I love the euphemism “clear” as it relates to the practice of Egyptian military junta goons massacring nonviolent demonstrators. It was also used, of course, by US state-controlled media when the Occupy Wall Street encampments were “cleared” by US government police hooligans.


  • aaronwilliams135
    August 17, 2013 10:17 AM

    Ah yes, the language…

    The term “Sectarian”, e.g. “sectarian violence”, is the one that pisses me off. And we hear this one multiple times per day, every day, regarding the middle east. Of course what they mean when they say “sectarian” is religious. Religious violence, that’s what they’re talking about. Allawites vs. Sunnis. Sunnis vs. Shiites. All of those crazy fuckers against us. Why not just call it what it is? Religious violence.

    (sure, sure, you’ll say that the “real” reason is imperialism, oppression, yadda yadda, to which I’ll say fine, but the marching orders are coming from the mosque and are set forth in religious terms…”God is pissed, so he wants you to get out there and get him some justice!”

  • alex_the_tired
    August 17, 2013 9:12 PM

    Heck, perhaps Ted can start a mini-lexicon of neo-euphemisms. I nominate “efficiencies” when it’s used in the following sense: “The corporation will cut $20 million from its budget by instituting efficiencies.” What this means in non-euph is: “The corporation will cut $20 million from its budget by 1. laying off employees, 2. reducing benefits, 3. shifting to an all-temp work formula, and 4. increasing executive pay.

  • I occasionally notice a few nasty euphemisms, but I don’t really look because to me more plainly, they’re just lies. “Statesmen” is a ‘good’ one. “Political analysts” HA. The classic one I can think of is the military’s “neutralize.” The one that gets to me maybe the most is “American interests,” which really means, “multinational corporations’ interests.” Maybe “American values” can be one. The people who mention that phrase never get specific; it’s just for an emotional response and is always very hypocritical.

  • aaronwilliams135
    August 18, 2013 1:44 PM

    also see: George Carlin

  • Stability.

    These euphamisms are necessary because the interests of the aristocracy are not your interests and elites need to talk to each other while they are simultaneously talking to you. It’s not to trick you as much as it is to employ a cipher, much like with racist codewords.

  • I am actually not hating that much on the Bennett cartoon at the top there. Sure it is week and doesn’t really take a stand there on something important, but I don’t read it at all the way you do as an accusation of incompetence of the Egyptian people. I see it more as a metaphor that they made a daring escape from their first oppressor, and then found themselves faced with a new opposition once free from their initial one. It doesn’t imply incompetence on their part so much as something unfortunate as a new setback that may not have been visible from within the metaphorical cell from which they recently escaped. It is certainly not stellarly enlightening or daring, but that really isn’t that bad a cartoon. No offense but I think you have to read that one with the eyes of skepticism and pretension to get the maximally negative interpretation that you did.

  • At least some of the Egyptians ARE naive: the ones who are proud of removing another dictator by marching in the streets. The didn’t do anything; the military did, and that’s why they remain in power. Nothing has changed since Mubarak except people have been killed. And really, who thought it was a good idea to have a president and his party write the whole constitution?! I don’t know a lot about other nations’ constitutional drafting processes, but almost everyone had a say in ours!

  • Uh, Jack, the president and his party couldn’t edit the constitution in this manner. The edit itself was unconstitutional, as far as I know, which was kinda the problem. The MB’s first move was to ignore, blatantly, the law, so they immediately plunged Egypt into lawlessness without even pausing for breath. The MB’s first act of government was to end the democratic government.

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