Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In the battle over language that's currently underway in America, and that has always been thus, language, the lexicon a group of people use to describe ideas, abstract or concrete, can make or break an argument.

Are you pro-life or pro-death? Does pro-life describe your views on abortion or your views on the death penalty? If you're against abortion but for the death penalty, does that make you semi-pro-life? Or maybe semi-pro-death? Are you against abortion but also against government interference? Does that make you pro-choice, pro-death, pro-small government, or a little bit of everything?

What do you think of the Estate Tax (aka the Death Tax)? It's all about wording.

At the "Third Anniversary of Beginning of Iraq Liberation" (aka the Iraq War), the president spoke for two minutes about the war in Iraq and never once used the word "war." Iraq isn't at war, Iraq is a liberation. We're at war with Terror. Those terrorist bastards. But who are the terrorists? Are they the insurgency in Iraq? Are they the Iranians? Are they the North Koreans? Shouldn't the "terrorists" label be exclusively used on those who used airplanes to kill innocent Americans?

Using the label as an umbrella term for everyone fighting against the United States does a disservice to the families of the slain victims of 9/11. Their loved ones weren't killed because sheep-herder Joe from Fallujah feels the United States is occupying his country and wants them gone. Sheep-herder Joe's disconnect with reality doesn't a terrorist make.

So why the farse? Are you more comfortable killing terrorists or sheep-herder Joes? Terrorists aren't there to be loved, to feel compassion for. They are killing machines hell bent on the destruction of America and everything it stands for. The specific naming of everyone in Iraq as a terrorist discounts any line of thought that maybe some actually just want to be left alone. Maybe, just maybe, there are people in the insurgency who don't care about America or anything it stands for. They just don't want us in their country.