Saturday, April 24, 2004

Glossary of the Iraqi Occupation

Paul de Rooij at Counterpoint has compiled an excellent glossary of the language of the occupation. So when you here the BS and CNN or Faux News you can understand what is really meant:

The Glossary - Abused terminology Translation

Al-Qa'ida = Bogeyman Rex.

There was no link between Al-Qa'ida and pre-2003 Iraq, and even now, the US can't point to evidence of an Iraqi connection.

Ambassador = Proconsul.

It is rather odd to call Paul Bremer an ambassador; the man even wears army boots!

Anti-Iraq forces = Catchall Opposition -- (and clear example of doublespeak).

"Soon after the Occupation, the United States and its allies--military and ideological--referred to the Iraqi resistance as 'foreign elements' 'terrorists' or 'former loyalists of the Saddam regime'. This phraseology has now become redundant and US military spokesman are now referring to the guerrillas as 'anti-Iraqi forces' as if to suggest that the US, British, [...] and Polish troops represent Iraq but the Iraqis who resist the occupation are anti-Iraqi."
--Tariq Ali, "The Iraqi Resistance: a New Phase", CounterPunch, April 10, 2004.

Referring to many groups conveys the impression that a significant segment of the population is ganging up against the US, and this is counter to the propaganda claim that the opposition is a "small minority". Furthermore, Americans, including Bush, are notorious for not knowing who is who in a country. So, forget the details, and go for a catchall group!

Avenge = Kill 100X of theirs for each one of ours.

"Iraqi history is already being written. In revenge for the brutal killing of four American mercenaries -- for that is what they were -- US Marines carried out a massacre of hundreds of women and children and guerillas in the Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah. The US military says that the vast majority of the dead were militants. Untrue, say the doctors. But the hundreds of dead, many of whom were indeed civilians, were a shameful reflection on the rabble of American soldiery who conducted these undisciplined attacks on Fallujah."
--Robert Fisk, "By endorsing Ariel Sharon's plan George Bush has legitimised terrorism", The Independent, April 16, 2004.

NB: the principle of avenging the occupier's losses by collective punishment is a war crime. In Lidice during World War II, Germans killed at least 172 civilians to "avenge" some of their own, and this was considered a war crime. In Fallujah, the killing of four mercenaries has resulted in "hundreds" of Iraqi civilians killed. Ariel Sharon would approve.