The west’s war of euphemisms
[Crescent International, May 1-15, 2000.]
The west uses an impressive range of euphemisms and misnomers to disguise its agenda in world affairs. Many of these are on issues that concern Muslims”Palestine, East Turkestan, Kashmir, Chechenya, Southern Sudan and access to weapons technology, to name only a few. While Muslims are the main victims of this propaganda war, the west and its allies are all beneficiaries.
Many of the euphemisms refer to the battle for Palestine and Al-Quds. Take, for instance, the “Arab-Israeli War” and “Middle East peace process”. The first seeks to conceal the fact that the US is directly involved in the war; that most Arab regimes and leaders?including Yassir Arafat?are allied to Israel and the US; and that the war is being waged, not only against Arabs, but against all Muslims. The second misrepresents the present politicking, an extension of the US/Israel war rather than a “peace process”, through which the aggressors seek precisely the result they have previously sought through arms.
The Israelis do not even bother to deny that the “peace process? is another means of waging war and achieving their objectives. Shimon Peres, the former defence minister, premier and “father of Israel’s nuclear bomb”, has said that "when I created the nuclear option, I was not planning a Hiroshima, but I did so to reach Oslo," adding that he had never lost his way in the "40 years it took me to reach there." He negotiated the 1994 Oslo accord as foreign minister and received the “Nobel Peace Prize? for engineering a virtual sell-out by the Palestinian leader.
But the most laughable euphemism of all is that of Washington acting as an “honest broker? at the insistence of Arab leaders. The US funds Israel’s war machine and economy, allows its own citizens to fight for it, provides technical expertise and diplomatic support, including the use of its veto in the UN security council, and puts pressure on other countries to establish economic and political ties with the zionist state. Washington is publicly committed to giving Tel Aviv the “military edge”, and privately puts pressure on Arab negotiators to accept Israeli terms. When they refuse to do so ? as Assad did recently in Geneva ? Washington blames them for the failure to reach agreement.
Of course Palestine is not the only theatre in which these tactics are used. The US/Israeli war in Palestine is only a part of the world-wide war on Islam, for the west is well aware that the global Muslim Ummah is the only threat to its global hegemony. But here too the west cannot be frank; its key euphemism is “international terrorism”, which can be applied to any opposition to it or any of its allies. Thus the word “terrorism? is used in Palestine, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosova, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, East Turkestan (“Xinjiang?), Chechenya, Algeria, Egypt, western countries, and virtually anywhere else that Muslims live and are politically active, with little thought of linguistic precision but automatic condemnation. Variations on this euphemism for Islamic activism or revivalism include “Islamic terrorism” and “religious extremism”.
Egyptian president Mubarak has done the most to promote the “anti-terrorist? campaign against Islam, but others have adopted the terminology enthusiastically. The UN has now adopted an anti-terrorist resolution ? proposed by France and backed by Egypt and the US” and the Arab League and the Organisation of African Unity boast their own “anti-terrorism pacts”. Paranoid about the Islamic movement (understandably enough), and encouraged by Uncle Sam, Mubarak is now planning an international conference on “terrorism”. Russian president Vladimir Putin uses the same euphemism for his genocide in Chechenya, and British prime minister Tony Blair is doing the same to justify supporting Putin. Another key euphemism that Blair uses is that of “constructive engagement”, which has also been used by Clinton, for example in the context of Chin war in East Turkestan.
The list of such euphemisms is endless, and their usage so routine that it is easy to accept them at face value. But Muslims must be wary of them; there must be something fundamentally wrong with a civilization which needs to wrap its actions up in such misleading terminology. And we must be careful also not to fall into the same trap ourselves. But for us the temptation is less, for we need have no fear in speaking openly of our agenda and our objective in the simplest possible term: Islam.