Barack Obama meets George Orwell
Posted: April 01, 2009
1:00 am Eastern
In his famous novel "1984," George Orwell described a nightmarish totalitarian world in which words were redefined – and some banished from use altogether.
This language was called "newspeak."
To those of us who read "1984" when that year was still far off in the distance rather than in the past, we could scarcely imagine when language would be so bastardized by even the most tyrannical government.
But such a day has come to America – just 25 years after Orwell's title date.
Barack Obama's administration is quickly redefining words and terms and attempting to banish certain phrases – at least by use within the government.
The "war on terror," never one of my favorite phrases to begin with, has been relabeled as a series of "overseas contingency operations."
Here's my problem.
"War on terror" was a bad term because you can't really wage war against a tactic – "terrorism." I made this point repeatedly throughout the administration of George W. Bush. "War on terror" was a euphemism the Bush administration used because it didn't want to define the real enemy – radical, fundamentalist Islam.
That was bad enough.
Now, the Obama administration appears primed to banish even the word "terrorism" – apparently in its desire not to offend those who commit it.
Am I exaggerating?
I don't think so. Let's look at another recent example of a top Obama official actually attempting to explain why "terrorism" is not longer a favored word of the administration.
In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she has deliberately avoided the term "terrorism" in recent speeches because "we want to move away from the politics of fear."
She said she prefers the phrase "man-caused disasters."
(Column continues below)
That's a little broad, isn't it?
The biggest "man-made disaster" plaguing America right now is the U.S. government.
Do we really want such a broad heading over violent acts by America's enemies designed specifically to bring the country to its knees? Was 9/11 a "man-caused disaster," or was it more accurately an act of war?
If a camper carelessly starts a forest fire in a national park by not extinguishing his barbeque, that to me is a "man-made disaster."
When a group of radical, fundamentalist Muslim conspire to crash airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, that is clearly an act of "terrorism."
Am I crazy? Or is Napolitano?
This is what we need to decide in America today. It's decision day. Are you prepared to live in an Orwellian or Obamalleian newspeak world where up is down and black is white and right is left and right is wrong? Or are you ready to stand up and be counted – to say enough of this madness! We made a mistake. We didn't like George W. Bush or John McCain, but we didn't elect Obama to rewrite the Constitution or the English language.
By no longer recognizing terrorism as a threat we do not make that threat go away. That is a fact. But it is a fact that evidently eludes the Obama administration.
Back in the days of Bill Clinton, a lot of terrorism was misclassified. It was deliberately downplayed. It was treated as merely a crime – a simple law-enforcement issue. It was not treated as an act of war.
As a result of that mischaracterization, the terrorists upped the ante. The result was 9/11. They finally got America's attention.
Now, it seems, Obama wants to turn back the clock and pretend the threat is gone.
That policy is nearly as dangerous as the countless "man-caused disasters" he has wrought on America through his attacks on private property, free enterprise and our most cherished moral precepts.
That's right. "Man-caused disaster" is a euphemism for the Obama administration, not the work of Osama bin Laden.
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Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His book "Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality and Justice" has gained newfound popularity in the wake of November's election. Farah also edits the online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.