Words have meaning-
The Hijacking of 9/11
(September 11, 2001 versus 9/11)
by Attila Gyenis
People have a responsibility to say what they mean, and mean what they say. To accomplish this, words cannot be allowed to change their meaning midstream. When words are intentionally manipulated to have a new meaning, it is an attempt to create a new reality. A lie can become the new 'reality' if it is unchallenged by society, resulting in new unjust acts that become even more difficult to challenge in the future.
When precision bombing includes using cluster bombs; when liberating Iraq means securing the oil fields and occupying the country; when insurgents include innocent children sitting around their dining room table; when pacifying a town means to attack with an overwhelming and indiscriminate force and not something you do with a baby; something has to change. We must take back our language, our words, and our civility.
Case in point is “9/11” versus September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers forced airplanes to fly into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. None of the hijackers were from Iraq, nor did they have ties with the Iraq government. In the four years since the tragic event, there hasn't been one shred of confirmable evidence showing that Saddam had anything to do with September 11, 2001. But “9/11” has everything to do with Saddam. (from this point on I will refer to it as “Nine Eleven”)
Fighting terrorism became a convenient pretext to lay claim to what we had coveted all along. “Nine Eleven” became the justification used for the illegal invasion of Iraq; accepting the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graibs tortures and abuses; instituting the Patriot Act; causing the deaths of over two thousand U.S. soldiers; and allowing untold deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. It gave the U.S. elite an excuse to do something it intended to do all along- control the oil interests in the Middle East (Iraq has the second largest reserves in the world). And remember, none of the hijackers were from Iraq (eighteen were from Saudi Arabia).
We see the hijacking of other words by those supporting the war, including ‘patriotism,’ ‘American,’ and ‘democracy.’ These words have been redefined to mean ‘having unquestioning belief in anything the president and his cabal say without any critical thinking.’ In fact, not thinking may soon be mandatory in order to be a good patriot.
Many conservatives label a ‘liberal’ as a person who is the enemy of the state because they do think, and don’t just blindly accept the utterances of government (or corporate) spokespersons. But the American Heritage Dictionary defines a ‘liberal’ is “Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.”
Bush and company introduced the term ‘terrorist’ to our lexicon as a person who is not afforded any basic human rights, regardless of their guilt or innocence. This term was quickly picked up by other dictatorial governments to suppress any opposition in their own country. Good news travels fast.
The con is on. George Orwell seems like an amateur writer when compared to President Bush’s doublespeak and redefining of words. Even as we are distracted by words like democracy and liberation, our government is engaged in oppression and violence to bring about their goals.
Meanwhile, our ‘fair and balanced’ media act as lap dogs for the president, eagerly distributing tidbits of propaganda, I mean news, to the semi-comatose masses who spend their time concentrating on NASCAR racing and video games. After all, who has time to waste their beautiful mind on the war when there is all this entertainment to distract us?
With the corporate takeover of our government and foreign policy, “Nine Eleven” has become a convenient label, a marketing logo, promoted by those who have the most to gain, and the least to risk. In case you were wondering why they would bother to do this, their noble cause is this- financial gain for the few at the expense of the many.
Like a good con man, or car sales man, Bush and company know the right buttons to press. Keep us fearful and in a survival mode and our reactions are predictable. Make it unpatriotic to question the war, make it seem that the way to support the troops is to keep them in Iraq, and rationalize each new death as being necessary so the previous deaths don’t seem in vain.
Something Has to Change
How do you take those words back to their original intent? Use them correctly. First, the tragedy occurred on September 11, 2001. Don’t give in to using the term “Nine Eleven.” Correct yourself and anyone else who uses the other marketing terminology in an indiscriminate manner.
And second, just as the Iraq war had nothing to do with September 11, 2001; it also has nothing to do with bringing freedom and liberty to the Iraqi people. A local Iraqi commented on the effect of Iraq's regime change from Saddam to the United States, "Same camel, different jockey." The U.S. even used the same facilities to commit the same atrocities that they are accusing Saddam of committing. Something has to change.
And a note of precaution, the liberal and progressive movement would be committing a great disservice to their cause by supporting a ‘centrist’ democrat who talks about staying the course and peace with honor. This is not the time to support empty campaign slogans just for the sake of winning. It's about doing the right thing. Anyone who publicly supports the war in this day and age, with all the evidence of deceit and lies, is not worthy of support by anyone who truly values democracy, peace, and justice.
Words have meaning, and it is the public that must act as a caretaker for those words. If you want peace and justice, commit yourself to voting for candidates that have publicly stated this war is a mistake. And that is a start.
© 2005 Attila Gyenis
PS - Being called a liberal should be viewed as a compliment.
1a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded. c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism. d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
Send comments to:NotOneMore2006@aol.com