Tag Archives: Doubletalk

A Guide to Decoding the Doublespeak on Syria, by Peter Ford

Language can explain, clarify, and elucidate, or it can obscure and hide. When people use it for the latter, always assume their motives are suspect. From Peter Ford at 21stcenturywire.com:

The prospect of US withdrawal from Syria has taken the use of doublespeak by frothing neocons and their liberal interventionist fellow travellers to a new level.

Here to help the confused observer is a glossary of some of the most frequently used key terms and their true meanings, along with guidance on usages deemed taboo in Western policy-making and media circles. 

Entrenched. As in: ‘We have to stop Iran getting more entrenched in Syria’. Meaning: ‘Supportive’. Without Iran and Hizbollah helping Syria government forces ISIS and Al Qaida would be ruling the roost in Syria today. Do not say: ‘Israel is becoming more and more entrenched in the West Bank and Golan’.

Forward deployment. ‘US troops are in forward deployment in the Al Tanf enclave on the Syria – Iraq border’. Meaning: Occupation. The US troops have no mandate to be there, not even the approval of the US Congress.

Engagement. ‘Ambassador Jeffrey is the Secretary’s Envoy for Syria Engagement’. Meaning: Disengagement. Much to his chagrin, the archetypal hawk Jeffrey had his pledge to the effect that the US was in Syria for the duration unsaid by the president within hours of his uttering it. Since then he appears to have lost his tongue.

Vacuum. ‘The US will be leaving a vacuum when it pulls troops out’. Meaning: Restoration of law and order. Once the US stops blocking the way the Syrian government will return to the currently US-controlled territory and will keep ISIS down, as it is doing in the rest of Syria, and Turkey out.

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