Anti-propagandism on the Dish

The Dish affirms the value of anti-propagandistic language, for the first time in a while:

The word I have used is “killing” – not exactly a euphemism along the lines of “enhanced interrogation.” I regard “assassination” as the deliberate murder of a leader or individual for political purposes, not the targeted killing of a member of al Qaeda at war with the US, whom it is impossible or extremely difficult to capture.

I don’t object to Andrew’s narrow use of “assassination,” but I wouldn’t shirk the label for attempts to kill particular individuals in a military campaign. It obviously “sounds” more evil for a brief moment, but then we consider the word referring to different targets: “the plot to assassinate Hitler”

Targeted killing” is an unnecessary euphemism, I think, meant to connote that the killer attempted to avoid collateral damage, but the state should always avoid collateral damage in its military acts and the addition of “targeted” seems to mean that this particular killing, no matter how just, also comes with a hint of a press statement.

An “execution” is something I take to occur when someone is already under the physical control of another, and is usually associated with a legal or civil process, not an act of war.

None of these words quite works with the very difficult case we are discussing and, to be quite frank, Daniel’s attempt to equate my wrestling with this dilemma with the Orwellianisms I have done all I can to expose over the last several years is deeply, deeply offensive and unfair. I am genuinely trying to figure this out and deserve better than this.

Maybe he could remember this feeling.

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