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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Corruption of Language (10)

John Brennan is President Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor. In a speech, today, at the Center for Strategic and International studies, Mr. Brennan is quoted, by the Washington Post, as saying:

"Our enemy is not terrorism, because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not terror, because terror is a state of mind and, as Americans, we refuse to live in fear.

Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists, because use of these religious terms would be play into the false perception that al-Qaeda and its affiliates are religious leaders and defending a holy cause when, in fact, they are nothing more than murderers.

The United States is at war. We are at war against al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates."

Reading these clear and simple words, compared to the mangled syntax of most bureaucrats (and that of former President George W. Bush), is a rare pleasure.

The rate at which George Orwell is spinning in his grave is surely a little slower.

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