December 08, 2006

Bloody Language

Language was, and is, crucial. The equivalent of the BBC’s sanitised language in Iraq today is little different from America’s “noble cause” in Vietnam, which was followed by the “tragedy” of America’s “quagmire” – when the real tragedy was suffered by the Vietnamese. The word “invasion” was effectively banned. What has changed? Well, “collateral damage”, the obscene euphemism invented in Vietnam for the killing of civilians, no longer requires quotation marks in a Guardian editorial...

It as if our long trail of blood is forever invisible, intellectually and morally.

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