Thursday, May 13, 2004

Doublethink in action

I'm a little bemused by the whole disgust at
POW abuse
story which seems to have taken over all headlines here
(how about some news on how the war's going? Afghanistan? Haiti? Nup.*)

Everything just doesn't seem to sit right in my head. On the one hand,
the rumbling cogs of the coalition's pro-war behemoth want to spit out
propaganda that portrays our new enemies in a light dark enough to
continue "necessary" military operations, but on the other hand, nations
recoil in horror when they're not treated as humanely and hospitably as
Our Auntie coming round for tea and cake. If I subscribed to all of the
pro-national, patriotic spiel coming out of Bush's mouth that sought to
cast terrorist aspersions on anyone disagreeing with the Great Command's
vitriolic spiel (in order to win over domestic hearts and minds),
I'd probably have a hard time trying to understand the nature and
behaviour of the dark-skinned men on the other side of the TV too.
Respect? Surely if I respect them, then I'm not being patriotic! They
are, after all, murderous killing fiends, capable only of hatred of us.

It's a bit murky, but there's definitely some doublethink/speak going on
here. If you don't want your "patriotic" forces doing dumb things, then
a). get them under control (this may take time and resources...), and
b). don't tell them that their enemy is just a bunch of dogs who deserve
no mercy.

* Idea: represent news stories as a colour-coded world map, with places
of topical interest being brighter. But you can click anywhere on it to
get news of that region. Like that postcode thing Google does, but for news.

"I have practysed & lerned at my grete charge & dispense to ordeyne this
said book in prynte that every man may have them attones." - W. Caxton