Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Why don't they call...?

Over here http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTJhMjA1MDZiNDkzYTE0MzI0NmI2MjdiMTNiMDBhYTg=

at National Review Online, Tom Gross asks the following questions:

So why are so many prominent Western media reluctant to call the perpetrators terrorists? Why did Jon Snow, one of Britain’s most respected TV journalists, use the word practitioners when referring to the Mumbai terrorists? Was he perhaps confusing them with doctors?

Why did Reuters describe the motivation of the terrorists, which it preferred to call gunmen, as unknown? Were we meant to suppose that it might have been just anything — that to paraphrase Mark Steyn, they were perhaps disgruntled former employees of Lehman Bros embarking on an exciting midlife career change?

Again, why did Britain’s highly regarded Channel 4 News state that the militants showed a wanton disregard for race or creed when exactly the opposite was true: Targets and victims were very carefully selected.

Why did the “experts” invited to discuss the Mumbai attacks in one show on the state-funded Radio France Internationale, the voice of France around the world, harp on about Baruch Goldstein (who carried out the Hebron shootings in 1994), virtually the sole case of a Jewish terrorist in living memory?

But what are we to think when even such a renowned publication as the Times of London feels the need to refer to terrorists as “militants”, rather than calling them by their right name?

What is the motivation of journalists in trying to mangle language?

Dear Mr. Gross, the answer to all of the above questions is, because they are cowards.

Do they somehow wish to express sympathy for these murderers, or perhaps make their crimes seem almost acceptable?

The answer to this question is twofold. 1) they wish to assure the murderers that they are not their enemy, in effect saying, "Please don't hurt me, I'm not a threat to you."

And 2) It's even more unspeakable than that, they admire them. A coward doesn't like living in a state of fear, no one does. "Ah, but if only I could make people fear me like they do..."

Eric Hoffer said, a strategy of the weak is to hint at their capacity for evil.

How are we going to effectively confront terrorists when we can’t even identify them as such?

Answer: We aren't.

Does the New York Times think that the seeking out and murder by Muslim terrorists of the only New York rabbi in Mumbai and his wife was an accidental target?

Answer: No, they're lying. But it's the lie of cowards, the comforting lie they first tell themselves, over and over, until they believe it.

Happy to be of service Mr. Gross. Please feel free to ask my help with these conundrums anytime.

Labels: , , ,


  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    Cowardice is right.
    It's for the same reason preachers don't mention sin, only "psychological issues".

  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    I imagine his questions were rhetorical. I think he's aware of the reasons.

    Along with cowardice and admiration they have for the terrorists, there's also a fear. A fear that if they report things truthfully they'll be confronted with reality. That the west lead by that evil Hitler-Bush is not the cause of all evil in the world. Being forced to admit you're wrong is too much for some people.

    For a bit of humor, here's Iowahawk's "We Didn't Get the Memo About Obama"

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Of course he is, it's NRO after all. I'm being facetious.

    And of course, it's a way for cowards to posture, shaking their fist at the all-powerful Bush-Hitler. Bush won't kill you for calling him names (otherwise the streets of America would be littered with corpses), the Jihadists will.

  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    PS And I second the motion you all go have a look at that link. Hilarious!

  • At 12:19 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    If you're going to use difficult words (for me) like facetious I'll give you another one, solipsistic. I was reading comments on Roger Ebert's column on Ben Stein and Expelled when one commenter wrote (paraphrased); "Humans are solipsistic. We want our values to be confirmed, not challenged." Made me think if what I was trying to say in the earlier post. It's pretty simply put.

    Also makes me think of your post from a while ago about being able to change your mind when the other sides facts make more sense than what you had always thought. Wish more people could do that. I know plenty that would rather go down fighting than admit that something I point out would put doubt into their view.

  • At 6:25 AM, Blogger Ted said…

    Don't look for the interventionist "police-actions" to end with Obama. Now that the folks who invented altruistic globe-trotting are back in power, we'll find some other third-world hellhole that needs four to eight years of straightening out, and probably a draft to sustain it...Probably due to "hate crimes" or "hate speech" rather than the terrorist excuse, though.
    Is terrorism a threat? Sure, if you have a government that's corrupt enough to let a dozen of them in that don't speak the language and bare minimum look the other way while they rent fancy homes and take flying lessons, paying for it all with huge rolls of cash (something the IRS would be giving U.S. a colonoscopy over), you're going to end up with a few blown up buildings.
    Quite possibly more, if you're aiding and abetting "our friends, the Saudis".
    Then your lackeys on the radio can spend eight years blaming it on a previous administration. All just coincidence.

  • At 5:04 AM, Blogger Joseph Sixpack said…

    While I do not disagree with your post, I do think that there is more to it than cowardice. There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of terms. Here is an example.

    In my Constitutional Law class, we were discussing the Supreme Court cases of Hamdi, Hamdan, and Boumediene (Gitmo detainees apply for writ of Habeas Corpus). During a discussion, a student inadvertently referred to members of al-Qaeda as "terrorists." There were literally gasps from the class. A 23-year-old girl, fresh out of undergrad, whose parents have paid for her every expense for her entire life, raised her hand and "corrected" him, pointing out that "we don't know whether they're terrorists." I normally don't bother disputing the idiotic statements of 23-year-olds who have done nothing but go to college. But, I couldn't resist. I raised my hand: "al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization. If you are a member of al-Qaeda, then you are a terrorist. It's not a legal designation. It is a description of one's vocation." (Odd side note: there are never gasps from the class when someone speaks ill of our President.) I was looked at as though I had just revealed a mystery of life. This was a shocking revelation for most of them.

    Some people think that when they say "terrorist" that they are convicting individuals in the "court of public opinion" as unlawful combatants who, by definition, are war criminals AND are part of a terrorist organization. (I see no problem with that - but I'm just saying.) That is a whole lot of criteria to attach to such a broad term. A terrorist is one who inflicts, or aids in inflicting, violence for the purpose of instilling fear in order to achieve a political objective. It is not a legal term, such a "felon" and it has nothing to do with lawful, unlawful, affiliations, et cetera. These douche bags in Mumbai, regardless of affiliation, are clearly terrorists. We saw it on TV and the internet. Those who refuse to say so are cowards, but they are also ignorant.

    Cowardice and ignorance.


Post a Comment

<< Home