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Language of War

The rhetoric of war is one way that nationalism tries to make support for war equivalent to patriotism.Soldiers are referred to as "serving their country" or "defending our freedom". But at least for the last half century this has not been true. Soldiers have served the foreign policy of various administrations, but invasions of Vietnam, Grenada, Panama,Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and less visible actions in Iran and Columbia have in no way "served our country".

When soldiers are killed they are referred to as "sacrificing their lives". They certainly risked their lives, but only suicide bombers sacrifice their lives. When soldiers die, this is not success but failure: they are there not to die but to kill.

If indeed the Fort Hood shooting was a  deliberate jihadist act, it was an attack on enemy troops, not terrorism. Or are drone attacks on enemy fighters and civilians terrorism? Or is terrorism a question of who does it?

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    Richard Levins - Human Ecology - Writings - Language of War
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    Richard Levins - Human Ecology - Writings - Language of War

Reader Comments (1)

by the way its colombia not columbia..
here is a response to some cuban friends that were discussing lingering racism after 50 years of revolution. i was being a bit sarcastic b/c frankly i thought their criticism of the cuban system was a little unjust. jared diamond has also written a lot about the subject of sexual selection and maintenance of race which i find interesting:

el tema es en parte sexual selection

the fact that people (blanco,negro, verde,etc..) select their mates based on childhood tal forma que las personas que seleccionamos tienden a tener similitudes fisicas con familiares u otros muy conocidos de juventud...and these are more likely to be of ones own race

if 2 groups mix among themselves more than with each other and there are desigualdades iniciales, a pesar de no ser institutcionales, the inequality between groups se mantiene o incluso empeora

la politica que habia que instalar hubiera sido 20 anios de templar unicamente inter-raza y q mulatos solo entre si...los mulatos seran los mas contentos..reproducen mas y ya en 1-2 generaciones, ya no hay blancos y negros y se acabo el tema del racismo.

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterharish

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