On June 8, 2010, newspapers around the world headlined the latest triumph of Politically Correct language.
The Israeli government had apologized for circulating a video parodying the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s hit, “We Are the World.” Its purpose: To mock terrorists from the Gaza flotilla smuggling arms into Gaza.
In early June, 2010, six Hamas ships set out in defiance of the Israel’s blockade of Gaza. One of those ships, the Mavi Marmara, suffered nine casualties during a subsequent Israeli raid on the flotilla.
In the video, Israelis dressed up as activists offer their own take on the incident through song.
Among its lyrics:
We’ll make the world
We’ll make them all believe that the Hamas
Is Momma Theresa
We are peaceful travelers
We’re waving our own knives
The truth will never find its way to your TV
The Israeli Government Press Office distributed footage of the music video to foreign journalists on June 4, but then sent an apology to reporters just hours later, insisting it had been an accident.
“The contents of the video in no way represent the official policy of either the Government Press Office or of the State of Israel,” Israel’s Government Press Office later told CNN.
But the retraction did not stop “We Con the World” from becoming an Internet hit, getting over three million views in less than a week
By issuing such an apology the Israeli government forfeited a vital weapon in its ongoing struggle for not simply sovereignty but survival: Ridicule.
Every great tyrant has feared the laughter of his enemies. For that reason, the Roman Emperor Augustus banished the satirical poet, Ovid, from Rome and the KGB worked overtime to suppress anti-Communist jokes.
It’s clear that Israeli bureaucrats–like American ones–have caught the Political Correctness disease, where even the most criminally depraved are off-limits as targets for satire.
During most of the eight-year Presidency of Bill Clinton, the State Department applied the “rogue state” moniker to nations like Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
In a 1994 lecture, Madeleine Albright, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defined a rogue state as one that actively tried to undermine the international system.
But in 2000, the State Department declared that it would no longer refer to such nations as “rogues.” Instead, they would now be referred to as “states of concern.”
“Rogue,” said a State Department spokesman, was inflammatory, and might hamper the efforts of the United States to reach agreements with its sworn enemies.
In short, it’s become Politically Incorrect to refer to even our sworn enemies as enemies.
As Steven Emerson, president of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) puts it: “If you can’t name your enemy, how can you defeat him?”
During World War 11, GIs–and their commanders–routinely referred to German soldiers as “krauts.” Japense soldiers were universally referred to as “Japs.”
Throughout the Vietnam war, North Vietnamese troops were called “gooks,” “dinks” and “Charlie.” During the 1991 Gulf War, American soldiers called Iraqi soldiers “ragheads.”
Admittedly, that’s not the sort of language to use in polite company.
But there is nothing polite about war, and it’s unrealistic to expect those whose lives could be snuffed out at any moment to be Politically Correct in talking about their enemies.
The United States has been at war with Islamic nations since September 11, 2001. But terms such as “jihadist,” “jihadi” and “mujahedeen” are now officially forbidden by the Pentagon.
So is “Islamofascism,” a term often used to describe Islamic aggression against other countries–especially non-Muslim ones.
Similarly, the American government now seeks to impose the same Political Correctness restrictions on how to refer to daily invasions of its sovereign bordeers.
“Illegal alien” is taboo–although totally accurate. An “alien” is defined as “a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living.”
And a foreigner who violates another country’s immigration laws is in that country illegally.
“Undocumented immigrant” is the new fashionable term to be used by all federal agents charged with enforcing our immigration laws.
Liberals feel that this sounds nicer, and won’t offend our “little brown brothers” south of the Rio Grande.
“Undocumented immigrant” makes it seem as though the mass violations of America’s national border are no big deal. You might even think the illegal alien simply lost his legal papers while sneaking across the border.
More than 500 years ago, Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of modern political science, laid out the guidelines for effective propaganda. In his notorious book, The Prince, he wrote:
…Men in general judge more by the eyes than by the hands, for every one can see, but very few have to feel. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are….
Apparently, many people in government are now convinced: If you don’t admit there is a problem, the problem doesn’t exist.