer simple and from the heart and soul, they are instead pretentious, flowery,  calculated and pre-determined at an attempt to “soften the blow” of the reality we face as a nation. This administration fails to realize that calling a lion an overgrown cat doesn’t change the ability for destruction that a lion is instilled with.

In 2009, in her first testimony to Congress, newly appointed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to diminish the steadfast determination of this nation’s military men and women who were and still are sacrificing their time, blood, sweat, tears and very lives to bring justice that Americans so rightly deserve for the terrorist attacks against us. During her testimony she couldn’t bring herself to breathe the “t” word, opting instead to rename the attack and others like them to “man caused disasters”. I guess it just sounded “cuter to her!  When asked by the German news site Spiegel Online if Islamic  terrorism “suddenly no longer posed a threat” to America, she stated that this administration wanted to move away from the “politics of fear”, opting instead to “be prepared for all risks” that can occur.

It appears as though she missed the mark on that one! This administration is not at all prepared for any risk that comes along! Investing in the stock market is more risky now than it was in the previous administration. In today’s housing market, it is quite risky to buy a house. And one of the biggest risks Americans take today is driving up to the gas pump! The price of gas is rising at a rate of overwhelming proportions! Personally, I would never have called any of these situations terrorism, but it does most definitely resonate with Ms. Napolitano’s newly defined terminology. President Obama and his administration are most certainly causing an abundance of disasters. But isn’t this just running headlong back into the “politics of fear”? They would probably do better if they chose to call it more along the lines of “politics of conspiracy.”

President Bush was very clear that we would make no distinction between the terrorist themselves and the countries and leaders who harbored them. Not so with President Obama, because there is no longer a “War On Terror”, it is now downgraded to an “Overseas Contingency Operation.” What does that even mean?

According to the definition given at dictionary.com, this is the last term in the world that would give me confidence that we have things under control.

con·tin·gen·cy
dependence on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition; uncertainty.

Thesaurus.com gives synonyms for “contingency” as: accident, crisis, crossroads, emergency, event, if it’s cool, incident, juncture, likelihood, occasion, odds, opportunity, pass, pinch, predicament, probability, strait, turning point, uncertainty, zero hour

Plus there are a few more listed.

So, I could essentially rename President Obama’s Operation as “Across The Ocean If It’s Cool Operation”.

Or how about “Transmarine Crossroads Operation”?

Hmmm…. We could go with “On The Other Side Of The Very Large Body Of Water Uncertainty Operation”. No… none of those combination of flowery words seem to give me true confidence that yes, we will take whatever means necessary to see this to an end!The latest member of Obama’s administration to try his hand at flowery rhetoric is Eric Holder. Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, when asked if enhanced interrogation methods were used in obtaining information that led to the eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Holder simply could not bring himself to affirm that yes, our country succeeded in killing the mastermind behind the most horrific terrorist attack on our land! In true fashion that is this administration, he said, there was a “mosaic of sources that led to the identification of people who led” our military to Osama bin Laden. He said that assuming enhanced interrogation methods were used is hypothetical. OK, if you say so, Mr. Holder! Come on now, let’s be real! I guess this is what he had to say, because the sensibilities of the left just cannot handle the truth in this matter! And  my goodness! What if Muslims found  out that we indeed used some form of enhanced persuasion on these enemy combatants!? They might just retaliate…. or something! But wait! We can no longer call them “enemy combatants” !  Let’s instead call them “Bad Person Contenders”. Or we could even say a “patchwork” of things led us to identify the “Revolutionary Serviceman”? Yes! Much better! That will work indeed! It’s all good. Just look it all up at thesaurus.com!

And finally, in an effort to make everyone feel better about events in history, I guess we will now have to reprint all the previous books that use that horribly offensive word “War”. Hitler was bad enough! We don’t want to have to utter that horribly offense “W” word! So now we will just call it “World Kinetic Military Action 2”. And we really must use the written number rather than the Roman Numeral to keep things from appearing so barbaric! Oh hey, look! Now it makes it seem almost like a movie sequel- right?  Things weren’t so bad after all!

See now?  Changing the words to “tone down” the harsh reality makes you feel allllll better now… right??!!

What’s With All The NewSpeak?

Since being introduced to the Obama administration, new terms have come into existence and old terms are getting new definitions.  Every time a new phrase, altered term or historical revision becomes public, I imagine Orwell’s Winston in his cubical at the Ministry of Truth pulling up old stories and “rectifying” them.

Some memorable acts of rectification are the Department of Homeland Security’s re-terming of  acts of terrorism.  It’s not terrorism, it’s a man-made disaster.  This newspeak is well-demonstrated in speeches and official forms such as the DHS’ “Business Emergency Plan“:

The following natural and man-made disasters could impact our business:
○ We have developed these plans in collaboration with neighboring businesses and building owners to avoid
confusion or gridlock
○ We have located, copied and posted building and site maps.
○ Exits are clearly marked.
○ We will practice evacuation procedures ____ times a year.

In early 2009, Obama felt it necessary to revise the term that describes military actions taken since 9-11.  The administration ordered an end to the use of the phrase “Global War on Terror” and demanded the substitution of the now infamous “Overseas Contingency Operation”.  Supposedly this new terminology clarifies our recent military actions.  The administration tried to make it’s case by pointing out that you can’t have a war against terror because terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy.  No wonder our foreign and domestic policies are a mess, just the names of these policies and actions makes no sense – the content of them is doomed.

The next cleaning-up of the American vocabulary was about those persons captured on the field of battle: Enemy Combatants. No more are they enemies or combative, they are simply detainees – fairly sterile.  But – isn’t that the point?

Most recently we have Obama’s switch to the phrase “freedom of worship” in place of  “freedom of religion”.  During the President’s 2009 global apology tour he used the correct phrase, but lately worship has been the go to freedom.  Is it that important?  A post at FirstThings makes the case:

The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves—yet “freedom of worship” would protect none of these acts of faith.

How about the terms that just seemed to have disappeared?

  • Islamic extremist
  • Islamic radical
  • Militant Islam

The cleansing of American verbiage has a single focus – the defense of Islam.  Notice that there has been no new term created for oil spills, bailouts, unemployment, Russian spies, or anything else that has no ties to Islamic nations or groups.  Every newspeak term or revisionist re-definition is of or relating to Islamofascism.  If Americans stay upset over 9-11, Iran’s nukes, and continuing hate speech by Islamic leaders here and abroad, there is no way Obama can make their extremist views palatable to the American public.  If nothing else, he’s managed to replace the Jewish voters he’s lost due to his constant insults to Israel with a much more progressive constituency.