The Global War on Terror is over! The term, that is. The Obama administration is replacing that all-too-specific language for something that sounds better. From ‘Global War On Terror’ Is Given New Name – washingtonpost.com:
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.
In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ “
This is “newspeak” right out of George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm.” Such misuse of language–purposefully using vague language to obscure the reality–is a mark of totalitarian propaganda, which seeks to control how the public thinks by manipulating the words they use to think with. Read Orwell’s “Politics and the English language” while you still can. An excerpt from the 1946 essay:
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.
Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.