Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Words meant things, redux

As readers of this blog know, I've said time and time again that "words mean things". Dennis Prager does an excellent job in his column today describing precisely that, and how some have waged war on the words that should horrify us all, and by doing so have rendered them impotent and removed the stigma and ability to move us as they once did.

It undermined the war against torture to characterize what some Americans did to some Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib prison -- actions that were indeed sick, un-American and shameful to our military -- as "torture." Labeling abuses as "torture" filled me with pity for all the people around the world who had experienced real torture.

I kept thinking about those whose bodies were burned, whose fingernails were torn out, who were hung by their arms in a way that broke their shoulders (a common Chinese communist torture), who were put into human shredders (in Saddam's Iraq) or who had burning hot steel rods shoved into their rectums. How did these poor souls react to seeing the Western media routinely describe humiliating and frightening naked men for the sadistic amusement of guards as "torture"?

A second example is "rape." In the past, when I heard that a woman had been raped, I recoiled in horror. Not any more. Now, my first reaction is, "What happened to her?"

One has to ask that question because the feminist left has redefined the word "rape" to the point where, unless you know the specifics, you don't know if a woman was violently forced into sexual intercourse or had engaged in sex that she regretted the following morning.


At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This can only have been written by someone who hasn't faced any potentially fatal torturous moments.

What constitutes torture is in the eye of the receiver. It may seem not torture, to some, what St. Max Kolbe and his neighbors in the camp underwent.. was it?

Some of these other 'naked frightened men' died from their 'mistreatment' and from their 'detainment' and from their 'questioning'. Some are dying as I write. Some are screaming as I write.

Some were and are innocent.

Many attitudes would be different if those elected to power were to parse the Gospels from time to time, not merely pose an image of Mary on a table for Catholic voter photo ops, and incorporate mercy. This is not too much to ask from within a nation based on tenets of God.


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