Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Words matter

Words matter: I once heard an officer from the Mossad speak and I learned how words matter. It makes a difference whether you call The occupied territories or The West Bank. Words like: chosen people, homeland, jihad, occupation, Jehovah, Allah, democracy, Hamas, settlers, holocaust, genocide, terrorists, lies… color a discourse and frame it in a specific confrontational way. When Hamas was democratically elected (not only in the Gaza strip but overall the Palestinian territory) it was not the result the West had hoped for. I seem to remember that for a year Hamas declared a unilateral ceasefire and it never got violated by them and still the international community didn’t want to talk to them. (Don't you remember how the West send money and weapons to Hamaq to weaken the PLO? Don't you remember we supported and armed the Taliban ahgainst the Russians. We have our share of responsibility if only be our hypocrisy.) Blame can be laid at everybody’s door but blame doesn’t help the process to a humane solution. I include a link which clearly explains the communication concept ‘interpunction’. I learned about the phrase in The Pragmatics of Communication by Paul Watzlawick. It makes clear that when you start the clock is a defining factor for how you view the crisis. Two kids playing and fighting will tell their mother ‘She started it!’ and hope that that would make her own reaction right. It is not. However you look at it: 4 people dead through the actions of one side and close to 600 on the other side can never be right. One person dead is wrong, 600 is wrong 600 times. Respect and non-violence is the only way, you cannot bomb the word into peace, unless everybody is dead.


  1. The Zionists are desperate. They know time, and history, are against them, and, ultimately, they will lose. They will, literally, be f**ked. To death. The rising Arab population will overwhelm them. All the Jews have going for them is nuclear blackmail, and the enormous kick-back bribery scheme with the US. Where they bribe US politicians to grant them outrageous 'foreign' and military aid, and they use a percentage of that aid to re-bribe the politicians for more aid. It makes it difficult to discern which is the puppet, and which the puppeteer, between the US and Israel. But, eventually, unless the US disengages from this travesty, this abomination of 'Israel Uber Alles', the US will be swamped, also, by the rising tide of World disgust. To their credit, some Jews recognize this transformation of their culture to becoming what they profess to hate, and using the tactics of the Nazis in WWII in their occupation of other's 'homelands', as they are doing with Palestine. To their discredit, those same Jews should be responsible for stopping their fundamentalist, atrocity-creating brethern. One of the only solutions seems to be that a US leader must go hard-line, lay down some 'or else' conditions, and withhold aid until the conditions are met. This would be almost untenable, politically, today in the US, because of the propaganda machine Israel maintains in the US. For that aspect, the Web might be part of a solution, as it keeps diluting the power of the MSM, and brings truth to the US population, instead of the censored pap fed to it by the current zionist-influenced MSM. This is yet another reason control of the Web by governments or corporations must be denied.

  2. Words do matter, and – I think the response matters more. For instance, if someone issues a threat and I react defensively, I give the threat power. But if I laugh, I defuse it. At least potentially: if the threatener is intent upon being a danger to me, then they will persist and I must find means to assure my safety. But the thing with language is that there is always potential, the question is how proactively we work with that potential. Do we let the established momentum carry along only some set meanings, or do we work to unsettle the certainty that fixes not just meaning, but the dynamics that issue forth?

    The notion of interpunction is fascinating! It applies not only to the start of stories, but even to this microsemantic level of definition. Is the beginning the word you use or the meaning I assign to it?

    For instance, I am not sure if Dr Strangelove responds along the lines Tumbleweed might have hoped? But whether or not Tumbleweed is surprised or not probably influences the decision about how to respond in turn. The situation in Gaza is awful beyond words, most of the people there are trapped by history and circumstances over which they have no possibility of control. Similarly, however, Israel’s actions do not exist in a vacuum. Dr Strangelove makes this point rather forcefully. Given the amount of threat perceived and felt on each side, some other discursive strategies are needed to alter what looks and feels like an inevitable trajectory.

  3. the bombing of gaza is a desperate action of a desperate, sick policy in agony. of course the zionists will lose.

    and the power of people, what they think and feel and do and intend to do, should rather not be underestimated by the so-called leaders of the world.